Thursday, February 24, 2011


RTI stands for Response to Intervention. Our entire school has RTI time from 9-9:30 everyday. Children switch classes to be with a group based on their needs according to DIBELS results in literacy. I see the "at-risk" students who are in intensive need of extra support. We just began a few weeks ago, and we love it. I've basically started from the beginning - letter names and sounds. Here is a picture of students tracking the alphabet as we say (not sing) it:

Each day I have about the same routine:
1. Challenge - 1 student a day tries to beat whatever challenge he/she is on. The first one is to just say the letters of the alphabet.
2. Phoneme Cards
3. PALS - something done by Vanderbilt University that teaches SO much (b/m/e sounds, blending, decoding, rhyming, syllables, etc.)
4. A Dr. Jean get up and dance song practicing letters/sounds
5. letters on the projector

Presidents Day 2011

Love this: "Rocko Obama" 

100th Day Activities

100 piece puzzles: $100 bill, bald eagle, and some random Precious Moments puzzle.

At the computer center: 
Just for fun: 

 Every celebration needs a crown!


 Hall Display: Hundred Items Project and activity Present/Future (100) activity

 What I look like now verses what I will look like when I'm 100:

He gave his 100-year-old self a mohawk and said,"Are you ready to rock?"
He said he will also bake cookies. :)

Valentine's Activities

Better posted late than never right?

I love to see kids thinking when they estimate. This picture was before got any candy.
11 was the actual amount.


Graph and Compare.

Make heart-shaped Valentine's cards.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I put out pink and purple hearts that I bought from Target in the sale bins. They use them to sort, pattern, and put on touch points large numbers (Touch Math). 

Our Tracing Station has Valentine pictures as well.

Snowy Day Writing

I can't wait for this super snowy winter to be over!!

However, today, before we were dismissed early due to snow, I braved getting out the shaving cream! We practiced writing ending sounds, sight words, real words, and nonsense words in the "snow." 

Clean up is not so bad either. 

To teach reading a word, real or nonsense, we use this basic method:

1. Sound it.    
Say the sound of each letter or digraph or chunk as you point to it.

2. Sing it.       
Blend the sounds together using a sing-song voice as you track the letters.

3. Say it.        
Read the word as you run your finger under it quickly.

When writing a word, we sort of go backwards. Say the word. Then say the word s-l-o-w-l-y like you are stretching a piece of bubble gum out of your mouth or like "Stretchy Snake." Then try to identify each sound you said.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dr. Jean

I'm on the right, standing with the famous Dr. Jean Feldman in the middle and my teammate and mentor on the left.

I've already implemented so many ideas from her marvelous workshop. I'll have to take some pictures of things I've made that my kids love. It was perfect timing, because my school just started RTI. Every morning I see a group of 9 low-performing students to work on reading skills. I've been using Dr. Jean's letter songs and activities since the start.

An update on my Action Research Project: I think I'm now leaning towards conducting my research on the extent to which RTI benefits ELL students in something like oral blending, sound segmentation, or decoding. Six of my nine RTI group is in ELL.

Another update: This semester's school book club is discussing The Collaborative Teacher. Tonight we talked about the first section. Although I was so bored every time I picked up the book that I fell asleep, I do believe the conversation tonight was highly valuable. I look forward to some of the changes we might make at our school as a result of this book study.