Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Buzz! Spelling Game

Quick post... 

We play a quick game called 'Buzz' to help us review spelling.  I was taught how to play this game while doing my student teaching in 3rd grade.  (So it can be for any grade level.)  The best part...the kids get to sit on their desks and they LOVE that!

I have my students all sit on their desks, facing the same direction.  I give a word to spell and each student will help spell the word by giving a letter. When the word is finished, the next person in turn will say 'buzz'.  (Ex: "bed"... student 1:"b", student 2: "e", student 3: "d", student 4: "buzz".) If a student says the wrong letter during their turn, they have to sit down.  We keep going until there is one person left. (Similar to a spelling bee but each student only says 1 letter.) 

*I also do not repeat what letter was said prior to a student's turn if he/she did not hear it.  It requires them to pay attention and listen. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Anchor Charts

Hi All!! We're off to a good, yet busy, start! We've been concentrating on our routine, getting to know each other and setting a great foundation for a safe and friendly environment.  I'm sorry that I have not been posting, but we're getting on track and I should be able to get more ideas and freebies on here soon! *Fingers crossed*

Even though I haven't been able to post, I've still been stalking my favorite bloggers! I have noticed a trend and I'm jumping on board - Anchor Charts! A great friend of mine, Amy T., has found and created some of these charts and they came out so good! So I, too, have been creating these as large resources to help my students learn.  We've been talking about the words 'resources' and 'learning tools' throughout the past few weeks and how to use them. This post is just a collaboration of some of my favorites.  I'll make sure to include where I originally found each one - because they were NOT ALL MY IDEAS! :)  I made changes to a couple of them but have also duplicated a few too! I even made one of my own. I really love having them as learning tools in my classroom. I'll be laminating these babies soon so that they will last!

After a few years of teaching, I realized that I need to train my students to be productive during down time. We don't seem to have much down time, but I want them to be prepared because it is bound to happen every now and then. So we worked together to create a list of activities that they can work on while they are waiting for other friends to finish. I always make sure to explain that they should never be sitting like 'lumps on logs' and that it is important to always exercise their brains!

This idea came straight from Abby over at The Inspired Apple. She is definitely one of my favorite bloggers. I saw this post during my planning time today and rearranged my lesson plans just to fit it in! I usually make a chart of math strategies every year with my students, but I liked how she did hers a lot more.  HER CHART IS AMAZING! Check it out! I changed a few strategies to meet the needs of my students but definitely used a lot of her great ideas. 


These two were copied straight from The First Grade Parade. If there is one blog that I would stalk on a regular basis, this one would be it.  Mrs. Carroll has the most amazing ideas and is SO CREATIVE! I literally copied her charts exactly how she had it.  I'm not the best artist and I'm so grateful that she shares her lessons. You should have seen me sitting in front of my computer trying to duplicate every line. I'm not kidding either...every line. Pathetic, but I now have semi-decent charts!! Writing is something that my students always seem to struggle with the most.  Let me rephrase that...writing is something that I always struggle teaching. My friend Amy (I talk about her a lot because she is that awesome of a teacher) has been brainstorming some ideas for a daily "Writer's Workshop" to help improve writing lessons. She found that Mrs. Carroll at The First Grade Parade has great lessons for introducing the writing concept to first graders.  So we went with it this week and it turned out great!