Friday, 16 September 2011

Literacy groups- ideas?

I'm always scouring the net (Pinterest in particular!) for good ideas to use during literacy groups. I have quite a good selection now but I find these session quite hard. It is hard to get to all students and for them to stay on-task while I am working with a small group. I find it tempting to just spend all weekend making new games, because I know they will love them, but then I realise I won't have a life and that they are still learning the game I made for them last week.
Here are two of the latest activities that I have made-- I stress to add that these are not my ideas originally.

Rainbow words:
This idea came from this great site and again, I have just modified. The students choose a word, trace it with a rainbow texta (separated into warm and cool colours) and then cross it off their list. They love it. I think it is the textas that they love, mainly.

Peg words:
This idea is from this lovely lady. I bought a Little Golden Book picture dictionary, cut out the best pictures, and made these labels. I then made corresponding pegs to be clipped on to the right letters.

The labels can also be used for look, cover, write, check activities.

Quote of the day

Quote of the day:

"Ms M-- whacked me!"

It was a complete accident, of course, but she did end up with a bloody nose. Whoops.  Anyone else ever done that?!

Fairy tales crafternoon

I thought I would share some lovely fairy tale craft we did one Wednesday crafternoon in KM. I must credit Ms Leslie Ann's Life in First Grade blog with the idea, which I just modified. Hers is much better, I must add.
The students, even the boys, in KM are pretty obsessed with fairy tales. We talked about elements that all fairy tales have, such as villains, love, magic etc. We also discussed the common beginning 'Once upon a time' and ending 'happily ever after'; a concept they have really latched onto. If I read a story that starts with 'Once upon a time', they say "That sounds like a fairytale to me!" And one child in particular likes to add 'happily ever after' on the end of ever story I read, ranging from The Adventures of Spot, to Avocado Baby. It is endearingly exasperating.

The craft is made from strips of colourful wrapping paper, bought for 50c a piece from the Reject Shop. I provided them with the bed template and they drew a pea and their princess. I think they look great! It is a good idea to read them not only The Princess and the Pea, but also The Princess and the Bowling Ball (part of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales book, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith) for a comparison.

Lids and kids

 KM have been pretty mad on lids. We began collecting them after I watched a Maths consultant demonstrate a great Lids Kit activity* she made for emergent Maths students. I collected them originally intending to make Lid Kits but then the collection just took on a life of its own...

Everyone I knew was giving me lids. I put a sign up on the staff room whiteboard, which was a real boon. But my biggest stroke of genius was getting the students involved. Every lunchtime was spent scoping out the playground for lid potential. While I sure didn't want to pick up grubby lids I found in the playground (despite the temptation), the kids really didn't mind. They would come and show me their haul if I was on playground duty and I would just encourage them to go and give them a little wash. I like to think it kept them out of trouble.

 The lids provided quite a scope for Maths lessons. Instead of counting from the 100s chart, we counted lids. We graphed them. We ordered them. We sorted. We made videos about the lids. The kids made castles and snakes from the lids during developmental play sessions. And yes, I did make the Lid Kits, but we've hardly touched them.

Eventually, we made our final graph, using catagories the students chose themselves. We stuck the lids on with blue tac and then I put sticky tape over the top of them. With great difficulty (and with the help of a colleague) I got them up on the wall. Every now and again, a lid pops off. Worth it though.

*Lid Kits, in case you do want to make them:

Make numeral cards, 1-6 and the corresponding number of lids. Eg: 1 red lid, 2 blue lids, 3 white lids etc. The students have to order the numeral cards, then match the groups of lids to the correct number. Good for numeral ID, ordering, 1:1 counting, etc. I stored them in press-sealed bags. Quite good, except be sure to sit the students far enough away so that the lids don't get mixed up into other kits! Learned that one the hard way....