Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Groundhogs Day

Just a quick little blog about Groundhog's Day.  I was excited that he didn't see his shadow... after 3 feet of snow, an early spring sounds delightful.... although I will miss the possibility of snow days and delays.  Today we had a 2 hour delay because of ice so I was only with my kiddos for 2 hours... 30 minutes of which they were in library!  I had time to read my favorite Groundhog read aloud and do a quick craftivity!

What is your favorite Groundhog Read Aloud?  Mine is Go To Sleep Groundhog.  It is about a Groundhog that just can't get to sleep so he wakes up in October, November and December.... seeing things he's never seen before (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas).  I love it and the kids enjoyed it too!

After we read the book, we created these pop up groundhogs.  I have seen it just so the pop up, but I decided (on my way to school this morning) to do one side as if he saw his shadow and one side if he didn't.  The kids enjoyed pretending to be the groundhog popping up.  They loved their puppets and it helped them remember which one meant 6 more weeks of winter or early spring.  I normally watch the groundhog on the weather channel with the kids... but we ran out of time!  I may show them tomorrow!

Happy Early Spring!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Differentiated Morning Work

I've taken a vacation... or rather it was gifted to me.  Here in Northern Virginia we just had a second winter break thanks to Snowzilla.  Today was my first day back (on a 2 hour delay) since Thursday, January 21st.  It was great to spend some time at home with my little lady and husband and watch the beautiful three feet of snow fall.  It was also nice to get back into the swing of things today.

Today I started differentiated morning work for the first time.  I found that some of my higher kids were flying through their morning work, while some others were struggling to finish each morning.  I created three different morning work packs and the kids did a GREAT job with it today... especially considering they've been out of school for 10 days!

For my higher readers, I challenged them with what basically was my morning work when I taught first grade.  They will have a daily writing prompt.  They did a really nice job with it... and loved being "challenged."

For most of my kids, I stuck to the basic morning work.  In January, they worked on identifying the days and filling in a closed sentence.  This month, I added some decoding and math.  I was very impressed that they were all able to sound out pig... when I know if they came across it in a book, they wouldn't try.  I hope daily decoding practice of CVC words will help in their general reading.  Following the directions in the last part about coloring 17 red circles was the hardest.  Most of them did a great job using their classroom resources to figure out the word "red" and "circle."

Finally, for some of my kiddos I gave them the same work, but filled in some of the days to help them get started independently.  For a few of them, they still struggle with the days and have lost confidence by needing my help everyday.  I am happy to say they did it all by themselves today and I hope to build on that independence with their March morning work... one step at a time..

I hadn't put any of my kindergarten morning work in my TPT store because I feel like there are so many wonderful choices out there, but this one is in there because of the leveled options!  I hope you can use it in your classroom!