Thursday, 15 September 2016

2016-2017 Grade 1/2 Classroom

Setting up the classroom

Welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a great summer.  

I wanted to share the new things in my classroom with our followers. I have a split 1/2 class this year, which means I have quite a few students from last year coming back into my room. So I commandeered my children and their friends and girlfriends/boyfriends to come and help. It turned out fantastic. I get so excited each year with a fresh new start but this one feels the best so far. 

I tried to create separate areas, and independent activities throughout the classroom, because there will be times when I need students to work independently when I am working with the opposite grade. 

Here is what it looks like, starting with the outside of my classroom and door. 

Here is inside the classroom.  

My daughter Jocelyn felt that I needed a desk fairy this year.
 This is how her little desk fairy turned out. 

I should have taken a close up.  I will take one this weekend and post it with the new writing centre I just finished tonight. 

I would like to shout out a thank you to all the wonderful people who helped with my room, including my friends two sweet children, 
Abbey and Ella!  

Hope everyone is having a good start to the new year. 


Monday, 5 September 2016

2016/17 School Year! Here--We--Go!

It's that time!!! Say it isn't so!!!

Are you ready?

I took the summer off from all things teaching (well, for the most part) and enjoyed every-last-drop!

I have loved being home with my daughter all summer and watching her change and grow. Nothing beats quality time. Nothing.

I hope you all had a great summer and are ready to hit the ground running, as we meet our new kiddos for the year!

This year I have moved schools once again (insert shocked face). HAHA! I was the second lowest in seniority at my last school and was redudant. I have decided to return to teaching half-time again this year, in order to be home half a day with my daughter. 

My position this year is 'LSST' (Learning Support Services Teacher). I provide support to students with needs in the classroom and implement the PALS program (an early reading program) to JK/SK students. Like always, I try to add my own spin into everything I do in the classroom, so I will try to blog some new ideas I have throughout the year on the blog. 

If you don't already follow us on FACEBOOK, please do. That way you'll be able to keep track of new blog posts and new materials that we create. 

I need to meet my littlest learners and see where they are at. Some may be only 3 (turning 4) and others are close to 5, so I love to see what they are familiar with, as they begin the school year. We have a few sound tests we do with them, but I like to make it fun, too. 

Stay tuned for a few new ideas...

Wishing you a great start to the school year!


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!


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'. 


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!