Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Modified Spelling Lists and Phonics

As a resource room teacher you will probably be giving alternate spelling lists.  Start thinking now about how you are going to manage that.  I like Rebecca Sitton's spelling word list: http://rmtc.fsdb.k12.fl.us/literacy/files/1200wordlist.pdf  If you look at other sites, you will notice that this list contains Core words and No Excuse words for grades 1-5.  The core words would be the spelling words. This is how she has it broken down:
Core Words: 1st Grade = 1-30 2nd Grade = 31-130
3rd Grade = 131-265
4th Grade = 266-400
5th Grade = 401-600 and beyond

No Excuse Words:
1st Grade = 1-21
2nd Grade = 1-36
3rd Grade = 1-60
4th Grade = 1-100
5th Grade = 1-150 and beyond

I'm going to pretest my students who need a modified list.  We will decide a start point for them.  They will always know what their spelling words are going to be (the next 10 words on the list!).  From a management standpoint, this is as good as it gets.  However, these students also need to study spelling patterns so make sure that is included in your lessons.  Many of my students are in 4th and 5th grade.  Phonics games are too babyish for them.  I found a neat ESL website that has printable phonics games and flashcards.  They aren't babyish and my kids love them, especially the phonics monsters: http://bogglesworldesl.com/phonics_monsters.htm  Play around on the site, there are a lot of good printables there!

Happy Spelling!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Online Plans

Once again, sorry for taking so long to update this!  I'm finally getting back in control of my paper work/life!  I've been looking for a new way to keep anecdotal records - I say new but I really haven't done anything consistently.  My record keeping last year was basically keeping all of their work (writing pieces, running records, math sheets, tests etc...).  This year, I have been doing long extensive projects with my students and I really don't have a lot of concrete work to keep.  I wanted to write notes in my plans but I couldn't find a plan format that I liked besides the one I was using.

I'm not sure why I even cared about my plan format because my plans are useless.  I only do about 50% of what I write in the plans because of meetings and workshops and projects the students are doing in the classroom and class parties.  I don't have time to go back into the computer and move around what I didn't do and add what I really did.  My plans don't help me from year to year because it isn't an accurate reflection of what was done. 

Today, I found a free (for the first year, $7.95 a year after that) online lesson planner (http://www.planbook.com/).  It allows me to put in my 6 day schedule.  You just click on group you want to write plans for and type them in.  There is also a spot for homework which I am using for anecdotal notes. I can write my plans out for the week.  On Monday, if I notice that Johnny really needs extra help with subtraction, I can simply hit "extend" on my lesson.  That sends Monday's lesson to Tuesday and moves all my other lessons for that group down by a day.  If Mrs. Jones need me to push into the room on Wednesday, I can hit "bump" on that groups daily lesson and it will move all my lessons for that group down a day.  I can add Events (like snow days) and it will either come up as a reminder on school days or you can set it as a non-school day and it will move all my plans down a day.  Finally my planbook will accurately reflect what I'm actually doing in the classroom!  It's worth looking into it - especially if you are like most teachers I know and hate your plan format. 

Happy Planning!