My fear is…students who STOP writing a wonderful story,
because they can’t remember HOW to spell a word.
Just one word.
And then..they stop writing! UGH!
They ask themselves,
“What does it start with?”
Oh..I dunno…so where do they look?
What do they do?
Ask a friend…look on your word list…check the word wall…ASK THE TEACHER!
NO!!! I want INDEPENDENT readers & writers!
Those DREADED words…
“HOW DO YOU SPELL…????”
Ugh! What to do FIRST?
We have gone over letter sounds, word families, vocabulary, picture prompts, word walls, word lists, dictionaries, pictionaries, and so on..and so on.
And still they ask. “How do you SPELL???”
So what is a teacher to do?? Then what?
( The place where ALL questions CAN be answered!)
And so I search…
SO MANY SPELLING CHOICES!
So many Spelling WORD LISTS!
( And don’t EVEN get me started on WORD WORK!)
Balanced Literacy Word Work
And so…what’s a teacher to do?
Head to YOUTUBE! Here is a great video from Angie @ Center Station
Still, no answers! AND SO? What to do? What to do?
Create MY OWN!
My district has adopted a curriculum.
I have 18 boxes waiting for me to unpack!
My PD for this new curriculum is 5 days before I have students!
I probably won’t have time to REALLY dig into the program.
Surface teaching for a few weeks!
My kiddos are ready… BEFORE I AM!
Bookmarks for Sight Word PRACTICE
Here are a few of my newest
The spelling word lists in this program can be used anywhere, anytime, with ANY program!
Homeschools, interventions, homework, practice pages!
Here is KINDERGARTEN
Here is FIRST GRADE
And Grade 2
All of the lists are printed in black and white.
SAVES ON COLORED INK!
( I print mine on colored paper!)
I print one copy of SPELLING word list for the student’s desk.
A little tape on top..and voila!
Instant word wall for writing!
(NO MORE …HOW DO YOU SPELL…)
The other word list I send home for homework each MONDAY!
They have to read & practice each night.
Spelling tests on FRIDAY!
I give “rewards” for 80% correct or higher!
I don’t expect perfection…just effort in their work.
I add these word lists to SPELLING CITY on our computers.
(If you don’t have SPELLING CITY….GET IT!) 🙂
They practice EVERY DAY!
They also must use the week’s spelling words in their journals.
They read their journals to a partner.
Spelling, reading, writing, word lists, & homework!
I think we’ve got this!
I have also added BLENDING LINES for READING FLUENCY PRACTICE!
I hope you can use my new SPELLING Packets!
This may help, too!
For more thoughts and talk for November, please visit these great posts. Like what you see, and want to join us? Before posting your link, please email RETTA at email@example.com.
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Balanced Literacy Resource Binder. ALL of YOUR Guided Reading resources in ONE BINDER
The components of Balanced Literacy.
I use it
to assess kids reading levels,
to group them with like skills,
and to teach them AT THEIR LEVEL.
Guided Reading 101
Now a couple of things I have learned “on the way”…
Teaching reading strategies is vital to a Balanced Literacy reading program.
1. Guided Reading is NOT independent reading time!
They read to themselves (READ TO SELF) at a different time of the day.. we do it after lunch.
2. Guided Reading is NOT a time for a LONG teacher LESSON!
I only have them for 15-20 min.
Always give them a skill or strategy they can use NOW!
Your goal is to create INDEPENDENT READERS… do not enable them to wait for YOU to do the reading.
3. You DO NOT have to read a BOOK every day!
This is not the time for HOW MANY BOOKS have you read?
My lowest reading group needs PHONEMIC AWARENESS. If you don’t know your letter sounds…it’s really HARD to read.
My “bubble” kids ( those that have some skills, but need support and practice to move over the “BUBBLE” into INDEPENDENT READERS) need phonics support to be able to solve reading problems, independently!
So Guided reading should be called
Meet them at their level.
Give them a “take away” that they can use TODAY.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
I also use FRIDAYS for assessments ONLY.
Assessment drives the guided reading groups.
Teacher “HOW TO” pages for guided reading assessment.
May 1 begins the RUSH to the Finish Line! As of May 1, we have 23 school days left!
After the calendar changes, I start getting ready for Summer vacation.
Spring Fever is kicking in.
I daydream of the beach, family barbeques, gardening… Ahhh…
I am thinking BEACH! Spring FEVER is here!
But WAIT! I am NOT ready for the end of the year.
I have things to do!
STRESS is kicking in! So what? What do I need to do?
End of the Year Report Cards.
All end of the year paperwork for my students needs to be completed. We have to sign off on cum files. Put papers in files. Purge student portfolios so the second-grade teachers only get current information.
PURGE those files!
Our Open House for parents is in May. The end of the year is a good time for them to visit our classroom, see their child’s projects, and let their child “teach” them. I step back and become the “visitor”. The kids run the show. I teach them how to properly introduce their parent to me. “Mrs. McCarty, I would like to introduce you to my mother, Maria ” and we shake hands. ( Practicing good manners ALL the time!) The kids are the “guides” and they WALK THE ROOM (start at the door & show them ALL the things we do and then to their clean desk ( cleaned that day). EVERYTHING ON their desk goes HOME with them. MAKE SURE NOT TO PUT ANYTHING ON THEIR DESK THAT YOU WANT TO STAY. We have ALL of our end of the year projects completed and ready to go.
Clean classroom desks for OPEN HOUSE
Our End of the Year assemblies are WONDERFUL! Our school talent show, sing-alongs, class sharing, etc. happen this month.
At the end of the year, we celebrate our families. We have a LUNCH on the LAWN for our families. They can bring a lunch (McDonald’s is ALWAYS a favorite), a picnic blanket, and have lunch with their child. They can bring Grandparents, siblings, cousins, whomever. It’s at their regular lunch time, just a fun time for all. ANY student whose parent cannot come, ( like ME..I was always working..dad went) they get to sit on MY picnic blanket and have lunch with ME!
We also have our end of the year BOOK FAIR! Families are encouraged to purchase books for their child to read over the summer. We usually have a good turn out. If you have NOT had a Book Fair at your school, try it!
Scholastic Book Fair
We are winding down with our books and curriculum. Workbooks are almost empty, journals are full, and the crayons and markers have had it! The end of the year has taken its TOLL on student materials! 🙂 But, I have to get ready for NEXT YEAR!
The books need to be sorted before the end of the year.
Before the end of the year…START NOW!
Have students sort through classroom library books. THEY CAN SORT! Add labels to any books not labeled and have your books ready for next year.
Sort writing center materials ( papers, markers, etc) and make sure everything is in working order. Have your students check markers. Any that don’t work..TOSS!
PURGE your FILES! ( Yes…I said IT!) If you haven’t used it, seen it, or are not even sure where it came from…RECYCLE IT!
OPEN YOUR CUPBOARDS! If you have NOT opened the cupboard this year…YOU DON’T NEED ANYTHING IN IT! Don’t store stuff because you MIGHT need it. If you aren’t using it… BYE BYE!
Take out EVERYTHING from drawers and closets. DON’T PUT IT BACK, if you haven’t used it! ( I found 10 computer cables for the technology we don’t even have anymore!)
Have students CLEAN! I give them a paper towel and SANITIZER! Wipe everything you can touch! NO PAPER OR BOOKS! Chairs, stools, door, tables, desks, TOPS & BOTTOMS! CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!
Think about YOUR bulletin boards for the beginning of the year. Put ALL of the things you will need in one box. Don’t forget a stapler, tape, etc. MARK IT for TEACHER IMPORTANT! Keep it with YOU.
Don’t take home a ton of stuff over the summer. I allow myself ONE box. THAT’S IT! You are NOT going to do a lot of school work over the summer. Don’t FAKE IT!
I begin to pack at the end of the year, as soon as OPEN HOUSE is over. A little EVERY day. My goal is to fill one garbage can a day for the rest of the year. Purge a little every day. You have digital files…use them!
Runoff your first-week materials. Have them in a box ready to go! I am working on my lesson plan frames for next year. I do mine on the computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to open the lesson plan binder and already have the first week DONE??!!! I already have my year-long plans for ELA and MATH. My BFF teaching partner has done that.
SEND HOME STUDENT MATERIALS
I send ALL workbooks ( with pages we didn’t get to), BRAG TAG necklaces, student-made books, etc. on the last week. If I change the routines, I must deal with behavior problems. AND WE DON’T WANT THAT! We have a game day the last day. They can play our rainy-day classroom games. Then we write a letter to the kindergartners telling them about First Grade.
The end of the year is a fun time, a stressful time, and a time to organize for next year. Don’t “over-do” it. Remember…it’s YOUR vacation TOO!
When you are getting ready for Back To School… check out these HELPFUL resources: