Wednesday, October 22, 2014

All About Bats!

Teaching about Bats is the perfect way to keep the Halloween theme in the classroom without leaving Standards out or offending any students who do not celebrate the holiday.

One of my favorite books to read when doing this unit is Stellaluna.  It has so many lessons to be learned throughout the story.

This is about the time of year we begin introducing the concept of Beginning, Middle, and End of the story.. I use the above graphic organizer to have them write or draw about what happened in the story.

We also use the story in Science to compare bats to birds in our science journals.

During quiet time we watch it on Storyline Online.
Click the picture below to watch!

Of course we have to stick with the theme in our Math Journals.. so there are 5 Batty Prompts in my unit.

We order numbers (this was a picture courtesy of a family using my home school curriculum).

There are 5 total science journal prompts that surround the topic of bats.  When we talk about a new science vocab word, I like to give them the definition and have them illustrate it in their journals.

We can't forget the Vowel Bat song!!!
Click the picture below to watch.

I created a literacy center to go along with the song.
Your students will look at the bat and determine the vowel in the word (middle sound).

We do Batty Beginning Sounds as morning work, and there is also a literacy center for the pocket chart that is similar to this page.

We work on color words and reading fluently all year long.  So, I like to create a mini book to match the theme we are working on.  I use these during my small group time.  We read over them together and independently.  We also highlight color words and sight words.

A counting page: perfect independent math center.

Here are two other fun math center ideas.  
My kiddos love any kind of dice game!!!

Above is a simple cvc activity with the word family -at.

Below is a student made book activity to practice sentence structure, fluency and bat facts.

You can add the book to the adorable bat craft included in the unit, stick them in their book boxes, or send it home.

The bat craft is definitely my favorite!!  Your class can attach it to a piece of construction paper or use them on a bulletin board display.  Either way is super cute!

If you like all these ideas, you can find them in my unit by clicking the picture above.  

Since you stuck around for this crazy long post-- I'll offer this unit to the first 3 people who leave me a comment telling us something you do in your classroom that is halloweenish this time of year.

PS- Don't forget to leave your email. :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

5 Little Pumpkins

I love fall for many reasons, but especially for Pumpkins!!!

It's fun to teach, good in coffee, tastes yummy, means you can wear boots (hehe), and a field trip is just around the corner!

We went to the Pumpkin Patch this weekend, and I was inspired to share a little FREEBIE with you guys!

I have always done the 5 Little Pumpkins Memory book page (shown at the top) but, in order to continue doing it we had to make everything match a standard!

Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems)

The 5 Little Pumpkins is a poem!

So, I would give each child their own poem after we read it as a class.  Then, we would go through it, and the students would echo as I read each line.  This encourages the concept of tracking print.

They LOVE to use the eyeballs as pointers!

Next, I would ask them to find the letter Pp in each sentence & circle it. (I always tried to make sure letter Pp fell on Pumpkin week!)

Then, we would discuss that poems rhyme.  So, we would use different colors and underline the rhyming words.

We would highlight sight words.

Finally, we would read it aloud again.  

Then, make our Five Little Pumpkins craft!

Leave a comment if you snag the Freebie below!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Math Journal Prompts

I'm throwing it back this Thursday to one of my favorite things...

Math Journals!!!!!

P.S.- I have updated this pack by adding 5 more prompts.  There are now 20 in all.  I am gradually going back through and adding a few more prompts to each pack.

Click the picture above to check them out!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's for dinner? (Linky)

I'm linking up with Ms. Fultz for a "What's for Dinner?" linky!
I love this for many reasons.. but one is simply that I love to cook when I have time.. but who has time, definitely not teachers!

One of my favorite things to do is stick something in the crock pot and forget about it... well, this yummy recipe is delicious and can do just that!

Lemon Basil Meatballs

1 bag of home-style meatballs
1 lemon, juiced
1 small onion, wedged
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken stock
4 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup fresh parsley, snipped fine
1/2 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper

Penne Pasta Noodles (cook separate)
Parmigiana Cheese (top with this optional)

Combine all the ingredients (except the pasta and parmigiana) listed above and stick it in the crockpot on low for 2-3 hours.  You can even prepare this ahead of time and stick it in the freezer!

Be sure to check out Ms. Fultz yummy pizza casserole recipe!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

25 Ways to Teach Sight Words!

I'm going to share with you some fun and engaging ways to teach sight words.  I mentioned in this post, that I LOVE teaching sight words!!  There are numerous reasons, but one of them is the essential fact that learning sight words is just a hop, skip and a jump away from reading fluently!

Edward William Dolch, in 1948, created a list of words that he believed to be essential for all students to learn first! Many teachers have found this to be true.  Unfortunately, not all words can be sounded it.. so confusing!  But, when you teach your kiddos sight words, and the simplicity of recognizing them by sight, they stand a better chance at becoming fluent readers!

Here are 25 Ways to Teach Sight Words:

1. Word of the Day

Consider a word of the day or week.  Students can write a sentence with the word and add it to the class chart before, during a lesson or even as an exit ticket.

2. Sight Word Search

These Kindergarten Sight Word Searches are a great review of the sight words.  You can find these sight word searches here.

3.  Sight Word Songs

Click the picture to watch!
My students LOVED these!!!

4.  Sight Word Practice Pages

I blogged about these here.

5.  Sight Word Make a Match on Starfall

This can be played individually on the computer, on an ipad, or whole group with an interactive board.

6.  Use a doodle sketch or whatever you call these... 

These would be perfect to review sight words during small group time.  Anything that keeps your students engaged and is hands on is perfect for reviewing sight words.

7.  Spelling Practice on

This is a fun game to practice whole group, small group or individually with a smart board, computer or ipad.

8.  Another fun interactive way to ask your students how to spell a word.  This game is also on

9.  Playdoh Sight Words

This photo came from Mrs. Bremer's Class blog.  She found a freebie to use for making sight words out of play doh. Fun!!

10.  Sight Word Necklace

This idea came from Kinder by Kim.  She says to wear a sight word necklace and as your kiddos enter the room they have to tell you the sight word.  Great idea!

11. Literacy Centers

There are so many fun ways to incorporate sight words into literacy centers.  This activity is in my Fall/Halloween Math & Literacy Centers.

12.  Interactive Sight Word Sentences

If you have an interactive board-- this is one of the easiest centers to make!  I would simply insert a picture per page, and separately type up the words in the sentence.  Then, I made sure to mix them up and save the entire flipchart.

13. Sight Word Sentence Building Pages

This particular page is from my Apple Unit.

14. Simple Sight Word Books

I LOVED making these books!  The student had to put the sentence in the correct order, match the picture, then read it to a few friends, to me or silently.

15. iPad Sight Word Games and Resources

There are so many iPad sight word games.  Just try googling it and see what happens!!!

15.  Morning Messages

Before each reading lesson, we always had a morning message.  I would pick a few students to come to the board and circle/underline some of the sight words that were found in the sentence.

16.  Using Sight Words with Crafts

PS- I cannot for the life of me remember where this idea came from.. if it was you, feel free to comment below!

17.  Tree Maps

Tree Maps help teach your students/child how to write a paragraph.  It all starts with the sight words.  "Bats can fly.  Bats have wings.  Bats are creepy!"

18. Flashcards

Let's not forget flash cards!  Repetition is key.. so there is nothing wrong with bringing these bad boys out here and there!

19.  Sight Word Songs to Review a lot of Words

Click the picture to watch!

20.  Homework Checklist of all Sight Words to Parents

This comes from my Read like a Rockstar Pack.

21.  Sensory Bin

This would be so much fun for building sight words.  Stick a little recording sheet at the center and call it common core (haha).

22. Sight Word Sticker Books

This was another idea that came from Mrs. Bremer's Kindergarten blog.  Give them a sticker for each word they can read.  Over time they will be able to fill the entire book!

23.  Water Color Sight Words

This comes from Sharing Kindergarten.  Kids love to paint, so this center is a no brainer for student engagement.  What a fun center!!!

24.  Magnetic Letters

We can't forget those magnetic letters!
This is a perfect hands on activity for those kinesthetic learners.

25.  Pinterest

Lastly, I almost always have to mention Pinterest.. I am such a visual person and it helps me to get ideas, inspiration, tips, tricks, etc.. with the millions of pictures. I just started a board for Sight Words.  Be sure to follow it!

I hope you found some great ideas to implement into your own classroom.  Be sure to check out my newest sight word unit below!

Thanks for stopping by!