Friday, November 8, 2013

Five for Friday and a Freebie!

Hip, hip, hooray!  It's Friday!  :)
(So I started this blog post...hmmm...let's see...LAST MONTH!  And I am just now getting around to finishing it.  So sad...especially since I have now failed my New Years Resolution of blogging at least once a month.  *sigh*)
I am linking up for one of the coolest linky parties around!  (I looooove the flexibility.)
Kevin Henkes Author Study
It can be extremely challenging as a support teacher to "glue" everything together when I only see small groups for 30 minutes a day...sometimes not even 5 days a week with early release, professional development, absent students, testing, assemblies - you know what it is like.  Something I am trying this year with my 2nd graders is an author study each month - errrr...well, that was the goal.  Our first author study took longer than that.  We started with the one and only:  Kevin Henkes!  (Did you know he is from Racine, Wisconsin?!  That is where I teach!)
One of the books we read was "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse."  We also read "Chrysanthemum" and "Wemberly Worried."  The students used writing and illustrations to show the characters, setting, problem, solution, and lesson.

I created mini reading response sheets.  If you would like to snag this FREEBIE, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

(Here is our in-progress anchor chart; you can see the headings in this picture.)
(And here is our completed anchor chart!)

After we read "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," the kids played a Reading Comprehension board game as one of their extension activities.  I found this free resource online, but I am not sure where / who it came from.  If it is you, please let me know, so I can give credit where it is due.  Thanks!  :)
We focused on 3 vocabulary words in "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse," as you can see in the picture above.
While we read "Wemberly Worried," the students jotted down (on a graphic organizer) things that Wemberly worried about in the story.  Then, the students made a text-to-self connection by writing about what makes them worry in their own lives.  As always, they presented their finished product in the "Share Chair" (above).

"I worry about my brother getting sick."

"I worry about never getting to see my Grandna Feliz."

"I worry about my baby brother at Virginia because he went to Virginia with my dad."

"I worry about my sister getting sick because I do not want to get sick."
"I worry about my mom because she has diabetes."  *awwww*
Cuddle Up and Read Day
Our Student Council hosted a school-wide event: "Cuddle Up and Read Day!"  Students wore their pajamas, brought their stuffed animals and blankies to school, and cuddled up to read.  What fun!  (I even brought along some laundry baskets for some kiddos to sit in while reading, but I ran out of time during my ELA block.  Bummer.)

Morning Message
Like I said...I started this blog post last month (Ha!) so this picture is old by now, but still worth sharing, I suppose.
I push into a First Grade room every morning and teach whole group for 40 minutes.  Every Monday, we have Morning Meeting which inlcludes are Morning Message.  We focus on high frequency words during this time.  It is sloppy, but it gets the job done.  During this time, we practice signing (like sign language) and spelling the words, using the words orally in complete sentences, writing the words, and finding the words in the message.  It is an interactive activity, so the students do all the high-frequency word work.

Parallel Lines
Have you ever heard of using parallel lines as a sharing / building language strategy?  I like this strategy and I use it fairly often because it is effective and easy-to-implement.  Here is how I do it:
1 - Split the class in half and ask them to sit knees-to-knees and eyes-to-eyes with their assigned partner.
2 - Give one row of students a small ball or bean bag.  This is a visual reminder of who is the speaker. 
3 - Set the timer for 30 seconds (or one minute, or whatever works for your class) and instruct the students to talk about the given topic or question.  We have MANY English language learners in our school, so I more often than not write a sentence prompt on the whiteboard for them to follow (example - "I think the boy should...because..." or "A _____ is an example of a sphere" etc.) can skip the timer all together and just have the kids hold up their balls when they are done speaking (like in the picture above).
4 - When the timer goes off, remind the students to pass the ball to their partner.  Reset the timer and the student who was the listener now becomes the speaker.  They are also given time to speak about the topic.
5 - When the timer goes off a second time, ask only ONE row to stand (and it has to be the same row every time).  The student at the top of the line, goes to the end and everyone in that line shifts down one person.  Now everyone has a new partner and the activity can be repeated again!
One of my Kindergarten students (who is now in 2nd grade) recently joined our ESL group.  Whenever I have a kiddo join me, they get to decorate their very own binder that will hold all of the work they do in ESL.  They will take their binders home at the end of the school year, which is totally exciting for most of them.  Anyway, this is how she chose to decorate her binder.  What a sweetie pie!
Our school celebrated Halloween last Friday by having our annual costume parade.  I found a mini-me!  (This little lady was also one of my Kindergarten students a few years back.  I sure wish I could sure their adorable faces.)
Woo hoo!  I made it through the rest of this blog post without falling asleep at my kitchen table!  Go me!  Hahaha.  :)  Enjoy your weekend folks!  Thanks for stopping by!