Sunday, September 29, 2013

September happened

WOW! Where did September go?? I started school on the run and well its now October.. WHAT!
I have to tell you I have the sweetest little class, with the LOUDest volume! 
Half of my class just turned 6
 and the other half are turning 7 in the next 3 months. 
You can imagine the span of maturity and ability that I have to deal with! 
 I have twice as many boys as girls. (14 boys to 9 girls). 
I also have 3 special needs children
 not to mention the ADHD kiddos on and off meds. 

Yikes no wonder I have been busy. Yes I have already have a tear jerker of a day, a day that I knew I should have retired, but also days that I could see the glimmer that I can make a difference and there will be successes and I just have to keep going.

Keeping their attention longer than 3 minutes has been the biggest challenge. Yes I did say 3 minutes and I have timed it!
We are playing a lot of games that I am thinking of on the fly.
We practice our sight words with a concentration game.

I had sight words in a "Bang" game and I had a set of numbers.
So using my pocket chart threw them up and using clips called on kids to pick 2 numbers.  Instant quiet and engagement!
When I turn over the word card the class reads the word
 and if the 2 match we do a silent cheer.
We will get to other cheers later, but for now I'm enjoying the quiet moment.

I am in love with the idea of interactive books and I thought it might be the answer with my firsties. I had already noticed that they could finish a worksheet in 5 seconds flat, but could not even tell me what they did.

What's new right?
So we are making our own Phonics Journal.
I started with our word family of the week.
On the first day we draw a picture of a word that has that rime (ending sound)
and write the ending on the picture. 
(I think they were more excited about getting to use their markers for the letters than anything else) 
Again instant quiet, and diligent working. Then they had to write the words we brainstormed that had that ending. 
On the 2nd day we would write the ending and our spelling words that go with that rime.
(The apple page was our 2nd week; it was a freebie but I can't remember who posted it. If you know, please tell me so I can credit you.
Meanwhile I also used ones from 
 Babbling Abby's 'Spelling for all Seasons)

The 3rd day I made a page with 4 sight words plus some of our other spelling words. They glued the page into their book and we marked the sounds.
I am teaching them how to look for closed vowels and open vowels before marking them short or long. This will help them when we get into multi-syllable words.
They are loving this and I hear them repeating these rules with each other.
I have even had parents ask about these journals.
I'll let you know more as I decide what I'm doing with it.

They are also enjoying my phonic cheers.

Meanwhile I am hoping to get some amazing clip art from
Dots of Fun who is celebrating 700 followers!
One day left to enter!

I promise to pop in more often now that I have gotten my feet somewhat grounded. I've missed you all.

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