When learning to read, it is the same process, no matter what language you are learning.
I am looking forward to creating more resources that will be covering a variety of themes. Stayed tuned for the next group of books.
Where does your inspiration come from when creating materials? For me it comes from a need for certain resources in the classroom or for my grandchildren to support them in their learning.
I just started tutoring my grandson in French. He moved into a K/1 French Immersion class in March. He is in grade 1, but he is a capable student, so my son decided to move him early rather than do lots of tutoring over the summer and then move him into a grade 2 class. Already he is showing a good understanding of the language and he is able to figure out what is needed during the school day.
He can read the words and he has a few phrases that he can use, but he is really starting all over again. As I began creating a few materials for him, I noticed how similar it was to creating materials for my guided reading groups of emergent readers.
I decided to create a French version and an English version of each booklet or activity. So far I have created a few little readers and a package of interactive materials using basic vocabulary.
I took my little English readers into the Learning Support Teacher and she was so excited. She said it was like Christmas! I am happy that she will be able to use them with her struggling readers. I also plan on using them with some of my emergent readers when I go in to volunteer with reading groups.
When learning to read, it is the same process, no matter what language you are learning.
I am looking forward to creating more resources that will be covering a variety of themes. Stayed tuned for the next group of books.
Years ago, I taught Grade 1 French Immersion for 4 months and then I taught French Immersion music for several years. My own children also attended French Immersion schools when they were young.
Now some of my grandchildren are studying at French Immersion schools and my son is teaching French Immersion music. It is exciting to see the cycle beginning again.
I have taken some of my early literacy and numeracy products and created a French version. I have enjoyed trying them out with my grandchildren and I am planning on taking them to the school so that they can be used in the classroom as well. I have also created a new game to help them learn how to create sentences. Check them out below.
If you are interesting in finding out more about learning a second language, my next post is about learning a second language. Click on the image below to read it.
This video has been floating around on Facebook for some time now. It really makes you stop and think about how confusing the English language can be to those learning English as a second language.
Pronunciation is not the only thing that is difficult. Many words are spelled the same way but have different meanings depending on how they are used. Here is a small sampling of some words in our language that have different meanings and pronunciations for the same spellings.
lead, content, row, sow, live, wind, present, minute
People also use words in ways that are very confusing for second language learners. My daughter-in-law is Korean, and she often asks me what I mean when I use an expression or idiom. We are unaware of how much of our language usage is not literal.
I love the Amelia Bedelia books because they show just how literally some of the sayings are interpreted by someone who doesn't know the current jargon or expression.
A couple of weeks ago, my reading group was reading a story from the Frog and Toad series that talked about spring being around the corner. Afterwards, I gave them some different idioms and a list of the meanings in a mixed up order and asked them to match them up. It was very interesting to see what choices they made. Most of the sayings were familiar, but there were some that were not.
I then read them the book Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. They found it to be very funny and asked if we could read some more during our reading group time. These books are perfect for showing the difference between figurative language and literal language.
We just finished reading Good Work, Amelia Bedelia. I created some activities to go along with the story. We will be doing them this week. Click the image at the bottom of the page to get your own copy to try out.
A couple of years ago I did a guest post about Amelia Bedelia and figurative language. At that time, I had a student who was very literal. He really did not understand that we used expressions which had different meanings. Here are some excerpts from my post from back then.
Have you ever found an activity or unit that you try that just takes off on it's own path? I have had this happen many times. It always amazes me when an idea that starts out as a teachable moment or a small idea takes on a mind of its own and blossoms into a larger study.
Our current bloom is idioms. What started as an introduction to Amelia Bedelia for a couple of literal learners, has turned into a fantastic learning experience. It has become rich with language and writing opportunities. It has so engaged my students, that they are driving their families nuts by catching every idiom or figurative expression that is spoken. Sometimes I have to call for a time out so that we can actually focus on the topics being studied. Not that I mind, though. It is always rewarding to see the kids having fun with something that they are studying.
I teach a grade 2/3 class and I wanted to find some books that would capture their interest and be appropriate for reading groups. I scored with Amelia Bedelia. There are some I Can Read versions that are great for my struggling readers, some of the regular editions that are suitable for my stronger grade 2s and my weaker grade 3s, and now the new chapter books that work with my stronger readers. Right now, everyone is reading about Amelia Bedelia. This is a first!
What I enjoy most about having the same characters, is that we can really look closely at them as we meet them in different stories. Everyone is familiar with Amelia Bedelia and Mr. and Mrs. Rogers.
Now they are meeting Amelia Bedelia's parents in the chapter books because they are stories about her when she was a little girl. They love making connections as they read about her adventures.
Herman Parish (nephew of Peggy Parish) has done a wonderful job with these books. He also has some new I Can Read books about Amelia Bedelia as a young child. They are sure to be a hit as well.
Did you catch the idioms and figurative language used in the above excerpts?
I had so much teaching about idioms, that I decided to create my own activities. Check them out below.
Click the image to get your free copy of activities for Good Work, Amelia Bedelia. I hope you enjoy using them.
It is time for the big TPT storewide sale so it is time to let people know. Some other teachers and I are sharing some of our top wish listed items. This is a great time to grab them as our stores are on sale and you get an added discount from TPT. Check below for my 4 top items. Don't forget to read until the end to get the links for other teacher authors so you can check out their products as well.
I love creating projects with my students. When I was teaching grade one and two, Creating a Community was one of my favorites. It was amazing to see the different communities develop as we moved throughout the unit. I especially enjoyed seeing how they made connections to the communities around them and how they had been developed. The pride that shone through as they shared with their family during our celebrations made if all very special. To learn more about this project, click on the picture.
Space is a popular subject for children. It is always fun to see them share as they begin to research and discover the wonders of the solar system. This project is a great way for them to share their understanding of what they have learned and it lends itself to many different styles of presentation so children can share in a way that works for them. It is always a highlight of the year when they look back.
No two projects are ever the same. Each one has it own uniqueness and value. Check it out here or click on the image.
Children are always surprised to learn about what life was like for their ancestors and they sometimes find it hard to imagine that their communities were ever undeveloped and different from what they see now. This is a great way to find out more about what life was like a long time ago. One of my favorite moments was taking my class to the local museum for a slideshow presentation of what our community used to look like when it was first settled. The children were so surprised to learn that much of downtown was under water and that children had to go to school by rowboat. They also got to visit the log cabin display and the float house display.
This is not the same scenario for every community, but each community does have it own special history that the children can learn about. Check it out here or click on the image.
This product is for Canadian teachers or those learning about Canada and its symbols. It is a great way for primary children to recognize symbols that are common to our country. Click here or on the image to check it out.
Check out all of my resources at a glance by clicking on the Resources button at the top of my blog.
Here are the links to some other teacher authors. Check out their most wishlisted products by clicking on the logos below.
You can also check out some of our Canadian authors who are on the Eh Team for great Canadian teaching resources. Happy shopping!
It's that time again. Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting a sitewide sale. For 2 days only, you can get up to 28% off on your purchases. That is a terrific deal. All you need to do is use the code LOVETpt to get the discount. All items in my store will be on sale. So load up your carts and get ready to save big.
Check out my other blog post here for my most wish listed items and those of some of my friends.
Not only is my store on sale, but I was given a $10 TPT gift certificate to giveaway. You can enter below for your chance to win.
Children love to play with money and they get very excited when they have the opportunity to use it for activities. This makes it a great tool for teaching many different math skills as well as life lessons. Here are several money products that I have used with my students to help them better understand how money is used.
One of the first things we want them to be able to do is recognize currency and the value of each coin or bill. They need to be able to count money and figure out how much money is needed for various purchases. These products focus on counting coins and deciding what coins are needed to make different amounts.
Once children are able to count money, they need to be able to produce the correct amounts in order to make purchases. They also need to know how to count change when they overpay so they are able to manage their money as they use it in the real world.
Money is also a great tool for learning how to do regrouping. I often taught my students that they were going to the bank when they needed more ones or tens or when they had too many and had to trade them in for larger amounts. They would actually use the coins to do the math transactions and this helped them to better understand the concept of regrouping.
Word problems can be difficult for children because not only do they need to do the math, they need to understand what the words mean in order to do the math questions. Using money as manipulatives can sometimes help with making sense of the problems. These word problems are some examples of things that children could encounter in real life.
This is one of my favorite units. It was created with my students. It started out as a simple activity and grew to be one of our most memorable moments that year. We created a spring fundraiser to raise money for a special field trip. We made many different things to sell. It was a perfect way to put into practice the skills we had worked on during the unit. (It works well for both Canadian and American money.)
We recently stopped using the penny in Canada. This created some confusion for businesses, so it was necessary to begin rounding up or down when making change. I created this product to address this situation.
This is a set of task cards that helps children to identify and count coins and match them up with the written form of the money amounts.
Here are my Canadian money products all in one place.
For three years before I retired, my class collected Pennies for Presents to help buy gifts for needy families at Christmas time. This was a wonderful way to give to others, but the added bonus was learning how to count money as we kept an on-going tally of what was collected each day. You can read about it here.
I hope that you find some of these ideas helpful for teaching about money in your classroom.
Christmas festivities are over and we have rung in the new year. Now it is time to get back to learning and the curriculum. This doesn't mean we have to take away the fun.
The New Year is a great time to incorporate winter celebrations into curriculum activities. There are so many different choices and events happening during the winter. There is Groundhog Day, Chinese New Year, 100 Days of School, Valentines Day, and in some places in Canada, there is Family Day.
Kids enjoy games and activities that focus on celebrations and they are more likely to be engaged in the different activities. This translates into better focus on concepts and skills presented and therefore, hopefully better understanding and retention of them.
I have created some pages that can be used for some of the various celebrations. I have a complete package of ideas available here, but I wanted to share these with you now. Just click on any of the images below to get a copy.
This is an activity that can be used yearly around Chinese New Year to figure out ordinal numbers.
Here is a hundred chart for using with different activities that require counting to 100 or looking for patterns when celebrating 100 Days at School. There is also a page with things you can do.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Here is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
Playing dice games is always fun to do, especially with holiday themed dice. Included is a probability page for keeping a tally of how many times different numbers are rolled.The worksheet has heart dice on it, but you can use regular dice to do the activity.
These are only some of the ideas that I have for math and winter. More math activities can be found in my Teacher Pay Teachers store. I also like to do language activities using sight word bingo, memory, language task card games, and phonics activities. There are several winter and holiday celebration activities in the literacy category or sight word category in my store.
I love to use glyphs for teaching about data. Kids love to create them and they don't realize how full of information they are until we begin to analyze them. They think they are just drawing or creating pictures.
I was introduced to glyphs about 15 years ago when I went to math workshop. I was amazed at how these simple drawings contained so much data. I knew that I had to use them in my classroom.
When I began to use glyphs, I didn't know about clipart. We drew pictures to represent the data. Then we posted the pictures on the board and began to look at the data. One of my favorite glyphs was the pumpkin glyph. Here is the information needed to create one version. Note that the classification matches the template. The pictures can be used to answer the classification questions as well as counting and comparison questions.
I was so excited about using glyphs, that I bought some books with prepared templates. I still did some that we drew ourselves, but not as often. The templates required some drawing, but kids felt more confident using them because the main shapes looked more uniform.
One of my favorite glyphs, in one of the books, was the baby block. I used it many times when doing student-led conferences. It was a way for parents and children to share information together about when the children were babies. It was also a great way to introduce the parents to the power of a glyph for collecting data.
Now, there are so many different templates that can be used and added to when creating glyphs. Here are some that I made.
The beauty of using glyphs is you can make the activities as simple or complex as you want. You can create pictures and do basic sharing with them, or you can do in-depth analysis and create graphs to go along with the results.
I highly recommend giving them a try.
Early in my teaching career, I realized the importance of small reading groups. I didn't really like having to follow the anthologies that were current at the time, because I found that they were varied in difficulty levels and that they created challenges for some children.
In the late nineties, we were introduced to leveled books and guided reading that made more sense. Since that time, I have fed my book addiction in the pursuit of finding materials that would engage my students and help them to love books and do more than just read the words on the pages. (I left several boxes of book sets at the school when I retired. I was a huge fan of the book bundles from Scholastic and garage sales.)
One of the challenges of doing guided reading, is being able to manage all the different reading levels in a classroom. I used to get parent volunteers and train them to work with my groups. I would give them the groups that were more capable and I would prepare the materials and structure the lessons for them. I would also have independent reading groups. I would work with the students that required more help. I would also have different center activities available for groups that I couldn't get to right away. There were so many different language activities available, it wasn't difficult to find ones to fit the various groups and abilities of my students. I created a rotation of activities so that I could keep track of which groups had done which activities.
In recent years, I have not always been able to use parent volunteers, so I needed to come up with ways to manage up to 7 different reading groups during a day. It was a juggling act, but because I had been doing rotations and centers for so long, I was familiar with how to structure the groups and knew what kinds of materials and activities I would need to make it happen.
I became pretty adept at creating centers and language activities that would engage the groups while I was working with others. I also started to add more and more language components to my guided reading lessons. The benefit of this was, the students got the lessons as they needed them and they were ready for them. Let's face it, not all kids are ready for the same concepts at the same time, so why teach them to the whole class at once!
Of course, there are some things that can be taught to everyone at the same time, and perhaps should be, but most times, concepts aren't fully understood if the children aren't ready for them yet.
I retired in June 2015, but I still volunteer at my last school. I have 6 different reading groups that I work with. Some groups are just learning to read, and others are advanced groups that are doing novel studies.
One of the things I enjoy about working with these groups, is being able to select my own materials and plan language activities for them. I don't just help the children decode the material and then do minimal work with the book, I help them to dig deeper into the meaning or use the book to teach language usage as well.
For example, I have a couple of groups of beginning readers working with speech bubbles and quotation marks. Normally, these ideas would not be introduced until much later, but the children are very excited about doing the activities and they are starting to notice the quotation marks in other books.
I enjoy creating guided reading study materials for chapter books. Kids love it when they finally get to the books with chapters. However, they often don't read very deeply and miss much of the rich detail and information that is in the book. Creating activities that make them stop and think and find evidence in the story allows for a better understanding of what the author is sharing.
Here are some guided reading studies for some of my students' favorite books and series. They are some of the books that I used with my groups last year and this fall. As the year goes on, I am sure that I will be creating more as I prepare for future groups and needs.
I know that many teachers teach guided reading, and everyone has their own techniques for making it work. These are just some thoughts from my experiences. I have met many teachers who are masters of reading and they have shared many experiences and resources throughout the years. There are many others that I have met on the internet, that I have collaborated with. I am in awe of what they are doing in classrooms today. Children are lucky to have them as their teachers.
I would love to hear more about what you do for guided reading in your classrooms.
Christmas is an special time for both children and adults. You can't help but feel the excitement in the air as December approaches. Christmas lights blink everywhere, Christmas music plays in the stores and on the radio, and the Christmas movies start to show up on the television.
There are so many opportunities to use this excitement and the feelings associated with Christmas in your classroom writing. For years I did Christmas writing with the senses. When I retired last year, I still had the chance to introduce this idea one more time when I was helping out in another teacher's classroom.
Here is my blog post about what we did.
When I wrote about the writing we did, I mentioned a special gift that we were creating, but I couldn't say anything more because a parent might see the post and it would spoil the surprise.
Here is more information about what we did and how it was special.
The teacher I was working with began by showing some different Christmas scenes. Each scene was going to be the topic of the verse that would be written.
We first generated ideas using my juicy details templates. We had used them for some other activities earlier in the year, so the children were familiar with them. We began as a group and then they went to their desks and selected the words that they wanted for their poems.
I have always found that using a framework for writing helps some of the struggling writers get started. Stronger, more confident writers develop more descriptive pieces of work and use it as a springboard for future work.
Using fancy paper for the final product is a great motivator for kids. I also find that they are more willing to do the writing and add to their work if they know that it is going to be typed up afterwards. (Those that have difficulty writing often write less if they know they have to do a re-write for publishing.)
Several times in the past, I used this idea of writing about Christmas using the senses as part of a bigger idea. Parents love to receive special gifts from their children that have been made by them. The poem was all written on one page and then put onto special paper. It was then placed on the back of the "stained glass" picture. This way, it could be shared each year as the kids grow. What better way to display it than to make it part of the Christmas decorations!
Instead of making a single page poem, this time, we made a special Christmas booklet with each verse on a separate page. A special note was written for each parent to add to the back of the "stained glass" picture instead of the poem. The booklet went along with the picture.
If you would like to make your own special "stained glass" decoration and poem keepsake, check out how we did it here.
Some of my teaching friends have also shared some holiday activities. See below to hop along and check them out.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother or 8, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
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