Monday, May 18, 2015

Character Analysis for Spring

A few months ago, I blogged about teaching character analysis. It's one of my favorite reading comprehension skills to teach. I think it's one of the easiest ways to get our kids to dig deeper and start thinking about the character. Usually kids don't have a hard time making a judgement about a character. It's only natural, right? That boy was mean or He was nice to his mom, etc. The harder part is making them prove their statements about characters. I like to believe that there isn't just one right answer when we are analyzing characters. I tell my students as long as you can back up your opinion, I'll take it! We are SO lucky to be surrounded by amazing literature to teach this concept. Pick up any good book and you can usually find something to model this concept. But let's face it, sometimes you want more practice that is a little more accessible to a group of students and a little quicker than a long story. (Don't get me wrong, NOTHING can replace a good book when teaching comprehension. This is just a follow-up/extension of that.) I made some short stories for winter that focused character analysis skills. I meant to make fall and spring right after that, but it took me a while... :) 

This pack includes 24 short stories written in two different formats, and each with two levels of reading difficulty. You can choose the story card format:

Or printable version:

Here is how you use the cards:

There is also a spinner and task cards to use with these cards or ANY book that you are reading as a class, during guided reading groups, or for a partner activity.

I also included graphic organizers that you can use for a read aloud or guided reading groups. 

There is so much you can do with character analysis and each graphic organizer takes a different angle. (I'll be blogging again about just using the graphic organizers.) 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Teacher Appreciation Sale: Teacher Must-Haves

Here are some products to pick up during this big sale! These are a few "must-haves" in my classroom. 

Yep, sometimes you just need some ready-to-go printables. These are engaging printables to use for seat work, reinforcing concepts and skills, extra practice, sub tub, and homework. Plenty of activities!

My literacy centers are my babies. I know, that sounds so silly. But I loooove these and literally developed these over maaaaany years. You reap the benefits of my mistakes and trial and error over the years. I finally got it right and cannot live without these. So yes, they are my babies. :)

Want to get your grading more consistent and clear? Yep, you need rubrics my friend. 

The top three are reading passages. Seriously 400 pages worth of reading passages for the entire year. Graphic organizers to with each story. Varying levels. You will get plenty of use of that! The top right is my writing pack for the year. The year. Yep, the year. TONS of activities with rubrics and graphic organizers. The bottom sets are all printable but super interactive. Making inferences, visualizing,  and sequences practice. 

Look no further for phonics practice. Tons of phonics activities! These are packed with hands-on AND printable activities. 

I'm linking up with some of my favorite bloggers! Click on the picture below to see some of their amazing products for sale AND to get tons of links to other teachers with sales going on. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Super Sentence Mega Pack

One of the first literacy centers that I made when I started teaching first grade was the Super Sentence  center. It was not so cute back then though. I think I used a small extra piece of poster board I had laying around to make the board. I drew rectangles in different colors to go with the comic sans-typed   phrases glued onto colored contraction paper. Did I mention that the cutting wasn't straight at all? I should look through my old pictures to show you the beauty. :) It's the perfect example of me just keeping it real. Don't you love to see classroom that aren't perfect- far from it? You would love my Super Sentence circa 2006 then. Ha! Well, I've learned a thing or two since then. This has been part of my literacy center menus but I really needed to update each with clip art and consistence box sizes. I was asked a looong time ago to make a pack filled with just Super Sentences and I meant to get this done way back then. I'm really happy to have this done now! :) I added a bunch that are not in the monthly literacy menus. 

Here's how it works:

(There are a few more that aren't pictured here too!)

For each set, there are adjectives, subjects, "where" cards, "when" cards, and verb/action cards. Students match the colors to make sentences. 

Some boards have the adverb cards like the one above. Others have the "when" cards like the one below. There are also boards with just the subject, verb, and "where" cards. 

Each set has a student sheet:

Here are the different sets that are included:

I store these using snack size zip lock plastic bags and plastic page  protectors. 

These are perfect for literacy centers, word work, and small group or partner activities. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

RTI: ink, ank, unk, onk Phonics Activities

I've been working on the units -ink and -ank with my first graders lately. Earlier in the year, I was working on it with one of my 2nd grade groups.  I'm telling you, that ink and ank can be a doozy. I started certain parts of this pack last year, then added some in the fall when I was using it with my 2nd graders, then finished it last week when I was working with my 1st grade group. I have about 3 other phonics intervention packs half done, similar to this one. I love to have a variety of activities to choose from. Some activities are quick and simple, others are more involved and hands-on. All are  great practice for our little readers! I use some of the these activities to introduce the -ink, -ank, -unk, and -onk word families. Others are used as a good ol' review. You will not use all of these activities at once, but it's nice to have some extra activities to choose from in your back pocket. :)

I like to encourage my kids to "chunk" through words. I teach them to see -ink and -ank as a word family since it does not follow the "rules" really. 

Here, we used white board pens to "highlight" the word family. They read the word family then add in the initial sound(s) and blend the words. 
Here, they choose the correct initial sound(s) for each word ending. 

Each student chooses word endings for each box. Then they read it to the group.

I included word cards with colored backgrounds and word cards with no color. There are also picture cards. 

I use this activity the most. This is one of the first activities I use. We build words with the -ink and -ank and -unk word families using the regular word tiles.

Then I add in these green cards to show that these as a unit. I build words and they read them and then they build words that I call out. I include real and nonsense words.  

Sometimes you just need a good game.  

This one can be done independently:

If you want to get them moving, have a word hunt:

To practice writing these words in context, I gave them these picture prompts.