Freebie! Self-Correcting Google Slides for 1st Grade on Context Clues

I love to use games of all sorts in the classroom. Self-correcting games allow student to make mistakes, learn from their mistakes, correct their learning, practice their skills, and grow their self-confidence while gaining knowledge. These self-correcting Google Slides can engage students while they practice their skills either asynchronously or in literacy centers. I made this game to practice using context clues, both pictures and adjectives. Check out the video below:

Grab the freebie in my TpT store by clicking here.

ELD Strategies and Methods with Jamboard

ELD stands for English Language Development- meeting the needs of students that are learning English as well as the core content areas can be a challenge. Building language helps empower our students. One way to do that while we are working in a remote or face-to-face environment is to use Jamboard. Jamboard is a application found on the Goggle Suite. Teachers can pose a question, add a picture and allow students to post a virtual note to share their ideas. Teachers can use that to check for understanding, check for background knowledge, use it again in the middle of the unit to check for understanding or the end for assessment.

You can add multiple pages and have students add to each one. Or one page per student as a project. By using this Jamboard idea before a unit you can determine what the children already know and what you need to learn together.

Some more ideas include:

For ELA you could use this Jamboard for language arts is to use it as a You can even use to post what they know about a book- characters, setting, plot, solution, or as a character analysis. This would be a fun way to for students to name character traits, build a family tree, or for social-emotion discussions.

For math you could have a problems and solution and have students agree with the solution or not and write their correct version. You could have them describe the steps of a problem.

There is so much that can be done!! Try it out and let me know what you have done.

Fall Writing for Kinder and First Grade

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year! And I love to share the season with my students. We don’t get many leaves changing color in our part of California so I bring that to my students. It is critical. We need to experience the world as large and amazing as it is, there is no way our students can know it all with out us teachers bringing experiences to them. I like to bring in realia and artifacts- leaves of different colors, watching clips of leaves falling in parks with squirrels collecting acorns and food, bringing in local harvested foods and discussions on what a scarecrow is and does is so powerful. Whether for my English learners or my English only students, it is powerful!

Students need to do more than see and experience fall though, they also need to write about it. Giving students the ability to practice writing with tracing, word banks and all the verbal practice gives students the power and ability to write their words. Drawing lets students who need to draw it out first to organize their ideas do so, or feel confident to show their learning in a different way.

I created writing pages to go along with my fall readers and reading experiences. They can be stand alone as well to go with the fall experiences, stories, video clips, art activities and others that you provide live on virtually. These pages can be found on my TpT site for $1. That’s it- 8 pages for $1 to give your early learner the power of writing down their fall learning and experiences. What a cute personal book this would be for your students! It can be a journal, a morning writing, a center activity, a closing assessment for a fall unit, a memory book and word book to help students practice their fluency. So many options for you Kinder and 1st graders! Check it out here !

Enjoy fall and all of its experiences my friends-

Liz

Fall Back to School Sight and Rebus Book Bundle

Ok, so it’s back to school time. Well it’s week 6 already!!!! This year is challenging but full of learning and making new strides. For example, I have recently started with reading groups. I have three groups Mondays and Wednesdays that are Emergent Readers and Tuesday and Thursdays two groups in the Early Guided Reading Stage. That’s a lot of reading groups and a lot of learning to be had!

In order to attempt this I decided to make digital easy readers starting with Pre-Primer and Primer Dolce Sight words. Start with the basics: sounds and movement that matches the sound and letter names. Then add sight words. This way you can help students connect the sounds they are hearing during the daily practice with the sight words. And now to the heavy lifting—-guided reading books. Everything gets built up for connections and comprehension. Sounds- Sight Words- Reading books based on sight words. Repetition and fun are a great way to help young learners connect to sight words. One more step would be adding vocabulary/pictures to unfamiliar words. Word with pictures can help students visualize which helps memories form and stay!

5 Book Bundle https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-SchoolFall-Sight-and-Rebus-Reader-Book-Bundle-Digital-and-Printable-Set-6025175

So far so good with my students- we used the digital version to read together during guided reading. The repetition and pictures helped to build the self-confidence of my quiet readers. This was great! Quiet and timid became participating students reading the words with picture cues to success. It was great!!!

Check these book out on TpT! 5 Books with vocabulary cards, sentence frames, drawing/writing page, printable booklets and slides. These 5 books should be apart of your guided reading groups for early learners. Books include: I see Fall, Apples, Thanksgiving, School, and School Supplies.

Thank you for reading and check out my site!

Engaging English Language / Grammar Practice Asynchronously

How do we do that?

Let’s Say hello to Boom Cards and welcome to asynchronous learning that gives students engaging and fun practice and sends teachers feedback of student work. This information helps to guide next steps in the lessons. What is not to love about that cycle?

Boom Learning Game from Curve Your Learning

Synchronously teach whole group and reteach and fine tune to small groups then move to asynchronous independent practice with Boom Cards. Use that Boom Card data to create your next lessons (move groups, add/subtract/reteach/model/add practice/move forward). How perfect is that method!

Easier said than done, that is a given!!! But giving it a try may lead to making your life easier while still focused on students levels to move forward. But, why not let it be easier this time. Why not let your students practice with games that give you feedback? Is it a center- yes. Is it a game-yes. Does it provide student level practice-yes. It is practical content-yes. Can it reinforce learning- yes!!!! So… why not use it?

Find this game and more —– Curve Your Learning’s Boom Store

Math Building Background for 1st-Graders

Check out this set of math strategies to build background together. Students come into school with all sorts of varying levels of knowledge on subject matter. By building background together you all start off from the same point which allows for more student participation, more understanding and less fuss. For any language learners in your class this set will help them with their their listening and speaking and English Language Development skills.

This set includes a fun game beginning- games help students apply their skills with a low affective filter -no pressure!!! When kids feels safe producing language they will make gains quicker and apply their skills in their daily practices.

Labeling, labeling, labeling- add labels and sketches to anchor charts, math pages, digital or in person. This helps students connect to the terms- back those labels and pictures up with real world items, concepts and movie clips. Build that background together and students will have more confidence, more language to apply, high ability to participate alongside their peers.

Check out this 1st-grade math background builder here.

Teacher Self-Care

A lot of SEL talk is being thrown around to make sure students are coming to school virtually or in person so they can focus and learn. Schools are focusing on mediation, positive self-talk, mindset, diversity, digital citizenship and mood management and more. Schools are student centered and providing support for parents with those same topics but someone is being forgotten at schools: THE TEACHERS. Teachers need to learn to save themselves. They, teachers, need to be first sometimes so to be the best for their students and lives. I created a clickable page with resources and tips for Teachers.

Partial view of the Teacher SEL Page

Join my email list by clicking here to get your SEL page freebie!

Enjoy- Liz

Back to School Community Building SEL Activity for 1st Grade!!!!

I love first grade! It was my favorite grade to teach because I enjoyed watching their light bulbs go on when they learned to read. That brought me so much joy, now as a coach I drop by my first-grade classrooms whenever I get a chance so I can have some of those moments back in my life. This week I am back at work and the last two days have been about focusing on building SEL activities for back to school. SEL stands for Social-Emotional Learning this means positive self talk, empathy, respect for differences, being mindful, mood regulation and even digital citizenship. I got so excited about it I created my own activity!

Speaking in language comes first, so building language is vital. This helps students speak fluently with both their words and descriptions which are two huge components of both literacy and school success. Yes, a game is involved, yes, your class may ask you to play it more than once!!!! Try it out, I made a few but the rest are up to you.

Draw, write, speak, listen, and learn about one another with this Back to School Community Building Activity found here.

This is me! The first activity is coloring, drawing and labeling information about oneself. There are two of these pages so students can choose one.

Check it out and let me know how it goes!

Happy Back to School and Happy Community Building

Designing Learning to Build Background for Diverse School Populations

Schools today have an influx of students from around the world. Children of all ages come with their own educational and cultural backgrounds. We can no longer expect that all students in the classroom have a shared understanding. To have the same understanding pf topics (vocabulary, images, themes, expectations) and meet state standards, we must start on the same page together. To do that, we have to build the background together, starting from scratch!

Let us get these kids talking using the correct vocabulary so they can participate. We aren’t looking for perfection. Students should be made to feel comfortable with mistakes and learning from those mistakes. My fifth graders weren’t participating in math, not raising hands, not finishing group work, or exit tickets. Not my English Only, not my Second Langage Learners, just 3 (the same 3) of my 32 students were actively participating in their learning. I had to make a shift!

The key was building their language. Did my students really know the terms? No!!! Not the names, not what the terms represented, nothing…and they were in fifth grade!!!! Once I started pre-teaching concepts/terms/vocabulary and giving them a sneak peek and practice of what they were going to learn the following week, the class changed!!!! Instead of the same 3 hands in the air, I consistently had 13-17 wanting to solve the problem (and not always the same 13-17).  Students were willing and able to share their answers, how they got those answers, present teamwork projects, and this carried into other subject matter. It was just what they needed!!!

To build background together here are some things you can do:

Preteach! Before diving into new concepts, pre-teach the vocabulary, watch a clip on the new ideas, and let students encounter new topics with hands-on discovery. Do this before any worksheet is ever introduced.  This pre-teaching occurs at the end of a unit as a segway.

  1. Label everything- the room, the school, and each project, content topic, themes. If you have various languages represented in the room label in multiple languages. This helps connect the idea that language is everywhere as well as making a classroom feel comfortable for non-native speakers and their families when they are visiting.
  2. Word Areas- like word walls, but they change with time and are placed on pictures or realia. Word is placed on anchor charts, student work, posters, etc., to aid with concepts. Math terms on the math wall with images and definitions. To go with word areas are sentence frames that help children speak in complete sentences!!!! It gives students structure, so they know how to organize their thoughts and vocabulary. It boasts students were are beginning language learners, and more complex frames build variety in more proficient speakers. Keep these where students can access them, such as near the board, at their table centers, desk, and on the subject matter word areas.
  3. When you learn a new topic such as fractions, don’t dive right in. Stop and create vocabulary learning time. I use 3 days to a full week to introduce new topics, discover what terms they are familiar with as a whole class, and introduce new terms and concepts. We labeled anchor charts, created KWL posters, defined terms with dictionaries, watched video clips to clarify, and orally recited the terms.
  4. TPR: Total Physical Response or Movement so children with limited English can understand the concept. As well those students who are more kinesthetic can remember better. So children can get away from just a pencil and paper. I would make up movements with my students to help us remember a word or concept. I would often see students using those movements when verbally describing or during the test-taking time. Movement helps the brain remember, according to Eric Jensen, from Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd Edition.
  5. GAMES!!!!! I love to teach and reinforce concepts with games, and my students are all for the idea. Such games as Kahoot & Quizziz are fun, motivating and give me an excellent assessment of what they are grasping. I have, who has gets students to pair definitions with terms or symbols. Board games, Dice Games, Card games, Escape Rooms, and Treasure Hunts all work with some adjustments to reinforce vocabulary and concepts we are learning.
  6. Listening and Speaking occur first in language, and that doesn’t change in any grade level. If we want more proficient writers, they need to listen, speak, and read more. If we want more proficient readers, they need to listen, speak, and read more. If we want better speakers, students need to practice speaking and listening. Listening exposes students to new words, word fluency, opinions, conjures up images and feelings, and is a necessity to have something to write or speak about. Speaking helps students of all ages share their thoughts, practice their language, ask for more information or help, explain, and prompt. All these are pieces that are key to reading and writing. For our students of 1 or many languages to be better readers and writers, they need to practice with speaking. Math Talks are an excellent way to develop literacy during math time. Students have to explain their thinking with words and images in complete sentences (think sentence frames). Students have to either agree or disagree and give their reasoning why (again think sentence frames).

Sample Schedule:

Monday: KWL for new important terms that go through the concepts for the unit. Pre-teach new vocabulary- student share and practice repeating and drawing in the air with a finger the words. Show pictures or items with the term, have students repeat the term.

Tuesday: Define terms, and add movement to them, add to KWL, add new terms, video clips of the concept. Sentence frames to aid with pair sharing what they know and what they don’t about the terms/concepts/vocabulary. Play I Have, Who Has.

Wednesday: Create anchor charts, hand out labels, have students label while you teach, and when you come upon the term, they add the label. Create personal posters/labels in their interactive notebooks/ journal.

Thursday: Start teaching the unit: begin with the basics and have students tell you what they know (have learned this week) with verbal sentence frames. Begin Math Talks with a hands-on demonstration of or picture/ realia descriptions.

*Keep reinforcing skills after the concept has been taught and assessed through games year-round. This helps to continuously reinforce needed skills. Games are applications and fun!

**All learners are language learners, some of my lowest language producing children were English Only speakers.  Students need the opportunity multiple times a day to speak their thoughts, to extend their vocabulary, to share ideas, to add to what others are saying for clarity, to ask for help, and on and on.  Speaking, on topic, is vital!

Monday: KWL for new important terms that go through the concepts for the unit. Pre-teach new vocabulary- student share and practice repeating and drawing in the air with a finger the words. Show pictures or items with the term, have students repeat the term.

Tuesday: Define terms, and add movement to them, add to KWL, add new terms, video clips of the concept. Sentence frames to aid with pair sharing what they know and what they don’t about the terms/concepts/vocabulary. Play I Have, Who Has.

Wednesday: Create anchor charts, hand out labels, have students label while you teach, and when you come upon the term, they add the label. Create personal posters/labels in their interactive notebooks/ journal.

Thursday: Start teaching the unit: begin with the basics and have students tell you what they know (have learned this week) with verbal sentence frames. Begin Math Talks with a hands-on demonstration of or picture/ realia descriptions.

*Keep reinforcing skills after the concept has been taught and assessed through games year-round. This helps to continuously reinforce needed skills. Games are applications and fun!

**All learners are language learners, some of my lowest language producing children were English Only speakers.  Students need the opportunity multiple times a day to speak their thoughts, to extend their vocabulary, to share ideas, to add to what others are saying for clarity, to ask for help, and on and on.  Speaking, on topic, is vital!