Sunday, November 1, 2015

November Currently

It is November 1st. Time for Currently. 
Listening - Hallmark Christmas Movies but soon to have on the new season of The Librarians :)
Loving - My Kids. So proud of all three of them.
Thinking - How much I love creating: Hay Roll & Trace
Wanting - A nap.
Needing - to finish grades & comments due this week for conferences at the end of the month
Yummy  - Pumpkin Pie Season...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Meet the Bunnies

Read & Respond
I was going to add this to a post tomorrow but I couldn't wait. We have been having a great time with our new format in reading groups. We still use mini-readers along with our school's Treasures and F&P readers, but we've added in Read & Respond texts. I've posted 2 units so far (March and April). 

They are fiction and non-fiction texts. Each text has a short text along with questions. The questions can have picture and/or written answers. Some of the texts have pictures above specific vocabulary, some have vocabulary boxes and some we have drawn pictures on the text. 
3 of the texts in the Read & Respond April unit are about the Bunny family. I've posted a freebie with 2 of the Bunny texts. 
Here students are working on The Bunnies Make Paint. First, we looked at the vocabulary. How were these things alike? Then we thought about the vocabulary and the title together to predict. We found the color words, vocabulary, and read the story. Then we answered the questions. The last paint he made was brown because chocolate is brown. We looked back in the text to sequence the colors the bunnies made. It is in the sampler.
We read this text today. We loved visualizing the bunnies. What did Funny, Sunny & Honey look like? What was rainbow water? Then, I had an oh-uh moment. When we got to the question on fantasy/reality, the Easter Bunny came up. So, our class read Corduroy's Easter Party which has great hidden details in the pictures. 

Corduroy isn't sure about the Easter Bunny. On each page a small brown rabbit is hiding and at the end, Corduroy gets a basket and note from the Easter Bunny. All was well.
Nonetheless...I changed the text in April pack and added another version. We had such fun visualizing that I added Meet the Bunny Family to the April pack. You can get The Bunnies Make Paint and The Bunnies Get Ready in the free sampler.

     The March packet has some great pieces on weather that we really loved including Cloud Pictures and these that I posted on my Facebook page.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

It's An Art

When he was 3, my son would pick up a crayon or pencil and scribble. There weren't any m&m people yet. He would tell a story about this long squiggle that wound around the page. Sometimes we knew what he was saying and other times his speech and odd vocabulary (adapted to avoid sounds he couldn't make) caused us to just nod and smile. One day, he picked up a stick and drew in the dirt on the side of the ball field where his sister was practicing. There was a head and a body. Then arms and legs and a face. A life size person. How great it was to see him draw details. In second grade, he still draws letters instead of writing them. There is no stick and ball for him. Watching him draw the letters you wonder how he sees them. He uses more than the color blue now but painting and drawing don't appeal to him. He has an autism diagnosis, loves Math and is still working on social cues.

Remembering that life size drawing, it is no wonder how great he is at designing in Minecraft. I resisted getting it on my phone even with his begging. We agreed creative only and I thought he'd get bored with it but he did not. He's created and created. He has learned to use pieces in different ways. He doesn't get dizzy weaving his way around or frustrated when things don't come out the way he envisioned. He designs with humor and with love. When my grandfather passed recently, his anxiety was high and then he sat in the funeral home and built into his world. He added in the chapel and cemetery. He listened to stories about his great-grandparents and placed graves with flowers for them next to one another and explained why. He continues to add things that represent events in his life - a valentines house, a store for me to shop in, a bank to pay bills. He adds in inventions and humor: a pirate ship at the bank, aqueducts and a town wall that generates electricity. Creating and explaining his creations helps him connect with events and people. It helps his brain process.

Lately, he has added all kinds of places for family members and from the community around us. He was devastated when my phone died and he had to restart. Now he sits in the same room or very close to us when he is working which is wonderful. It is a talking point to have conversations and great to have contact from him.

How can we tailor instruction for students who express themselves in different ways? 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Five for Friday

I was only in school 2 days this week but I managed to take a handful of blurry pictures for you. :)
1 Penguin Part-Part-Whole
The kinders broke into pairs.  They chose either a dot die or a number cube (1-6 or 5-10). We discussed strategies - draw a picture, count on & numberline. They took turns with their partner "teaching" how to solve each problem. 
This pair used a numberline to help count the larger numbers and write the numerals the correct direction.

I gave this pair a number cube to guide them to count on. They added a dot die, rolled both & added them before adding to the worksheet. 

2 Tacky Writing
Yesterday, we read the original Tacky.
For Morning Work today, we wrote 2 sentences and illustrated in our journals to predict what Tacky would do in Tacky and the Winter Games based on the picture on the cover. After our guest reader read the story, we looked back in the text for details to compare Tacky with the other penguins. We drew and labeled pictures.

3 Tacky the Penguin Companion Printables Freebie
4 Some more Math...
This year, my Write the Math Room has become Write the Sensory Tub due to lack of wall space. This month, my kinders picked cotton balls and shredded paper. Oh, my. They had two recording sheets to pick from. On this one, they count the domino or ten frame. Then they write that numeral and count on. Some of the cards in the bin have larger numbers. I may make suggestions on the recording sheet or types of cards. Most students self-differentiate. They know I check up on their work and will question them. It is great to see kids stretch themselves.
 This is a warm-up we did. Color the mittens in the ten frame two colors to show parts and write the addition sentence. We've used a similar page as a recording sheet for ten frame cards.

5. This sensory tub is from my Winter Kids Write the Math Room which is also part of my Winter Kids Math Bundle. The bundle is part of the Maryland TPT Sellers Giveaway. It is the last day to enter! 

I'm linking this post up with Five for Friday & Freebie Friday.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Five for Friday and A Freebie

Five for Friday, a Freebie and a Giveaway is coming soon.
January is off to a crazy start with respiratory and stomach bugs (for the whole family), snow but not snow days, delay days, my grandfather's transfer into a hospice home, his passing, car stuff, the start of January testing...and lots of learning at school. 

Here are a few things in a Five for Friday.

Tomorrow starts our Maryland Blogger/TPT Seller Giveaway. That's my Winter Math Bundle in the K-2 prize pack. Click here to check out the Bundle and other Winter items. Click here from Jan 17-24 for the giveaway.

We learned about Polar Animals. We loved this impromptu project to go along with our research. After reading about different animals on the databases, we got out some white craft supplies - paint, glue, shaving cream, crayons, colored pencils, cotton balls - and tools - straws, craft sticks, plates, paint trays.

The kinders drew the polar animals in silhouette and labeled them. Then we worked together to mix glue and shaving cream in equal parts. We started with measuring cups but moved onto estimating. They loved deciding how to spread the mixture on. Some added paint dabs and others added cotton balls for snowflakes and snow banks as their animals camouflaged. The glue/shaving cream mixture made the animals puffy and the texture is so neat.
We worked with larger numbers this week. A new favorite Math center - roll to 100. We started with everyone rolling 1 die. Then they realized the pieces were clustered together and moving slowly. They jumped at the chance to add two dice. Some of the kinders were counting the dots  and the spaces while others were able to add on the number they rolled. 
This month, our roll and covers included adding 1, 2, or10 to the roll. We still had roll 2 and add as we have been working on counting on.

We played Bump with the Roll-a-Row board. The kinders roll the picture cube and pick a space in that row to read, describe or solve. We used unifix cubes so we could stack and king the pieces. When they picked the same square twice, their partner couldn't bump them. They also tried to own four spaces in a row.

And five is for freebie.
Hot Cocoa {ELA Freebie} Here are sample pages from my Hot Cocoa Bundle. Fun CVC and Word Wall games with or without the marshmallows. 
And if you haven't taught MLK already.
Here is a great  freebie from last year (download from TPT). I left some great books with my sub this week and we did this new Morning Work to focus on teen numbers.

Linking Up with...