Pumpkin Symmetry

It's a Saturday, and I'm up at 6:00... WHY?!? do you ask??? Well...because my Little Miss B has learned to climb out of her crib....yea...fun times. Now she gets out as soon as she wakes up, instead of hanging out in the crib until I'm ready to come get her out.

Oh well...I guess it gives me time to blog before A wakes up..lol

Well, I'm so super busy in my class that I am really having a hard time finding the time to take pictures...

Yesterday, we were supposed to do our Pumpkin Day, but one of the kids who donated one of the pumpkins was out, so I postponed our Pumpkin Day so that he could be with us....so, I just kind of made up our day as we went....and sometimes, the activities I do on a whim like that work out better than what I had planned...I love when that happens!

Pumpkin symmetry was so fun!! We talked about symmetry, practiced a little on other shapes...and then I brought out the paint!

I had them fold the paper in half first, and then I would come around put paint on the paper....

(sorry, for the blurry picture, not sure how I didn't see that before...)

Then, then had to "fold and smoosh" - my technical terminology...lol...
Some of the paint was liquidy and it WOULD transfer to to the other side and spread around...but some of the paint wasn't, so I had to take a paint brush and paint a very thick coat on one side of the paper, and then they folded the paper and transferred it to the other side.

Then, VOILA! A symmetrical pumpkin! They loved it!!

Then, they painted a stem on it. (which makes it NOT symmetrical anymore, I realize, but the pumpkin itself is still, at least)

we hung them all up to dry, and they're still there,because I didn't have the time at the end of the day to take them down...lol 

It really was perfect because we talked about how no two pumpkins are the same... (I like the one that looks like he is a bear with a Mohawk! lol) We read Spookly Square Pumpkin, and they talked about that, and one of my kids even said "JUST like in Spookly!!"

So, there ya have it - a spur of the moment activity that worked out beautifully! I just LOVE when the happens!


Pumpkins, Bats, and Endings

I've been super busy getting my house ready for my mom to come visit! Yay!! I've also been decorating a little bit for Halloween....

I finally made myself do the Boo! pumpkin craft that's all over pinterest.... I pinned it HERE over a year ago...probably 2 years ago now.  Sp I busted out my trusty cameo and black vinyl and got to work...

Here's the final product...

I'm so glad I waited to do it - because I'm seriously obsessed with the new KG font - Melonheadz!

I also did a little decorating...

Not much to it...but it's something at least...

And we also baked one of my favorite can of pumpkin recipes!

Seriously - one can of pumpkin puree, one box of cake mix (chocolate or spice cake)...mix and bake! I did a post on it last year, check it out HERE.

Now...for school planning - not NEARLY as fun, but hey, it's gotta get done.... 

Last night, I spent some time printing, laminating, and cutting out my newest phonics pack...

We're going to be doing some changing Y to I skills next week, so I made a little diddy....

In this packet there are:

-Teacher Notes
-Kid-Friendly poster to explain the rule
-16 word cards WITH the suffix
-24 word cards WITHOUT the suffix, making the students sort and figure out how to add -es to the end of the word.
-3 different word sorts: whole group, independent/center work, and correct/not correct words - with writing extension 
-Read the Room - different varieties
- ABC order
-pyramid words
-word configuration
-a word search

The skill in this pack is only adding -s or -es to words that end in Y, not -ed or -ing. 

Check it out at my TpT store

And last week, we've moved from doing Spiders to doing Bats....We started it on Thursday, I had my sub do more of it on Friday, and I'll be continuing it this week.

I've actually spent some time updating my Bat Literacy unit...


an antonyms center - 3 different options - matching, concentration, or read the room. I have also included a poster for defining antonyms to put at the center.

a parts of speech center - with the option to do nouns and verbs or nouns, verbs, and adjectives, with two different types of recording sheets to fit your students' needs. I have also included a poster for defining nouns, verbs, and adjectives to put at the center.

a homophones center - 3 different options - matching, concentration, or read the room, with a recording sheet and the option to illustrate a pair of homophones. I have also included a poster for defining homophones to put at the center.

Spelling Activity with a die

Book Review

Learning about bats:

-Vocabulary and Word Bank Cards
-Vocabulary fold-a-book
-circle map
-tree map
-Venn-Diagram to compare birds and bats with whole group header cards and phrase cards for the students to use - and two different recording sheets to fit your students' needs
-Venn-Diagram to compare birds and humans with whole group header cards and phrase cards for the students to use - and two different recording sheets to fit your students' needs
-Write about it, using the Venn-diagram
-label a bat - two different versions
-word bank
-"I Know About Bats" writing and craft idea (tracers included)

For Stellaluna:

-Somebody Wanted But So (SWBS) - two different version
-"Who is Stellaluna" bubble map
-"Who is Stellaluna" writing

I've added about 35 pages to the pack from its original creation, so if you've already bought it, make sure you go back to TpT, TN, or Shop on the Blog to download it again!

Now, if you've made it all the way to the end of this post, good for you! I'm giving away a Bat unit! Comment below on what my husband and I could dress up for to go to the Halloween party - the theme is famous partners...not necessarily husband and wife, but it could be partners too! Leave your email address and I'll pick one Monday night!


Peer to Peer Fluency

At my school, we do monthly Oral Reading Fluency "assessments." Do you guys do monthly ORFs??  I actually kind of like them. they only take a minute, because you're only assessing their rate of fluency, and then that way you have a quick look at who still needs help and who has skyrocketed! We use Dibels, which comes from University of Oregon. Check them out {HERE} - you might want to use them even if you don't Dibels. BUT, since we use those passages as our assessments, I like to have weekly fluency passages. 

Now, at our school, we do Peer to Peer Fluency. I'm not sure if it's a "known" thing, or our county thing...or just our school thing...I just know that what WE do...
 It's where they have a partner listen to them read, and then mark the words they read incorrectly, or couldn't say, and then put a mark where they stopped reading. 

Here's an example of what it looks like..

This person only got one word wrong, and the listener marked where they stopped reading with a bracket.

THEN, they tell me where their partner stopped, I find the place on the "teacher" one (which has the sentences numbered with the number of words already...lol) and I mark it on the fluency chart...Then they switch roles and do it for another minute. They do the same passage all week long...so you can see their progress...and so they can see that they more they read, the better they get!

Here are few examples...

(they had given us a form, but I chose to "pretty" it up because it was just TOO boring for me..lol. I couldn't help it...and actually, it wasn't my idea. It was my teaching neighbor and she doesn't EVER care what anything looks like. Well...until I came along. She said I have ruined her for life..ha!)
Even though this person didn't have any errors, he can see that his WPM is improving, which is also good!

This one shows great improvement!

Now, my teaching neighbor does it whole group. But I like doing it in my small groups...that way I can kind of pay attention to how they are reading and kind of eaves drop on their reading. I can't really do that when I do it whole group. BUT what works for me doesn't always work for you and what works for you may not work for me, right!? So you do what works for you!

Here they are in action...

And I just have my timer that I use to tell them to stop or go.

Each week, we also use their "self-reflection" sheet... It really showed me when we first started doing this that they had NO idea what the different components to reading were.

To get my Peer to Peer chart and the self reflection freebie sheet, click HERE.

Now...what do I use for my peer to peer fluency time???

One of my go-to resources for my 1-minute Peer to Peer is Jen Jones' Lexiled Fluency passages...I just love that she's done all the hard work for me! The fact that they're lexiled is perfect because I can easily differentiate...her pack comes with a way to graph fluency rate as well!

Another one I really like to use is the phonics sentence fluency that Jen Jones has. I can definitely differentiate with that pack too, allowing my struggling kids to work on phonics skills that they are at. 

I also really like to use Christina's sight word fluency packs.  This way I can also use whatever level of sight words they need. I do a quick assessment every so often of the Fry's first 300 sight words on my students, and I go from there! That's why I love her sight word packs....
I've been using them for a while now, and I love them.

So, I hope that was helpful for you?? Did you get SOMETHING out of it?! It's one my favorite things of  "data" to bring to our RTI meetings too...lol...I guess that's good, right?!


Anniversary Trip

Today is our anniversary!! 5 years - woo!!

Come on over to my Splash of Life blog to read all about our day!


Visual plans - spiders, phonics, centers, and updates!

Soooo.....last week, I didn't really get through ANY of my plans I had because I was testing ALL. WEEK. LONG. I was giving our District's reading test, which took about 3 sessions of about 45 minutes...there goes all of my reading block. I was giving the math test. And while the actual test itself doesn't take long, there is a one-on-one part to it and THAT takes FOR.EV.ER! Sooo... some of what I had planned last week is showing up again on this week's plans. That's ok. With the week that I've had, I haven't really had time to plan...or create anything new really....so  am thankful for being able to find so many wonderful resources from so many talented people....

I know...I haven't posted about how I do my peer to peer fluency yet, but I've got he post HALF written...lol. And also in small groups, I'm revisiting silent e, using decodable books from Reading A to Z... the week I taught that in class, I only had like 3 days to teach it. SO, I'm revisiting it in my small groups.
I'm also probably going to use some of Megan's Magic E pack, and Jen Jones' nonsense fluency pack for silent e.

This week, we're working with suffixes again, but this time we're doubling the consonant...and soon we'll be changing the base word completely. 

For my math centers, I'm excited to have Jamie come to my rescue...and I'm still using my Deck of Cards activities - the kids just have a ball with them!

I've updated and added more activities to my spider packs! Make sure you go back and download them again if you've already purchased them!

I'm really excited to start in our Bat unit!! I haven't made any changes to this pack.....yet...lol. But each year I do a theme, I always get more/new ideas, so make sure you get the pack now, then if I do update it you can download the updated version for free!

Also....I had a sweet email from  a follower with some suggestions to add to my Numbers Every Day pack - and I really liked the ideas, so I added them to my pack!

Check out {THIS}post to see how I use these folders.

Also, don't forget TpT's impromptu sale right now - and my whole store is on sale too!

Ok...I THINK that's it...I still have so much to catch up on...but I didn't want to keep adding to the post. lol. Today is sunshiney day, so I think the girls and I are headed to the beach!! 


Apples, apples, everywhere!

Last week was apple week....or was it the week before?? I don't know. lol. I can't keep track. I just know that I am WAY late posting about it!

BUT, here we go! A day late and a dollar short, of course....

Those are all the goodies I made...and I made homemade apple butter...and we made applesauce in class!

We weighed apples....with nonstandard units (bear counters)

And with ounces and grams....it was a good way to see who could use strategies to add that many grams - we're talking 3 digit answers, here...lol.

They measure the heights of the different apples - using nonstandard units (cubes)

and measure how many inches high the apples were...

We did a little taste testing - with all kinds of apple yummies!!! They had their sticky notes ready to vote!

We made homemade applesauce, writing the steps of how to do it.

We graphed our favorite color of apple...and our favorite apple snack.

(I love my pocket chart graph! I got it from HERE)

We used my apple sticky notes that I save all year JUST for this week...lol. 

We also drew and labeled our apples (directed drawing..they love doing it!)

Then we learned about seasons, and the cycle the apple tree goes through in each season, but we did it using a poem, which also helped us work on our fluency!! We circled the context clues in the stanzas that helped us visualize what the apple tree looked like (especially since none of my students have ever seen an apple tree....I mean, we live in FL)

After the paint dried, we made the poem into a foldable!

If you want the Apple Tree Poem, you can download it here for free!

I hope you had a marvelous Monday!

You can check out my other activities HERE.

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