Schedulin Sunday: Subtraction, Ocean Animals, Dragons Love Tacos

This week is going to be busy and packed with fun: tacos, dragons, and a wedding! Our Backwards Bootcamp also continues this week: r for red day, q for qu wedding, p for pizza, o for orange, and n for new name-day!

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Phonics And Phonemic Awareness: Vowel Bootcamp

We are following our required foundational skills curriculum. And we are supplementing with our TKS BOOTCAMP Vowel Bootcamp! Our foundational skills curriculum is teaching uppercase letters (true story. I can’t ya’ll.) and since we’ve already mastered those we will be moving on and working with CVC-E words!

This week will be o_e words. Vowel Bootcamp is the perfect resource that aligns with the science of reading, and is fun, developmentally appropriate, classroom-proven, and teacher-friendly!

Monday is the circle chart. We say the word, segment the sounds, spell the word/map the sounds, and blend the word. We’re also building in vocabulary by defining the words.

Tuesday is word building and blending. We use the large letter cards from Vowel Bootcamp to build and blend words.

Wednesday is word writing. First, we use our whiteboards to practice writing whole group. We say the word, segment the sounds and write the word. Then we blend the word. After we practice students do their own writing which serves as an assessment piece so I can see who needs additional help in small groups.

Thursday students complete an independent activity where they blend the words and match the words to the picture. This also serves as an assessment piece. While this is independent, if I have students who I know will need extra support, I will pull them into a small group and give them some scaffolding as they work!

Friday will be decoding, blending and writing words with a fun game or activity!

We also use our decodable texts in small groups to work on the skills in text. I have seen so much growth in my student’s reading with these decodables. The kids love them and I love seeing their confidence and excitement as they read!

In small groups, we’re using our Word Mapping Mats to really help us segment, spell and read words! Since we started using these I’ve seen great improvement in my students’ ability to segment, spell and read words!

We’re also doing a lot of word chaining with CVC words, blends, digraphs, and double letters! Word chaining is when you change one sound to make new words. This phonics activity is one of the best for helping students blend and write words and understanding how words work. For these lessons, we’re using our Digital Word Building resource! This resource includes a PowerPoint file and a Google Slides file so it can be used on any device!

As the school year has moved along, we’re noticing our handwriting and letter formation is slipping some. This tends to happen every year around this time. Part of it is that we as teachers are overwhelmed with everything and trying to help students master all the things, we just slack off a bit. Ya’ll! It’s ok. We’re human. We recognize the problem and we make a plan to work on it! So, each day for just a few minutes, we’re going to do some explicit handwriting practice using chalk and chalkboards. Here’s why chalk! Chalk creates friction. Friction creates muscle memory. Muscle memory helps us retain information. But we’re not just writing letters, we will add in sound recognition and vocabulary by coming up with words for each letter!

I will show a slide that shows correct letter formation, I will model correct letter formation and then students will practice!

We actually have these little chalkboards that my mom and dad made for my class about 10 years ago! it’s one of the few things left in my classroom that my mom touched and made for me! These are just small pieces of wood painted with chalkboard paint! I ordered dustless chalk from Amazon to use with these!

We will also be using our CVC-E word blending cards during small groups!

Math- Subtraction

This year our district is using Illustrative Math as our math curriculum. We will be completing those lessons and supplementing them heavily with our Math It Up! creations. We’re down to the last 21 days of school and my students need lots of practice with subtraction so we’re going to focus on what they need and do subtraction.

Monday and Tuesday we’re going to a fun, new activity to practice taking away. It’s haircut subtraction! So here’s the idea. I’m going to make a giant head out of poster board. I’m going to make “hair” out of construction paper. Basically think rectangle strips of paper. Everything will be laminated. I will use Velcro dots to attach the hair pieces to the head. We will use equations and take away the hair. So the equation will be 6-3=. We will put 6 pieces of hair onto the head and take away 3. Stay tuned for details and pictures and videos!

We will also break out a classic: Get Off My Boat!

Wednesday through Friday will be students practicing independently in whole group and small groups!

For these lessons, students have a boat and kids to put on the boat. I show equations and they use the kids to solve the equation. They also write the equation and answer.

Reading Comprehension: Ocean Animals Research Project

This week we start our 4th module of the required curriculum and we will use our science block to learn about ocean animals!

We do one animal a day. We read a book and/or watch a video of the animal. This is the research. We record our learning on our graphic organizer. Students then write about the animal. We also label the parts of the animals. This is great for vocabulary, and discussing animal adaptations and habitats. Finally, we do an art project or directed drawing of the animal!

Our Ocean Animals Research Project includes 12 different animals: Animals included: orcas, jellyfish, sharks, octopuses, manatees, seahorses, stingrays, starfish, clownfish, dolphins, sea anemones, and whales.

For more animal research projects, check out these resources:

Reading Comprehension: Continents

We will be using our required curriculum which is all about continents. We haven’t done this module in the last two years so this is a new experience and from my planning, it looks to be an “interesting” set of lessons. We did our first lessons last week and the kids enjoyed it. And they really did a good job learning about the continents. This week we’re focusing on opinions, the author’s point, and collecting text evidence.

Dragons Love Tacos

This week is also the perfect week to read Dragons Love Tacos! This is such great book for vocabulary and reading comprehension! And kids love this book!

We read the story and work on retelling the story using sequencing words!

The Wedding Of Q And U

Tuesday is the wedding of Q and U as part of our Backwards Bootcamp! We review that q and u are always together and we create a chart of qu words, decode and spell qu words and we write qu words!

Mad Science Thursday

This week for Mad Science we’re making ocean slime! We make blue slime and add little ocean animals. SUPER EASY! The small ocean animals are from AMAZON! Click here!

Foodie Fun Friday

This week’s Foodie Fun Friday will be tacos!

Morning Meeting

Greeting-shark greeting! We play the Jaws theme and each kid “swims” around the circle until they choose someone to greet!

Activity-I Have Who Has Numbers


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