Friday, December 10, 2010

Expanding Vocabulary Book!

 When I found this adorable mini-scrapbook with our mascot on it, I couldn't resist snatching it up.  It was $3.00 at Big Lots too, so it was a steal! I didn't know what on earth I would use it for, but that seemed trivial at time.  I knew I'd figure something out!  I always do. 


After a impromptu trip to Pat Catans, I walked out with a ton of cute crafty stuff for my classroom, including a few alphabets, scrapbook paper, and stickers to jazz up my book.  While browsing, I found adorable stickers with great examples of figurative language and others to organize by theme.  I am HUGE on writing, and I thought this might help enrich and expand my students existing word banks.  These are just a few snapshots of a handful of pages.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Flip the Sound

         Oh. My. Gosh!  The English Language is full of rules... and also exceptions.   I got the idea for "Flipping the Sound" from The Daily Five.  The premise is, essentially, that children need to be given tools to use when the conventional "rules" don't apply.  "Flip the Sound" is a strategy that proficient readers use to monitor comprehension and accuracy as they encounter a text.  Being able to recognize various patterns and sounds (especially where there is code overlap) is critical to reading success.  (You can get more information from

       The traditional way to flip the sound is to teach students to lay a hand out palm up and cue them to flip the sound.  When we encounter a tricky spelling pattern in class, the students try multiple sounds while flipping their palm back and forth each time they try a sound until they determine the correct pronunciation.  This kinesthetic approach could be augmented by the use of a slinky.  While they certainly don't descend stairways without twisting into a heap of plastic (or metal), these nostalgic beauties can be used for yet another concrete anchor for flipping the sound.  Target is currently selling mini Slinkies for $1.00 and larger festive Slinkies for $2.50.  I bought enough small Slinkies for a small group lesson and a large "Demonstration Slinky".  "A spring, a spring!  A marvelous thing!  Everyone knows it's slinky!"