Sunday, October 26, 2014

Halloween is Noisy

Whoooooo went the wind
And out went the light

Halloween is the perfect time to teach about 


And 5 little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

 Ghosts go BOO!  Doors squeak, chains rattle, leaves rustle and crunch.
The season is full of sounds.  None more than the ones in this book:  

I love this story.  It is a great can add all your own sound effects.  You can do it as a classroom reader's theater and spread the fright around (other classrooms are generally always up for a little presentation and short distraction).  You can make a foldable or attach the pieces to a tall paint stick for retelling.  You can make stick puppets.

And you can show students what a big word like onomatopoeia means.....don't you just love saying that word?  I do!  My kinders do too.  Between Halloween and our unit in the spring about farm animals, my kindergarteners learn about this at least twice.  Do they remember?  YES!!  Well, some do...some will remember when they hear it again...others will begin to recognize it in stories, even if they don't remember the big long grown-up word. Some will begin to use it in their writing, and SOME will tell you all about it when they are back in your class as 8 year old second graders!

I have put this together to help you do just that.  It's free on my facebook fan page.  There are stick puppets and an open the flaps book in two different sizes to help you retell the story.

Try it!
It is great language development for ELL, for young ones, for those with speech and learning disabilities.  It is good for oral language and comprehension. is good fun for everyone!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Getting My Feet Back

I think I am finally getting my feet back under me. So it is time for a Five for Friday post.  I love linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share what is happening.

I was asked to go back to second for a year.  I have taught second for most of my teaching career so, I wasn't surprised when they asked.  Now I have been trying to remember how I used to teach second grade....except this time, no desks and no grades, using rubrics and standards and my too small cubbies.  I was beginning to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

But I have learned a few things....second graders are not that different from Kindergarteners.  They like to move, they like to be silly and use their imaginations, they like hands on, and they LOVE to read.  I don't think I have a single student, when given free reign of the library, doesn't love it.  This breaks out in my classroom often.

When we were exploring the math manipulatives, what was their favorite??  The counting Bears.  I was surprised.  They really loved all my kindergarten maipulatives and I plan on using them often. 
There have been challenges (tables and no real place to keep books and all our interactive journals), but there have been wonderful surprises too (along with reading, they LOVE to write).

There are lessons I loved to teach, but gave up when I moved to Kindergarten.  Lessons, like how fossils are made, and our field trip to Fossil Hill.

There are lessons I taught in 2nd, took to Kindergarten with me, and now I have brought them back to 2nd.  A bonus....students I had in Kindergarten and now are in my second grade classroom, they are  excited about doing them again.
Seasons 2nd and 3rd I have them label with the months for each season (it always surprises me how many do not know this.)

I am still working on putting routines in place.  It is taking longer than I wanted, but we have begun both Writers Workshop and Reading Workshop.  I am using the Kindergarten programs I loved so much to set the routines and procedures.  The work I am expecting from my second graders is, of course, much, much more....but the routines are the same and many of the skills are as well (just on a second grade reading level).

I think I have a couple of new ideas for keeping these kiddos (and myself) I am off on this beautiful Saturday morning to work in my room.