Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Snack Time!!

I used to loath snack time. I tried it one year. What I saw was scary.

My idea was to have kids bring a quick, healthy snack to eat while they are working independently on writing or some other activity. What I got instead were 24 kids unwrapping Ding Dongs and Twinkies, smearing their cheesy little Doritos hands all over their papers, and a line a mile long of kiddos needing me to open something. Plus, little crumbs of chocolate cupcakes and the remains of Goldfish crackers were repeatedly ground into my carpet. Not pretty. Definitely not how I envisioned it in my head.

That was when I banned snacks in my room. It was a blessing that lasted many years. But then, I was handed a new schedule that put lunchtime at 11:45.

If you know kids at all you will understand that going from 8-11:45 without a break is almost impossible. Their little minds begin to fade away and their bodies get a case of the wiggles. So, I decided to put snack back into the day along with a 15 minute recess.

But, I've learned. Now I have a class snack. My parents donate boxes of cereal, bags of pretzels, goldfish crackers, animal cookies and any other bulk snack items that they can think of. On the way out the door I give each kid a handful. If they don't like that particular snack then they simply say no thank you. This is not a buffet; you get what you get and you don't throw a fit.

The best part is that it literally takes 2 minutes to pass out and if they drop any it falls onto the sidewalk; no more little fishy parts being ground into the carpet....yay!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Working With Words

The last component of Daily 5 that the kids learned was Working With Words. Each week the kids have 10 spelling words and 2 challenge words. These words are usually sight words and word family words that they need to know for both reading and writing. We use these words for our word work each week. The students choose from a list of several word activities that they can do to practice their words.

The list is growing but here are a few;

Stamps- The kids use letter stamps to print the words on paper.

White Boards- The kids use white boards to write the words. They can practice writing them over and over or they can use blue for consonants and red for vowels.

Rainbow Writing- The spelling words are written on paper in a variety of colors.

Magnetic Letters- The words are spelled on the easel whiteboard using magnetic letters.

Playdough- The letters for each word or rolled out and formed using playdough.

We also have letter beads, string words, and a scrambled egg word activity that we use. Word Work has quickly become a favorite Daily 5 component of many of the kids in the room!