Sunday, November 24, 2013

Guiding Readers during Guided Reading

I have found this one of the hardest things to get under my belt as a teacher. I know we are expected to just 'learn' a lot of things on the job but this is one I continually struggle with.

I have tried lots of things and have tossed a lot out, never to be repeated again!

But I stumbled onto some great ideas, courtesy of a colleague and I finally feel like we have found a groove in guided reading.

I usually get to read with all groups twice in the week. I get my support teacher to help me with orientations to the text on a Monday for all groups but I have done 5 different orientations by myself in 35 minutes before (I know, what a machine lol)

I grab the group and I read the book. I take out the tricky bits. I am trying to make it an experience in which they can engage with the text, rather than struggle through every hard, unknown word. I often stop just before the end of the book to get some predictions going.

Then we read together. I encourage the following with fingers and we say the words out loud. Often I stop and listen for words and if the group struggles or substitutes the word, we go back and read it over again.

After the group read through, the kids sit back to back. They read the book out loud to themselves, at their own pace. This gives me a chance to listen to the kids individually. This is now the 3rd (or more if they are quick) reading of the book so most kids are feeling comfortable with the sentence patterns or tricky words. It also gives those more introverted kids a chance to read out loud without feeling threatened. I am definitely putting whisper phones on my to do list after reports are finished!

I have been introducing "reading aids" and those are very loose inverted commas, for some groups to encourage the 1 to 1 correspondence as well as to build engagement in reading. Who wouldn't be engaged  reading by finger lights or with a dinosaur head pointing at the words?

What do you do during guided reading?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Elf on the Shelf - Linky Party

I am pretty excited to be joining in the Elf on the Shelf bandwagon this year. My Elf is currently winging his way to Australia and I cant wait!
The Elf on the Shelf Boy Dark Doll with Book: A Christmas Tradition
I have seen so many great ideas on the internet and thought it might be fun to gather them all in one place so I can benefit from your awesome ideas  it is easier for us all to find them :)

Link up with a post containing your elf ideas, elf packs or elf freebies!. 

I will start with mine. I have made a cute elf introduction letter fir you to use in the classroom. It has a few different versions including color, B&W and with and without writing so you can choose what you like.

Click either picture to go and grab this FOREVER FREEBIE at my TPT store.

Now its your turn. Link up below!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Targeting Maths - Book Giveaway!

I have something else to give away on the blog! Blake Education is a publisher that most Aussie teachers know and have probably used one of their books before. They contacted me to see if I would like to have a look at Targeting Maths.

I really liked the look of this book because it gives you a a range of assessments that could be used from Kinder to Year 2.

It even comes with some blackline posters or anchor charts that can printed and used for reference for your students.

I am definitely going to be using this in the coming weeks as I assess my little ones for reports!

The people at Blake are giving you a chance to win a pack of 3 Lower Primary Targeting Maths books. Just enter the Rafflecopter below. It is open to Australian residents only (sorry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blake is also having a big end of year sale

Look at some of the fantastic books you can snatch up!

Go and visit for more shopping opportunities  information.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Clip It - Medial Vowel Sounds

As we approach the end of the year, I am looking for things to make sure my Kinders understand before they move on to Year 1 (eeek!).

Medial vowel identification is something they are still needing a bit of practice with so this little pack was born.

My tester is still keen to try out my things even though SHE is nearly in Year 1 too (whole kind of different eeeeek!) Similar to my beginning and end sounds clip it packs, all you need to add in is some clothes pegs and the activity to good to go!

Here you see the cards that I had printed and laminated (I have included a B&W version too in case color printing isnt for you). The words the pictures represent are a mixture of CVC, CVCC,CCVC and CCVCC. 

Say the word that the picture represents and clip the medial vowel sound!

Miss M was saying it, and pointing to the vowel before the made a decision.
Some cards close up - the pack has some beautiful clip art from Graphics From the Pond and Pink Cat Studio.
I included three recording sheets - 2 of them are like the one above where there is a picture provided and the students write the medial vowel that they can hear next to the picture.

The other alternative is another way to extend your students or add some extra accountability to the activity where they need to draw the picture card that they have chosen, and then write the medial vowel.

It is also available with my Initial and Ending Sounds Clip It pack for a bit of a discount. Click the pic below to go there

I would love to give one away. Just tell me what you would use it for. I will chose a winner when I get up tomorrow (about 15 hours time). Don't forget your email!!

Otherwise click on any picture to go and grab it in my TPT store

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eggy App Giveaway!

By now you would get the feeling that I love the apps from the people that make Reading Eggs. You can also probably tell by this folder on my ipad

Recently they have made a coupld of their fantastic apps FREE for short times, which is awesome.

They contacted me about trying one of their new apps called Add to 20

Here is a view of all the games you can play in the game. As the title suggests it is all to do with numbers under 20, but each game has multiple levels which start off with very small numbers and change difficulty.

I will just give you a snap shot of each game type :)
Balloons - pop the answer balloon. Each time you clear the screen a bird flies down to sit on the perch.

Each time you get the right combination, teddy climbs the rope.

Snowboard - I could see how the boys would like this one! Ride at the sum at matches the answer on the screen. But watch out for rocks and trees.

Sheepdog - Get the dog to jump from sheep to sheep on the right answer. The sheep are moving across the screen which makes this one more fun

Memory - Find the right question and answer to match.

Fishing - Find two fish to make the number in the corner of the screen

I really like this app, simply because you could use it to meet a wide range of learners with the different levels! The games are easy to follow and learn.

The Reading Eggs people have given me 3 codes for this app to give away! All you need to do it enter the Rafflecopter below. It will be drawn in 2 days.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

**All views in this post are my own. Please use your own discretion when using this app with your class **

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Currently November!

I love this time of month :) If you have never linked you go right now!

Listening - It's hot hot hot here and while our big pool is still not ready...think lots of vaccuuming and chemicals, our little plastic pool is ready for action.

Loving - My friend Alison put my onto Scentsy and it is soooooo good! So far I have tried Sugar Cookie, Sunkissed Citrus and today is it Jumping Jellybean. Yum yum yum

Thinking - Its my turn to write homework for Kinder this term. We have adapted a grid system where they choose from a range of activities including Literacy, Maths, Games with the family, Physical Activity, Helping around the house etc. Its been super successful and takes away a bit of that homework stress. 

Wanting - Not a drinker at all but LURVE cocktails!

Needing - putting away clothes = YUCK

Yummy Pin
Im thinking Christmas gifts with this pin. Click the pic to go to the pin

Friday, November 1, 2013

Five for Friday and a Freebie!

Its been another super hectic week! We had our first Kinder Transition on Tuesday where we get our 2014 Kinder kids to come in and experience school for a couple of hours. They all did really well - no real standouts in terms of behaviour which was nice :) Wednesday saw us on an excursion to the farm to compliment out unit this term. Thursday we hosted the K-2 assembly. Friday - usually my day off, saw me going as a parent volunteer with my daughters Kinder class to the aquarium in Sydney.

Talk about tired

But I wanted to link up this week :)

Here we go
1. What an awesome box to have on the doorstep on a Monday. I have never had a Scentsy before and my good friend Alison at Maths with Meaning has been talking about them. She hooked me up and now I am hooked!! Yum yum yum. I think I need to order more burners.

2. Before our trip to the farm, we learnt all about what happens when milk comes out of the cow. The kids were fascinated. Made me very proud when they spouted words like pasteurisation at the farm!

3. My gorgeous boy also had his first Kindergarten Orientation session at his school for next year. He was so happy after school that day and when we woke up on Wednesday morning asked me if he was going back to big school. I think he is going to be great :)

4. This week we were looking at patterns. For one lesson I dumped a whole lot of blocks on the kids tables and they needed to make their own patterns either ABAB, ABCABC or AABAAB. They did a pretty good job. The following day we review patterns but then we made them YUMMY. I gave the kids some Fruit Loops (after setting the ground rules about fingers in mouths lol) and a pipe cleaner and we made pattern bracelets. Some of the kids couldnt wait to eat them right off their arms, others kept them for later. They did have plenty of extras to snack on though 

And now to the freebie
5. We are lucky enough to have bathrooms in our block. Since I have been in Kinder there has been a handwritten sign on tatty pieces of paper. Finally I just went - nope! not cute enough! So I made some cute signs for the doors. You can grab them from Google Docs by clicking the pic. Hope you can use them.