Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Word Work Stations

I believe in doing anything and everything to encourage and inspire my students to fall deeply in love with words! Each day we explore phonics, our spelling words {these follow a specific spelling pattern}, and sight words during word work time.  This fall I finally updated and spiced up our word work activities by creating one of my favorite new word work resources. It's made changing out stations EASY...like print and go easy...and my students can't wait to work with them! Of course, we still also enjoy word building games, letter magnets, letter tiles, dry erase boards/markers, etc., but our new and improved word work tower is a BIT hit!  It's where I organize 10 different word work stations every few weeks. There's something for everyone! Each station has a recording sheet to keep students accountable. 
Download my word work tower labels <here>!


What kinds of activities are in the word work station tower? I'll let these pictures do the talking tonight...



Click HERE to download a few freebies!

If you are interested, these activities are in my TpT shop right here!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Heart is Full {a writing freebie}

Are you ready for Valentine's Day? I can't believe it's just around the corner. My first graders and I have been busy celebrating everything about LOVE! 

Today we talked about the things we love most....the special things that make our hearts full! 
Me: "What fills your heart with love?"
My first graders:
"my family"
"Jesus"
"books"
"the world"
"friends"
"school" 
"pizza" 
"chocolate"
"my teacher" 
"my dog"
"my cat"
"tacos"
"my house"
"my Barbie jeep" 
It had to be one of the sweetest {and funniest} discussions of the year...seriously loved every single minute of it!! 
After our amazing share time, I gave each student a big, pink heart to illustrate their ideas. To go along with it, they wrote about what made their hearts full and why it was special/important to them. You can download the writing printable freebie here!
So simple and sweet!!!
I just can't help but to smile every time I see these precious hearts! 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Watch Out for the Editing Police!!

When I was at RCA a couple of weeks ago, I observed Kim Bearden's middle school class having a blast with a "grammar police" lesson. It inspired me to find a way to tweak it to make it work for my first graders. Editing is challenging and sometimes a boring skill for them to practice, so I wanted to bring a little magic and fun to spice it up...Kim Bearden style!! 

 I divided my class into two groups-editing officers and offenders. I gave the officers editing citation sheets and the offenders each a sentence that needed editing. As I played the Chipmunks COPS theme song, the editing officers found an offender with a sentence. After they read the sentence together, the officer issued a citation for the error made {capitalization, punctuation, or spelling}. The officer corrected the sentence on the citation with the offender. Then the offenders were placed in their error's holding cell....haha! This is where I act as a judge and released the offenders if the sentence on the citation had been properly corrected. You could also assign students to be judges at each holding cell. We will probably try that next time.

Small, inexpensive props added just the right magical touch to the activity. The kids had badges and I bought a police light, hat, handcuffs {don't worry...I didn't actually use them...just for show} and crime scene tape. Fun!

I bought everything from Amazon!

During the activity, I made sure to switch the students up so they were able to experience each part. They had so much fun that they begged me to let them keep "playing". Now that's what I call a successful lesson!!! It's an activity that I will continue to use throughout the year with my class....perfect for a review! 
Want your students to become editing police?? 
Everything from my lesson is right here!


And a BIG thank you to Kim Bearden for inspiring me to bring editing to life with this lesson! I can't recommend her book enough to y'all! Every single teacher needs it!! 

Happy Editing!!