Thursday, August 13, 2015

Word Attack Strategies

Tonight, I was contemplating and thinking about struggling readers and how they react to a new word. Many times, they just give up without trying. They are essentially a casualty of the text, a big-word victim.

In light of that, I decided to begin this year by reviewing some word attack strategies and adding some karate clipart, hopefully to empower kids. I want them to feel like they really can attack that scary word and be victorious!

I think the presentation is cute. It's going up tonight on TPT if you are interested. Here are some photos of a couple of slides.

Monday, August 10, 2015

SAFE to Write

As a writing teacher, one of the most frustrating obstacles to overcome is getting kids started with their writing. Often you will hear, "I just don't know what to write." Or even more frustrating, you will open a student's work only to find that they have barely written anything at all and writing time is over. It's hard to edit an empty page! :( This presentation solves that problem by teaching kids to get started and helps them feel SAFE when presented with a new writing assignment. I love my acronyms!

After this presentation, I would do a lot of quick writing in which students write everything they can get down in one minute, do a word count, and track their progress over time. A great way to give kids ideas is to find funny or interesting Youtube clips to watch.  As a class, brainstorm a word-bank and then time them for one minute. The goal is to overcome the fear of getting started and just dive in (or as the presentation suggests, cannon ball!) to the assignment.


Getting Started:
Tips to Feeling SAFE!
Set Purpose: Is there something I should read or think about before I write
Assignment: What does the assignment specifically ask me to do?
Format: What will my writing look like? Will it be a letter, a sentence, a paragraph, a poem? Does the prompt let me know how long my writing should be?
Expectations: How will my writing be graded or judged? Is there a rubric? How can I use the rubric to be sure I have met the requirements?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hoo Knows About Abstract Nouns?

Only $1.00, this is a cute Valentine owl themed presentation.  Included is a short quiz and a writing assignment using an abstract noun word bank.  If you would like to connect to a Quizlet practice set as well, here is the link:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weekly Pill Organizer to ABC organizer

This has been a fun addition to my Words center. I used an weekly pill organizer and put mailing labels and then ABC stickers.  Inside I put alphabet wooden beads that I purchased at Walmart. Add some pipe cleaners for stringing, and voila! A fun way to practice spelling words. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Author's Purpose Poster

It's time to teach author's purpose to my new students!  I love the way the new poster turned out. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Planboard for Lesson Plans

I'm trying out a new resource for lesson plans this year. (It's free!)

It's called Planboard, and I really like the layout.  For one thing, it has a calendar layout that can be configured for any class schedule.  It is easy to insert your standards by simply clicking down a list. Also, it is easy to shift plans to the next day if you don't get to everything. You can view your plans by week, day or class. When you are finished, you can generate a .pdf file in a weekly or daily format for submission.

If you'd like to give it a try, please click on the link below:


By using this link instead of the web address, you and I will both receive 100 MB extra storage space for free!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Folder Holders (Simple and Affordable)

Have you ever wanted to purchase a seat sack or chair organizer, but couldn't afford them?  They are SO expensive!  This year, I got a decent deal on some homemade denim seat sacks.  Then I dyed them and added a ribbon detail.  When I (finally) finish my classroom and post pics, you will get to see them.

My son starts Kindergarten this year, and one of the K teachers saw my seat sacks and wanted to make some.  So I thought I would try to come up with a design for her to use.  Her room has a jungle theme. I think these turned out really cute and they were not difficult or expensive to put together. 

With folders:
Without folders:
How to make them:
I  bought this in the fabric section of Walmart for about $8.
13 1/2 inches wide worked nicely for me.  The plastic is 9 feet by 54 inches.  Cut it into 54 inch strips that are @13.5 inches wide.  Then fold cut that in half so that you have two 27 inch strips that are 13.5 inches wide. You only need one strip for the folder holder.

Begin by taping one short edge with duct tape. There are so many cool duct tapes now; you can find one that matches your classroom design.

Then you want to fold that strip about 1/3 of the length of the strip and staple the sides.

Then flip it over and fold the other end in the other direction and staple the sides again.  One pocket will hold the folder. One pocket will go over the chair back. 

Then add duct taper border and put it on the chair!  Very simple!

I don't know how strong these will be.  They will hold folders just fine though!  I may work on other designs in the future.