Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring Sight Word Cards

Spring is finally in the air! However, it did flurry today but I'm going to forget that I saw that. Spring is my favorite season by far. No more dark days, no more cold nights, hello warm air and beautiful colors! As part of my daily intervention group, my students practice their own set of sight word cards. I thoroughly believe that being able to recognize and read sight words is one of the most important foundations to becoming a fluent reader. Since I've been hoping Spring would hurry along, I've made my students some new, flowery sight word cards. I made four different options because let's be honest, who doesn't like choices?

When I use these I quiz each of my students individually. I give them the student word list first and while they read each word, I use the checklist to mark which ones they did and did not get correct. 
Then, I only give them cards for the words that they did not get correct. I have them write their initials on the back of each card and put them in a baggie with their name on it.

Over the course of a few weeks the students practice their words on their own, with a partner, or with a stuffed buddy. If they don't know a word, I tell them what it is. I quiz each student a couple of times a week. While I quiz them I make two piles with their cards. I make a pile for the words they know and a pile for the ones they don't. When I am done quizzing them, they put the words they don't know back into their baggie. I give them a marker or a pen for the words they do know and have them draw a dot along the top of each card that they got correct. I try to give them different colors each day to make it a little more fun. Once they have at least 5 dots on most of their cards, I quiz them again on the entire word list. Whichever words they still do not know, they keep in their baggie. Then, I send all of the cards that they do know home in a separate baggie with the parent note attached. They love practicing their words because it becomes a game of how many more words can they get today. They also really want to get to the next level. I've noticed more confidence in these students as the year progresses and their ability to readily recognize and read sight words improves greatly. Hopefully these cards can help you with your little readers too!

Check them out here: 

Try to stay warm and have fun reading!


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Compass Cha-Cha

We've been working on cardinal directions and I really wanted a fun review song or dance for my students. I looked on YouTube and Pinterest and didn't really have much luck. While helping some students with their direction words, a perfect cardinal directions song/dance just poofed into my head. It is to the tune of the Cupid Shuffle. I actually did it with my students before recording it to see if they liked it or not. They were singing it all day long and now they remember which direction is which! Super success in my book (: Check out the song below:

If you like this, share it or leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Compass Hide-and-Seek

We've just finished our economics unit and now we are off in a whole new direction. Maps, maps, and more maps! I began by teaching the basic cardinal directions. I have a little chant that we do as we clap our hands outstretched in each direction: North, South, East, and West, These are what we know the best! I also thought of something new this year that I wanted to share. It was something I had never done but my students had such a good time with it. We played cardinal directions hide and seek. I cut colored note cards in half and together we made our very own, genuine compass. I showed them some pictures of basic compasses on the computer. They all wrote the cardinal directions on the blank side of their card and their name on the back. Some of my students made theirs look fancier but my model looked like this:

We very briefly discussed intermediate directions but not in depth since I only teach first grade.Every time I teach directions my students tend to grasp North and South pretty quickly but East and West are always confusing to them. In order to help with this, I had everyone get in line with their compass and told them that different rooms in the school were hiding and it was our job to figure out which directions we had to go in order to find them. Whenever we got to a dead end or "stop sign" in our school I had all of the students whisper to me in line which direction we had to go next to get wherever we were going. When you do this, your trip will mainly consist of East and West which gives your students tons of practice. I made it so that our final destination was the lunch room and I made sure to collect all of their compasses before they entered the lunch room doors. The students loved walking around and checking their compasses. They keep asking to play again so we might use them on the way to specials next week. We will see how much they remember. Hopefully this is something you can use too! I hope you have a great week (:


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Easy Math Ring Toss

We've had so many snow days that I don't even know what to do with myself! Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I LOVE snow. In my world if it's going to be cold outside it better snow! I've had tons of fun with my family. We've made 3 snowmen so far and had some snow cream. I have to say though, after all of this snow, it's going to be really hard to have a full 5 day school week. Oh well, all good things must come to an end. The fun doesn't have to stop though, take it to school! Try making this ring toss game. It's a cheap, easy, and quiet game that will have your students begging to play again! Check it out below: