Thursday, August 4, 2016

May You Have Enough...and a Beginning of Year Camping Unit!

Howdy All!
I took a little break from blogging this summer.  I can't believe how many e-mails I received asking what was going on because they hadn't heard from me in a while. In all honesty, I needed to take a couple of months to rejuvenate---faith, family, friends, and home. I was able to visit my sweet boys, take a fun trip with the hubs, spend time with my mom, have some wonderful catch up time with my niece and her fam from Cali, do some touching up on our home, and....adopt a the sweetest little chocolate lab from our local animal rescue center.    I have been so blessed with enough. I want to focus on that exact thought. "May you have enough." 

May YOU have enough! 
May YOU have enough!

Now that I feel centered, and focused again, I am ready to share my new beginning of the year unit.  Our new theme for the BOY is camping.  We have done a camping theme a couple of time before, but it was for open house or end of year fun.  This BOY unit includes many set up ideas, fun "get to know you" activities, some goal setting, math exploration, and science discoveries.  A couple of the ideas I pulled from my old units so you might recognize them, but they have a fresh new BOY look.   Here are a few pics from the 149 page unit!

I am so happy to be able to share with you all again.  Thank you to all those who expressed concern for my absence.  Thank you for stopping by this little Window On Wonder!!  I'll be back soon!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Personal Finance for Kids

Hello Everyone!
I know! It has been a long time since my last post.  I have had so much family stuff going on that I have been absolutely crazy tired by the end of the day.  I think things are settling in now, so I finally had a second to sit down and present a quick post.  Thanks for hanging in there with me.  I am so excited about how our poetry unit is coming along.  We have one more week and then I'll be ready to share some of my little poets' work!  They have been loving it!!
Until then, I wanted to share a new unit that we started incorporating into our math curriculum. Personal Finance.  Yes! You read that correctly. I don't know if you have that in your objectives, but in Texas we try to cover saving, spending, and sharing. Our adopted curriculum (Pearson) does a good job of supporting the objectives with technology based lessons, but if you know me, you know I have to have some things to accompany the curriculum in my math tubs.  I created a Personal Finance unit that I am sharing tonight. Here are a few pics from the 50 page unit.

All vocabulary words are included in a set of mini posters to post in classroom

The unit includes some whole group vocabulary activities and 6 math tub activities. I can't wait for my kids to learn through these hands on personal finance activities and I hope they will help you help your kids learn as well!
If you are interested, 

Let me know how it goes and if I need to add anything else.  
Well, that's all the time I have for now.  I promise I'll be back very soon!!  As always, thanks for visiting.  You are the best!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Happy Poetry Month!

Hello Everyone!!
Happy April and Happy Poetry Month!!  Poetry is one of the parts of our writing curriculum that I look forward to so much!  We read, discuss, analyze, and even memorize poetry every week...poems that help to bring our curriculum to life.  Kids love poetry.  The tongue twisting words, the alliteration, the onomatopoeia, the fun language, the rhyme, the rhythm, and so much more.  Teaching a social studies or science concept using fun poetry is the best!  The kids keep all their poems in a poetry folder.  They can take their folders home to review the poems and earn extra incentives for memorizing them.  
But now it's time for the kids to learn about some of the types of poetry and write their own!!I have shared my poetry writing unit before, but I have ramped it up big time!!  It is now about 73 pages of mini posters including many types of poetry, mentor poems, templates for kids to begin writing their own, some poetry anthology pages, and some creative ways for kids to publish their new creations! Here is a sampling of what is included in the unit!

We reserve about 4 weeks to include poetry in our writing curriculum.  This unit should take you about that long to get through if you discuss all the different types of poetry and have kids try them. I can't wait to get started!! 
I hope this helps boost your unit!
Let me know! 
Thanks for stopping by!  Have a great rest of the week!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Writing to Teach...and Making Connections With Similes!

Hello Everyone!
Happy Spring!!! Some of you are still in the grip of winter with snow and ice!  Here in Texas, the temps are warming up, the trees are budding, and there are flowers everywhere! I am such a warm weather girl, I can't wait to put coats and sweaters away!
Springtime in first grade is just as exciting.   The kids are really becoming independent learners and so into researching things they want to know about.  In writing we are working our way through a writing to teach unit.  Kids love to share what they know.  They are experts at so many things!  Our first chapter book is based on what kids know most about...themselves!!!  We are using most of what Lucy Calkins suggests in her Units of Study. The first chapter books turned out pretty well. Here are a few pages of the published books. The kids were so proud to share them!!!

I have shared the templates and information for this written expression project before, but I have added a couple of things.  Lucy Calkins has a good list of how writers teach their readers.  I added that and a quick poster of the sequence of writing to teach.

If you noticed, one of the "How Can I Teach My Readers" ideas that Lucy suggests is to include comparisons in writing.  I don't know a better way to teach kids about comparisons than to introduce similes!! We have had a blast with that this week! 
I started off with some amazing mentor texts!  My kids can't get enough of these!  
We then brainstormed some of our characteristics!

The kids did their own brainstorming and planning for their own Simile books!

So after they got the hang of similes, we decided to create a visual for some Spring Similes!!

I put together a little simile unit to help guide us through.

The unit is about 20 pages of templates, lists, posters, etc.

I know that my kids will use some similes in their next chapter books!! Sometimes you have to spend a little extra time on something that will help kids make those important connections.  Their writing will benefit from that side trip! 
Well, thanks for making it all the way through this post!! You are as patient as an ant!!! :)  I hope some of this will help you help your kids make connections in their writing!  
Till next time...Have a wonderful rest of the week!!  And for those of you who still haven't seen any signs of spring, I hope they come soon!!