Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Word Work Wednesday Linky

In my quest for even more ways to study sight words or add to my word work stations, I will be hosting a linky called Word Work Wednesday! I hope you will link up your best posts with ideas and products that would help me and others add to our arsenal of alphabet and word work activites! Be sure to post the image above at the top of your post with a link back to my page! Let the sharing 
A couple of days ago (before multiple power outages from storms moving through), I blogged about how I teach and assess sight words.  I have added to this FREEBIE and you can redownload if you already grabbed it.  This assessment is used during the quarter as we work toward having all words mastered.  The final assessment with all words is still given with ESGI.  If you don't have ESGI in your school, especially in the early grades, you could
 be saving loads of assessment time! Check it out!
Today, I want to explain how I put my binder together so it's ready to grab in a flash and assess students who are ready.  The first thing I do is select Astrobrights colors I want to make the pockets out of!  These are the most colorful papers on the market, and are my favorite!!! 
After selecting four colors, I fold the papers as in the photos below, then laminate the folded pieces (one to a laminating pocket) leaving a margin of film around all edges (this will help the pockets stay sealed when cards are inserted). 
 After all pieces are laminated, I trim the edges making sure to leave margins, then use a razor blade to slit the opening of the pocket.  Then I fold the top down again like an envelope flap.  
I place the pockets one above the other on the inside of the left binder cover with hot glue or velcro dots, and also put a velcro dot for a closure under the flap.  As you can see below, I have placed the cards in the pockets and have labeled the pockets to go along with my Journeys sight word lists.  Cards have the same letter on them too.  This helps me to organize my sets.  I placed the pockets higher on the page so I could use the built in pocket in the binder cover.  Thats all the prep needed for the card set storage!
Note:  I have binders with library pockets, but find the edges of the pockets tear after not much use--even laminated pockets.  I find the folded, laminated paper works best for me.

 Inside the page protectors are...

 Copies of the whole class summary for tracking progress will be hole punched and placed in front of each assessment check sheet section of the binder along with a master copy in a sheet protector.

 Students use the refrigerator sheet for studying at home.  When they are ready to test over a list, they bring it back in their take home folder with the character below the list colored.  I test them up to three times a week using the assessment sheet and mix the order of the word cards each time to ensure they are truly learning the words.  The assessment sheet goes home with students to show when they have passed a test, and it is brought back along with the study sheet each time students want to try a list.  The assessment sheet will remain in the folder until all words are passed with 100% accuracy.
This method worked very well for our kindergarten team last year, and I will again give credit to my team member, Cassie, for dividing the words into manageable lists! :) 

Other products sent home in our take home folder relating to word work and the beginning of the year are our alphabet chartlets.  Students are tested over alphabet during guided groups until mastered.  If you would like to see our chartlet and alphabet line sets, you can find them in my store :).
I love to cut the chartlets into sets to store in zipper seal bags for small group time.  As students learn the letters, we add them to a letters snap ring.  Unknown letters remain loose in the bag until they are learned.  When the entire ring is full of all 26 letters, students get a prize!
Alphabet Teaching Posters in Chevron 
I hope this post has been helpful! Be sure to check other Word Work Wednesday Linky blogs to see great ideas from my bloggy friends!

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Must See!!! Bright World eBooks Launches Today!!! Look!

(click on the iPad pic above to go to the app)
Today you have an opportunity to change how your students see the world of nature! Today is the launch of Bright World eBooks apps! As a 3-D educational adventure, Oceans and Forests is the first in a series of apps that focuses on building schema about science and nature.  Students are immersed in the ocean world as though they are a fish swimming along with other fish in the ocean forest world.  
This app is not only a reader that helps students build fluency, but it also has higher order questioning and games to reinforce concepts.
I am very excited to announce this new app! 
In the coming days, you will see me post again about different components of the app, and how you may incorporate it into your centers!  Be sure to check out the link for a live preview! More to come! 
iTunes link to Bright World eBooks: 
Instagram: @brightworldebooks
Twitter: @bw_ebooks
Facebook: /brightworldebooks

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

#TeacherFriends turns 1 :) And a Thank-you FREEBIE!

I can hardly believe how quickly our little chat that could is now a grown up chat that CAN! One year ago, my friend Debbie Clement from Rainbows Within Reach asked me to become part of her group of co-moderators in a new endeavor to help bring educators to twitter in a friendly, helpful format.  I am so happy I answered that invitation!
Debbie Clement, ModeratorKim Vij, Co-ModeratorKristen Poindexter, Co-ModeratorMaggie Hufstedler, Co-ModeratorImage HTML map generator
#TeacherFriends Educational Twitter Chat is 1 Year Old, so we are celebrating this amazing milestone with an unbelievable night! 
On June 30 at 9:00 EST Former guest Edu-Celebrities will join us for a fun discussion of this past year's topics, guests, and think about the future too! Of course, in our tradition, there will be PRIZES! And holy cow, what prizes!!! You do not want to miss this chat.  You will have an opportunity to sign up to win books, tech goodies, and more! Just take a look!!!



 If you would like to preschedule your responses in tweetdeck (try it if you haven't yet), here are the questions:
As a way to celebrate, I am offering this packet aligned to the 88 Journeys 2014 sight words as a thank-you for all of the support you have given me over the years.  In a short while, I will be moving my blog over to wordpress, and it will be bigger and better than ever! I will maintain this blog to make sure you can access the files and posts you may find on pinterest, but new content will begin to be added to my new site.  Here is a sneak peek at what it will look like, and I must say I am so excited about this new design!
Stay tuned for a big giveaway when the new site launches! 
Now, for the freebie.  I use this format to teach sight words each year (thanks to my buddy Cassie, who divided the words into lists that are manageable for student success).  I made a few modifications to this new packet, but love how well it has worked for our kindergarten group.  I recommend having sets of sight words for each list that you can order randomly each time a student tests over a list.  This will ensure they know the words any way they are presented.  I have also included links to the sight word slideshows that go with our lists.  I use these the first ten minutes of morning meeting every day.  This year, my class will begin to do "flipped learning" activities at home, and I plan to use our lists as springboards to investigative learning.  My friend Jonna from The Primary Life, 
has me so excited about the Seesaw app for digital portfolios and flipped learning! I cannot wait to try it with my students.  

Here is the file! I hope you will enjoy it very much! Let me know what you think in a comment!! I love to hear from you, and appreciate that you take time to comment.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Fun Summer Post: My Personal Side, Linky with Classroom Confections

I am joining Molly from Classroom Confections for a super fun summer linky called...
 I am a major coffee LOVER! Any kind of coffee, any hour of the long as it isn't too sweet! I love @McDonald's French Vanilla Iced Coffee...but not often.  It's hard on the waistline! Folgers is always in my cupboard, and in my cup! But I like the specialty coffees in vanilla biscotti and hazelnut.  Love the frozen McDonald's Mocha Frappe', but again, not too often! 

My favorite mug has to be this pretty glass Starbucks cup that I received as a gift from a sweet little kindergarten boy. 

 And, if I am drinking something cold, my favorite insulated cup is this one from my bestie Kristen, from Kristen's Kindergarten! She made these cups for all of us moderators (Kim Vij and Debbie Clement too), and sent them to us as gifts! Love!! 
No matter what temp, my coffee is at the ready in my beautiful inspirational cups! Gotta love them even more in Summer!!!
Now go an click on Molly's link above (the pic) for more favorite mugs and drinks!

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

June Bright Ideas Linky! Embracing Technology for Communication

Good morning! As I sit here drinking my morning coffee while watching the remnants of Tropical Storm Bob, I continue to reflect on how I can be a better bridge of communication with my students' parents this coming new year.  I think the decision to go even more toward the tech side is my best Bright Idea to date! 

There is no doubt that we live in a world full of devices...phones, iPads, iPods netbooks, laptops and more.  The class newsletter is still vital for school-home communication.  However, as more and more parents become connected, the way we communicate with them has/can change.  

Here are some great ways to help keep the lines of communication open:
1.  Use your cell phone.  You can keep students' parents on speed
     dial, something that is so important during the first few weeks
     of school.  I have had to make calls on the way to the bus 
     many times.  What a great tool for departure time! 
     I have found that parents will reply to text messages better  than
     direct phone calls.  
2.  Remind HQ--a great phone app that you share with parents.  
     You can choose to blast a message to all parents, or just one. It's
      safe and effective!
3.  Class Dojo:  This is a program for behavior management
     or class incentives.  It has a great parent communication tool! I 
     love being able to be anywhere in my room and add points
     for great work, helping a friend, etc., just from tapping my 
4.  Seesaw! This amazing tool allows students to take charge of their own learning.  Parents can easily see what is being produced in class as well as keep up with useful homework assignments.  Teachers can embed video to give students clear directions on how to study a lesson at home.  Can't wait to use this!!!

 Here is an example of  instructions for kindergartners on letters:

  I hope the few apps I have mentioned will get you thinking about the way you communicate with parents and students.  With both parents working, tech devices make communication possible where it would otherwise be impossible. 

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Help me CELEBRATE the Possibilities! My DC Project is up and running!

 Funding technology is difficult these days with all of the budget cuts and uncertainties in education.  When an opportunity comes along to help my students, I am thankful...very thankful!

I am so pleased to share with my readers that my Donor's Choose proposal has been accepted! Not only has it been accepted, 
The Korein Family Foundation has qualified it for matching funds! Oh happy day!!! This means the original project total of over $900 has a better chance of being funded because it is just under $500! an added incentive for myself and others who donate in the next seven days, EVERY dollar donated will be matched! This means I need only a little over $200 to be fully funded! What a marvelous way to show the new kindergarten students we believe in them and the ability of those little brains to embrace the power of technology! To read the specifics of my DC project proposal, go to this page:
 Mrs. Hufstedler's Technology for Small Groups 
Thank you for reading about our needs, and for sharing our project with others.  :)
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