Taste the Arrays

My kiddos are having a blast with arrays! I am impressed with how well they have picked it up! Their pretests were horrible but I am sure their post tests will be superb!

Today we played a game I made called 
Taste the Arrays!

I gave each student two fun size bags of Skittles, this way they would have at least 25. They also got a recording mat I made and a paper towel.
I displayed on the board an array sentence and the students had to use their skittles to make the array!

Then after everyone made their array, I showed the answer on the board.

The kids LOVED it! 

When we finished going through all the sentences, we went back through and made repeated addition sentences for each one! And of course they got to eat them! 

Is this something you would like to do with your class? Leave a comment below and I will pick a winner Wednesday night Hawaii time!

Hope your Monday was marvelous:)

Addition Arrays Unit~giveaway!

Two days in a row??? What is this? It must be a joke!

Nope, it is just me getting my behind in gear!

This week I am working on CCSS 2.OA.4 which is addition arrays!

I wanted to make something interactive this week for my kids to practice this skill! 

I bring you my Addition Arrays Unit

I didn't get all fancy schmancy with this title...sorry!

This unit takes you through different activities you can use to help students understand addition arrays!

I am pretty excited about using this during the week! 

If you would like to win this unit, just leave a comment below! I will pick a winner Tuesday evening! 

If you just can't wait, it is available in my TpT shop!

How I do differentiated spelling-Word Journey's anyone?

How do you do spelling in your classroom?
Do you use a basal?
Do you use word families or patterns?
Does everyone get the same words?

What I have done for years has always worked for me and my students. Parents love it, administration loves, it, and I love it!

I use Kathy Ganske's Word Journeys for differentiated spelling groups.

I was introduced to this my very first year of teaching back in the 2005/2006 school year. 

Each student takes a placement test of 25 words. The test is broken into 5 different phonics skills. I will show you some pictures from a few years back. 

This is an example test from a a student of mine. If they get the word right, they get a 2 (which is really 1 point). If they get the feature phonics part right but spell the word wrong, they get a 1 (which is really 0 points in their overall score, but 1 point under the correct phonics skill-which is the ABCDE)

Confused yet???
So number 1 the word was jet. They got the word right for a point in their overall score, and a point under A, because D is looking for affricates (dr, j, ch, tr...)

Number 2 the word was supposed to be ship. They didn't spell the word right so they didn't get a point for their overall score, but they got the SH phonics skill this word was looking for which was letter B for blends. 

I grade the test by counting all the 2's as 1 point. That is the 16 in the circle. Then I write ABCDE and under it right now many they got right of the phonics skill. I can clearly see that this student needs to work on phonics skill E which is final consonants and blends. 

I take each student and place them on one recording chart.
I can now look at this class chart and make my differentiated spelling groups.

So fast forward to this year. I have some pretty different levels of spellers this year so this program works out SO well! I had to go to the second and third placement test for some kids!

I did everything above and made my groups. I always make a chart so I know who is in what group and how many copies of words to make each week. 
My class is in 3 different spelling groups, all working on different skills. I color code them to make it easier for the kids. I use the blank spots to write down each week what I am going to teach that group. I only do about 3 to 4 weeks at a time so I can see if they are improving or needing to stay with this skill for awhile longer.

I made an area in the room for them to get their words and see what group they are in.
 Once I meet with each group the first day, their words will go under their color. I copied their words on colored paper to match their color group!

So where do I get their words??? 
I get this question ALL the time! In the back of the Word Journeys book, there are tons of lists of words to match the phonics skills students are tested on. 

My very first school started to put words together as word sorts for us to use. The sorts focused on two sounds at once and students would cut and sort words according to the phonics sounds they were hearing. 

Here is an example of one of the word sorts that they made. So for this week, students are focusing on the CH and TR sounds. 

I am thinking about taking on the task of making all sorts of word sorts for this program. It really could be used with any kind of spelling. Would this be something you would be interested in?

Another question I get is...
Do the kids have all of these words for spelling? 
My answer is yes. The kids are practicing the phonics skill on top of spelling the word right. Students should practice each word and not memorize a set of 10 words to take a test on Friday. My students never know what words they will get for their spelling test. This way, I know if they have practiced their phonics skill.

I grade their test almost like the placement test. I give 2 points for the whole word right and one point for the skill if the word is spelled wrong. If the skill and the word is wrong, they get 0 points. 

I know this was a lot, and I feel like I am missing something. If you all have any questions abut this book, how I run spelling, or the words, just ask!

Enjoy your Sunday friends!

Friday Freebie...on a Saturday:)

Happy Saturday Friends! It's a beautiful Saturday morning here in Hawaii! I have lots of things going on today so I am going to jump right in to my Friday Freebie! Welcome Karen from Teaching and Growing Together!

Hi Everyone,
            I am so delighted to have the chance to feature my freebie this Friday. I appreciate Tonya's invitation to visit her blog, and to show off my insect  resource, called CritterCraze.  

 I came up with this activity after going out with a group of third graders and realizing I just needed a better way for them to write down their observations.  They had their clipboards and pencils, excitement, ... and their bugs!  But we did not have guidelines so that we could share our information.  So, this turned out to be a more efficient way for us to observe, draw, take notes, and to make predictions and inferences about our short while little pets!

My kids felt very scientific when they did this, especially the part under observations. I have to make sure we will all know the difference between insects and spiders before we take off and find our specimens. 

This packet will also provide a good template for writing a report about an insect.  This task is so difficult for a lot of students. But the frame gives kids that chance to add their own words while having a scaffold to get them going.

I especially love the jar page!   

The magnifying glass is a symbol to remind the kids that they need to not only  look closely, but to think carefully about their unique insect.  I hope you get a chance to check out this freebie. During almost any season, your students should find a bug or two hiding somewhere--whether indoors or outdoors!  They'll love the feeling of writing like real entomologists.   

 Thanks for letting me share. 
I hope you have a wonderful school year!