Sunday, December 20, 2015

Reindeer Art and Dear Santa Letter Writing

Well it is the season for Santa letter writing! And it is one writing project I never have to motivate anybody to do a good job on. The kids all want to tell Santa they have been good and nobody seems to worry about that old "naughty list" he keeps.

All these kiddos in my class did such great handwriting to Santa. And they have done all those pesky chores at home too! They deserve some Santa loot don't they? 

Santa Letter Writing was so funny. This student "did his homework and cleaned his room!" So Santa, PLEASE send those toys! 
Reindeer Art. We added red glitter to the Rudolf noses. 

And He "sets the table...sometimes..." haha. So sweet. 

Being "quiet in class" should get her lots of Santa points I'd say! lol. 


I love that he's been taking care of his baby brother for mom. What a good boy! 



Reindeer Art projects. Gotta love those eylashes. 



Santa Letter Writing and cute little Reindeer with curly eyelashes. 


I found darling letter writing paper for this project HERE at TPT. It is FREE. There is a cute bunch of Elf writing paper too that had nice big first grade lined paper HERE from Moffett Girls. I really like their stuff.

Anyhoo, I hope every one of these darling kiddos gets what they want for Christmas! They are sure a cute bunch!



Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Star Wars Word Family Stars on a Stick


Every year I try to come up with a few new ways to teach a word family in a way the students will remember. I did this activity a few years ago and I think it helped solidify the Star Word Family. We made Stars on a Stick!
STAR word family "STARS on a STICK" activity. 

I designed a cute STAR shape that had lots of points on it. It really looks more like a SUN but isn't the sun actually a star? Yes it is. The reason being that each of the points on the star will become a place to write a "STAR WORD" or word with the "AR" chunk. Then we decorated them with stickers and markers and added wooden skewers taped to the backs.



I started by teaching the students this little story. Mr. A in the Alphabet made a deal with Mr. R. He said "If you let me be in front, I'll let you say your name."
So in every word where Mr. A is in front of Mr. R, you only hear Mr. R's name.
So we call these words STAR words in my classroom. The words with the "AR" chunk or word family.


Yes I must admit that we had the word "Fart" mentioned and without batting an eyelid I turned and wrote it down. What was I thinking, really? Of course it ended up on every freaking star! 

Then we brainstormed a list of AR or STAR words on the board. I showed the students the pretty poster I made to keep up in the room all year long to remind us of STAR WORDS.


Then we went to work writing our own choice of STAR WORDS and then decorating our stars. Short of breaking out the glitter which I have done some years, we added stickers and lots of cute marker designs. Here are a few cute ones. You KNOW I love my cutsie stuff.
Kids had fun reading their "STARS ON A STICK". 

Then came the fun activity. We got into partners and played the "STAR GAME". Which is simply "I read a word to you, then you read a word to me". Do this 3 or 4 times and then I ring a bell. You have to run to a new partner in the room before the bell dings again. Then replay the game with a new partner. They would have played the game for another 10 minutes. They were reading the entire time.

Think of ways to do these kinds of reading activities with harder types of word families like the IGHT words, or DIGRAPH Words. In our class we are using STAR WARS for lots of engagement in reading and writing. Our latest is using CHEWBACCA for the CH digraph practice. I found a fun package of Star War's masks at Target's Dollar section. I also found some free coloring pages with STAR WARS Characters HERE.  Here are some masks you can purchase if you want to do what we did. Or you could try the Target dollar spot area. I got mine for $3.00 for 3 masks.




I forgot to take a picture of our Chewbacca brainstorm of words for the digraph "CH". I attached the mask to the brown butcher paper and it has a prominent place on our front board to refer to these words and the word "digraph" which is coming up on our language arts benchmark. I will snap a pic today and add it tonight. It is really cute.




I'm going to find a little miniature CHEWBACCA and we'll have to do him on a stick. haha. Chewbacca on a stick. Priceless!



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly


 This past week we've been learning about the 5 food groups, the food pyramid, healthy choices for exercise, food, and washing our hands so we don't get germs or sicknesses spreading around the classroom. Here are a few fun activities we did! 
First we read the story There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly....after which we made our own!
I put the story at the listening post this week with the felt lady and animals activity and it has been super popular! Go figure. I used this store purchased felt lady to design our paper reproductions.
I drew this Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly freehand! Woot! The animals are below along with the rhyming text.


The kids had fun reading the story text along with dropping the corresponding animal down the lady's mouth.

I had a parent helper cut out the "tummy" and put a piece of  old overhead projector acetate behind it and tape it up. Then the kids colored them and we backed them with colored paper, leaving a little place from her hand down to her hemline open to retrieve the "animals". They colored animals that went along with the story. 
I also typed up the words to go along with all the animals in The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly....

These have been very engaging for the students. They really loved doing this activity to go along with our Healthy Lifestyles unit. 
 I am going to have the kids write their own "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a ______" innovations. I have typed up a story frame. We will work on it for a few days and I can't wait to see what creative things the kids come up with!
Everybody's Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly looked a little different. 

 Then we did a fun activity putting different foods in the "Old Lady Who Swallowed Stuff's" belly. I had each table of kids discuss what should go in the trash and what she should eat to make her healthier. We talked about things that we should eat sparingly like cookies, french fries and candy. 
We have read all of these innovations on the original "There Was an Old Lady" books. Some of them were really funny. iThere was an old lady who swallowed a fly

This Activity was really cute for a CENTER GAME. Use a MRS. BUTTERWORTH'S empty syrup bottle to "feed" the old lady words using beads and pipe cleaners.  I saw a cute picture of it on Pinterest. It's from Housingaforest.com.
Some of my collection of "There Was an _______ Lady who Swallowed _______" books. 
Check out another book title THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED SOME CLOVER and activities to go with it HERE. She makes the old lady to "feed" by placing this picture in front of an empty tissue box.
 We could have been saving tissue boxes all year. This would be cute to do in March to go along with St. Patrick's Day! Another one I found is HERE at kidzclub. It is free and printable. Click here then go to black and white. Don't click on the picture. Another activity I had for a fast finisher is this wordsearch HERE from Buildingstrongchildren. The book text you can use to sing along is HERE at bogglesworldesl.com. Just click on the old lady page links. Cute pictures too! A MATH roll and cover "Old Lady" is HERE at TPT.

Then we watched this Youtube on Healthy foods and we listened to a 5 a Day song tape from DOLE while we worked on coloring and cutting out our Little Old Ladies. HERE  are a bunch of printables for kids on Healthy Eating topics.
We read this reader's theater on Mr. Energy and how he keeps his body in good shape by eating right. We didn't have time to do the puppets. 
Here is a list of book to read kids to help them understand the good things we can eat to make us healthy and fit. Check them out HERE at Babble.com.
I Know and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly 
I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  Here our our own ladies ready to eat those animals!
 We read this scholastic news, watched the Magic School Bus video to go along with it. Then we used my two classroom stethoscopes and listened to our own hearts beating after we came back from P.E. on Thursday. Some of the kids listened to their neighbor's hearts. They were amazed!
Stethoscopes for listening to our healthy hearts and pedometers to count our steps at recess. We talked about how important exercise is and how eating lots of fatty, fried foods can line your arteries with yucky goop called cholesterol that can block your blood's flow from your heart and cause heart attacks.  Everybody had a relative who had heart issues.  They were very interested in heart health! Amazing!

 Just some of the 8 books I have depicting The Old Lady Who Swallowed a .......


Well our Government is going from the food pyramid to the "food plate" thinking it will be easier for kids to understand. Maybe it is. Check it out above. A fun online interactive game we will play in computer lab is HERE.
We colored this "food Groups" worksheet and stapled it and the foolish old lady on the back of their Little Old Lady health projects so they could read them to brothers and sisters at home and replay and act out the story. 
This was a very funny poem about a lady who overeats on junk food that the kids LOVED! And we also read the riddles and they figured out what food groups were the answers. 
A fun center that the kids loved was my felt food pyramid with felt pieces to place in the right places. Then they each made their own pyramid for their desk as a fast finisher this week.
The Food Pyramid Flannel Board activity center......
Good nutrition Worksheet we did this week. 
HERE are a few more free printables I found at TPT. 
We also used the vocabulary words Nutrition and Healthy this week as part of our 10 vocabulary words. Everybody got 100% on the test too! Woo Hoo!
These were really cute made up on the kids' desks....I think I got this from 5 a Day at Dole. Check out Dole's Website HERE. I've gotten lots of free activities from them because I asked.

We will keep writing our innovations on the book The Little Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and post them next week when we are all done! I can't wait to see the finished stories!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Fry Phrases

I use Fry Phrases every day in my reading groups. I have little sets of 24 small 4 x 4 cardstock pages on rings that I keep in a little bucket on my reading table. Every day during reading time we pull them out and I do one minute timings with them. The kids try to get down to the 25th Fry Phrase on each card within the 1 minute timing. Sometimes they do!

It is very motivating. It also is great sight word practice. It is also great speed and fluency practice. I highly recommend doing anything with Fry Phrases. I wish I had done this all throughout my 22 years of teaching reading. HERE is an EASY LISTING.
And here is what I'll be working on soon as my parent gift. Check it out HERE.

I have found some really fun resources on the web for practicing Fry Phrases. HERE is One of them. It is a fun game to roll dice and then read one of the Fry Phrases. It is from Petersons-Pad.blogspot.com. She suggests using 10 sided dice. I didn't have any of those so I just give the kids multiple regular dice and they add them up before getting a number to read that phrase. That way we are doing math addition as well as reading practice.


Fry Phrases I use in my classroom every day. 


This would be a GREAT quick start activity to your day. I do a quick start every single morning. When the kids first get in and put their stuff away they spend 15 minutes doing a quick start. It can be reading or math. And when they are done with it they use the book boxes and read. I have time to go over something a few missed the day before in math. That is the time I do 1 on 1 reteaching at my reading table. I also can take roll, send back emails to parents, and return notes to parents while I'm watching my students redo work they missed and help them relearn.
For beginner readers that are in A to D books I use these CVC words Every Day. They get a stack. They read the stack, then they pass the stack to their neighbor. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes to go through 3 stacks per child. 

I highly recommend the Fry Phrases. Get to know them. HERE ARE A FEW more resources  from TPT that you can use. But the best is just to copy and laminate them in small sizes and put them on rings. Use them daily during your reading hour. Your kids' sight words will explode through the roof. I have 23 students. And all but 1 of them have gone from not knowing but a few sight words to knowing 75 or more since just September. That is in only two months time. And one of my kids didn't know hardly any sounds when he walked through my first grade door. Now he is reading in a D book. Sight words are the name of the game. They make a GREAT intervention that is research based too. Try making up flash cards with FRY PHRASES. This will be one of the best things you can do in teaching reading to young children.



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