Saturday, January 30, 2016

Five For Friday: Bring on FEBRUARY

 
Hey ya'll! Jana here. I'm so excited to finally get back into the swing of things with a little Five for Friday blog post! (Yes, I do realize it's actually Saturday. That's just how I roll!) 
I love this linky from Doodle Bugs because it gives a quick snapshot into our teacher lives and classrooms. So here's a quicky on my week!

 
This week we had our annual Open House. While I didn't snap many pics, I did get one of these super-cute "Guess Who?" self-portraits. These were definitely the thing the kids were most excited about. Their parents had fun guessing which one was their child. (We did a winter-theme with our outerwear.)


 Somehow, I got suckered into being the lead for son's class art auction project for open house. (Call it Teacher-Mama Guilt.) After searching hundreds of ideas on pinterest, I came upon one that I thought was adorable.  These are my almost-finished products. I still had to find the period and add Dr. Seuss' name to the end.

 

So I did this before I left Friday. Valentine's book display. Enough said.
 

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Floating-into-February-7-SECOND-Grade-Math-Tubs-2356749

Speaking of Valentine's Day, I was super excited to finish my new 2nd grade math tubs and get them all prepped today. Moving into 2nd grade this year, I've really enjoyed creating these new games. Math tub time is by far my kids' favorite part of our guided math block. Here's a peek at each game.







The Love is in the Air game has 2 options: Subtraction facts less than 10 and facts 11-18. You can find these games in my TPT store!

 
Finally, I am jumping on the flexible seating bandwagon! I set up my classroom on Friday, and we are ready to start on Monday. The kids will choose their own spots as they come in. For now, we have 1 regular table with chairs, 1 table with Hoki stools, 1 tall standing table, 2 floor tables, and one small round table with crate seats. I also have 8 clipboards that the kids can use on the floor. They are super excited! Be sure to follow us on instagram for updates. Thanks to Lucky Little Learners for the inspiration!


 
Thanks for stopping by! Head on back to Doodle Bugs to check out some more Five for Friday fun!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

QR Codes in the Classroom

I remember the first QR code that I ever scanned several years ago. It was for a coupon to one of my favorite Austin restaurants, Fino (It's closed now! Boo!). I had no idea what it was or that I would be making them for my classroom for years to come. My students love QR codes and so do I!!!
Here are the top 5 reasons I use QR codes in my classroom:
1. Students get up and moving to scan the codes. We know that our little firsties can't sit still for too long. We place the codes around the classroom and sometimes even in the hallway. They enjoy the opportunity to walk around and move while learning!
We use QR Reader or Qrafter to scan QR codes.
2. Students can check their own work. Can I get an AMEN?!?! Several of our QR code activities have a problem or question on the card. The students then write their answer on the recording sheet. Next, they scan the code to check their work. This is such a fun way to practice math facts and spelling words. Talk about immediate feedback! 
3. It promotes collaboration. I love to see kids working together, sharing qr codes and taking turns. There have been a few lessons where I partner the kids up and they share one recording sheet. This provides a time for them to discuss the problem/answer and agree on one and then check their work.
4. Technology is engaging. For some reason practicing math facts, learning about fractions, or writing your spelling words just seems a lot more FUN with some technology in your hands. If you're up for trying something new, QR codes are a quick and easy solution. There isn't a lot of prep work on the teacher's part and your students will be instantly engaged with the novelty of scanning.
5. QR codes seem to make a "worksheet" come alive. There's something about scanning a QR code that makes my students forget they are doing a worksheet. I have to say my students are very focused and remain on task when they are working on a worksheet with QR codes. 
If you're interested in trying out QR codes in your classroom, we have several resources in our TPT stores (Jana Guerra & Ashley Krause.) Here are a few of our favorites.
CVC: Short Vowel QR Code BUNDLE
Customer Review: My class loved these! The incorporation of technology and movement made this one of their favorite centers. Thank you for your hard work! (This is my #2 best selling product!)   
Spring Telling Time QR Scavenger Hunt: Hour and Half-Hour
Customer Review: Telling time is our next unit to tackle. I think this will be a great way to get my kids actively involved in learning how to tell time.
QR Code Scavenger Hunt: Long E
There are several vowel team QR code activities available here.
Thanks so much for stopping by! Comment below if you'd like to share your experience with QR codes.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A day in the life of 1st grade RTI...

Hi, it’s Ashley here! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to blog about my NEW position this year. I am one of five RTI (Response to Intervention) teachers on our campus. I primarily work with K-3 reading intervention. I absolutely LOVE my job and could not be more grateful that this position became available! I love working with small groups and keeping a very close eye on their targeted intervention skills. I pull students out of their regular classroom during a designated time for each grade level.  

I’m going to give you a little overview of what I do with my 1st grade group.  First, we start off with a “Question of the Day.” It’s nice to give them each a chance to talk and share about something important to them in order to keep us focused for the rest of our lesson.  The second thing we do is some sort of quick phonemic awareness activity. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes and gets them moving. For example, I’ll have them stand up while I read a list of words. If the word has a short a sound they will hop and if the word has a short i sound they will squat down. I believe that my early readers need a little phonemic awareness practice everyday! Next we review our letter/sound cards and sight words. Once a week we’ll play a game with our sight word cards. My kids current favorite is “Beat the Teacher.” I show each student a word card. If they say if within 3 seconds they can keep the card. If it takes longer than that I get to keep the card. After we’ve gone through all of the cards we count to see who has more. Let’s just say I’ve never won and I’d like to keep it that way! ;) 
Swat It: We set out sight word cards or phonics skill cards. I say a word and the first one to "swat it" gets to keep it.
Next, we move into some decoding or fluency work. This portion of our lesson looks a little different each day and is normally when I introduce our new phonics skill for the week.  Some of the activities include orally reading a passage together, working on phrasing, reading phrase cards, Read Naturally, word sorts, or reading a leveled text together.  After we read together they have about 1-2 minutes of independent reading. I listen to them read and make some quick anecdotal records on a different child each day. They LOVE to show off so we always have a “Star Reader” who gets to read something aloud for the group after their independent practice! After the Star Reader has read aloud then the kids move on to one of my favorite things, the LA 5-a-Day. This is a resource that I created to review basic LA skills. The same skills are reviewed in 2-3 week chunks to help build mastery and independence. We wrap up our RTI lesson with a writing activity either responding to the book or a writing prompt. 
If this looks like something you'd like to try, you can grab the first two weeks for FREE in my TPT store. Here's a little break down of what to expect. This is just a sample of week 1 and week 9. The skills spiral and increase in difficulty as the year goes along.


5-a-Day LA: 1st Grade Weekly Spiraling Review (Full Year)
I'd love to know what you do during your reading groups or intervention lessons. Please share in the comments below! Thanks so much for stopping by!