Sunday, September 1, 2013

Updated Daily 5 Freebie

Just a quick post from me today.  I wanted to let you all know I've updated my Daily 5 freebie.  I received some requests for a few changes/additions and was able to get to them on this long weekend.

Here is what this freebie includes:
Posters, Pocket Chart Cards and Editable T-Charts in:
*2 Spanish translations
*Bilingual Spanish and English

I added the editable T-Charts because my classroom has an incredible small amount of wall space.  So, as my students become more familiar with the routines and expectations I plan on replacing the huge original chart paper anchors, with these T-Charts.  You can add your own text to them and make them fit your classrooms language needs.

Take a look:

I really appreciate that I was contacted by people with requests.  It feels good to know that people are using this resource.  I want everything I create to work for your classroom - so I appreciate it that they took the time to make a request instead of resigning themselves that wasn't quite right!  I'm sure most bloggers feel the same.

Click here to get the freebie on TpT.

Enjoy the long weekend!

Mrs. Castro Pin It

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Back to School Reading

Hello All!

If you're back to school I hope it's been great!  If you're not - well enjoy it while you can!

I've been back since August 21st, and I can honestly say I have a great group!  I only have 16 students, and it's an even split between boys and girls.  Not only do I have a small group, I also have the more English proficient group - so it's honestly been a wonderfully smooth start to the new year!  Believe me, this is a first!  I've had some large and challenging groups in the past.

We've been busy teaching routines and procedures and the like.  However, my principal gave teachers permission to read, Read, READ!  He wants us to start the year by developing in our students a love for reading.  Which is pretty much my mission in life - I think I've found the perfect administration for my teaching beliefs!

All that to say, we've been really enjoying reading in our classroom!  I have some great books to share with you, and they are especially great for the bilingual or dual language classroom.

First, and foremost...our first chapter book read aloud!
I am so thankful for the day I discovered this book!  It is a wonderfully imaginative read - with beautiful, authentic Spanish language and amazing images to capture your students interest!  Los niños extraordinarios is a series of books by Victoria Perez Escriva.  In the first book, there is an epidemic of cavities, a vampire dentist, a giant, a house shaped like an apple, and more!  Every day my students rush to the carpet after lunch to listen, and groan emphatically when it's time to stop.  The book will take us less than two weeks to finish, and luckily the second and third are already available!  I was able to find this book at my local library, but it's available from Amazon for under $12 - which is a steal because it's a hardcover book with color pictures and will last forever!

We've also been reading some books to encourage students to become aware of their "inner voice".  I want my students to know that if you're reading you MUST also be thinking!  In my opinion, a great way for students to become aware of their innner voice is to read wordless books.  Wordless books can be incredibly rich in detail and challange the reader to make all kinds of inferences, connections, and syntetize their thoughts throughout.  By taking away the words of an author the students cannot help but become aware that EVERYTHING happening inside their head is their own, their thoughts, their inner voice!  It's really cool to see students become aware of just how much is going on inside their head while they read!

Here are two great wordless books we've read:
Chalk by Bill Thomson, is a wonderful read about kids who venture out on a rainy day and discover magic chalk that turns their drawings into reality.  My students were literally blown away by this book!
Flotsam by David Wiesner also captured my students from page 1 till...well actually they were still talking about it as they left for the weekend.  They wish their was a sequel and were trying to predict what would happen in a sequel.  

Students came to the carpet with a clipboard with 6 post-its and a pencil.  I modeled my thoughts through "think-alouds", and then challenged students to write their thoughts.  We then would stick their thoughts into the pages of the book.  

Because these books are wordless they can work so well in any classroom - bilingual, dual, monolingual, etc.  There are many more wordless books I plan on sharing with my students thoughout the year, and will share here too!

Have a great long weekend!  If you do happen to read any of these books (especially the series, Los ninos extraordinarios, please share!)

Mrs. Castro
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Sunday, August 18, 2013

A little freebie for my fans!

Hi All,

I wanted to share a quick freebie with you all.  I've made some labels for my plethora of tea tins, and thought I could share them!

I've made cute Monster Labels that you might want if you have any brain breaks and fairness sticks in your classroom.  You can see how they turned out below.  Click the HERE to get the freebie on Google Drive.

Have a great Sunday night!  
Mrs. Castro

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Back to School Updates and a SALE!

Hello all!

I've been absent from the blogging world for a while...a long while!  I'm happy to report that whatever it is that motivates teachers to create, share and blog has been rekindled in me.  Last year was a wonderful year in a 5th grade dual language classroom.  However, the learning curve was steep and my students were a wonderful, special and needy bunch!  Which, did not leave much time for creation or energy for blogging.

I'll be teaching third grade this year, and am excited for the change!  I haven't been able to visit my classroom yet - so I'm eager to get started!  While anticipating beginning classroom setup, I've been busy updating my Back To School packets!

I've made changes to all the packets, general revisions and some new material. In celebration of finalizing the updates, I'm throwing a 20% off sale!

All my the Back to School packets are on sale today and tomorrow (August 5-6).  Bilingual packets include activities in English and Spanish, so my bilingual teacher friends will  not need to waste time translating!

Click the images below to visit my store.



I hope all is well and you've enjoyed your summer!  I hope to be back here blogging regularly, and am thankful to those of you who continue to follow my blog!

Mrs. Castro

P.S.  If you're  a Splat the Cat fan, my products are temporarily marked down by A LOT!  Check them out!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Updated Math Work Station Freebie

Happy New Year!  It's been ages!  I've been a terrible blogger lately.  Not writing, not checking in, nothing. I apologize for being so absent.  I'm hoping the new year will bring in a wave of creative energy, something that's been lacking lately.

I wanted to share a freebie that's been updated at the request of a follower.  

I previously shared a math work station that was "How Many to 5?".  It's been updated to include the materials for a "How Many to 10?" work station.  Everything is in English and Spanish, of course!

Follow the link below to find the freebie in my TpT store:
Before moving up to 5th grade I also used this fun freebie with my 1st and 2nd graders.  My teammate had found and lost track of a freebie that was about "fishing for 10".  So I made a quick version of my own to share.  

Students will need cards from 1-10.  We used cards from a regular deck and counted the Ace as 1.  Students divide up the cards, my students had 5 cards each, and try to make 10.  The rainbow is just a cheat sheet for them to decide which cards they should ask for.  For example, if they have a 2 they can follow the rainbow and see they should ask for an 8.  

Each pair of cards that make 10 are set out.  If a student has a 10, they set it out by itself since there is no 0 card.

If their partner doesn't have the card they go fish.  It was pretty basic, but this helped my students with the concept of making 10.

We kept it simple.  Sometimes the game lasted forever, and other times it ended as soon as it started.  Click the rainbow for the freebie in Google Drive.

That's all for now!   Pin It