Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Contraction Freebie and Permission to Pin

This past week was a whirlwind!  Doctors appointments, bilingual family night (an amazing success!), report cards, observations, assessments and oh so much more!  Literally, I don’t know where to begin, I’m still reeling from this week.

First, I LOVE my job! We hosted our second bilingual family night of the year and it was awesome.  Of my 19 students, 16 were able to come with their families.  Our district somehow was able to get funding for pizza (SOOOOO much pizza), and books for students to take home!  We discussed reading at home, choosing good pick books, etc.  It was great!  My families are amazing, and always support their kids and our school.  I feel lucky to be a part of the bilingual community!  Bad news, I didn’t take one single photo, I was too busy talking on the microphone raffling off prizes!  Honestly, when I was taking Spanish classes in high school I never thought I would be standing in front of 125 Spanish speakers making jokes in Spanish…it’s crazy…y yo soy una loca, pero por suerte las familias me aceptan! 

So last week we started our contraction study.  We did the contraction surgery project that I saw on so many blogs!  The only thing is, after the whole activity my kids still struggled to determine which words were blended to make a contraction.  Sooooo, new plan.  I need to step back and really study these contractions with my kids.  An introduction, a discussion, examples and fun activity aren’t enough for my ELL students to master contractions.  (Secretly, I wish my husband could have been a part of this activity, he still hates contractions and thinks English speakers are lazy for inventing them…he might have a point, but they’re here to stay!)

Today, instead of planning my guided reading groups – which I will get to – I’ve been making some contraction practice sheets.  In addition to these sheets we’ll be doing some contraction sorts, hunts, and other activities, but I’ve created some worksheets to supplement this study.  Worksheets sounds so uninspired, but these worksheets are special! 

In case you’re new to the blog I have two cats – they play a pretty big role in my personal and professional life.  I’m not a crazy cat lady (HONESTLY!), but I’ve found my students love to hear about my cats Max and Ellie.  Hence, the worksheets I’ve created for contractions are all written about Max and Ellie.  There are some short stoies written from their perspective, and all sorts of tidbits about them in these worksheets.  Which means my kiddos are going to be so excited to do these contraction worksheets, because they’ll be discovering so much about Max and Ellie!

But here’s the thing.  I really like this little creation of mine and want to share it, but it’s so obviously about my cats that I can’t really modify it and make it less personal.  So, instead I’m going to include in the download a little short history about Max and Ellie so that maybe your kids will be excited about them too?!?!  (Fingers crossed anyways)  Click the images below to get the Freebie.

These two cats are in so much of what I create that I wouldn't be able to share very much if what I shared never included them.  If you don't mind including Max and Ellie into your classroom, please use this.  If you aren't keen on having Max and Ellie moments with your students, I understand and this probably isn't the freebie for you. 

 I’ll take pictures of our contraction study in action throughout the week.

Also, I wanted to say Pinterest has revolutionized my teaching and that I am giving permission to all to pin freely on my blog!  Find out more by clicking the button below.

permission to pin
My vow for this week (if I share it here, I’m really committed and can’t back out, right?!)
1.  Take pictures of contraction activities.
2.  Take pictures of our Grumpy Cat activity (which I did make the kids rewrite – mean teacher, I know!)
3.  Continue working on the creation of something wonderful – I’m super excited about!
4.  Continue my “teaching blog traffic school” studies.
Cheers, Mrs. Castro Pin It


  1. I use my dogs for many lessons and my students love it. Great blog! I have an award for you on my blog- come check it out!
    First with Franklin

    1. Wow, Erin! You really made my Monday - it was a tough one! Thanks for checking my blog out and giving me an award, you know how much they mean to new bloggers! I will be sure to spread the love!