Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Words their Way: My Way!

Friends~ Words their Way has been a challenge but with some help from a teacher friend,  I am finally making it work!

I am telling you, I was pulling my hair out trying to fit it all in!  Now, I am just making it work in my classroom.  

Words there way is a developmental word study program in which students learn to spell words by sorting words based on their spelling patterns.

Basically, I gave my students the spelling assessment at the beginning of the school year and scored it based on the WTW rubric.  That was super simple and it gave me lots of good information about where my firsties were with letter sounds and phonics.  

I then broke my kiddos up into groups.  One of our Kindergarten teachers helped me get organized with folders and color coding of levels.  It turns out that I am running about 3 different sorts during the week.  ELL Toolbox is a great site that shows and gives you downloadable sheets for organizing your groups!

My savior teacher (Who may start a blog and totally should!) pointed me in the right direction of using premade sheets for my students to practice their words on. I tweaked them to fit my kiddos and off we went.  

Here is how my week goes:  

Words their Way and The Schroeder Page
Click HERE to download your own set of these files!
On Monday, students get their new sorts or word lists.  They cut them apart and practice sorting them for the spelling pattern they are working on. 
 (I meet with groups during this time to go over their words and patterns.)

Tuesday they glue their sorts down and label spelling pattern. 

Wednesday they write 5 of their words and box tall and short letters. 

Thursday they use 5 words in a sentence and circle their words.  

Friday they work on writing their words on lined paper paying attention to letter formation.  

Once they complete their sheets, they turn it in to me and I check it over.  If it is complete, I stamp it with my Word Wizard stamp and they move to our making words center activities.  (This is what we do the 2nd week.)  My students work on their sort words for 2 weeks. 
Even during Daily 5 Centers!  
Here are some of our favorite activities:
Playdough stamps and scrabble tiles!
Words their Way and The Schroeder PageWords their Way and The Schroeder Page

Click the image to head to my Amazon Affiliate site  and check out a set of playdough stamps!
I just ordered a set of LCD Writing Boogie Board Tablets for my kiddos this week.  I can't wait to get my hands on them!  I know they will be a big hit!
Words their Way and Making Words FUN!
I really like the direction that we are moving with Words their Way. I am starting to see some bulbs flicker on about spelling patterns in their daily reading and writing.  

I am totally still working on this in my classroom and would love to hear about anyways you all make Words their Way work for you!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Body System: Our Skeletal System Exploration

Friends~Today I jumped into the word of body systems!

       At my new school, I am using a new curriculum called Core Knowledge.  It has taken some work to get a handle on it but I am really feeling good about our body systems unit this week.  

In first grade, we just touch on many subjects to help build prior knowledge for more complex study in older grades.  Body systems is one of those subjects that we get to introduce our little learners to.  

Today we focused on the skeletal system.  I of course wanted to bring this unit alive for my students!  

I started by collecting my supplies.  Rubber gloves, masks, and Dr. hats.  I created baggies for each student and labeled each piece with my student's numbers. 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
I also grabbed these skeletons from the Dollar Store last week!  Just before Halloween! They worked perfectly.  
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
The skeletons were placed in my teammate's room on large tables while our students discussed what a system was in my room. 
Look at these cuties! 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page

The best part about this activity is the only real teaching before my students observed the skeletons was about a system.  A set of things or parts forming a whole.  We brainstormed some systems and I was amazed with what they came up with. 
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
Just as we finished our discussion on systems, my phone rang.  I answered it and put it on speaker. One of our awesome 2nd grade teachers called to let us know ALL doctors were needed in the other room.  
You should have seen their faces!  One of the kiddos said, "This is serious!" 

Watch my kiddos in action below!  They were directed to only observe what was on the tables. They made a sketch of what they saw and then wrote about their observations.  They were also looking for the important parts of the system and tried to name it.  

Grab a FREE copy of our recording sheet HERE!
When we got back together we watched this video and discussed our findings!
We Give Books has 2 really good online books on the body system.  Be sure to check them out below!
We Give Books is a free site.  You will just need to set up an account.  
Body Systems: The Schroeder Page
Tomorrow is all about the muscular systems! 
You can check out my All About Human Body Systems file by clicking below!

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