Thursday, January 17, 2013


      As we approach the midpoint in the school year, I want to encourage parents to continue to read with their child each night at home for at least 20 minutes a night. My room is bursting with readers! There are a lot of great iPad apps for working on sight words. Learning sight words is an important part of reading success. So, please continue to read, read, read with your child. It is a great snuggle time. :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Countdown until School Begins

Well, I received my class list for the school year and I am pretty excited to get back in my classroom. I have lots to do to get ready and lots of fun ideas for the year. So, stay posted as I will be back to blogging regularly when the school year starts. Enjoy your last few days of summer. :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Writing Stories

I came up with an idea to help my students develop a story. They had a hard time coming up with ideas so I set up three buckets to help. Each bucket contained color-coded cards. One bucket had character cards (yellow). Another bucket had setting ideas (green) and the final bucket had plot ideas (blue).

Then they would draw two character cards, one setting card, and one plot card. After their selection, they would use the cards to fill out their "brainstorm" packet.

The "brainstorm" packet was helpful because it allowed them to get their ideas on paper before writing their story. It also allowed me to discuss setting and plot with them. When they finished filling out the packet and conferencing with me, they could begin writing their story. Their story had to make sense. It had to have a beginning, middle, and an end. Also the problem in the story had to be solved. The stories turned out great!

After the stories were written, I typed them into a book for each student. I typed exactly what each child wrote. They were so fun to read. When all the stories were done, each student had to read their story to five classmates and get input from them. They filled out a feedback form after each reading. This allowed them to work on fluency as they read their stories as well as sharing and getting feedback from peers. I loved to listen to all the stories and they really enjoyed sharing.

This writing assignment took a few days because I have taught my students that writing is a process and takes time. :)

Mother's Day Sweetness

For our Mother's Day gifts, my students made flowers out of recycled cardboard egg cartons. Here are the results...

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Life of an Ocean Water Drop

To wrap up our weather unit, we did a Reader's Theater called "The Story of a Water Cycle". It enabled my students to work on fluency as well as review concepts of the water cycle. Each student had an important part. We practiced and then recorded it. I hope to have a copy of the video online soon.
The story starts and ends with the ocean water drops. The drops change form and go on a water adventure. 
The ocean drops change forms. For example, during their travels, the ocean water drops condense and become clouds. It was a great way to wrap up the unit. :)

"Bee" A Reader

We read an interesting informational text about bees. We learned to look at the text for clues. We learned that an important clue might be a boldface word. We found lots of boldface words in our text. There were also headings that were very helpful when we were reading. The headings gave us hints about what we were going to read. We learned that in the center of the comb are the eggs and on the outer edge is the honey.  
There is only one queen bee in a hive and she lays all the eggs. She can lay thousands of eggs.
The worker bees are female and do most of the work. They clean out the cells. They feed the young bees. They make the honey. Work, work, work.
The drones are male. They collect the nectar and the pollen. They find all the flowers. They do special dances to let the other bees know if the flowers are close or far away. See if your child remembers the dance for "far away flowers".

"Bee"ing a reader is fun because you can learn lots of interesting information. :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Magic "E"

This week we learned about the "magic e" and how it can "magically" change a word into a new word. We learned that the "magic e" does its magic silently. It can change a short vowel sound to a long vowel sound. To practice using the "magic e", we first made "magic e" wands.
First, I pre-made some wand toppers and they decorated them with crayons. The  more colorful, the more magical the wand would be. 
This wand topper was sure to be magical. 

Next, they glued the toppers to wand-sized sticks. (They gathered these at recess...thanks to the playground supervisor.) Then they embellished their "magic e" wands with ribbons, feathers, and even a few googly eyes. 
Finally, the wands were ready to be put to use and to do some magic. First we played a game. I placed 28 base words around the classroom. Some were on the floor, taped to the wall, or on the tables. Then each student had to collect as many new words as he/she could in ten minutes. The rules were simple. To collect a word, the wand had to TOUCH the end of the base word. In addition, the new word had to be read in order for the magic to work. Once the word was touched by the wand and read, it must be written down and "collected" on the list. 
The kids LOVED this game. The room was so quiet as they moved around to find and collect new words. Everyone followed the rules and I could hear them say each word, "cone... mate..." It was magical!
After the ten minutes of collecting, each student found a partner. They counted their own list of words and then checked their partner's list of words. Finally, they each read their list to the partner. In the end, everyone was a winner!

As a follow-up activity to the game, they completed a worksheet. First they read the word. Then they added an "e" and made a new word. They also had to draw a picture of the new word.
Later in the week, we used our "magic e" wands again. A co-worker shared an idea that he used in his classroom. Each student was given a base slim. First, they drew a picture of the base word. Next, they added an "e" to their base word and create a new word along with a picture to go with it. 
But here is the fun and magical part. Each student shared their words with the class. First they read the base word to the class. Then after a swish of the wand and the magic words of "abracadabra", the base word magically changed into a new word. After the magic was performed, the student read the new word to the class. 
It was funny to hear my students pronounce the magic word. I almost got whacked a few times with a wand when the swishing took place. :)
Now when we read, my students and I will point out "magic e" words. "Look Mrs. Scott! It's a magic e word. It says bike!" 
Here are the wands and words on display. Aren't the wands beautiful?