Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Daily 5 Choice

Hello Again!

Only 2 more days left of school!

Our chia pets are out of control!

<-----DAY 1 

 DAY 10

So I've seen lots of posts about people starting to read the Daily 5 book and implement it in their classroom. This is my third year doing Daily and I love it! I structure my whole morning around it and we do 2 or 3 rounds every day. I start it the first week of school and we do it until the very last day of school. I have 2 days left and my kids are still doing Daily 5! My kids are so INDEPENDENT. It's crazy. I could seriously not get a sub some days and I'm sure they would be fine. They pretty much run it all.

 My kids come in when the bell rings, drop off their black folders ( home reading/notes folder) and then get started on their morning jobs. They have 3 jobs that they do every morning.

1. Answer Question of the Day
2. Work the Morning Message
3. Make your choices for Daily 5

My kids get to choose every morning what they work on. I keep track on my clipboard and then make suggestions nearing the end of the week based on what they haven't got to enough or yet.  Seriously, this is one of the most important pieces of Daily 5. The kids CHOOSE what they want to work on. They helps create independent learners who are accountable for their own learning.

 I put up Meet with Teacher cards for kids who are coming to my guided reading table during a round. Other times I don't put up any and I do individual conferences. I put numbers on a few of the choices in order to limit the amount of kids that can go there. For example, there are 3 Listen to Reading cards that have a number 1 on it. This means 3 kids can choose it for Round 1. Same thing for Round 2, 3 cards that have a number 2 on it and so forth. I put numbers on Word Work and Read to Someone too. Choices like Read to Self and Work on Writing are unlimited.

Down the left side column is my kids names

Numbers in the corners of the cards to limit the number of kids

Buckets which hold the velcro pieces for choices
Check out my Classroom Pictures page to see my new updated pieces for Daily 5 and Math Daily 5.

Kids do this in the morning and then its all ready and done for all 3 rounds by the time we get to Daily 5. I just have to call kids out.  If I put up a Meet with Teacher Card under one of the rounds, then my kids don't make a choice for that round.

Here is the check in sheet I use to record my kids choices each day. The R's stand for round. My kids names would be down the left column. I use my legend at the bottom and record a R for Read to Self, WW for Word Work etc.

I will post more on Daily 5 tomorrow!

Thanks for Reading!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

New Classroom Pictures

I've added some new photos on the Classroom Pictures Page!

Check them out!!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

5 more days left!

Hello again!

We have 5 more days left of school!!

Lots was going on this past week. We have been observing our Chia Pets every day and recording in our journals. You will not believe how much hair they have!!

Here is our chia pets after 1 week!!

Everyone has been coming up to me and asking how I grew grass so fast.

THE SECRET: Soak your seeds overnight! I soaked the seeds in water with about 2 cups of soil and then drained them in the morning before we made them. 1 week people for a full head of hair!

Here are the materials you will need:

Panty hose( I used little anklet panty hose socks)
grass seed
googly eyes(not necessary to make your grass grow)

Here is a previous picture I posted of our materials set out:

1. I first tied a knot in the bottom of the panty hose becausee the toe was was a little thicker and I wanted to get rid of it somehow.

2. Then we filled. One partner stretched open the panty hose while the other filled it with half a dixie cup of grass seed.

3. Then my kids filled it with 4 dixie cups full of soil.

4.  I then pushed all the soil and seeds in the panty hose tube into a ball and tied a knot in it.

5. We left the panty hose tail hanging as a wick.

6. We soaked our soil and grass balls with water and sat them in a cup of water.

7. Put in a sunny window and enjoy! ( you will need to refill the water when it gets low)

Here is the original post and idea from Team Johnson.

We also made our Family gifts this week to take home. We don`t do Mothers Day or Fathers Day at our school, so we make a family gift to take home instead!

My kiddos made Flower Pen Pots!

First we made fingerprints on our pots using our thumbs and pinkie fingers.

We let them dry and then went back and added details in black sharpie to turn them into bugs!

I bought fake flowers and pens at dollarama and floral tape from Michaels craft store. I cut all the flowers and started off each pen for my kids by wrapping the floral tape around the top.

We signed the bottom of our pots, added some rocks from the playground (shh dont tell!) and cut out our tags which say THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME BLOOM THIS YEAR. The kids taped the tag to the back of a dowel and we stuck them in the rocks. Voila! Family Gift Done!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Non Fiction and Flat Stanley

Hello Everyone!

Heres a little update on our Non Fiction Projects. I clearly left them to the last minute and we are running out of time!!!!!

We only have 7 teaching days left and I have field trips, playdays, graduations, steppin up days etc!

Here is what the whole project folder looks like. We read through some non fiction books and looked to see if we could move some stickies around.

Cover of our project folder

Inside of folder when folded out

Confirmed Facts

 (things we thought we knew but found out were not true, EX: Penguins live in the south pole, not the north pole)

New Information found

Questions we still have

Now onto Flat Stanley....

We read his book and had a chance to have a visit from some flat friends from another school! We took them everywhere and then wrote in their journals about their adventures.

Today we made our own flat friends. We tried to make them look exactly like us. We wrote in their journals and tomorrow we will take them home for the weekend to write about their adventures at home!

Love how the clothes don't quite fit right
Here is the Flat Stanley Recording Journal I made for my kids.


See ya Later!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

We have hair!

So I came into work this morning and went and checked on my Chia Pets...and we have hair! Little hair...but hair!

Also I`ve been having a little trouble with my blog.....the font changed on my titles and I can`t get it back!! Sometimes when I check looks right and then other times its changed back to boring old default font. Hmmm..I dont know what I`ve done!

Also some people had asked me some more questions about Handwriting without Tears:

1. Kim had asked me about the price. It is not expensive! You don`t have to get all parts of the program. There is a teacher guide and then student workbooks and then a bunch of extras ( music cds, chalkboards etc)

I would recommend getting the teacher guide. It is only $7.75!! It is packed with everything you need to know to teach printing with Handwriting without Tears. I have the student workbooks but didn`t even use them this year. You could make your own sheets to go with it! Handwriting without Tears works on double line paper. The bottom line keeps the writing straight and the midline controls the size of the letters.

It looks like this:
Picture is from Handwriting without Tears website

2. Janet had asked me if I had any other tips from the PD I went to. I do! The instructor at the PD had a good tip to help with the reversal of b. How many kids do we see reversing b and d? TONS!! How many kids do we see reversing h? Almost None!

So she suggests using h to teach b. Have kids begin to write the lowercase h and say " h is for honeybee" and continue the h around into a b! Once the kids learn this they can say it to themselves as they write and no more reversals of b!

Another great tip is giving 2 sheets of paper for lefties or making sure the words are on both sides. For example, say you are giving a printing page. The words should be printed on both the left and right side of the page so kids who are lefties have an easier time seeing the words. And this prevents the over the top curled hand writing position that lefties sometimes acquire in an attempt to see the words. Or she says giving a second page of the same thing to them. So they can print and the check the words without having to lift their hand!

I haven't tried these ideas yet but looking forward to next year!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

I have followers??!!

I got the idea to start a blog from my fabulous music teacher at my school who stalks me on pinterest. She convinced me to and I was little unsure as I wasn't sure if I had anything good to share that people would like. Or if anyone would read this thing.

Well now I have 6 followers! Who would have thought! Im not going to be a follower crazy person and start trying to drag people over to my blog. But it is nice to know that somebody is looking at this thing besides me.

I went to a PD yesterday on Handwriting without Tears ( yes a PD on a saturday) that was FANTASTIC ! I was given the books at the beginning of the year but didn't exactly know what to do with them and how best to use them. Now I do. :)

Anyone else out there using it?

One thing that the instructor mentioned that I never really thought of was "Practice doesn't make perfect." "PERFECT practice makes perfect." A great example she gave was printing worksheets where there is 1 letter at the beginning of the page or line and then a big empty line for the kids to practice 20 or so times. The thing wrong with this is that the kids are only seeing a perfect letter once. Then all the rest of their letters are based on the one they wrote before it. And soon their model for how to write their letter is their sloppy one beside it. Does that make sense?

Handwriting without Tears has kids only practicing a letter 10 or so times....but each time they go to write it, there is a perfect model beside it.

Like this for example:

There is a perfect model of G before every G you are about to write

So now I am thinking about all the pages I want to change in my room that I have my kids write on...hmmmm

Friday, 15 June 2012

Chia Pets and more Non Fiction

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for the kind comments! I am still new to this blogging thing and trying to work out the kinks.

I have tons more Daily 5 math stuff to share! We are off Monday but when I get back ( we go right to the 29th) I will take more pics!

I am also working on figuring out what fonts I can use to share things and what I need licenses check back as I will be posting more stuff!!

Ok onto Chia Pets...

I got this great idea over at the Team Johnson Blog. Hopefully my little guys sprout. I meant to take pictures throughout each step but forgot :S

We used little ankle pantyhose and filled them first with grass seed and then with soil. We tied them up, gave them a good soak, added some googly eyes and stuck them in a sunny window.

Our little Sprouts
I also made a little recording book for my kids to record their observations as their chia pets grow and change.

Love the backwards J...........and the labels!!

 We are looking foward to giving some haircuts soon!!

OK more on our Non Fiction Living Things Project. Today I introduced the kids to our own project books. I made these by taping 2 file folders together.  Students will record their information on sticky notes and we will move them along in their project folder, just as we did on the whiteboard! I will take more pictures on Tuesday to show you the folders!

Their job today was to write down all the things they think they know about their living thing. I love using a RAN chart v.s a KWL chart. In a RAN chart we do "What I THINK I know." That word think is important. It allows us to use our research skills to confirm our thinking or decide it was a misconception.

That's it for today!  I am off to eat chips finish report cards!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Thinking about Non Fiction and Math Daily 5

We started our living things project by researching something living together. Yesterday we talked about Text to World Connections and asked ourselves "What do we know about the ant world?"

We wrote down what we thought we knew about ants and added it to our chart. We then read a few sections of a Non fiction ant book and listened for our ideas. If we heard our facts mentioned...we moved them to "confirmed. "If we didnt, they stayed under "What I think I know" If we thought something and then realized it wasnt correct, we move it to "misconceptions."

I love this idea for kids as it allows them to move their ideas around on sticky notes and organize their information.

"What I think I know"   "Confirmed"  "Misconceptions"  "New Information"   "Wonderings"

Now onto Math Daily 5!

I run my math the same as I run my Daily 5 literacy in the Morning. Here are the kids choices:

Math by Myself
Math with Someone
Math Writing
Math Work

I would love to have Math Technology, but I don't have a Smartboard or anything yet :(

Here are a few of the activities my kids are choosing from right now:

Math with Someone: Double It!

( students need a deck of cards Ace-10 and 10 game pieces each. You turn over a card and read the math talk card . EX: you turn over a 3, you say " the double of 3 is 6." Then you look for a 6 on the game board and cover it. The first person to get rid of all ten counters is the winner. )

Math by Myself: Backwards Number Sort

Math by Myself: Alligator Greater than Less Than (there is a recording page for this)

Math by Myself: 1 More 1 Less
(The recording page is from

Math Writing: Question of the Day

Math by Myself: Number Puzzles

Math Work: Replicating Patterns

Math Work: Tangrams

Math Writing: Number of the Day

Note: I am on Maternity Leave right now and will not be sending out any free items. Thanks for understanding.

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