Latest Posts

Letter Reversals

A lot of parents have concerns about their child continuing to reverse letters. It is not unusual for some kids to still struggle with letter and number reversals. Just because they reverse letters does not necessarily mean that they have dyslexia. We really focus on handwriting in second grade, and we are also required to introduce cursive. Ideally, we would hope that upon entering 2nd grade students can:

-spell their entire first and last name

-have their upper and lowercase letters and numbers written correctly and neatly.

Not to worry! We will continue to practice all year. I will be posting more about helpful, quick handwriting tips.

In the meantime, check out this article that might shed some light on why students still reverse letters and numbers.

Why Students Reverse Letters

Wobble Chairs: Taking Flexible Seating to the Next Level

One teacher in our school just used DonorsChoose.org to get chromebooks for her class, so I thought this was worth trying!

I just created a DonorsChoose.org classroom request.

Wobble Chairs: Taking Flexible Seating to the Next Level

Give to my classroom within the next seven days and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code LIFTOFF during checkout and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $50).

In return, you’ll get awesome photos of your gift in action and our heartfelt thanks.

Thank you so much,
Abigail

P.S. If you know anyone who might be interested in supporting public schools, please feel pass this message along.

A Little Bit of Everything: Education Articles, here we come!

Lately, I have gone through a list of articles I’ve saved and thought other teachers and parents might be interested as well.

The importance of training the brain to read sight words–multi-sensory strategies! http://www.ayearofmanyfirsts.com/2016/08/hands-sight-words-free-resources/

Free short vowel fluency passages for the young or struggling reader: https://educationtothecore.leadpages.co/fluency/

Controversial sign school posted “School Wants Parents to Take Responsibility”

http://en.newsner.com/the-school-wants-parents-to-take-responsibility-now-their-poster-is-spreading-like-wildfire-online/about/family

Wobble chairs to get the wiggles out-I need to try to get these from donors choose!

http://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2016/10/19/wobble-chairs-bouncy-balls-let-students-wiggle-work

Why we take “brain breaks” and what they are: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/brain-breaks-focused-attention-practices-lori-desautels

Gamify the class ideas: https://www.edutopia.org/article/gamifying-your-class-john-mccarthy

Free Fluency passages for practice at home: https://educationtothecore.leadpages.co/fluency/

I need to explore this site! https://teachers.makewonder.com/

You know I love some Pete the Cat resources! http://www.kindergartenworks.com/kindergarten-teaching-ideas/writing/pete-the-cat-freebies/

Books for kids who worry. I love book recommendations on this site!: http://www.amightygirl.com/what-to-do-when-you-worry-too-much

Craft and writing prompt idea: http://room5teacher.blogspot.com/2012/07/monday-made-it-rocking-resources-and.html?m=1

Fun ways to teach grammar! http://educationtothecore.com/2015/10/ways-to-teach-grammar/

Math game I need to check out: https://www.prodigygame.com/

We work with a wonderful team of teachers at Forest Oaks Elementary, and I love teaching students from all different backgrounds! Tips for ELL teachers: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/esl-ell-tips-ferlazzo-sypnieski

ELL resources! https://www.edutopia.org/article/resources-for-teaching-english-language-learners-ashley-cronin

ELL book ideas: https://www.edutopia.org/article/resources-for-teaching-english-language-learners-ashley-cronin

Just between us journals between moms and daughters: https://www.amazon.com/Just-Between-Us-Daughter-No-Stress/dp/0811868958

 

Why is my child so forgetful?!

As part of our class goal to listen, remember, and follow directions this month, I have been reading up on some interesting articles about a common childhood issue: forgetfulness. From being a forgetful child myself, getting my last spanking in 3rd grade for being warned multiple times and forgetting my spelling book, to being a somewhat type A “to-do list” person, I can understand different points of view. I read several different types of articles, and don’t necessarily agree with all of these points, but this one helped the most. If you get a chance, it may be an interesting read from a parent’s point of view. By the way, I want you to know that you are wonderful parents who care about your children, so please don’t be hard on yourself if you read this! That is not my intention! It seems so hard to parent, and I just wanted to share this as a resource! “It takes a village…” In our classroom, I’ve decided to reward kids for listening, remembering and following directions with kindness critters, highlights, free choice time, etc. https://www.ronitbaras.com/family-matters/parenting-family/how-to-cure-a-forgetful-kid/
I also wanted to do a plug for extra practice. If you’re interested in having your child do extra practice, I’ve used the “Spectrum” curriculum in the past with tutoring. If you’d like your child to get a little bit of extra practice in an area, they are aligned with the standards, but are a more streamlined “old school” way of teaching. I’d be happy to send home a few pages for extra practice, and they can also be found at Books-A-Million. There is a picture of the books below.

Finally, please read below part of a message from our Superintendent, Randy Fuller. I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach your child. Thank you for entrusting them to us here at Forest Oaks!

Also, congratulations to all in our system on being recognized for achieving a grade of “A” in the recent media reports.  It has taken the collaborative effort of everyone in our system to reach this level.  I am very proud of all of you.  We were the only county school system, the largest school system and one of only 16 systems out of 138 statewide who achieved this level.
Thanks for what you do for our children!
Randy Fuller

Coming Soon…

Good morning!

Soon I will be posting interesting education articles for teachers and parents alike. It does not mean I necessarily agree with everything or even the author of the articles themselves, but that I merely find them interesting and/or helpful to use some of their ideas in the classroom!

 

My Child and Dyslexia Questions

A lot of parents have questions and concerns about their child in reading a writing.

What is common at the beginning of 2nd grade from what I’ve noticed over the years:

-number and letter reversals when writing (b, d, p, g, 7, 9, 6)

-inventive but misspelled words

-reading words too quickly and misreading a word ex. “want” for “wears”

-poor handwriting, words written too close together

-inconsistent capital letters and punctuation

By the end of the year:

-neater handwriting, spacing the words, using capital letters and punctuation more consistently

-correct spelling for learned phonics and sight words (what, was, cat, cut, etc.)

-sounding out the words correctly based on what phonics patterns we have learned so far

-thinking “does this word make sense when I read it?”  Self-correcting reading “He wears a special costume.” or “He wants a special costume.”

-misspelling longer words

 

What is Dyslexia?

In Mrs. Brock’s words, dyslexia is connected to which side of the brain does the work to read. The brain of a child with dyslexia compensates on the math side of the brain. The brain of a child without dyslexia shows activity on the reading side of the brain.

Some students may show dyslexic tendencies, but with practice, and multi-sensory learning activities, the brain chemistry can be changed by using other senses to help the child learn to read.

In our class, we use multi-sensory strategies for ALL students who may struggle in some areas of reading and writing. We practice EVERY DAY. If you have concerns at the beginning of the year, we will continue to practice. If we still see signs of struggle throughout the year, we will be meeting and discussing some options to help your child succeed.

PLEASE check out this great link with some more information about dyslexia and resources for your child. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for more resources.

http://www.shelbyed.k12.al.us/dyslexia.html

 

Off to a Rockin’ Start!

These Rockstars have been working so hard during this first month of school!

We have learned the routines and expectations, started reading and math rotations, been creating narrative stories, learning about the continents, as well as what scientists do!

The students have been keeping up with their August Reading Log, their weekly homework, turning in their work on time, and being examples to others with their rockstar behavior!

We ended up meeting our school goal during the coin drive, and saw Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Sims kiss a hairy, black pig named Matilda!

We have also started our student-led conferences with student, parent, and teacher, and are setting our goals for the quarter, like knowing our math facts, benchmarking on the next reading level, and using kind words when speaking with others.

Stay tuned for more updates and pictures!

 

Cheering for Mrs. Baker as she's about to kiss the pig.

Cheering for Mrs. Baker as she’s about to kiss the pig.

Nerdy for Nickels Day!

Nerdy for Nickels Day!

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Disney for Dimes

Disney for Dimes

Pretty Princesses!

Pretty Princesses!

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At the final rally!

At the final rally!

Liberty Learning and Boosterthon

As the end of October approaches, I thought I’d share some of the fun things the students have been learning in school.

We’ve started have student “mystery readers.” Students pick a book that they’ve practiced and read it to the class! Then, they get their picture taken with the book!

We also have been learning foundational American values and symbols through the “Liberty Learning” program. With the help of Libby Liberty, the students are excited to learn about symbols of the United States like the Statue of Liberty, the American flag, and famous monuments and memorials.

Finally, the Boosterthon is approaching! This allows students to get pledges of amounts of money for a “fun run” which is raising funds for new playground equipment and chromebooks for our school! Check out funrun.com for more information!

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Fun Happenings in the Rockstars’ room

Hi there!

Our students have been working hard AND having fun!

They’ve been working on fluent reading (with good EXPRESSION!, smoothly, and accurately!)

They have also been working on telling time to the whole hour and half hour, adding coin amounts and using math tools like cubes and the number line to add within 10 (and up)!

These rockstars have been good listeners, quick workers and kind friends. (It’s something we always work on! 😉 They earned enough compliments to get Humphrey the school hamster in our class for Book Fair Week!

Check out our fun times!

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Also, it is International Dot day! We listened to Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot and thought about how we can “make our mark” in the world. Thanks to Ms. Woodham for teaching them the “Dot Song!”

These are the dots we made. There is also a sentence about how they want to make their mark! Make a mark video 9.15

They are singing in the pictures below!

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Finally, we have been studying landforms this week. As an “assessment” we got to draw a mountain, hill, valley, island, peninsula, plateau, lake, river, and ocean. Here are a couple students’ work! (I don’t think there are copyright issues since it was erased, but if there are, these works belong to the students, NOT Abigail Brock.)

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We hope to continue our rockstar learning!