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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Classroom Gross Motor Skills

What are gross Motor Skills?

Major muscle co-ordination
Body awareness –posture and control
Balance –ability to adjust the body symmetrically
Spatial orientation –awareness of how their body is positioned in space and in relation to other objects or people
Crossing of the midline –opposite from one side of the body to the other

Laterality –awareness of the left and right sides of the body

I do a few fun things during transitions and practice to help build gross motor skills because there is not enough time at recess and physical education classes.
We lay on the belly on the floor when watching videos, playing games, working on computers, or hearing books. It is very difficult for some students.
We crab walk or bear crawl around the room. Just be sure to have small groups go at one time. Everyone at once can be a mess!
Any practice that we do we push up and hold, just like planks! You can practice counting, spelling words, math facts, names of planets, etc.
Write or color in kneeling position. No sitting back on the legs.

What can you do to build gross motor skills in the classroom?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Giraffe Fun +Technology

 We read about giraffes in guided reading, checked out research on PebbleGo, and searched books. 

Then we made giraffe puppets and recorded what we learned on cool videos.

Check out our cool videos!

What facts did you learn about giraffes?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Snowmen Fun

It is winter and time for snow and snowmen! 

Yeah, anything with a snow theme is fun!

Since segmenting is such an important skill in Phonological Awareness, we used snowmen cards and pictures to match the snowflake letters to the picture on the snowman's belly. You can see the way all students stay involved at Snowmen Segmenting with Phonics. There is a free resource there, too! The picture will take you to the bundle.

Snowman Bundle
We also used cotton balls to segment. the sounds with movement and then wrote the words on a snowball. You can find out exactly how at Snowmen Segmenting.
This Easy Segmenting Activity is so much fun for students and it actually helps learners look through words which improves reading skills.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Five Fabulous Rhyming Videos

Rhyming is such an important skill for language and literacy development. You can check out rhyming books I love to read and students LOVE to hear!

I also have many games to make rhyming fun! Check them out at Rhyming Practice!

Here are the best videos/video stories that I use to help develop this important skill.

Monday, October 2, 2017

High Frequency Words + Research

There are many ways to practice high frequency words.  Since these words are essential to fluent reading. Repeated exposure and memorization are crucial for students to read fluently and consistently. Students must be able to read these words quickly or decoding will take too much time and effort.  When reading takes too long, readers become frustrated.

Click here to find the 50 words needed by Kindergarten.  You can cut them apart to make small words cards to help you sort.

 Recognizing high-frequency words by sight primarily involves memorization; and memorization comes most easily through repetition. Remember:  PRACTICE! PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  Students need to read and write high-frequency words as often as possible.

  Remember to read/write as quickly as possible.

Sort the words into words columns.  One column of words that can be read in 5 seconds and one column of words to work on learning. Be sure to count and discuss the words known. Look for an increase each day.

 Make 2 copies of the words and play "Memory" with the cards!  Don't forget to read them as quickly as possible. 
Make flash cards.  REMEMBER: only practice 3 new words mixed up with7 words you already know.  It can take between 25-55 times before you can remember all of them!  Click on the picture to find the words to make.

From Radford University:

One strategy to consider when teaching and learning discreet skills is “Drill Sandwich” (Browder, D.M., & Roberts, M.L., 1993).  The steps are simple but so worth the effort!

Drill Sandwich:
The drill sandwich strategy is a way children can practice and learn any information (new sight words, math facts, vocabulary, spelling words) by mixing what they know with what they need to learn. This method is typically more motivating to any learner because the new information is next to something known. Only three new pieces of information needs to be the focus, while reviewing  recently learned material. Perfect for long term memory because of the repetition,

How to build a Drill Sandwich!

1.) Make set of flashcards for the information to be learned.

2.) Go through the complete stack of cards once, separating the list into two piles – knowns and unknowns. (Hint: Cards are only knowns if the information is automatic. If the learner has to think even for a few seconds, then the card should be placed in the unknown pile for more repetition of the information.)

3.) Build a “sandwich” using seven knowns and three unknowns. Be sure to follow the pattern below. (K = known; U = unknown)

4.) Have the learner practice identifying all ten items in the order of knowns and unknows.

5.) As the unknown items are learned move them into a known section of the sandwich by removing well-known knowns (be sure it is guessing!). Add new unknowns and begin the learning process again.

Practice with three new words each day. Learning information in this manner is much more manageable for students, and will help them learn quickly.

Remember to make it fun!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Goal Setting Read Alouds

Reading and talking about goals is so important. I try to read and discuss many read alouds to encourage students to work hard to achieve goals. 
These videos from YouTube are great stories to use to discuss goal setting along with hopes and dreams for a growth mindset.
Check out:
Giraffes Can't Dance

 A Chair for My Mother (start at 2:08)

Amazing Grace

Miss Rumphius
Check out how I use Goal Setting in my classroom! Once the students color, they kidwrite their goal on the line. I underwrite it so I can read it later. We hang the completed papers to help remind us of our goals!
Working on goals can start in K! What are your goals?