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Easy Peasy Interactive Word Walls

Hey Peeps - Traci from Dragonflies in First Here! Today I am sharing an idea I posted a couple years ago over on my site about Easy Peasy 
I had had a love-hate relationship with word walls for a very long time. I've always believed they were important, but faced a few word wall obstacles that made them a bit tough.

But after years of trials and changes - I have a system that works and I LOVE it!

Here's a run down on how I side-step those obstacles.

After trying a variety of locations, I discovered the best place is one that is easy for me to reach, easy for the kids to reach and easily seen. 

I use my cabinet doors.
Word wall letter labels shown here from Classroom Essentials Bundle. Sight word cards shown here from Homework Time.

I have found the best way to stick things to walls and cabinets (other than my beloved business card magnets - THOSE are amazing!) is the fabulous blue Fun-Tak! 

It sticks great AND allows things to be easily moved and removed. It hasn't left any residue on any of the surfaces I've used it on. I use it to stick up posters and cards to my walls, cabinets and even my white boards. It is reusable, so when I remove it from the back of something, I save it in a ball stuck inside my desk drawer for quick access. It isn't sticky or gummy. I seriously LOVE this stuff! You only need a little and those cards stay in place ALL YEAR!

Keeping ALL of the words we discuss/learn/assign (be it sight, high-frequency, or vocabulary) on the word wall all year lessens it's effectiveness.

After several weeks, I take down a few of the words I believe the kids have probably mastered.

We have a little spelling "test". I let the kiddos know that this is just for me and I won't be grading it. I have them number a paper that I have folded to make numbering with adequate space between columns easy for them. Then I ask them to spell the words I've taken off the wall.

Generally, most of the kids get them all right. But I do note the ones that are missed and who missed them. If the same word has been misspelled by more than 3 out of my 30 students I leave the word on the wall. Otherwise, I work with those kiddos to help them master the word and leave it off the wall.

"Checking in" periodically and removing words off the wall helps keep the chaos off the space and makes it easier for the kiddos to find the words they need. The word TAKE was an issue for 3 of my kiddos on this one, so the four of us had another little lesson on silent e.  ;)

Also, doing this cuts down on the time it takes to do some of our word wall interacting activities.

Each morning we practice our words. One of the students has the job of "pointer". That kiddo grabs the pointer from the cabinet, then points to the words as the rest of the class reads them. It's the pointer's job to go VERY fast and it's the kiddos job to keep up. They love the race. 

After they do all the words as a class, the pointer selects a student to read the words on their own. During this time, the class offers support as needed.

A child's stick is selected from the "blank" cup. If they read the words with no more than 2 errors, their stick is moved to the "Passed" cup. If not, it just goes back so they have an opportunity to be chosen again. This is a quick way for me to assess who has it and who doesn't.

The kiddos also LOVE to "read the wall" during independent word work. They are permitted to take turns pointing to the words. The only rule is that they must not use the name sticks during this time.

Each week I expose my kids to 9 more words to learn. Some are strictly sight words (can't be sounded out, don't follow the rules) and others are high-frequency words (introduced in order of frequency and often phonetic in nature). These words are part of their homework, and 4 of them are also part of their weekly spelling.

We practice these words in our core curriculum during the same time as well as our Morning Wake-Up and Daily Literacy Practice - basically everything that is part of our daily routine. After that week of introduction, the words are added to the word wall. The kids remember having learned them, so when they are searching for how to spell them, the wall serves as a perfect spelling dictionary.

So there you have it - a useful, forever changing word wall. Like I said, easy-peasy!

I hope this helps if you also struggle with a love-hate relationship with word walls. Moreover, I hope it helps to bring some simplicity into your teacher life!

Stop over and visit me at Dragonflies in First for more organization and simplification tips!

Bear Math Centers & Printables

Hi Everyone! This is Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Bears are one of my favorite units to teach! Kids love learning about the different kinds of bears and the science facts. And, we ALL love the cuteness of a teddy bear! 

I used to teach a bear unit in January because it was a great time to talk about Polar Bears.
 But, one year I moved my bear unit to April. It fits in a little better with my schedule. 
{Not that I am against a January Bear Unit too! HA!}

I wanted to share an old product that I have updated and doubled in size recently. 

So, we are slap in the middle of a fun bear unit now in my classroom. And, these math centers are part of our weekly center rotations,
We started the centers last week and they will flow over into this week too.
There are 12 different center options in my Bear Math Centers unit so there was plenty for me to choose from.
Here is a little glimpse of the math centers included...
And, also included are 15 print and go math printables. That are just perfect for morning work, early finishers or homework. Or, anywhere else you want to squeeze them in.
If you are interested in seeing more you can click the link below.

Weather Writing Crafts and Resources

Hello Friends,

This is Cindy from Kinderkay Love Those Kinders. In kindergarten, we work on weather concepts all year, but I really LOVE concentrating on weather in the spring for many reasons... One reason is that I live in Central Illinois and we can get every kind of weather you can think of in the spring! One day it is 70 degrees and two days later, we are wearing our winter coats. It's also a great time to observe clouds because they are always changing, too! When we begin talking about weather, we look at real photos of weather, take a walk outside to look for clouds and weather related changes like branches blown off trees, footprints in the mud, and buds growing on bushes and flower stems. Because my kinders are so much more independent and able to write in the spring, it is the perfect time to do a few cute writing activities that are related to weather AND..... it covers both a literacy goal and a science goal! A win-win!

After we do a few nature walks, I like to have my kiddos create a "Weather Field Guide". I show them different types of guides (They know that a field guide is a non-fiction book that gives information) and they do this short half-sized Weather booklet. It includes types of weather as well as types of clouds.

After they create their field guide, we use it to take another nature walk. We look at the clouds and decide what kind of weather we are seeing.

I read several weather books to them and we discuss the types of weather found in each book. We also discuss what we can do in different types of weather.

This is also the time of year when we talk about nouns and the words that describe them - adjectives. Describing weather is a perfect way to learn about adjectives. Here is our list... It's not perfect, but a pretty good first attempt!

By this time, they are ready to write about weather. They draw a picture of their favorite kind of weather and what they enjoy doing in that weather. Then they write a few sentences about it. It was easier for them to equate weather to the seasons, so most of them wrote about their favorite season; which was fine with me. If you would like this writing activity, click HERE.
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After they do their writing, they are ready to create their weather kid. The first thing they do is trace a person shape upon white paper and use crayons to color their face and hair. (I have them use crayons to color their faces because I do not like the look of painted faces. That's just me, though!)  After their face is colored, they use paints to create the clothes that they would wear in that particular type of weather.

Most of my kiddos chose sunny, summer weather as their favorite....

but there were a few spring, fall, and winter fans.....

So.... that's just a few activities that you can do if you are studying weather. There are TONS of links and activities that you can do to make your weather study a STEM project. This is simply a fun way to reinforce or introduce your present weather unit. If you are interested in creating my weather field guide, you can find it by clicking the image below....

Julie, from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten has some really cute weather ideas on her blog... Here are a few photos. To go to her blog, click the images... I love these little meteorologists!

If you are looking for resources for a little older child, Rachel, from The Tattooed Teacher, has an awesome close reading, comprehension and foldable one.....

 So, that's it for now, my friends.... Happy Spring!

Until next time...

Literacy Picnic In the Classroom!

Hello!  It's Reagan from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!  I hope I can help inspire some FUN with this post on having a picnic in the classroom!

When spring fever hits, I like to bring out what I secretly call "Disneyland Centers"  I amp up the fun and keep my students engaged and excited about learning!  They won't dare misbehave because they won't want to miss out on the fun!  Grab some free printable lessons in this post and have yourself a literacy picnic too!

Here's a peek into my literacy picnic basket!  {Thank you dollar store!} I only spent $8 on a few little props and we feel like we are in the park at Summer time!
We made an anchor chart for our ketchup words
Then we took it a step further and learned a new literacy center!
This one is also on the menu...
I may have heard squeals when I introduced this one.  {Okay the squeals were mine}  I love chip clips anyway, but now the kids get to enjoy them too! It's the simple things in life...
My boys were all over being grill king!
And what picnic is complete without some sentence skewers?
We will also be making sight word sandwiches.  I had this one already, but I had made each sandwich piece with construction paper and hand written the words.  I am thrilled to have given it a make-over!
No picnic this delicious is without ants.  Thankfully the kids were happy to have them along!
We even matched each one up with a cookie!
We decided to cool down with some compound cool aid!  So refreshing!
The kids can't get enough of this one! That pitcher is always being emptied!

For a post on the math centers click HERE

For a math Picnic too check out my Picnic Pals Math Centers

Bundle of math and literacy together