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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

FREE online learning games, stories, and activities

Here's a site that will keep you busy! http://www.meddybemps.com/ is chock full of resources, developmentally appropriate computer games (sorted by skill!), picture prompts for Writer's Workshop, parent information, etc.
Happy Surfing!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Literacy Centers Ordered by Phonological Awareness Development

Have you ever wanted to order your literacy activities according to how a child's phonological awareness develops? Do you have a student who is struggling and you want to provide some independent practice on remedial skills? Do you have a student who is ready for the next step, but you're not quite sure what that is?

The Florida Center for Reading Research has done all the hard work for you! This website provides teachers with DVD training that you can save to your computer as well as a whole truckload of print and use activities for each stage of phonological awareness- FREE! Some of the downloads are rather large, so be patient. Believe me, it will pay off big time for you in the end!

Click here for tons of free literacy centers:  http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/SCAindex.shtm

Happy Learning!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Using The Fab Four to Boost Comprehension during Read-Alouds

I just finished an article on IRA regarding reading comprehension.
The article is titled: Reciprocal Teaching: The Reading Super Vitamin: Guidelines and TOP 5 Strategies for Dramatically Boosting Comprehension by Lori Oczkus

It broke down the strategies for boosting comprehension skills into The Fab Four. This is a set of strategies much like the Reading Strategies that kiddos can refer to and use during their reading. I made a visual aid for The Fab Four that includes a brief explanation of each strategy and examples of how you can implement them. Of course, use mine or make it better-be sure to let me know so I can use yours! :P

Happy Comprehending!


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Finding a Job... Again

Being a Navy wife has a lot of perks. I get to travel to far off, exotic places. I get to experience new cultures and a wide range of teaching populations. I get to try yummy food! I get to change locations and try something new every few years. However, that is also the main drawback to being a Navy wife.
It's difficult to establish a reputation, continue my Professional Development, and keep my certifications and licenses current while I am out of the area. Oh, the luxury of being in the same classroom year after year and decorate it as my own. (sigh) . You go WHERE the Navy tells you WHEN the Navy tells you. That is often in the middle of February! Grrrr....
This makes it difficult to get a job. I am constantly updating my resume, requesting transcripts to be sent to potential employers, tweaking my teaching portfolio, copying, scanning, and sending my credentials to school district offices, etc. I have been pretty good about scanning all important documents to my computer so that I would at least have a copy of it if (Heaven forbid) the movers lose my portfolio, or it gets damaged along the way. Now, there is a place I can keep these documents online in Portfolio format! FREE!!!
Check out http://www.portfoliogen.com/. You can upload important documents, pictures, etc. onto your very own Portfolio Web Page. I'm excited to be able to include this in my Letter of Introduction and applications for employment. Uber impressive, don't ya think? ;)

Happy Webpaging!


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Center Ideas, Writer's Workshop and Reader's Workshop, Resources

Here's a treasure trove of ideas for centers, Writer's and Reader's Workshop, and printable task cards for independent work, etc. It's a Second Grade website, so you may have to tweak some of the activities for younger kiddos, but what a great springboard for ideas! I'm thinking of making a separate Sight Word Center solely based on her spelling center ideas. It will be a hybrid of her ideas for differentiated spelling word lists using Rainbow Words that I've customized to fit my teaching order instead. If you aren't familiar with Rainbow Words, click here: www.rainbowwords.com. Whew!
I love the task card ideas for fostering independence. Check out www.ourclassweb.com  now!

Happy Saturday!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Reader's Workshop

Okay, I'm going a little out of my grade level for this one, but this website has some truly great resources for Reader's Workshop that I think can be easily adapted for younger groups or used for my "bigger kid" teacher friends. Check out http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bnewingham/myweb3

for posters, organization and management ideas, assessment forms and all sorts of information that makes Reader's Workshop not so overwhelming! I came away from this site with the thought that maybe I CAN do Reader's Workshop with itty-bitties!

Here's a neat website to check out to encourage your kiddos to complete the Writing Process. What a great keepsake! http://www.studentpublishing.com/ Oh, and did I mention? FREE! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Free Printables

Check out Lakeshore Learning for free printables and lesson plans. I especially liked the Summer Reading letter and Book List suggestions by grade level, the downloadable catalog that correlates with Standards of Learning sorted by State, and some of the printables. Many are just worksheets, but there were some good ones that can be turned into games!  Just click on the link and find the tab at the top of the page for Free Printables. If you click on the left side of the page, you can "Favorite" cute 
e-cards and some really nice awards/birthday cards. Happy Browsing!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sudoku for Kids and Skip Counting Mazes

I just finished surfing http://www.printactivities.com/. It has sudoku games for kids- over 6 levels! starting with super easy- and Car Trip Bingo. I love finding stuff I can tell parents about to make their lives a little easier.

Also, check out the skip counting mazes. You find your way through the maze by following the numbers counting by 1's, 5's, ect. Laminate and use with dry erase markers! These make a great exercise for fine motor control as well as spatial reasoning. I am a sucker for spatial reasoning activities seeing as I lack it completely! My DH will totally back me up on that. ;)

Slow Going

Okay, so I'm not sure how I want to do this yet, but I do have stuff to share. :) I'm not in the classroom this year :( and I miss it terribly! I am a Home Executive currently, but that only takes me to around noon. :/ So, what do I do in my spare time? Eat bonbons and watch soaps? Nah, I surf the web looking for great teacher sites and free stuff! :D Which brings me to today's post.

Have you heard of www.filefolderfun.com?  It's a site that provides file folder games for ages 3-Grade 3. You can search by grade level or subject. Some games cost (Boo!), but there are some really good free ones, too (Yay!). There's one game in particular that inspired me today.

In the Preschool Section is a game titled "Cupcake Count". It's designed as a file folder game, but I've got a different idea. I'm planning to glue half of the cupcakes to cute little birthday themed plates and attach a velcro dot for the "answer cupcakes" to be placed. I will store the game in a bakery box (you know, the ones with the clear window on the top). I may laminate the box, just so it's more sturdy. An ounce of prevention... :)

I think I will place this game in the Dramatic Play center. What a great way to incorporate math in the Dramatic Play center, right?! Maybe someday I will attach a picture of the game (once I figure out how and actually get it made) so you can see what I mean. Until then, check out the site and let me know if you have a different idea for one of the games. :) Happy Surfing!