October 18, 2014

Daily 5 {Update} Choice Board

October is here...
 and so is choice board time for our Daily 5 time.

I spend the first chunk of time teaching my class in small groups.
We talk about how to move from group to group.
We work on learning how to completely activities independently.
We learn how to learn.

Slowly I give them a little less play and a lot more routines.
I feel them out and learn what they need to learn.
They learn how to learn.

Then... something special happens... it is called Daily 5 choice board.
I open up all our stations for my students to chose where they will go,
how long they will stay,
and where they will go afterwards!
Free choice.

I know this sounds scary.
Very scary

But... deep breaths people... I am actually giving my little ones SPACE and FREEDOM to learn.
And I am not managing behaviors since all my students can do their work and 
move on when they are done, not when I think they will be done.
They also KNOW how to complete each activity and they love their independence.
I am managing LESS and they are working MORE.

Let me show you how I handle the open choice board for daily 5 each day for one hour.

Here is one of my little learner's book box in her cubbie. 

She has tons of books she can read and her Great 8 necklace.

{Yes, I run 8 stations because I am a little crazy and it works for me.}

Each day, we start our daily 5 at Read to Someone.
Why? Because this is our hardest area to tackle and it seems to work better for my little learners if we all PAIR up to start with.

We grab our boxes and we put on our necklaces.
And we go to read to someone for three books, or about 10 minutes. Whichever comes first.

Here is an up close image of the necklace.
{These are a new idea of mine this year and I am LOVING them. 
More on how to make them below.}
There is a slot for each station with a color code.
That color code is that colored table.
The cards are printed on card stock and I laminated them.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Starting-Literacy-Work-Stations-Set-242664I placed the hole punch on the bottom so my students can hold up the tag to see all the choices they have to go to.

When they finish that station or area, they use an overhead marker to check off their necklace.
They do this, not me.
Each station has a marker in it and there are extra markers at the choice board.

This is a way they manage themselves.

They feel so responsible and so excited.
Plus, they don't loose the necklace because it is around their necks.

on to the choice board...
Here is a glimpse of some of my choice board which is on my white board in the front of the room.
{Remember I have 8 stations, but you can chose how many you have!}

You can see the Word Work and Work on Writing stations.
I actually do my cafe strategies at the blue teacher station.
I teach mini lessons and conference there.
This allows me to work with and read with my class everyday.
Since we have short attention spams and we need lots of practice, this works for us.

I also add an orange station that is NOT on the necklace.
It is just a work space.
Why? If a table or station is filled, or someone next to you is bothering you...
head to the work space so you can get things done.
Here is some more of the choice board.

My assistant is at the green station.
She usually does writing activities or swaps out reading with me.
One of us works on writing and one of us works on reading.
I am very blessed to have an aid for this time.
This would work for a parent volunteer.

I also have a Listening to Reading station
As you can see, this is at the red table.

And all my images and colors MATCH on the necklace and on the choice board.

 Each of my students has a magnetic name they use to place their choice on the board.
For management reasons, 
I put girls names on one side of the choice board and boys names on the other. 

Here is a picture of my girls and my boys magnets.

 I print out two versions, one black and white and one colored.
The black and white is laminated as a while and taped to the board as our "home."http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Starting-Literacy-Work-Stations-Set-242664
The colored version is cut apart and I put on a thick button magnet with one stick side.
 This make there name moveable and also lets them grab it easily.

When they want to go to a choice, they take their name off the "home" and 
move it to the station they want to work at.

They work at their station until they move to another station.

If they want to go to the red table, there has to be a spot open for them to go to.
Or they can head to the work space station. 

I still have spaces for Read to Someone and Read to Self. 
They can always head there if the are waiting on a station to open. 

At the end of our daily 5 time, they put their names off the choices and back home, 
they put their necklaces back in their book boxes, 
and my cleaner goes around with a baby wipes and clears their necklaces off for tomorrow. 

Here is how I made my necklaces.

{I added this sheet to my Starting Literacy Work Stations pack.}
It has the regular daily 5 choices on it with a blank spot for a student name.

You print this sheet out on card stock.
Cut out each card and pole punch it.
I tried a hole punch on top and bottom.
My class likes bottom better, but top words too!

You are done!

Some layards come with a plastic card holder like this one.
Since my students write on the cards daily, I am not sure how well these would hold up. 

Of course some friends don't like the feel of a necklace. It bothers them.
No problem.
I took the clips I use for name tags at the start of the year and attached it instead.
This friend clips his to the bottom of his shirt.

You can grab all these choice board parts 
 and necklace pieces in my 


October 12, 2014

Classroom Faces Giveaway

The girls at Freebielicious have discover a really awesome product for classroom teachers that is so amazing, we just have to share it with you!

Get ready because we are hosting a super cute giveaway for custom classroom t-shirts from ClassroomFaces.com.

We will be giving away a class set* of custom t-shirts to THREE lucky Freebielicious fans!

Isn't that AWESOME?
(And let's face it... we love FREE and discounts... and great classroom things!}

ClassroomFaces are NOT your average t-shirt designs. The people at ClassroomFaces are so creative, they found a way to print a collection of drawings from every child in the class on the set of t-shirts, to create a truly custom design! Nobody else in the world will ever have a t-shirt exactly like the one your class designs. The website may be called "Classroom Faces" but there are SO many more options for children to draw than just their face. Sample designs on the website show creative ideas using student handprints or drawings of the school mascot.

Since the Freebielicious girls are such good friends, we designed our very own set of Classroom Faces t-shirts. We enlisted the help of our talented friend (and fellow Freebie gal) Nikki from Melonheadz to create custom drawings of each of our faces. The finished t-shirts were absolutely ADORABLE! I absolutely love my new custom Freebielicious t-shirt from Classroom Faces.com.

I love love love black...
and it is my favorite color!

So... after a long day of teaching and with a cold...
I snapped a pic of myself with my new favorite shirt...
 pointing to ME on the shirt!
I am there! I am there!
And it even looks like me... not tired and not sick!

Here is ME hanging out with all my FL gals on a shirt. 

About Classroom Faces

Creating a class set of t-shirts featuring your students drawings is easy. Each child just needs to create a simple drawing. To create t-shirts with one-color ink on a solid colored t-shirt (like ours) each child needs to draw their picture using a fine point black marker. The ClassroomFaces website has downloadable templates that you can use to guide your students. Full-color illustrations on a plain white t-shirt are also possible.

Extra Savings for Freebielicious Fans

Freebielicious fans that order a class set of tshirts can save $1 on each tshirt and receive 1 free teacher tshirt with their order using promo code FREEBIE14. Orders must include 15 or more paid shirts to qualify and must be postmarked by December 31, 2014

Enter to WIN a Class Set of Custom Classroom Faces T-Shirts

Now that you have seen how ADORABLE these t-shirts are, it's your chance to try and win a set for your classroom. The wonderful people at ClassroomFaces are graciously giving away a class set* of custom t-shirts to 3 lucky Freebielicious fans! Each set is valued at over $250. Stop by the Freebielicious blog for your chance to WIN


*Up to 24 tshirts will be included in each prize pack. Winner can choose to order a class set of traditional single-color tshirts or tshirts will full-color illustrations. Additional t-shirts can be purchased for $11 or $13 (depending on t-shirt size and style). Shipping is free for winners that live in the US. If a winner requires shipping outside of the US, the winner is responsible for shipping costs. (Shipping to Canada costs between $5-$20 depending on weight and location). 

October 11, 2014

Center Saturday

Who is ready for some FUN math centers?
Each week I take a few minutes away from my crazy life
and tell you all about my weekly work centers.
This year I have dedicated my work centers to math.

{I do have a grand scheme of where I want these centers to go towards,
but I am not quite ready to go there publicly.
I am working on it.
Step by step.}

We learned about the letter Tt
and making two digits using tens and ones.

The yellow center was pretty simple, but very important.
We used attitude blocks to have my
to sort.
All I asked was for my students to sort these attribute blocks.
Any way they wanted to. 
Since each center can host 4 students, 
all 4 had to agree and work together.

That is it. 
Then, I asked them to sort them a different way.
Yep... they had to sort them two ways.
And tell me HOW you sorted them.

The orange center was a treasure chest sheet to make numbers.
I originally wanted my
 to use these small gem stickers to add the ten frames

 but I completely misplaced them!

{I think I might remember where they are as I type right now...
on a Friday night.
I think my personal kids stole my memory.}

They are in my Amazon cart now.
I might let me students redo it IF they want to...
and I am pretty sure they will. 

Here is another picture.
I love how IF I demonstrate the center with colorful crayons, 
then my students will also do the same.
The red center was a 
I made copies of the same activity onto 4 different colored card stock, 
one color for each station.
We matched the numbers 10-20.
We worked to not just MATCH the numbers, 
but to use the ten frame to start with.
We want to say 10, then count on the ones.

This student counting using the ten frames to make twenty.
I want my students to SEE exactly HOW we create the teen numbers,
the light bulb comes on.

The purple center was to make the numbers on these treasure chests.
We completed all the numbers 1-20.
If they needed to make a two digit numbers,
 they needed two sets of frames.
 We also worked to find all the ten frames and make a pile with them.

Our blue center was a class favorite... 
fill the ten frame.
This was...
you guessed it...
Columbus Day themed.
{This is one of the ways I sneak in vocabulary 
and Social Studies topics into other subjects.}
 Here are my student work samples.

I know they are my
but I think they are doing an awesome job with one to one correspondance.
And making graphs.

And last, the green table was this ice cream number word and number matching game.
We practice numbers words a LOT... 
OFTEN... and every week. 

I use Carson Dellosa accent pieces to make this game. 
This set was Cut Out Buddies Ice Cream.

I love making games using cut out and accents. 
Here are the units I used for this week.

October 08, 2014

Hooray for the Letter Hh!


I spend some time last week tweaking my 
to make it better than ever. 

I am updating the sheets, making everything easier to prep and play, and making it even more engaging with NEW activities.

 The best news is... you can re-download it for free if you have purchased it before. 

We used this hot dog number fill in activity at centers. 
We also had a table tent to assist those who needed number ordering or orientation help.

We also used these ten frame printables.
There are two versions of these... 
one with the ten frame fill in and you create the create.

The other printable allows your students to fill in the ten frames with the number given.

 Here are the additional writing sheets we also used to practice number formation.
{Seriously this time of year we NEED all the practice we can get!}


We also played this HERO number word matching game in small groups.


Of course we worked on actual letter Hh activities as well.  
Here is a shot of our DIGITAL Hh Phonics sheet.
We are working on doing on phonics on our iPads instead of on a worksheet.
Half my class uses iPads and the other half uses paper.
And yes... there are phonics worksheets included in this pack.

Here was our Hh Hive Sorting too.

And here is a freebie for you!
Another letter Hh printable.

You grab this freebie in the PREVIEW file.
I hope you love this new and improved version of