Sunday, March 8, 2015

Short Vowels and Building Fluency

Kindergarten is working very hard, memorizing short vowel sounds. 
Short e and short i are definitely the toughest short vowel sounds!

During small groups, these short vowel mats continue to be a favorite activity.

Students take turns choosing words from the basket. They have to figure out the missing short vowel. This activity has tons of picture/word cards so we can play it over and over again and still not get any repeats!

You can find these short vowel mats here.

Here's a new activity that has quickly become a kindergarten favorite! 

Students read short sentences containing words they already recognize (sight words) or can decode, which builds their fluency. They are PERFECT for those who need to build their confidence in reading longer passages and/or stories. 

The (differentiated) recording sheets help me check for mastery. Students choose two, three, five, or seven sentences to write and illustrate. This gives them practice writing proper sentences.

There are 120 different sentences, so this is also an activity that I can use all year for kindergarten and with struggling first graders.

I store them in this cup from the Target Dollar Spot, making them easy to tote around.

I love this time of year in kindergarten! The children are engaged and eager to learn and, well, pretty much the opposite of when they first started the school year! LOL!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Work on Writing...for the whole year! Includes a GIVEAWAY!

Work on Writing is one of my students' favorite stations to visit. It is chock full of fun and exciting activities and offers lots and lots of variety. My students can pick and choose what they work on each time they visit and this makes them very happy. They get to choose activities that interest them and, because of this, they are motivated to do their best work.

My Work on Writing Station is incredibly easy to maintain and this makes me VERY happy!

This cart, that I purchased at Michaels, holds 10 of the activities my students can choose from. Most of the activities I change out monthly. Drawer one sometimes has a "must do" activity, which is usually a grammar game. I also use my Scoot games as task cards and put them in drawer one too.

Here's what was in the drawers when I took these pictures about two weeks ago...

You can read about how I use these notes in this blog post.

This comes from my Parts of Speech pack. You can read my blog post about it here. Students pick six picture/word cards from my labeled parts of speech baskets or from the ones hanging in the pocket chart, and write them in sentences.

This comes from my #1 seller, Writing Station Activities for Young Learners. I use all of the activities from this pack and from Part 2 at my Work on Writing Station, throughout the year. They are both filled with no or low prep activities that engage my students and help them get in touch with their creative side.

This comes from my Having Fun With ABC Order pack. I have all the cards printed, laminated, and cut out. There are so many of them, that I can put this out several times during the school year and my students always have new cards to put in order. You can never have too much ABC order practice! 

This also comes from my Writing Station Activities for Young Learners pack. It's always fun for me to see what the children choose to write about. The latest one that made me laugh, was from a little boy who had to choose between his classmates and his toys! He chose his classmates because they are always sweet to him.

This thank you note template comes from my #2 seller, Writing Activities Menu. It is also chock full of writing activities that are easy to prepare. My students love writing letters to different people. I love when they write to me! I always keep a sample of how to set up a letter inside the drawer, in case my students forget how to do it.

Children love to state their opinion, and these opinion writing sheets are always a big hit! You can find tons and tons of these templates in my Writing Right Through...packs. This one comes from the February/March pack. I also had My Opinion about Valentine's Day in the same drawer. 

This letter writing template for Valentine's Day also comes from my Writing Right Through February and March. These monthly theme and seasonal packs make it very easy to always have appropriate and timely writing activities at the ready.

My students LOVE making books! I always have one or two book making templates at my Work on Writing Station. This one comes from Writing Station Activities for Young Learners Part 2. You can read more about it here.

This book is from A Year of How To...Writing. You can read more about these books here.

This table is also a part of my Work on Writing Station. I keep a binder here with a copy of everything that is in the drawers. This way, my students don't have to open and shut each drawer until they find what they want to do. 

Each activity is numbered to match the number on the drawer and is kept in a page protector. This makes it very easy to change out the activities. 

If I have a "must do" activity in drawer number 1, as mentioned earlier in this post, I slip in a template I made that says "Must Do" activity. I forgot to take a picture of that, since I didn't have a "must do" activity when I took these pictures.

I also keep my Shared Journals at this station. The children can choose to write in any journal. I have 16 different journals, so I switch them out during the year, only keeping 10 out at a time.

In the picture, you can also see my monthly vocabulary picture/words for writing. They are included in all my Writing Right From...packs. The children use these words at this station and the Writer's Notebook Station, where all their writing happens in their notebook. 

So, there you have it! My Work on Writing Station is a popular station in my classroom. It's easy to keep it stocked with engaging and meaningful activities. There is lots and lots of variety and it always contains something for everyone.

Would you like to win one of the products mentioned in this blog post? Just leave a comment below, telling me which (non-bundled) pack you'd like to win. This same giveaway is also on my facebook fan page and Instagram. Feel free to enter just here or everywhere! 

Good luck everyone!

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