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Elementary Teacher Resources, Issue #016 -- More Sight Words and Water Day: Year 2
June 01, 2008

Welcome to
Elementary Teacher Resources

Onomatopoeia story

This year I have really focused on using writing crafts in Writer's Workshop.

One of my favorite stories was when a student wrote a whole story just using onomatopoeia.

I made a little video of him reading it. I was excited to see him picking a craft and really “going deep” into using it.

Often we don't see the progress students are making, but this time I really got to see my teaching in action!

Sometimes I just feel so proud of my kids!

More Sight Words

My teammate and I wanted to really challenge the kids to learn their sight words so we decided that they could earn pizza and soda with words. We did this two times this year and it was highly successful.

We drew a large pizza and hung it between our rooms. We then hung the list of words the kids would have to learn to earn the pizza and soda below it.

When the children showed mastery of the words, they got to write their name on the pizza.

It was very exciting for all involved. The kids really worked together to get everyone to learn the words.

The words were sent home to the parents, used in homework, hung on the bathroom walls, used in centers via Heidi's Sight Word CD's and basically plastered them all over the place.

I even made this goofy little video to show daily that had all of the words the kids needed to know for pizza and soda.

In the end over half the kids knew at least 57 words. Pretty terrific!

Water Day: Year 2

We just had Water Day on Friday and we changed it a little from last year.

This year the kids had to earn a ticket into Water Day.

They had to get at least 12 green days out of 18 to get a ticket. I kept a record on a spread sheet. The kids help me mark it every afternoon.

Once they earned a ticket, they write their name on it and hung it on the board. This really gave me a little leverage at the end of the school year…

We also kept an event chain leading up to Water Day. We labeled each chain link with any end of the year events like AR celebration, library books due and Field Day.

This way the kids knew how long it would be until the celebration. This helped with the many times I used to be asked, “When is Water Day, Mrs. Mikesell?”

So, let’s talk about the stations. Some stations were a “hit” and others were a dismal failure.

One new station was this roll a dice, melt the ice game. My kids seem to really enjoy it and the mom that was running the center seemed to think it was fun too!

Another new center was the music center. I had a support teacher come and dance with the kids to some favorite songs. It was fun, but man, it was hot. Next time I’d have some spray bottles for them to cool off.

The biggest flop was “ice castle building”. We had tons of ice and small containers for the kids to build castles. It was really a cool idea, but it turned into the kids just putting ice on each other’s heads. Oh well, they all can’t be winners!

Some old favorites were writing with water, chalk, water table, bubbles and a sponge relay.

All in all, it was a success and I look forward to doing it again next year! I hope that you have enjoyed this newsletter. Please feel free to email it to friends and family who are teachers or homeschool moms!

Also, don't forget to get your copy of my free new teacher handbook! It's full of great tips and tricks to make your year go great.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

See you next month!

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