Saturday, April 30, 2011

Websites for Teachers Having a Beach Themed Classroom


Literacy & Writing:



Webquests and On-line Activities:


Games & Other Fun Things:

Beach Themed Classroom Bulletin Board Ideas

General Bulletin Boards
Hooked on _____
_______ is Oceans of Fun!
Set Sail for ______
Glad to "Sea" You! (door decoration)
Swim Into ____
Meet an Ocean of Friends
Ride the ____ Wave
We're Making a SPLASH with Great Work! (do splash in wavy letters)
Splashing Good Work
Sand-Tastic Work (use Elmer's glue and sandbox sand to cover letter with sand)
Surfing our Way to Successful Learning (make a large surfboard shape and put the saying on the surfboard)
Treasures from the Sea
Dive Right in with Great Work
Dive in and explore _____!
Splash into 2nd Grade
Dive into _____
Swimming to Success
Welcome to Ms. ______ Ocean Reef! Where learning is oceans of fun! _____ Beach
Hang Ten with ____ grade!(Display with large wave and students names on cutouts.)
The Sun is shining on ____________ (Spotlight on student of the week or student's work samples. Hang sun on display.)
Swimming for Knowledge (Using body's of scuba divers with the children's faces)

General Management
______'s Reef is Oceans of Fun
Swimming to good behavior
Treasure Good Behavior
Catch of the Day (attendance)
Bait Shop (lunch choices/lunch count)
Caught Being Good (behavior)
Behavior Bay
A Sea of Helpers (job chart)
Gone Surfin (Paint this on a small surf board to hang on the door when not in the room.)
Surf Days (display student birthdays on surf boards or use as calendar area title)
Sands of Times/Tide of Times (calendar area or newsletter title)
Tiki Times, Starfish Gazette, The Reef Report (newsletter titles)
Digging for Golden Behavior (Display with sand pail, shovel, and gold coins. Then have class work together to add more gold coins to the display to earn class privileges.)
Star Student (Student of the week. Decorate with star fish.)

Sink your teeth into a good book (with a shark)
Oceans of Sounds for a digraph/blends wall
A School of "Fin"tastic Readers
Fishing for Sight Words
Hooked on books
Get hooked on reading! (Display feature book titles on the ends of fishing hooks made from poster board)

Waves of Words (word wall)
A School of "Fin"tastic Writers
A Whale of a Word (word wall)

The Tide/Sands of Times (calendar)
A School of "Fin"tastic Mathematicians

Other Center Names
Splash Zone/The Beach (carpet meeting area)
Art Atoll
Word Wharf
Math Mangrove
Poetry Pool
Grammar Island
Buddy Beach
Listening Lagoon
Computer Coast/Cove
Internet Island (Hang a net, small surfboard, and a sign that reads "Surf the Net!" or Place a small fish or other aquatic animal in the net above the computer area with a sign that reads "Get caught in the Net!")
Reader's/Reading Reef
Paradise Island/Cove (reading corner with palm tree scene setter)
Reading Reef (reading corner with beach or ocean scene setter)
Reading Hut or Reading Cabana (reading area at small table with beach umbrella & beach chairs)
Writer's Wharf/Reef
Ocean Isle (science and social studies)

Personalized Spelling

Every child has their own 8 personal words that they are to practice during the week (both at school and at home). I pre-tested the children on the words that they should have learned while they were in kindergarten. Any word that they knew, I highlighted on my master list for each child. Any words not highlighted will be future “personal spelling words.” By the end of 1st grade, children should be able to read and write the 1st 100 hundred words on the “Fry Word List” (see below).

Students will receive their personal spelling word list each Monday (if we are only in school 3 or less days that week, I do not send out a list, but please review previous words). On Monday, they are responsible for making “rainbow words” with their personal words. “Rainbow words” is writing in pencil each word, and then trace them using at least 5 colored pencils. I ask that students trace the entire set of words one color at a time (tracing them 5 times in total). They will then bring their words home to practice nightly. Students practice their words every day while in school using materials such as: playdough/clay, stencils, letter tiles, magna-doodles, magnets, and

I assess the students using multiple methods throughout the week. When a student demonstrates multiple times that they can spell one of their personal spelling words, I highlight it on my master list for him/her, and then they get a new word for the following week. Example: John demonstrates that he knows 6 of the words, but is having trouble with 2 of his words. John will keep the two that he is having trouble with the following week, but will also get 6 new words to practice.

The following are some ideas as to how to practice their words at home:


· Paint with water- Dip a Q-tip in water and practice spelling the words on the chalkboard. The words will disappear like magic, leaving the chalkboard clean!

· Shaving Cream Practice-Let your child finger paint on the table tops. Have your child practice their spelling words in the shaving cream.

· Scratch n' Sniff- Use a new sensation to teach the alphabet or spelling words. Write letters with glue on paper, then sprinkle with Jell-O. Makes a super scratch n' Sniff when tracing over the letters.

· Finger paint Bags- Freezer strength zip lock bags and fingerprint make great writing slates. Place a dab of finger paint (Tempera paint can work, although, not as well) in the zip-lock bag, tape the bag closed for extra strength. Then lay the bag flat on the table, write the word on the bag. The word will disappear like magic.

· Disappearing Act- Help your child perform a real disappearing act. Children write their spelling words with chalk on black construction paper. Then you can spray and watch their words disappear and return.

· Spelling Magic- Try a little magic to teach spelling words! Have your child write words on white construction paper with white crayon. Then paint over the paper with watered down tempera paint. Words appear like magic!

· Individual Whiteboards- Have your child practice writing their spelling words on small whiteboards or chalkboards. They love it!

· Magnetic Words- The parent arranges assorted magnet letters on a cookie sheet or magnetic white board. Students use the letters to form the weekly spelling words.

· Computer Words/Typewriter Fun- Have your child type their spelling words ten times each on the computer. Use different colors and fonts and print it out!

· Paint Your Words- Have children use small paint brushes to paint their words.

· Salt Box Spelling-The parent pours salt in the lid of a box (approx. 1/4"). The child then practices the words in the salt.

· Alpha-bit Spelling- Children use cereal to reproduce their spelling words. Don't forget the have a snack with the words you make.

· Sandy Words- Have your child write their spelling words in glue, sprinkle sand over the glue. The child can then trace over the words with their fingers for practice. They make terrific flash cards! (Colored sand makes I even neater!)

· Rainbow Words- Have your child practice words with felt pens, alternate colors for a rainbow look.

· Put It In Print- Have children cut out the letters from a newspaper to spell the weekly spelling words.

· Use alphabet stamps and let them stamp out their words on paper.

· Write words as "stairsteps"









· It is fun to do on graph paper.

· Use Wikki Sticks to bend the sticks into the desired letters to form each spelling word. After forming the Wicki Sticks, do a crayon rubbing of each word on a piece of paper.

· Window spelling: Buy a couple packs of Crayola window markers ($3 each at Wal-mart) and the kids can write their words on the windows.

· Make a wordsearch or crossword puzzle at with the spelling words.

· Fun Pens: students copy the words in "fun pens". You can find them at the Dollar Store or Walgreens. They light up, or are wiggly, or gooey, etc.

· 30 Second Words: Students fold paper in quarters. Write the spelling word in one corner of the corner. The teacher gives the students 30 seconds to write the word as many times as they can.

· Give each letter of the alphabet a value. The students must find the value of each spelling word. For example: A=1, B=2, C=3.. and so on.

· Sorry! (a.k.a. Snap!) Write the spelling words on wooden sticks along with two saying SORRY! Put the sticks in a cup. Students team up and play. When they choose a stick, they must spell the word without looking to keep the stick. If they misspell the word they must put it back. If they get a SORRY! stick, they must put all their sticks back. The one with the most sticks at the end wins. You can keep adding new spelling words to old spelling words as a review through the year as well.

· Write spelling words in white crayon -or any light colored crayon, then paint over them with watercolor paint. The white crayon acts as a resist and the words "magically" appear.

· Comic Strip - create a comic strip using each of your spelling words

· Water Wash - (Warm day required!) Use a paintbrush and water to write your words on the sidewalk!

· ABC Order - Write your words in alphabetical order. Then write them in reverse alphabetical order.

· Riddle Me - Write a riddle for each word.

· Story, Story - Write a story using ALL of your spelling words.

· Sentence Please - Write a sentence for each spelling word.

· Wordsearch - Make a wordsearch puzzle

· Memory Game - Make pairs of word cards. Flip them over and try to match the pairs!

· Scrabble - Use Scrabble tiles to spell your words.

· Sing Them Loud, Sing Them Soft - Have your Mom or Dad sing the letters of a spelling word to you in a loud voice. You echo the spelling and then sing it again softly. Now BOTH of you sing the word in the voice you choose!

· Swat Words - Write out your spelling words in big letters on a big sheet of paper. Give your parents clues like we do during Morning Meeting. ("The first letter is _ and the last letter is _.") See if they can "swat it" with a fly swatter!
1st Grade=Words 1-100

2nd Grade=Words 101-200

Guided Math

I use a guided math approach in my classroom. In addition to calendar in the morning which touches on many skills, students are divided into 4 groups. Each day, students will go to four math centers: guided math with Miss Closs (allowing me to see each child every day), math boxes from the "Everyday Math" program (to review previous skills), and the last two centers vary between a math game, a math skill sheet, reading math related books, and a math activity on the computer. Also during this time, student take a few minutes to do their "xtra math" ( on the computers (generally 4 days per week).  This year I have a straight 1st grade class and do it this way.  But, I also taught a 1st/2nd split class last year (and will again next year), and had 2 groups for each grade.

Ann Arbor Public Schools has a handbook for parents on the use of Everyday Math. Click here to see it. The state of Michigan has created a brochure for parents to see what math skills that their child needs to learn by the end of 1st grade. You may view that here. Many of the computer center websites I found come from here and here. Some other favorite websites include:
Math Baseball
Math Arcade
Interactive Math Games
IXL Games

Internet for Classrooms Math Games
Johnie's Math Page (Primary)