Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday Scoop!

Before I head off to bed, I wanted to post my Sunday Scoop! It's interesting, but looking back on my past posts, I never seem to get the "hope to do" things accomplished....maybe this week!

Have a good night!


Sight Word Folders

I have been planning this post for a long time now, but preparing a blog post takes a lot of work! I finally have the time to sit down and type this out. I am so excited to share my Sight Word Folders with you! This sight word learning strategy has served me well now for almost two years. I used it in my Kindergarten classroom and am currently using it with my first grade class. The concept was presented to me in a college course, but was not specifically designed for learning sight words. I modified some of the ideas, but some of the printouts and concepts I will still be using from my course. In this post, I will give you step-by-step instructions on how to set up the folders for instant use!

Step #1: Get Your Materials 

In order to make these sight word folders, you are going to need a few things:

First, obviously you will need a folder. Just any basic two-pocket folder will do. You will then need to write the words 'Go' and 'Stop' on notecards and tape/glue them to the pockets.

You will need this page (included as a FREEBIE at the end of this post.)

It will need to be taped/glued to the front of the folder like this:

You will then need some type of blank game board. The one that I have is not available for downloading online, but you can find one by The Sophisticated Teacher here. The more spaces it has, the better it will be.

And you will need to tape/glue this game board to the back of the folder like this:

Then, you will need a sight word list. It does not matter what list you want to use. You can use the Dolch list, the Fry list, or a list provided by your reading program. In the past, I combined my list from the Journeys reading series and the Dolch Sight Word Assessment and Progress Monitoring Materials by Make Take Teach, which you can download for FREE here. Now, this is the only list I use.

Dolch Sight Word Assessment and Progress Monitoring Materials

You will also need some blank notecards (these were blank before I wrote the words on :)

Here is what the folder looks like once it is all set up: a folder with 'Go' and 'Stop,' notecards, a sight word list, a small plastic baggie. And don't forget the pictures on the front and back of the folder mentioned above!

Step #2: Assess Your Students

The next step in setting up your sight word folder is to figure out what words you want to put in each student's folder. First, in the beginning of the year, I give the students the sight word assessment mentioned above. For Kindergarten students, I would wait to use this folder until at least 10 sight words have been taught. After giving the sight word assessment, I look at the results. I then choose 10 words that the student did not know and write them on notecards.

These words are then placed in the student's 'Go' pocket in their folder. Now you're ready to use the folders!

Step #3: Using the Sight Word Folders

I use these sight word folders during my guided reading block. When the students come to my desk, they immediately grab their folders. And this is what they do. It has become so routine that they don't even have to think about it anymore!

1. Students take out their folder and remove their 10 words from their 'Go' pocket.
2. They practice reading the words once or twice, until they think they are ready to be 'tested.' During this practice time, they may ask the teacher or another student in the group what the word is.
3. The teacher will then assess the students on these words, and only these.
4. If the student gets the words right, they are placed on the smiley face on the front of their folder. If they get the words wrong, they are placed on the X.
5. Then, the teacher will mark on the back of each card what the student did for the day. For example, the cards that were placed on the X will then have an X placed on the back of the card. The same goes for those on the smiley, but a smiley face will be placed on the back of the card.
6. These words are practiced daily, or whenever their guided reading group is called. Once the student receives 3 smiley faces in a row (important!!) those cards will be moved to the 'Stop' pocket in the baggie.
7. Last step!!!! Every time a student gets three consecutive smiley faces on a sight word card and moves it to the 'Stop' pocket, they get to color a piece of the game board on the back of their folder.

And that's it!! Whew!!

I have seen tremendous growth in my students' sight word knowledge and retention by using this strategy. The best part is that it is differentiated for every student. No two students are studying the same words. I have had students complete the Dolch list that I included in this post and so I had to move them onto harder words/nouns. It never ends!

Once students have put a good amount of the words into their 'Stop' pockets, the teacher can then look back at the list and choose more words that they can write on notecards. I would be sure not to have more than 10 words at a time. If a student has 10 completely new words that they have never seen before, it is a little overwhelming and may take them a little bit longer to learn.

Thank you for reading all the way down to the end of this post! Here is your freebie! It is the smiley/X page that you will need for the front of your folder!

What sight word strategies do you use in your classroom?


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Scoop!

It's been awhile since I have blogged, but I have been very busy. We cleaned out our spare room in our apartment, and now I have plenty of room for my planning and classroom projects! I have also been trying my hand at baking using my new KitchenAid stand mixer. I love it! So far, I have made pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting and a banana bread. So with all of the busyness, I thought I would just drop in for a minute to give you my Sunday Scoop!

Have a great week! I hope to write soon about the sight word strategy that I use in my classroom!


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Theodore the Teddy and a Freebie!

I recently heard of this great writing idea from another teacher at my school. She sends home a stuffed animal dog and a notebook with her students on a rotating basis. For homework, the student with the dog must write what they did with the dog from the dog's perspective. I thought it was an amazing idea and one that could easily be done. So I went to Walmart and bought my materials.

A stuffed bear for $5.00

A composition notebook for 75 cents.

Then I set to work creating the journal. I came up with the name Theodore and then I made a cute cover and a direction page for the inside.

My plan is now to send home the bear with a different student every day. Then, either in the morning or during writing time, the student who took him home last would share what they did with him. Because we just finished talking about different types of sentences in language arts, this would be a great opportunity to demonstrate what they learned. It's also homework, without feeling like homework. I am also going to encourage students to take pictures with Theodore and they can bring them in to share as well. Or we can glue them in the notebook so we can see all of the fun things that he has done throughout the year.

If you would like to use this idea in your classroom, check out the FREEBIE in my store!


Sunday Scoop - New Linky!

Aahh! I stumbled upon a new linky today and I am so excited! I love linkies! This one is called Sunday Scoop and every Sunday you can link up and write 3 things that you have to do, 3 things that you hope to do, and 1 thing that you're happy to do. I am very excited to do the first one!

Head on over to Teaching Trio and link up your own Sunday Scoop!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

My New Laminator!

Hello everyone! I am writing to you this evening about my latest and greatest purchase. A laminator!! I have hemmed and hawed about this purchase for a long time, but a few weeks ago, it was the Amazon deal of the day and I just HAD to go for it (plus some laminating sleeves) on the side.

The laminator arrived on Monday and just in time! I needed to laminate THAT NIGHT for a write the room activity for Tuesday. And oh my goodness. You would have thought it was Christmas. I oohed and aahed over the laminator and put all other chores aside so I could get the laminating done. Here are some pictures of what I laminated:

Here it is! Getting ready to warm up!

Here we go!

All finished!

Here is what I laminated! Cara Carroll's Goodbye Rhymes and a setting and character sort from Rulin' the Roost. You can find it here.

I can't say enough about this laminator. It's the Scotch Thermal Laminator and I bought it with 100 laminating pouches. I would highly recommend it. The laminating is perfect and I can use it anytime I want!

Now I'm off to find more things to laminate!


Monday, September 1, 2014

September Currently

September is here and school is in session! I can't believe that I have already been in school for three weeks. Time has flown by with these new students of mine. It feels like just yesterday I was eagerly anticipating what my new students would be like and now they are here and we are knee-deep in our curriculum. Even though we are very busy, I still had time to sit down and complete September's Currently!

1. Listening - I am currently watching my favorite show Friends. I only have two seasons, courtesy of one of my good friends. Goal: get the other seasons ASAP!

2. August just ended and the sales have been tabulated. I just had my best month since I started selling on TPT! This was my first August and I am so pleased with the results. Thank you to everyone who supported my store in one way or another. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings!

3. I have taken a LOOOOONG break from creating products. Now that school is in session, I need to get going and create more fun and exciting activities for my students!

4. I now live in Texas and it is so HOT down here. Fall is starting soon and I wish I could be back home and experience the crisp fall weather and go apple picking and have bonfires and s'mores and go to pumpkin farms, all while wearing scarves and boots. But I don't think I will be having those experiences this year. I guess I will have to start some new fall traditions down here in Texas.

5. Now that school has started and because I live in a different climate than before, I am realizing that I need some new clothes for work. I recently ordered my first box from Stitchfix, which should be arriving next week. I can't wait!

6. I have three places that I would like to visit someday: Spain, Tuscany, and Ireland. Spain has always been on my list. I was all set to study abroad in Seville, Spain in college, but then decided against it. Every since then, I have wanted to visit Spain. I also studied the language for 8 years and it would be nice to go and see all of the places and try all of the things that I learned about in my classes. Tuscany is another place that I would like to visit someday, mostly because of how it looks in movies. It looks so romantic with its winding roads and vineyards and cute little houses. It would just be so beautiful. I would also like to visit Ireland. My brother studied abroad there a few years ago and it would be nice to visit and see what it's like. It's also in a lot of movies and the views look absolutely breathtaking.

That's all for this month! Don't forget to check out the other blogs who linked up over at Oh Boy 4th Grade.

Have a great Tuesday!