Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Daily Calendar Work in Spanish

This is a simple page I use with my students to teach them how to read the calendar as well as how to use tally marks, base ten blocks and learn about place value. After modeling for my students a couple of times and then guiding them through it they are now able to do it independently. I place the blank copies at the entrance of our class and right after lunch as they walk in they grab a sheet and begin to work on it while I prep our math lesson. It takes them about five to ten minutes to complete. The great thing about it is that by the time I start to teach place value or base ten blocks my students are already familiar with it. Just in case your wondering it is aligned to common core.

 You can purchase this at my TPT store just click on the link

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Christmas Themed Math Word Problems aligned to Common Core

Yes! I finally finished these Christmas themed word problems to meet operations and algebraic thinking common core standards. We do a word problem journal prompt at the end of each math unit, but I wanted to try some on a daily basis or even as a math center. So I looked at the standard and came up with these word problems in Spanish. There are a total of 11 prompts. If you start on the last week of Nov. you could do one prompt a day and be done by the time you go on vacation.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Reading Strategies

Yay! I finished.....I finally finished.
I've been using these reading strategies with my students all year but I've been so wanting to have them in Spanish. Working in a Dual Language classroom they are so necessary. We survived without them, but now that I have them, what a difference they make. My students now have a visual to help them make that connection with the strategy that we are using. If you use reading strategies during your read alouds, or during your guided reading....these cards are a must!
I made a total of 10, Visualizar, Recontar, Conexiones, Hacer Preguntas, Conocimiento Previo, Evaluación, Inferir, Resumir, y Síntesis.  You can find them at my TPT Store now. Did I say Yay yet?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Small Moments

My first grade partners and I wanted to start our small moments this month in Writers Workshop so to introduce the concept we used a variety of mentor text to introduce our students to zooming in on one moment. My great PLC partner Ms. Cortez had seen these Kevin Henkes books with this idea and we decided to expand upon it.

We used various mentor texts to introduce the concept of zooming in on one small moment. We started with the book Wave by Suzy Lee. It's a wordless book but it's a great way to introduce the concept of how there need only be one focus character. As well as how you can stretch a whole five minutes of playing with a wave into a story. We charted each book that we read. 

The second book we used is one of my favorites "Night of the Veggie Monster". This is also a great book for teaching zooming in on one moment. It also lends itself to introducing rich vocabulary and the use of descriptive words (but that would be another lesson!).
We began by charting the characters, the "one time" this story took place.

The one place this story happened, and of course the something that happened in the story. These Kevin Henkes books are great for this concept. They focus on just one character, one moment and one thing happening.

This is one student sample one of my students wrote. ......"Saturday I went to buy milk with my sister and she said did you lock the door Yes?."

 Its a start! He has his one time, Saturday, his one place needs some work, his one thing is him going to buy milk and I especially love that he used dialogue. We will most certainly continue to work on small moments this month so to facilitate their writing I created a student friendly writing checklist for my students to use during their writing. I use it to help them keep track of their writing. Because we are a dual language classroom I created it in both English and Spanish. Both are available at my TPT store.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Technology in the Classroom

I found some great free websites at the end of last school year and they worked really great in my class. I decided to start them at the beginning of the school year with my new class...not being too sure if my students would be able to handle it?! Can you believe I actually thought that?  Kids now a days have IPads and IPods since pre-k!  LOL! So here are a few of the websites I use in my classroom for free.....did I mention that they are free?
  The first site is It's a site where you combine the joy of reading with the power of helping others. We Give Books is a new digital initiative that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online. As a teacher you choose a campaign to support, like Todos a Leer,  read a free children's book online today and help donate new storybooks to thousands of children throughout the state of Jalisco in Mexico.

  I taught my students to select the tab All Books and age range of 4-7 of any type of book at the main selection. You can specify from 8-10 or teen and even select by author.
My students love to read these books.  I was able to check out four mini-laptops from my school to keep in my I just log them in and keep them all on that page. There's a quick sign up at the beginning but after that the access if very easy. I have all four laptops signed in at the same time with only one account. Not only are my students reading but we are helping get books into the hands of needy children.

Another website I use on a daily basis in my class is  This is a web based program that helps kids master basic math facts. This program can be used in the classroom as well as at home. Once you sign up and create your classroom a pin code is also created for the parents so that if they choose they can use it at home as well.

I get a weekly report of how my students are doing. The goal is to reach 100 addition facts mastery. Addition because that's where I started my class. You can select addition and subtraction up to division even beginning algebra. Again, the most important thing is it's free. My students love to go to the computer and beat the teacher at a timed fact exercise, they seem to forget that they are learning.

If you use technology in your classroom please post here what website you use. I would love to continue to expose my students to all the available learning opportunities that are out there.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Expository Writing

At the end of the year we changed our focus from fiction writing to expository writing. We began the unit by introducing expository texts on animals and insects to our students. We charted  features of expository texts, such as headings, captions, and photographs
                   over a period of a couple of weeks. 

After being exposed to numerous types of expository texts, we then had our students select and research one animal or insect. They read every book on their animal they could find in our classroom library, school library or local library as well as read articles or stories online. They created a diorama of their animals habitat and gave an oral presentation as well of all they had learned about their animal.
After all they learned our students culminated their project by writing their own expository articles about their animals. I was so excited to see them make their own table of contents page as well as have bold print for headings.
My favorite was seeing their author page. I especially enjoyed how my students pointed out that they needed to list all of their previous publications just like Mo Willems does at the end of his books! 
Of course at the end we displayed all their great writing proudly for all to see.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Book Labels

Wow!! Summer is over and we are back in the classroom.....but before we get into the work I want to share what I did to label my library books.  Yes, that's right I labeled all of the books in my library. It only took me three days and 3 helpers (aka. my honey and children). Not only did they help me label but level them as well.  I used / to identify the guided reading level of each of my books. Then I used these great labels I got from which I mounted on some black card stock and yellow print scrapbook paper. I used some rubber cement to glue them onto my book bins.
The red book bins house our Spanish books and the blue book bins house our English books. The color coding helps the students differentiate for language. The label says "Just Right Level". I took this labeling a little further by also making an Avery label to add to each book. This helps my non-readers match the label on the book with the label on the bin.

Once I started labeling I must admit I went a little crazy. I organized some of my books by author study and so of course I had to have labels for my authors. Both for the book and the bin. The pictures for the authors I got off Google and used Avery labels for the books. Not only is this helpful to my students so that they are reading just right books at their independent level but it also helps me select books for my teaching. I have baskets full of animal books, insects, people etc. 
Not every book is found on the scholastic website so I used the leveling book list by Fountas and Pinnel. It has every book published up to 2011.
I grab about 10 books and send it home with a parent to identify the level for me. When they come back I just add the label and drop it in the right basket.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leibster Award

This is long overdue and I apologize for taking so long to post this. I was awarded the Liebster Blog Award by Chelsearose @ This is actally a fitting award because I am new to blogging and just learned how to copy these buttons. So thank you Chelsearose for the award. 

This award is for "new" bloggers, and its goal is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.  If awarded, you must:

Copy and paste the award on your blog
Thank the giver and link back to them
Reveal YOUR top five picks and leave a comment letting them know

So here are my five picks for the award!

Which ones are your favorite?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Dia De Los Padres


I know we only have a couple of days left of school but I wanted to do something special for my students and their fathers. I found this poem about following your dads footprints....I'm sure you've all seen the one where you put your students hand print next to the poem we all have given to our moms....
Sometimes you get discouraged
Because I am so small
And always leaving my fingerprints
On furniture and walls.
well this one is perfect for giving dads a footprint. I know....your thinking about stinky feet!...but I think if you do it first thing in the morning you might not have such a smelly problem.  I bought these large stamp pads and am going to have my students stamp their footprint in the empty spot next to the poem and  I have a supply of wipes to give the students to remove the ink afterward.... I think this will make a great fathers day gift.

"Walk a little slower Daddy,"
said a child so small,
"I'm following in your footsteps
and I don't want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I'm all grown up,
You're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who'll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true,
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you."

Well I went ahead and translated the poem  into Spanish, and I for one am willing to take the risk of a smelly class!
If you would like a copy of the Spanish poem, it is available at my TPT.

I hope you and your students have fun with this cute project and that your students dads cherish this forever.