Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Word Work, Math Bags, Morning Message and Beads

Again….a little bit of a scrambled post. I’ve been taking tons of pictures in class lately and so have my kids. We have been practicing using the class set of cameras to document our learning. This morning during the sharing part of Morning Meeting, students worked with a partner to answer the question “What is your favourite colour?” They took a picture of each other and then came back to the circle to share. When it came time to do the whip share…instead of sharing their favourite colour, they had to share their partners! It was a good activity to see who was listening to their friend. Later in the day we used the pictures that the kids took to make our first post on our own blogs. Each student has their own blog on Kidblog and we are going to using this site to create e-portfolios for conferences. Students are going to document their work through pictures and videos and then post and reflect about why that piece of work was chosen.
Click on the picture to sign up your class!


Ok now onto Word Work. We just started talking about this job in Daily 5 and our first task was to cut out the sorting cards that we would be using during Daily 5.  I use Beverly Tyner for my small group guided reading and her book comes with really great sorting cards. She basically has everything you would need to run guided reading and then some.


Her book is based around the 5 stages of reading: Beginning, Emergent, Fledgling, Transitional and Independent. So after assessing my students and finding out what stage they fell into, the students got sorting cards that were “just right" for them.

Some students are sorting capital and lowercase letters starting with BSMAC…


Some students have beginning sound cards starting with BSM…


And some students have started sorting cards with the short “a” sound…


Once I finish assessing sight words, students will also get 10 sight words to cut and add to their word work folder. These are the letters and words that they will work on when they go to a work work activity.

They store them in a ziploc bag that is taped to the inside of their word work notebook.


Once they master those letters, words etc…then new ones are cut out and added to their notebook and the old ones are taken out. I am able to differentiate for each of my students while they work on the same word work job. For example… there is student A and student B. Student A is working on letter identification and letter sound of BSMAC. Student B is working on the short “a” sound in words. They can BOTH do word dough during word work with their own sorting cards.
Math Bags: We added 2 new pieces to our math bags this week. Counters and a Double Ten Frame Board. The counters are squares cut out of foam. One side is blank and the other side has a number on it. Students have the numbers 1-15 twice…so 30 counters in total. Then they have 3 yellow counters which have the symbols +  - and = on it.


We sorted and ordered our counters to make sure they were all there and then played ten frame flash as a group. I flashed a ten frame and students had to build it on their mat with their foam counters.

Morning Message: Every morning when the students come in their is a message on the easel. It is their job to read it and respond to it.  If they can`t read it…then they need to ask a friend for help or myself. They have become really independent with this job and instead of just standing there when they do not know what to do (like in the beginning) they are now going up to friends and asking for help.

Here are some of the Morning Messages in the past couple days.

We then read through the message during Morning Meeting, talk about sight words, punctuation, the date, etc, etc.

Beads: I use beads as a choice during Exploration time. Boys love it. Girls love it. It is great for fine motor and it keeps them busy for a long time. It may take 2-3 times during Explorations in order to finish it. I buy the beads at Michaels Craft Store with a….and get the boards there as well.


That`s all for me today. This is what we do in Grade One.


  1. LOve all of your ideas! Your classroom looks really fun:)

    Surfin' Through Second

    1. Thanks Corinna! Im gonna go hop over to your blog!

  2. Great pictures of a very busy classroom! I'm your newest follower and I sure hope you can hop over to my blog real soon!

    Granny Goes to School

    1. Thanks Cindy! I am going to check you out right now!

  3. You are full of fun ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

    Chickadee Jubilee

    1. Thanks Laurie!! Love the name of your blog!

  4. Dear Renee,
    I particularly like your morning message. It is an idea I will copy and use immediately. Great for revision. Thanks for sharing.


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