Monday, September 26, 2011

Are you ready for some word work?

        So it is official, we began Words Their Way (WTW) today!  The students have their list of words and we began looking at our words and sorting them according to the pattern.  I was very impressed with how well everyone worked on this task the first day.  Many of the students were able to determine the rule for a majority of the words even before I made it to their group for guidance, which was awesome!  I am hoping that with more practice of working with the words this knowledge that they are acquiring will transfer into their writing.  The plan right now is to spend two weeks on each list so that they can learn how to spell the words as well as read them.  So . . . I am in need of great activity ideas so that the lists can be used for ten school days.  I have several options that I found in the WTW book, but I am curious if you are using WTW which activities do your students enjoy?  If I find anything that my students really enjoy I will be sure to share with you as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Words Their Way

       This week I am beginning word study with my students using the Words Their Way word lists.  Last week I gave the sneak peek (this is what I call pre-tests, it is from my years in first grade), then of course I graded everyone's papers and completed the profile on my kiddos.  I was able to group my kids into four manageable groups.  I am actually very excited to see if this helps my students move beyond being just "Friday spellers." 
        Does anyone else use Words Their Way?  I would love to hear about your experiences!  I have done spelling investigations with my students for the past five years so I am already used to my students having differentiated words that are more appropriate to their level but I am curious if there is anything that I should know before I get started.  So if you, or anyone you know has stories (the good, the bad, and the ugly) I would love for you to share them.  If anyone else is trying this out for the first time perhaps we could go through our "growing pains" together. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We Finished Captain Nobody!

        Yesterday we finished reading Captain Nobody, our first Sunshine State Young Readers Award (S.S.Y.R.A.) book, as a class.  It was a great book for our first read aloud of the year!  After we finished the students were given their own red masks (just like Captain Nobody wears) and I took their pictures.  They were also given a speech bubble that said "If I were Captain Nobody I would" and they were able to complete the sentence starter.  Everything looks so cute and I can't wait to display the pictures and speech bubbles!
        ***If you are reading this post and you have not read the book Captain Nobody to your class I would highly recommend it!!!         

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11th

        It is so hard to believe that it is the tenth anniversary of that fateful September day.  I can still remember where I was, who I was with, and what I was doing.  More importantly though I can see how our lives have never and will never be the same.  I would like to take this time just to say thank you.  Thank you to all of the men and women who work in a job that requires that they may one day sacrifice their safety for me and my family.  Thank you to the police officers, firefighters, and of course our wonderful military.  To all of those who were directly affected by the terrorist attacks and lost loved ones as a result it is my hope and prayer that you are comforted by God's love and mercy. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dirt and Worms!

        This was another very busy week.  Today was especially exciting!  We started the day with our first flag raising of the school year.  We even had the opportunity to meet two of our Jacksonville Shark arena football players, which was extra cool since they are the national championship team!!!  Mrs. Walker and our two guests Shark players, Vladimir Richard and Marco Capozzoli all spoke about the importance of reading.  We also found out what our school book challenge for this year is and what Mrs. Walker's consequences will be WHEN we meet the goal.  This year's challenge is to read 85,000 books!  Thank you to everyone that has already begun doing their part by reading each night and working very diligently to write their book responses.  With everyone's help we will meet the goal.  When we meet the goal Mrs. Walker has agreed to have buckets of DIRT AND WORMS dumped on her head in honor of this year's school theme.  I definitely don't want to miss this!!!