Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fall Leaves Window Project

I love this Fall Project! Have students collect leaves of different sizes, shapes and colors. Arrange them on a sheet of wax paper. Sprinkle crayon shavings, I actually have a special cheese grater just for crayons. Then cover with a top sheet of wax paper and have an adult iron over the top sheet, melting the colors all around the leaves. Looks awesome in a window!

Friday, August 15, 2014

The b d confusion is something that every new reader goes through. Some go through the adjustment quicker than others and some readers may have some developmental or visual issues that really make these letters a challenge. 

When I introduce this lesson, I ask the kiddos what sound they hear at the beginning of "baseball" and "drum".

Then I ask them to imagine that they are stepping up to the plate as a batter. We even stand up and act it out. 

I ask them what they need 1st in order to be ready to hit the ball. Sometimes the response is "a ball". This is great, so we have 2 students come up and act out a batter with a ball thrown to them...without a bat. A wrong answer actually works great here! They laugh and then correct the answer.

We then draw the lower case b and say, 
                 "First the bat: Then the ball"

Next we imagine playing the drums. What does a drummer need first? 
                  "First the drum: Then the sticks"

Draw the drum and sticks.

Then have students hold up their thumb hands facing each other. Trace the left thumb down, saying 1st the bat. Trace the remaining fingers in a circular motion, saying, Then the ball.

Trace the right fingers in a circular motion, saying, 1st the drum. Trace the thumb down, saying Then the sticks

Of course we also put those thumb hands together to make a bed. Point out the b as the first sound in bed, and the d as the ending sound in bed.

I always show them all the tricks, you never know which one will be the best trick for them!

Another one is that lower case b is inside of a capital B.
Lower case d is backwards from the capital D.

Whatever works! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


This is how we start the year off so that every student can feel Safe, Important and Appreciated in our own Caring Classroom!

We start with a group experience meant to start a thoughtful discussion about WHY we have rules.

Then Students brainstorm together to think about WHY we come to school and what RIGHTS we have when we are there.

 Next Students brainstorm together to think about WHAT rules we should have to be sure that everyone can *BE SAFE *LEARN & *BE HAPPY. 

Then we Color-Code the RULES to coordinate with the RIGHTS.

Any time a student breaks a rule, they look up at our poster to identify which RULE was broken or the category it would fit in and the coordinating RIGHT of another that was infringed upon. This has been such a powerful and effective way for students to realize how their behavior, rushing, or words, etc. can affect their classmates. It creates such compassion for others as we review our RIGHTS. We stress how every student deserves these things when they come to school and we all will protect those RIGHTS for each other. 

We do this whenever necessary, and it is hardly ever necessary.

The posters, lessons, group experience and discussion questions can be found in this pack at TpT in Silly Sam Productions.

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