Monday, September 30, 2013

Lesson Learned

Why hello there everyone!  Well my goal of posting earlier was hindered by a few things: Open House on Thursday (went well! whew!), being asked by my grad school professor to present my Writer's Workshop to his Teaching Writing class tomorrow (yikes! nervousssss!), and researching for and writing my grad school research paper due Tuesday (will be working more on that tomorrow... at some point...).  Seriously, God bless all of you who have children to take care of on top of all of these things.  I deeply respect you and only hope that I will have your strength some day in the far future when I have lils of my own (oh gees, cold sweats... on thing at a time... let's get married first!).  Oh that is the other thing, my fiance and I have been planning for our wedding on April 26th, 2014!!!! Ahhh excited!  We made and ordered our save the date magnets (they are en route!) and gathered addresses over the weekend.  But I have missed my lil blog and sharing with all of you so without further ado, here is a lesson I learned 2 weeks ago during center time...

So two weeks ago, we were learning the short i sound.  I thought it would be fun to make a fishing game for center time.  I made orange paper fish, wrote a spelling word on each fish, laminated them, and stuck a paper clip on each fish.  Then, I made the fishing poles with leftover wooden dowel rods from my wedding center pieces, taped clear plastic "fishing line" to the dowel rods, and taped magnets to the ends of the lines. I was so thrilled with the outcome and ready to go!  Well this happened in the middle of center time, which was already a half hour delayed due to a boy-only boy scout assembly that morning, so we were a little rushed to finish our centers before music class.
Holy tangled mess!!!!

Not even sure how all of these tangles and knots were possible...  Untangling was futile.  I was in the middle of running a short i Bingo center.  As I called out short i words for my group, I cut the lines from the rods and magnets and reattached everything with brown yarn instead.  Not as authentic looking, but A LOT easier to untangle AND not get tangled in the first place.  I had 5 rods in all to reassemble.  I was a sweaty mess when all was said and done!  So lesson learned, go for practicality over authenticity next time.  

Here is the fishing center recording sheet that I made and the lil fishies :)
(When I figure out how to upload products I make, I will post this as a freebie.)

This picture was taken before the massive tangle.  She caught one!!

This is the Bingo center where I was helping the kiddos.  These word family bingo ladders came from this Scholastic book.
 We used snap cubes as markers. 

In this center, the lils had to reread the weekly story together and then unscramble each sentence from the story to make a complete sentence.  

 This center is adapted from Reagan Tunstall's Flipping Over Vowels Freebie!  I made my own pancakes and recording sheet here to review the short a and i vowel words.  I use her center once we have learned all of the short vowel sounds.

This center was a BIG hit!  I set out these silly sentence puzzle pieces (don't remember where I bought them!) for the kiddos to choose a beginning, middle, and end puzzle piece.  Then, they had to record the sentence and illustrate it.  While they were recording the sentences, they had to remember to begin with a capital and end with punctuation.  This was great practice for writing complete sentences.  At the end of the day, we had a few extra moments (say what!?), so I had the students, who wanted to share, read their silly sentences.  We all had a good laugh! :)

While I'm on a roll and still awake from that grande mocha earlier, I might as well tell you about last week's short o learning and centers.
We began by completing a short o picture to word match that I made in our groups.  Then, we played a short o I Have Who Has game.  Next, I had the kiddos give me a short o word to add to our anchor chart that will stay up all year.  Can you tell we live in Pittsburgh and love our Penguins' star?? ;)

Lastly, we made short o socks to hang on our window as another reminder/ resource.

Again, our centers included rereading our story of the week and unscrambling sentences from the story.

Here is our listening center where the kids listened to Frog's Lunch and then filled out a story elements recording sheet.  We were focusing on sequence of events this week as well.

 I will have to get back to you as to where I found this recording sheet.

This Scrabble Spelling center (I think it was a freebie on a blog and I can't remember where I got it :/ sorry!) was a perfect literacy and math connection activity.  The lils had to spell their words on the left and then use the amounts on the scrabble tiles to add up the total of each word.  We have been learning all about addition in math class, so this center was excellent practice for us.  I had the counters out for anyone who needed to use them.

This center (using the blue monster lunch bags from the Target Dollar Spot donation!) was called Monster Chomp.  I created this one.  The students had to sort through short vowel word cards.  The blue monster ONLY eats short o words, so the lils put the short o words in the monster bag.  They placed the other short vowel words in another bucket.

Lastly, they dumped out all of the short o words and recorded them on the Monster Chomp worksheet for the monster on the sheet to grab and eat! YUM!

Finally, I made this center for the kiddos to practice spelling and using the vocabulary words for the week.  First, they had to choose four out of the six vocab words to record on the left.  Then, they used the large amount of letter stickers to spell out each word.  Lastly, the kiddos had to write a sentence using each word they chose.

Okay, so that is everything that I wanted to share.  Oh gees, it is 12:48am.... oops!  Long day tomorrow!  Wish me and my kindergarten coworker :) good luck as we present what we do for Writer's Workshop in our classrooms to grad students tomorrow!  Oh boy!  

Have a great week everyone!!

Samantha :)

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