This week is always one of my favorites because it’s UNICORN WEEK! You see, April 9th is National Unicorn Day and that is obviously Easter so we decided to turn unicorn day into unicorn week! Plus we’re going to be working on phonics, handwriting, past and present and shapes!
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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 Blends Bootcamp! Our foundational skills curriculum is focused on segmenting, word chaining, blending, and writing words using blends, and digraphs, and now we’re introducing vowels. The curriculum has us continuing with short vowels, blends, digraphs, and double spellings! Our focus this week is decodable texts and working on blending, changing, and writing words!
We will be segmenting, spelling, writing, and reading the words as well as changing sounds to make new words with short vowels, blends, and digraphs.
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!
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. This week the curriculum is about 3D shapes, counting shapes and going on a shape hunt!
For our shape hunt, we’re doing two things. First, we will go through magazines and look for pictures of objects that are 3D shapes. We will cut them out and glue them onto the correct shape. (PRO TIP: For 3D shapes, I got sports magazines, cooking magazines, and home magazines because they have plenty of 3D shape examples!) We will also look for 3D shapes in the school. When we find a shape, I will snap a picture with my phone. I’ll print those at Walgreens and we will add those to our shape charts!
Here’s what the 2D version of the magazine shape hunt looks like….to give you an idea of how it works…
Reading Comprehension: America Then And Now
We are finishing module 3 of our required curriculum. This module is about life in the past and present. This week we’re writing about life has changed in America. We will review our graphic organizers, do lots of turn and talks, and then complete our writing. This also shows how well our resources all work in conjunction. We use our Explore It Up! social studies resource, along with Read It Up! resources and our required curriculum to give the students an engaging, developmentally appropriate way to learn as much as they can while keeping it fun and EASY for us!
This week we will be celebrating all things unicorns since April 9 was Unicorn Day!
We’re reading Thelma The Unicorn and working on comprehension skills such as retelling, character traits, and comparing the text to illustrations!
We also graph whether we like unicorns or not!
We’re also doing some fun unicorn art projects! Our favorite is our footprint unicorn!
We’re also doing a new unicorn art project that uses a paper plate. We will make a horn, ears, eyes and a mouth from paper. And we add on sticky gems to make the unicorn sparkle!
If you’re looking for some unicorn snack ideas, here are a couple!
Pudding, marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles!
Unicorn bark-white chocolate and sprinkles! Melt the chocolate, swirl in some food coloring, and sprinkles. Let harden, break apart!
For unicorn math and literacy centers, grab these resources:
Foodie Fun Friday
Our Foodie Fun Friday is our shape party! We eat 2D and 3D shapes!
Mad Science Thursday
This week for Mad Science Thursday we’re making unicorn slime! We just make slime, add food coloring and unicorn confetti!
Greeting-rainbow greeting! We use a PowerPoint with a rainbow. The kids pictures pop up from the rainbow and we greet that friend!
Our activity is I Have Who Has for CVC words!