Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tuesday Centers and an Alphabet Hat

This week we made out letter A hat.  This is in my new Phonics Alphabet Hats pack (TN).  They kids loved this!  They wanted to wear them all day and they received lots of complements too.  I had them practice writing the letter on the sentence strip with a crayon first.  Then they colored and cut out the pieces.  There were a few distractor pictures so they had to think which pictures begin with the /a/ sound to glue onto the strip.  This is new in my store and is 50% off today and tomorrow!  I made them while I was off last week.

During guided reading, my class rotates between for stations.  One of the stations this week is to fill in the missing letter.  I gave them both upper and lowercase letter magnets and a cookie sheet.  The students get a card and place it on the cookie sheet and then determine if they need a capital or lowercase letter to fill in the missing letter.  I also made this activity with the middle letter missing and the first letter missing.  Students can use an alphabet strip if they feel they need one.  Later in the year, I will switch this activity up by giving them cards with different letters missing.  I have also made these for my TPT and TN store.  You can see them here or here.  It's a simple activity that doesn't require a lot of ink.  144 different cards in all!  Only 24 pages.

Today, I brought out my little pointers for the kids to use during guided reading while they were pointing to the words.  They love using little pointers.  I have more than just the fingers.  My favorite are the monkeys.  I'll have to post those sometime soon.  This was the first time I brought the pointers out this year.  I wanted to set my behavior expectations first before giving them a potential play thing.

 Here is a look at another independent center this week.  I have been recording my own stories on CDs.  I just record my voice on my laptop and I ring a bell as an indicator to turn the page.  The best thing about making my own CDs is that they automatically play and they are finished when the book is finished.  Next week, I plan on introducing a response sheet for after they listen to a story, but for now, I am just having them listen.  I think it is important that they have plenty of time to get use to the equipment and the CD players are much easier to use than cassette player, but we use those too.  I previously posted that I bought a wonderful headphone jack so up to 5 students can listen at the same time.  I bought the cheapo headphones from the Dollar Tree.  Maybe one day I will buy more expensive durable ones, but for now these will do.  I was trying not to spend too much.  I only have 4 students at this station so two share a book and CD so I don't have to worry about having multiple book copies.  This week, they are listening to Green Wilma, The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash, and Miss Nelson is Missing.  Since stories are not all the same length, there is always an extra in the basket.

My aide has been working with students on letters recognition and beginning sounds.  These are the kid cards that come with our Saxon Phonics program.  The activities at this table change depending on the group, just like my guided reading group activity.  Previously, she has played rhyming bingo, matching, ABC Bingo, and has helped them work on writing their names.  It all depends on the needs of the group.  Currently, we have 4 students in each group and on Fridays, one group has 5 kids because I have a student that spends the afternoons with us and all days on Fridays.  The mornings he goes to preschool and next year he will be in my class full time.  I also have a student that comes to my class from first grade for reading in the morning.  He may be coming back over to kindergarten all day, but the final decision won't be made until next week.  Either way, I love having both of them.  The shocker of the days is that another kindergarten class just got a new student today.  We have been in school for 7 weeks now and it was his FIRST day!!!  Um, what were his parents thinking?
Thanks for stopping by!  Come back later to learn how I run my reading block.

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