Saturday, November 22, 2014

Slap Hands Solo educents deal

Guess What? I have my first Solo Educents deal up and running right now!

I'm sure you know about the site. If you haven't signed up yet, they have a deal for new members, so check it out! $10 credit!

Did I mention my deal?

I put up BOTH my Dolch Slap hand bundles for the low price of $5. That's a 67% savings over buying them both on TPT, and it's cheaper than either would be alone.

Dolch Slap Hands unit

I use these on my classroom door, and it graduates to a centre throughout the year. 

My coworker is putting them on her floor this weekend, and  I can't wait to see how that turns out.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Guided Reading Groups

How do you organize your guided reading at your school?

Is each teacher by his or herself trying to get to every student every day who is working at Frustration Level? 

Do you group students who are close to the same level together to minimize your groups?

Or do you group your students across the WHOLE school so that you only have 2-3 groups which you meet with every day so that EVERY student gets reading help 4-5 days a week?

Last year we were using the first model, where we did guided reading alone in our rooms.
This year our resource teacher and Literacy specialist were coming into our rooms to read with two groups twice a week, which helped get more students reached.

However, at our Pd early this week, we took the levels of every student in the school and put their names on chart paper under the level they are currently working on. Our Literacy teacher will take these lists this week and form our groups and starting next week we will using this new format. I'll let you know how it goes.

I think I'm going to like it! For one hour every day, I'll have 3 groups of students working at a pre-reading level to get them ready to start guided reading which they'll hopefully be ready for by Christmas!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

First Sign of Christmas

So the first Sign of Christmas has popped up at my school this week....

Our resident Dental Therapist Decorated her door with this SUPER cute Fireplace with Tooth stockings! I love this. I asked her about it, and she says she came up with it on her own. I can't imagine doing that now, so many of my creative efforts are guided by Pinterest. Way to go Savannah!

Check out my awesome educents deal right now, only $4.99:
Dolch Slap Hands unit

Friday, November 14, 2014

Number Sense trees

My kids are about halfway through our number sense unit, and we're well on our way to understanding our numbers, at least the ones to ten. 

I introduced this centre from my Maple Leaf Bundle last week, and it's a HUGE hit! The only set of cards they're having trouble with are the word cards, and I'm OK with that for now, as my classes literacy skills this year are rather low.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Religion in School

Do you pray at School?

I grew up in a province where Religion wasn't in the schools, and the idea of bringing prayer to school and talking about beliefs at school was weird. I wasn't very open about being a Christian as a result, I think.

Now, I've worked on a Reserve for two years, and am in my second year in this Northern Community as well, and both places we pray daily. Right after O Canada upper grade students come on the PA and either repeat the Lords prayer, or this prayer below. Mostly it's this one. I really like it. What do you think?
Do you pray at your school? Do you talk about faith, or spirituality at all?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

So, it's snowing...

Do you live somewhere it snows early and stays cold late?


It's cold, but it's awesome! I grew up in Nova Scotia, and we were lucky if we had a white Christmas, but HERE, I'm living in Saskatchewan with snow flurries in October, and Permanent Snow in November, and it stays until Spring.

Check out my kids making snow angels last week:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance day 2014 Activities and Cross Tutorial

 We recognized Remembrance day at our school last week. My class did a number of activities to learn about the occasion. I started by changing our Halloween door decor into this more somber cross and the traditional Remembrance day message of Lest We forget. It was really hard at the first of the week to get them to understand that this message means So we don't Forget. Then we had to talk about WHAT we don't want to forget. I showed them this video from Scotland, and explained the differences between our poppy production and theirs:

I then shared with them this music video from an artist who understands why we need to remember, and wrote a beautiful song about our yearly "Pittance of Time":

 Throughout the week we did a few activities from my Remembrance day packet. On Friday before the assembly they did these colouring pages.

Every Class in our school sends two students up during the assembly with our Remembrance day offering. Last year my class made a beautiful wreath, his year I had them make a cross.

Here's my quick Tutorial:

1. Water down paint and have students paint both sides of plain cupcake liners.

2.  The next day when they are dry, show the students how to put the eraser end in the centre of the circles and fold completely over so they look like a little umbrella. Open up enough to look like little bowls.

3. Cut a little green circle for the centre of the flower and glue in the middle of the cup.

4. Create a cross out of cardboard and black construction paper.  

5. Glue or staple your poppies all over, and you're done!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Non-fall bulletin board

Now that Halloween is over, non fall/Halloween bulletin boards are starting to pop up all over school.

Here's the one by our buddy class.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hand washing Lesson

Every year at least once the public health nurse comes to our school and talks to the kids about the importance of washing their hands. This is especially important in flu season (side note, did you get a flu shot this year, we did)
Her lesson for grade 1 is pretty simple, but effective for the day (it's up to me to remind them daily of what they learned from the nurse).

She read them a story about covering your mouth when you sneeze with your arm, shoulder or kleenex, but not your hand.

Then she gave them "special" lotion to rub into their hands so they can see all their germs. They eagerly rubbed it into their hands and were amazed by how bright blue their hands looked under her light. She definitely got her lesson across about handwashing today!

She then taught them to sing the ABC's to themselves while they wash their hands. If they don't finish the song, they haven't scrubbed long enough.

How do you teach the importance of handwashing?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Connecting native studies to science and Social Studies

You may have read on my blog before that we need to incorporate native studies into our teaching.
I'd like to share here two idea I've used in the last two weeks that have helped me achieve that goal.

These two pictures show a lesson I taught wher eI combined science and social studies for a lesson.

I took a medicine wheel (we call it circle of  courage in our community) and put it up on the Smartboard. Together we brainstormed foods we eat at different times of the year and especially at celebrations.

For fall, we drew a turkey, pumpkins, pie, apples and a moose (hunting is big around Thanksgiving).
For Winter we drew Hot chocolate, candy canes, gingerbread house and egg nog.
For Spring we drew fish, ham and easter eggs.
For summer we drew ice cream, watermelon, strawberries and blueberries.

After we did iur brainstorm, I had my kiddos return to their seats and on their personal copies draw their favourite food from each season.

It went pretty well I think. 

For a specific social studies lesson we talked about where people live. We listed houses, townhouses, apartments and duplexes. I then asked them where the Cree used t olive a few hundred years ago, and together we came up with Teepees. We discussed what they might be made of birth bark wigwams in NS where Mrs. D is from) and leather and fur way up north here.

Here is our Teepee village on display.

How do you incorporate native studies into your curriculum?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Learning the Months of the Year

I've been trying to teach my kiddos the months of the year as part of our daily and seasonal changes unit in science. Considering that now two months into school and daily calendar time the days of the weeks are only now starting to click (I can hear them humming the Addams family), it'll be a year long battle to memorize, but I am up for the challenge. 

I started by playing for them a variety of months of the year songs on youtube so we can decide which is our classes favourite. the one with the most votes was:

But honestly, I can't find one that I like as much as our days of the week song:
Or our seasons of the year song:

I can't remember where I found either of the two worksheets pictured, but they are not mine, and they are free somewhere online...

Anyway, we sang our new song, then we "read" the months of the year in order on this cute caterpillar. After we coloured them different colours, I handed out the second page, and they cut out the scrambled months. We used the caterpillar as a guide to make sure we chose the month with the right letters in it's name.

We still have a long way to go until we all know the months names and which seasons they are in, but we're working on it!

How do you teach the months?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Finally Done with Book fair (sort of...)

I am SOOO glad that I'm finally done with our book fair. It was a really long week for me, considering it was also Halloween. Our goal was to surpass last years sales totals, and we did, so YAY us! We set a challenge goal that for every $50 over and above lasts years totals that we'd get to throw a pie at the VP. We are definitely throwing pies.

Here is me taking money from our high school librarian at the second day of the fair. She was a huge help to us the first day of the fair, since it was set up in her Library. We actually set up the fair a total of four times! We had to move it.

Day 1 was at our Literacy Carnival at the high school, so we set up the fair in the Library.
Day 2 was at a local community fundraiser on Saturday, so we set it up at he hall.
Days 3-4 were in our Elementary school Community Room.
Days 5-6 were in our Elementary staff room because our community room was needed for a local event.

That's a lot of extra work!
But we survived, and we will do another fair in the Spring as our Principal wants us to find as many ways as possible to increase literacy in our school and community.

All that's left is to back into school tomorrow and carefully pack up all the boxes.
It'll be a long day tomorrow, but I'll feel very accomplished when I'm done.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Final Halloween Bulletin board post 2014

Okay, so I previously posted a few different entries of Halloween/fall bulletin boards in my school, but I really wanted to share the last of them with you now that they'll be coming down really soon.

This bulletin board belongs to the lovely Kindergarten teacher across the Hall from me. The falling leaves are her AM class, and the pumpkins are here PM class. I love how she incorporates both halves of her class in her board!

This half finished (didn't know it when I took the picture) bulletin board holds the bats the other grade 1 class made. When it was finished it also had bat fact and fiction sentences on it.

I love this bulletin board by our front office. Our kids love PacMan. There are some math games they play in the computer class ivolving Math-man.

I hope from these now FOUR posts on seasonal bulletin boards that you've found an idea for next year.

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