Thursday, July 30, 2015

Timesaver Assessment Tips

It's overwhelming to try to teach procedures to the students and assess them at the same time.  Definitely use the first few days to focus on procedures because without them you'll be lost.

But when it comes time to assessing the students, you need something that they can do independently and takes a long time.

Here are three things I use to keep the class busy while I'm pulling individual students.

Cut Apart Spelling from First Grade Fairytales
Students have to color each group of words a different color, then cut and glue the letters to make a word.  It goes along with short a words which I start the second week of school.  It's a freebie and a lifesaver!

Dictionary and Phonics Notebook from Teacher by the Beach
Last year was the first year I used interactive notebooks.  I had always done a poetry notebook but seeing the interactive notebooks on Pinterest and blogs made me want to jump on the bandwagon. (Hint: Check out my post on glue sponges.  I was afraid on how many glue sticks interactive notebooks would use, but glue sponges solved my problem.)

Over the summer, I copied each part of the phonics notebook on colored copy paper.  If the students were missing a piece it would be easy to find.  

I didn't give everything to the students at once.  The first day the students glue the personal alphabet chart on the inside cover.  They color the vowels with a red crayon.  Next, I pass out the title cards.  We do A-C together so they can understand the process.  The next day we do the word lists before moving on to the category section.  I usually do the phonics  portion as we learn about each skill.

Make sure to double check the students work!  These notebooks are something we use all year long so if something's off it will be off for the entire year.  Most of my students do really well with this but you always have a few slow cutters.  Have the early finishers help with cutting or picking up trash. 


Neat Numbers Booklet
Most of my students come in knowing how to read number words, but the teens numbers always seem to get a few of my students.  I have a number line in the back of my room that I see a lot of students refer to for reading the number words.  

I also need the students to practice ten frames.  It's a simple skill, but it's one that can be easily forgotten over the summer.

Within the Neat Numbers Booklet, students practice forming the numbers correctly, writing the number words, coloring and filling in a ten frame for each number. I won't accept sloppiness so if the students finish too quickly, I will hand it back.

Right now, it's only in D'Nealian, but I am working on making a print option.  It should be finished by the weekend!  Be sure to follow my store to be notified!

What to you use in your classroom to keep students busy while you're assessing?  I'm always looking out for new ideas and tips too!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Alphabet Posters & FREE Schedule Cards

I've been teaching for 8 years and I've had two classroom themes - bees for five years and polka dots for the last 3 years.  This year I'm adding a few touches of chevron to switch things up a bit.

I found these lights on clearance at Target. First I was bummed because the polka dot lights were not on clearance, but a co-worker convinced me that polka dots and chevron can go together.

My number line is green and pink polka dots, so I thought it would be fitting to do a chevron print for the alphabet line since it's on the opposite site of the room.

It's hard for me to find D'Nealian items so if you need this in a different theme, let me know. 

I also made a polka version (lined and unlined).  

I've been using the same schedule cards for several years too.  I had mounted them on scrapbook paper, but them some of our enrichment classes changed and I didn't have something to match it.  Every Monday there was a blank hole.  The kids finally got used to the blank hole because they knew it was Cultural Studies.  

My Friday schedule was always a little different in the afternoon. Let's be honest and realize that you probably cannot teach a lesson the last hour of the day, especially if you have just come back from enrichment.  They are D.O.N.E.  (And maybe the teacher is too.) Usually class store happens at this time.  Some weeks I would show a movie related to whatever we were learning.  Other weeks I would do a directed drawing from Jennifer at First Grade Blue Skies.  The schedule cards include both of these options!

They include:
Social Studies
Reader's Workshop (alternates include Reading and Phonics)
Writer's Workshop (alternates include Writing and Grammar)
Morning Work 
Field Trip
Class Store
Directed Drawings
Praise & Worship

You can download the free schedule cards {HERE}.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Winner Wednesday: Awesome Dinosaurs (aw, au, al words)

Today I'm linking up with A Dab of Glue Will Do for Winner Wednesday!  It's a linky that takes place the first Wednesday of every month.  I'll choose a popular product from my TpT store and you can win it.  All you have to do it enter your name into the Rafflecopter.  

I decided to choose my Awesome Dinosaurs packet.  It's a study of aw, au and al words.

My students loved writing their spelling words on the dinosaur.

Here's what is included:

p. 1 - Cover
p. 2 - A cute picture of kittens and a dog. I show this to my students before I introduce the sound and they say "Awe!" They immediately recognize the sound of the week.
p. 3-5 - Anchor Charts 
p. 6-11 - I Have, Who Has? Game (enough cards for 24 students)
p. 12-15 - Word Hunt & Recording Sheet
p. 16-20 - Dinosaur Craft
p. 21 - 22 Printables
p. 23 Credits

You can enter the Rafflecopter below and if you don't win, the packet will be on sale through Friday for 20% off.

Be sure to check out the other items at A Dab of Glue Will Do