Sunday, August 18, 2013

Updates and The BIG Back to School Sale!

Hi friends,
I wanted to let you know that I have spent a lot of time this summer updating some of my earlier units.  The best part is that if you have already purchased any of these units you just need to download them again to get the revisions for free!

The basic content is the same but the truth is MelonHeadz graphics are my favourite and I want my units to reflect that.  The math units have been updated and made to look a little prettier:)

If you already purchased my "Communities Around the World" I just wanted to let you know that I have added the USA (another 27 pages) - so you just need to download the unit again and you will get the new pages.

I am sure you have already heard but TPT is having their HUGE back to school sale so go and empty your wishlist!  Everything in my store is 20% off and then TpT will give you another 8% when you enter the code: BTS13

I have already done shopping round 1 - I think I'll go have another look:)

Two day sale

Bye for now,

Monday, August 12, 2013

Teaching To The Word Wall

Hi friends,
The one great thing about the summer (besides the obvious) is that you get to work on those huge packs that you don't have enough time for during the school year.  It is no surprise that people will tell you that it isn't enough to "have" a word wall ~ you must "DO" the word wall.  Explicitly teaching your students to use the word wall is crucial for creating independent readers and writers.

So a few years ago I started putting together an actual word wall program and have used it for several years now but I took the summer to make it all  "pretty" so I could share with all you great teachers out there!  The unit is 238 pages long!

I used the Dolch Word Lists for this pack and there is explicit teaching for the Primer, Grade One, and the Second Grade lists. I have included some words from the Pre-Primer and Third Grade lists. However, I have created word wall cards for every word in all these lists for a total of 234 words. I chose not to teach the words a list at a time so in the list overview I have colour coded the lists so you can see where that word is located. The word wall cards have colour around them to give the students an extra cuing system because as they are learning the words some children will begin by remembering what colour the word card is. You will notice that similar words (e.g. there and their) are not on the same colour. I tried to make the word wall cards as neutral as possible so that it would co-ordinate with any classroom theme. Each week focuses on 5 words and there is a teacher page and a student booklet. It is important that students are exposed to these words over and over to ensure retention. 

One of the most valuable activities in this pack is "Dictated Sentences." As teachers it is very frustrating when students don’t use the spelling resources available to them. We say that word wall words are “no excuse” words however, students get discouraged if they don’t know how to use the word wall. “Dictated Sentences” is a fantastic activity to teach your students how to use the word wall. I have included the sentences for you to dictate.

Overview of Activities:
*print words 3 times
*word pyramids
*how to make new words using word wall words
*word boxes
*adding word endings to word wall words (s, ed, ing)
*symbol spell
*sight word hide and seek
*dictated sentences
*find and graph (word/font recognition)
*alphabetical order
*read and glue (word/font recognition)
*word search
*writing sentences
*reading word wall words
*cloze sentences
*changing a "hen" to a "fox"
*using words you know to figure out unknown words
*rhymes and endings
*sound of "ph"
*words ending with "y"

Honestly units this big are really tough to make a decent preview - ugh!  So I just did what I could!

I have put it on sale for 20% until tomorrow night when I go to bed:)

Here's the link if you're interested.

I will be back soon to share with you how I organize my centers - it works like a charm!

Bye for now,