Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rice Boxes & Cookie Sheets

using a rice box to teach letters

The ABC song...ABC charts...ABC activities...noticing a theme?  We are song singing, chart reading, game playing our way to becoming letter experts!

using cookie sheets for ABC activities

Finding different ways to match and say letter names is what it takes to get these letters learned.  One fun way to do this is rice boxes and cookie sheets!  Cookie sheets and magnetic letters just seem to go together.  

rice box and letter activities

Rice boxes can be filled with rice, popcorn kernels, beans, pom poms etc... Hide plastic letters in there and let students scoop out the letters with plastic ice cream scoops!  They love, love doing this!  Be sure to go over some ground rules first- like never, ever put the food items in your mouth and scoop easy so not to scatter the rice.  Placing a cookie sheet under the rice box is a great way to contain it.

using cookies sheets and magnetic letters for centers to teach ABCs

Students can match up capitals to capitals, lower case to lower case, lower case to capitals or the other way around too.  It's a good idea to keep an ABC chart handy for those that need that extra scaffolding.

use rice boxes and cookies sheets to teach letters

I like having students practice their ABC fluency while reading as if they are sentences!  Gives them practice noticing punctuation.  This is for students that have mastered identifying letters so they can just concentrate on reading them fluently.  Just give them some fun glasses, pointers and maybe even a play microphone and they are off practicing!

Use magnifying glasses and highlighters to hunt for letters!

Who doesn't love a letter hunt?  And getting to use a magnifying glass to do it is always cool!

ABC Letter Strips and Magnetic letters

Letter strips are a fun way to practice letters, associate the sound and picture that goes with them and writing when they write their letters on the recording sheets.

Hope you had fun seeing these ABC activities!  We go over and over with lots of repetition, but in different ways to get those letters to stick.  You can click any picture or click here to take another look.

Come visit me at my blog, Conversations in Literacy!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

RtI Data Binders & Graphs

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

Is your school implementing RtI or Response to Intervention?  At my school, we have 2 cycles of RtI that are systematic and data driven.  And because it is systematic and data driven, it is successful in helping students improve their reading.

Tracking student progress with goal lines and progress lines

We assess students who are in RtI 3 times to find a baseline, then average those scores to figure the goal line.  Then each week, we assess (progress monitoring) to see how the interventions are working for the students.  

Document and Track Student Progress for RtI

I was asked about having my RtI files available to others so I created these 3 RtI Binders & Graph Pages.  The one above is mostly for first grade, but if you have students below level in second grade or above, they may benefit from these binders and graphs also.

Document & Track Student Progress for RtI

This one is more for kindergarten or lower first grade students.  It includes a binder for the teacher and for students- one cover for boys and one for girls.  

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

UPDATE:  I have now added my Second Grade RTI Data Binder!  This binder is perfect for implementing using graphs to document student progress.

Third Grade RTI Data Binder is now available and I have all the data binders K-3 bundled together!

organized and manage RTI data with these binders for teachers and students

Manage and Organize RTI data with this data binder bundle

It is powerful to have students track their progress.

document and track student progress in RTI

These pages are for the teacher to track weekly progress the student is making.  This is your evidence on how your student is progressing when you have your RTI data meeting.  Click on any of the pictures to be taken to this item.

I was asked about my RtI folder that I kept on my students:  graphs, student notes on movement through the tiers, rubrics, etc...  So I created these three RtI Data Binders to help out those of you looking to document your students progress in RtI and a way for students to track their own progress.  Above is a picture of a goal sheet for students to fill out before and after the RtI cycle is complete. 

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

Besides all the graphs, I also keep copies of parent notification letters.  This is your documentation that you have had parent contact about their child being in RtI and what the interventions would be.

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

I have included ways for you to keep track of which interventions all the students in your tier are receiving and a graph for documenting the days and absences your RtI students attend.  

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

All those graphs and pages, plus binder covers for the teacher and students are included in my RtI Data Binder.  This one covers skills mostly for kindergarten students.  It contains graphs for documenting skills like rhyming, deleting phonemes, letter identification, etc...  This pack is not the assessments or activities.  It is all the forms and graphs you need for documenting and tracking progress.  

If you are needing the activities and assessments and a way to keep track of them, this Kindergarten Assessment Binder & Phonemic Awareness Bundle would be what you need.

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI using graphs

This is an example of a student tracking graph from my first grade RtI Data Binder for students to track their own progress.  This binder has graphs for short vowels, digraphs, vowel teams, inflections, and many more.  

I hope these 3 packs will help you with your documenting of student progress in RtI.  Keeping track of data and specifically adjusting your teaching to according to what trend you are seeing on their graphs makes RtI so much more successful!   Click on any picture to see these packs.

Come see me over at Conversations in Literacy!

a blog about all things reading, writing, and RtI

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack for 3.MD.D.8

Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.
This resource contains:
1. Solving for Perimeter Center Game, Color and Black and White
2. Solving for Perimeter Task Cards and Answer Printable Worksheet, with Answer Keys / Self-Checking Sheets
3. solving for Perimeter Seatwork / Printable Worksheets with Answer Sheets {Use for assessment, small group, RtI, homework, morning work or remediation.}

SAVE YOUR INK ~ Everything comes in black and white to save you ink money!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.
 It's a fun and easy way to end your school year!
 Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Seuss-Tastic Writing and a Freebie

What would it be like if Thing One and Thing Two came to visit a classroom of second graders? The 7-8 year olds I taught today had some very interesting things to suggest! After talking to their teacher last week, I designed a writing lesson to go along with Read Across America week and taught in her classroom today. It was so much fun getting to see the students share ideas, talk to one another, and make connections from the story The Cat in the Hat to their own writing.

Here's how it went:
The goal was to teach students that we can look at the way an author organizes his/her text and use that same structure in our own writing. We were focusing on sequence (CC.W.2.3) for our text structure and used The Cat in the Hat as our anchor text. As we read and looked at the pictures we talked about what the author did (not just what he said). He introduced characters, told us where they were, and set up a problem and solution.  I jotted these ideas on the Promethean flipchart I made:

 Next, we talked about the story elements and the sequence of events in our model text:

Then I gave students a copy of this organizer and we looked at our prompt. Students did lots of talking to partners and with table groups about possibilities for the story. We worked on the planning process together.

I gave students the writing paper and we wrote the beginning of the piece together. (Note to self: Second graders don't write as fast as I do. It's okay to slow down.) We focused on looking back at how our mentor text began and we used that as an example for writing our own beginning. I also modeled looking back at my organizer when it came time to write the middle and ending. And of course, we had to color the Things and add pictures to the stories when they finished writing!

Overall, I thought it was a really great experience! Students wrote in sequence and noticed the author's structure and applied it to their own writing. If I had it to do again I think I would do this over a series of days. It took us about an hour, but it really didn't seem to take that long because there were so many elements that were involved...reading, writing, listening, speaking, partner talk, group talk, jotting then sharing...

And here you have it--your reward for reading all the way to the end (or just scrolling). Either way, here are the materials I made to go with the lesson. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Perfect Snowy Day

Need a fun activity for all the snowy days we seem to be having all around the country? Check out this pack to use with your favorite snow book!

Click {here} to read all about it!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Kids Can Rock Research!

Research standards with primary kids? Well, yeah! {Head on over} and see how we researched our states with these handy dandy, easy-to-read state books and organizers. Your kids will ROCK their presentations and meet CCSS standards for writing, speaking, and listening to boot!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Students Choose Their Stations? Huh?

Are you like me?  Have you been hearing about this student choice thing for centers & ready to start dabbling? 

Are you ready to implement some choice into your instruction?

Here's some reassurance: You don't have to dive in all at once. 

Head on over to the {Who's Who and Who's New Blog
by {Hilary Lewis}
 to read more and to pick up your own free copy of this 
'free choice' powerpoint!