Monday, 30 May 2016

*NEW* - French Immersion Resources

So.......I have received quite a few requests to create French Immersion resources, through the TPT forum. I have replied numerous times with "I am so sorry. The resources are only available in English"...... UNTIL NOW!

I am uber excited to team up with my colleague and friend, Natalie, to turn some of my teaching creations in French Immersion resources. 

Natalie currently has a French Immersion store on TPT (you can find it HERE), so we made it simple and posted our first F.I. Package together in her store (HERE). Eventually we would love to create a French Immersion shop, so that it is easy to find our joined resources. 

This pack has been updated and revamped! 

“Mon dossier de lundi à lundi” will help keep track of your students words of the week, reading log, important notes and information, as well hold reading strategy cards and tips for parents/guardians. This package is great because you are not checking on things DAILY. 

In this package, you will find the French version as well as the English version and may use the languages you choose most suitable for each activity.. All sheets also appear in black and white and coloured, versions.  Sheets also come in American and Canadian spellings. 


What's inside:?

*”Mon dossier de lundi à lundi” Folder Covers

(colored & black and white)
*Mon journal de lecture/Reading Log
(colored & black and white)
*”Mon dossier de lundi à lundi”
Explanation note for Parents
*Cartes de stratégies de lecture/Reading Strategy cards
(Print, Folder/Cut, Laminate)
*Conseils de lecture/Reading Tips Sheet
*Questionnaire d’élève/Student Questionnaire
(Great for the beginning of the year)
*Questionnaire de parents/Parent Questionnaire
(Great for the beginning of the year.)
*”Mots de la semaine”/Words of the Week
Explanation/Note home
*”Mots de la semaine”/Words of the Week templates
*“Les nouvelles du mois”
2 newsletter templates




Thanks for taking a look!

Wishing you a great week ahead!

~Kaitlin~

Friday, 13 May 2016

Thoughts on "The End" & Classroom Book Release #1

The end is near. As we begin to tie up loose ends, and reign the kiddos in (reminding them that it ain't over YET)...... let's remind ourselves that we gotta keep trudgin' until THE END. Now is the time to introduce something new. Mix it up! Create a lesson that is out of the box or that challenges your kiddos. 

Don't tap out because they seem to be--- change it up! 

My job as a Learning Support Teaching can get mundane (if I let it). Every week I am thinking of new ways to spice it up or introduce something new to the students. Because I work with JK/SK's and grade 3 students, it's a smorgasbord below..... but you get the drift.

My teaching partner and I have created a corner of our room dedicated to 'reading creations'. We all find fancy things on Pinterest that we pin for a rainy day, knowing full well that they will never come in fruition. SO, we have made it our mission to find easy, yet attainable games and activities to do with our kiddos. 

This activity was one of those!

Our students in Junior and Senior Kindergarten work with a list of sight words through our PALS Program. We took craft paper from our paper room at school, and wrote down various sight words and letters (for sounds) along the paper in a variety of colours. To practise, I pulled students names and had them hop along the paper saying sight words and sounds until they got to the end. As they got better, I timed them. We'd have competitions-- (i.e. Girls vs. Boys or JK's vs. SK's etc.) on who could get to the end of the paper the quickest. They get so pumped to beat their previous time. 



Another easy game is called BAM! We wrote their sight words on cue cards, and added cards that said BAM into the mix, as well. I've done this as a whole group or separated the class into teams (calling up 1 student at a time). 

The student flips or pulls a card out of the pail or bag, and reads the sight word or says the sound the letter makes. For each word they say correctly, I give their team (or entire class), a point. As soon as someone pulls the BAM card, they must put all the cards they read correctly, back into the pail or bag and begin again. Sometimes we play students vs. teacher, which they LOVE. They get so excited HA!

I will post some more easy games again, soon. I promise--- they are easy to make and very fun for the kids! Win, win!

In my grade 3 PALS class, we are continuing to partner read. 
Every student has a partner to read with (PALS reading program). As previously mentioned, I give points/tokens to students (see here). In addition to the tokens I give to 'individuals' in the pair, each student is also part of a larger team of 4. At the end of the PALS circuit, I have each student meet with their larger team to add their earned tokens. Each team gives me their tally and I add it to their group points. This process holds them very accountable. Reporting back to the team with their earned tokens is a confidence booster. The team motivates them to do better because they all have a part to play. 

Here was this months team prize. Each student in the group of 4 received a little packed prize. 

The month of April was a large box of Nerds, a travel connect four game or travel tic tac toe game and a mechanical pencil. 


Each Tuesday is what I call "Tech Tuesday" as mentioned a few posts back (here). With the digital world continuing to explode, students need to know where to find quality reading pieces and know that digitized reading material is another option. I break the students into their 4 member groups. I provide them a reading site. They have 5 minutes to agree on a story before they plug their headphones in and either read or listen to a story. 

From there, I lead a think-pair-share-type of discussion. I pose a question, and each student then turns to their group and discusses the question, based on the book they read. Students are able to practise their predicting and retell skills, as well as various comprehension questions. I rotate to each group, listening to discussions and awarding tokens.

These comprehension questions can be found in our independent reading box kit. Check it out here :)


A few reading sites I love:

Most recently, I have discovered Oxford Owl. I especially like the non-fiction choices. They aren't commercialized books-- just easy reading. I like to project these stories as a read aloud and then break the students into groups. 
Registration is free.

Below, the students are using Storyline Online. Love this site. Great for reluctant readers who want to read the books that others students are reading, but are not strong enough, yet. 


Each Thursday is what I call "Teacher's Choice Day", where I bring in reading material or a reading game. The kids are always itchin' to know what they are doing. 

Last week I used this pack by Hello Literacy-- High interest informational texts. I broke the students into their groups.

We used the article entitled "The Vortex of Video Games".
What I love is that you can choose from 4 different reading levels for your students (so they can be used for multiple grades).
 Students read the article out loud to each other, highlighted key points and worked on various questions, together.



Lots more on tap for the next 6 or so weeks before Summer Break!

======================================================================

While I was on maternity leave, I made a list of projects I wanted to complete before heading back to work. These were activities that I had great success with in my classroom that I wanted to clean up for future use and share. 

One of the more simple, but effective resources were "Class Books" for primary classrooms. I love using mentor texts. Our curriculum is embedded with teaching students to connect a variety of texts to their experiences, world view and other texts. The problem is that when you are 5,6, 7 and 8 years old, your world is school and home. In order to teach them these concepts in a simplistic way, I made a variety of 'class books' with my kiddos. These were pages that students created and I bound together. I displayed these books and sent them home to be shared. 

Here is one that I recently refined.

This pack is focused around "Text to Self" Connections using the book "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle.

What's inside?
- Detailed instructions
- Learning Goal
- Read Aloud Discussion Questions
- Variety of Class Book Cover Pages 
- Curriculum focus/ learning goal cut outs for notebook
- Text to self sentence starters (for notebook draft)
- Class book sentence stater pages (good copy) with a variety of line choices 
- Home share page 
- Example photos

Click here to see more and preview!




Hope you take a peak.

More importantly, have a great weekend! And continue to keep on truckin'. 

~Kaitlin~

Monday, 2 May 2016

End of the Year Teacher Sale--2016


It's that time again. As we prepare to close out the 2015/16 school year, stock up on some last minute goodies to use in the classroom. Use the code CELEBRATE to save!

Here are a few of my end-of-the- year faves! 
Click the cover of each below to take you to the store to shop :)

MY TRANSITION BOOK: This is a transition book that can be filled out by students (with needs), and can be shared with next years teacher. 


END OF THE YEAR AMAZING REVIEW: This pack is set up similar to the TV Show Amazing Race. Students are in teams, and each day are given task cards to move along in the race! See my blog post about this HERE


WRITING PORTFOLIOS & MY YEAR AT SCHOOL PORTFOLIO: Do the students have a place to store their work from throughout the year? As students riffle through their notebooks, have them choose pieces to put into a portfolio. This is a great end of the year keepsake for your kiddos!



~Kaitlin~

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Additional Reading Ideas for Primary Students

Hello!
I am popping in today to write a quick blog post about the additional reading activities that I've been doing in my grade 3 PALS (Peer Assisted Learning Strategy) class. I wrote about some JK/SK reading ideas HERE.

As mentioned a few posts ago, I have returned from maternity leave in a new position. I am really enjoying the change of pace and grateful for a new opportunity to learn and see things through a different lens. 

With that being said (and as mentioned in my 2 posts ago), I am restricted to a limited amount "additional" activities, if any. However, I am a big advocate of doing what's best for kids and getting them excited about learning... especially reading. 

First off, I use a ticket system. For the months of February and March, I rotated around and distributed tickets to students when I heard PALS rules being used properly, when students were positive with one another, when they were able to retell, predict, and answer comprehension questions, etc. Students wrote their names on the back of each ticket they earned and put them away. I announced when the draw would be held. I then purchased a variety of prizes and placed them in front of paper bags or buckets. Students then dropped their tickets in the prizes they hoped to win. I would draw a name for each prize.
February
March

This month, I have divided the students into 5 teams. They still earn tickets, but the team with the highest will win a prize, instead of a 'draw' scenario. 

So, here is what our weeks looks like: 

Monday- Partner Reading 
We complete the PALS program. Students are in partners and have books at their own reading level. 
Tuesday- Tech Tuesday
I choose and project a Tumble Book (through my library membership), or send a story for my students to read through their mytools2go (Google) Accounts. I still complete the PALS program, but there is a lot of whole groups learning, modelling and additional discussions. I make it a game-- Answering questions, earning tickets etc. 

I also use these sites:
Storyline Online 

TIME for Kids

Wednesday- Partner Reading (see Monday).

Thursday- Teacher Choice
On Thursday's I like to change things up. Here are a few of the activities and resources I use:

Sight Words/Antonyms/Synonyms/Homophones/Plurals etc.


GAME: Speed
1. I split the class up into teams. 
2. I tape a piece of chart paper on the wall around the room for each team. (You want them far enough apart where the other team can't see the others paper). 
3. I write the topic I am covering at the top of the chart paper. 
4. Time them for 1-2 minutes (sometimes this will be longer such as 3-4 minutes until everyone has a turn, but they think they only have one minute). 
5. Each person writes a vocabulary word and passes the marker to the next person. They are not allowed to talk while doing this. (They cannot write something that has already been written.)
6. They have 1-2 minutes to write as many words as they can. 
7. When the time is up, the person holding the marker brings it to you. 
8. I give each team one ticket each for having the correct words. 

High Interest Reading (Small or Whole Group)
During the last TPT sale I picked up some great close reading packs *here and *here. There are high interest reading pages, with varying reading levels. We use these to discuss reading strategies, challenging vocabulary, comprehension and more. 




There are also digital media sources that I use to compare texts. 


GAME: Boggle Boards

I also use these cards (HEREHERE & HERE). 

Friday- JK/SK Buddy Read 
On Friday's we do PALS with some JK/SK friends. My grade 3 group gets to share their reading abilities, help teach and guide the little learners. It's awesome to witness. 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I definitely have additional reading activities to share, which I will do once I try them out in the classroom.

My ultimate goal is to make reading fun. I want the kids in my class to get excited about reading. I hate when reading gets mundane. I like how the students have a sense of wonder..... not knowing what some days will hold. The sense of mystery is very powerful and motivating. 

Have a great week :)
~Kaitlin~

Monday, 21 March 2016

World Down Syndrome Day 2016

Today is the day. The day to ROCK YOUR SOCKS!


Why World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD)?


WDSD exists to celebrate individuals with Down syndrome by choosing activities that show support and awareness to those individuals. Rocking Socks has become and easy, attainable and VERY visual way to demonstrate this support around the globe. We are seeking to share what it IS to have Down syndrome - something to be celebrated. We are advocating for the inclusion, respect and understanding that individuals with Down syndrome have a great deal to offer their communities. This day occurs on the 21st day of the 3rd month because we celebrate the 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome which is what makes Down syndrome.
My dear friends Stephanie and Matt and their daughters Hazel and Nola are part of a large community who have committed themselves to educating and promoting the inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome. They have vowed to not only Rock Their Socks, but have made it their mission to educate others as to WHY they are doing so. You can follow their journey at  http://www.chasinghazel.com/

My school and many others have accepted the challenge to spread the love and support by Rocking Our Socks in order to promote awareness. For me, this symbol represents inclusion, acceptance and love. I am super proud of our school community for their support! THANK YOU!



If this is something that you would like to participate in with your school, class or club, please let me know. I have announcements prepared/ facts and videos I can share with you. Feel free to comment below if you'd like me to send along additional info. 
Thank you for reading and thank you for celebrating with us!
HAPPY WDSD DAY!
#chasinghazelwdsd2016
#wdsd2016
~Kaitlin~