Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Siesta Under the Sombrero!

Here's a quick and fun craft just right for Cinco de Mayo!

Students can make their own sombrero hat/headbands.  You can find the file in my TpT store: {Siesta Under the Sombrero}

All you need is creative kiddos, colorful crayons, colored pencils, or markers, a sentence strip cut in half lengthwise, and some tape or glue.  

Students will color the sombrero template with bright colors. 
After students cut out the sombrero, you can fit a headband to your student's head. (Manilla sentence strips work great for this!)
Attach the sombrero to the headband using glue or tape.
Finally, enjoy during your Cinco de Mayo celebration or fiesta! Ole!

You can find the template and directions in my TpT store, also included in the file, is a nonsense word fluency game with a Cinco de Mayo theme.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

May Busy Work Pack for First Grade

I know some of you have the end of the year in sight.  Here in upstate New York, we finish up on June 21st this year.  Although I have the "number of days left" in my mind, it's still a little far off to begin the "actual countdown".  ☺

My latest Busy Work pack has just been loaded to TpT.  My first graders love the activities in the busy work packs, and have even started to ask: "Ms. Holk, are you gonna DIBEL now so we can do Busy Work?" LOL  Seriously! I don't feel guilty about giving them "Busy Work" since I have worked the CCSS into quite a few of the pages.  So, without further ado, here are some previews of my May Busy Work Pack for First Graders:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Coming soon....Teacher appreciation week at the Teaching Channel

Everyone loves a prize or two!  Register with the Teaching Channel to be entered to win prizes during Teacher Appreciation Week!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Teaching Channel

It's so fun to be able to spy on teachers at your grade level, and see the techniques and strategies they use to make learning happen with their students.  I find the videos on the Teaching Channel to be very informative.  This 1st grade teacher is doing a "counting collections" math activity, and hitting the common core standard of finding ten more and ten less.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I won't quit...

If you are passionate about teaching, and you feel your students deserve the best, and not a "one-size-fits-all-test", then you should check out Christine McCartney's blog.  (And...she's from Newburgh, New York, just across the river from me!)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Exit Slips in the Primary Classroom

If you're not familiar with the Teaching Channel, I strongly encourage you to pop over and check out the variety of classroom videos offered there.  I have found so many of the videos to be informative on many topics, and most recently on assessment.  As professional teachers, we know all about assessment, we also have strong opinions about assessment.  This post will not touch on "high stakes" testing, which effects so many of us in these times of strong teacher accountability and APPR.  Rather, this post will focus on formative assessment, which I find to be the most useful.  Formative assessment is the ongoing type of assessment that "informs instruction".  This year, in my first grade classroom, I started using exit tickets at the end of my math block as a form of formative assessment.  My math block runs something like this: when I am introducing a new concept or skill, I will spend 20-30 minutes teaching the concept.  Then I will assign math stations and math small groups for the remaining 30-40 minutes.  I meet with a small group of students while the remaining students work in partner groups on a math station activity.  At the end of math block we spend about 10 minutes sharing what we worked on in our partner groups.  This sharing time has become a sacred aspect of both my literacy stations and my math stations, and my students cannot wait to share after stations.  After students have had a chance to share, I pass out the exit slip, which I call "the ticket out of math".  Students must complete the exit slip independently.  For first grade, my exit slips are just a half sheet of paper, and typically have one or two questions which relate to the skill I have focused on for the whole group lesson.  At the bottom of the exit slip students have a chance to evaluate themselves on how they worked during their station partner activity time.  I don't use exit slips every single day, I typically use them for the first 2-3 days after I have introduced a new concept.  These exit slips are very informative.  I can easily see who "gets it" and who really doesn't understand the concept.  Here are a few exit slips I have used, covering a couple of different topics.  Do you use exit slips in your primary classroom?