Get Your Pair On

Hey everyone! How is your 2016 going so far? I've already fallen off of every band wagon imaginable. I've managed to have a cold for the past week and along with the congestion and ache body, I've also had the 90 year old smoker voice happening. Yeah. Awesome right!? Try teaching like that!

If you happen to watch my YouTube videos there is nothing special happening this coming week. I wasn't able to post last Thursday and Monday's blog is not going up since I wasn't feeling my best. I will try and be back this Thursday with a February Book Favorites!

On to other news, I was in search of fixing a small issue in my classroom. Do you remember back at the beginning of the year when your kiddos were happy to be there, eager to learn, and just about did anything you asked? I do. Now, they are comfortable. They have their 'bestie' and all they want to do is sit next to their 'bestie', play with their 'bestie' and everything revolves around their 'bestie'. Oh to be young again!

That is what is going on in my room now. Specifically on the carpet and during partner activities. Now, I know what you are thinking... why not just give them assigned seats? That'll fix it. I could, but the few times that I have done that I hated it. I try to let my kids problem solve situations and if I am constantly fixing every little issue for them what are they getting from that?

So I needed to think of other ways to get my kids matched up differently and trying to talk to other possible 'bestie'. *wink wink*

Here is what I came up with. So some time ago I read the Morning Message book and although the content was fantastic and I attempted to implement all 4 components it was too difficult to fit into my day. My time constraints were limited and so I had to cut back.

I also attended a semester long PD on helping ELs in the classroom. Part of what they recommended was providing them with lots of opportunities to build oral language and using sentence stems.

I decided to create some fun, simple matching games that can help build that oral language, pair my students, and also focus on a specific skill. I've tried it many times and it's amazing how my kids remember who they are paired with.

I have a set of math cards. These are great because I can easily interchange them as needed. I provide numbers 0-20 in all four versions of number representations. We were working with ten frames and numerals. This was some much needed practice. I want my kiddos to be able to visual know the numbers versus having to count. Some are ready and some still need that practice and it was nice to be able to pinpoint which kiddos needed that help and practice. 

I also made a color edition.  This would be excellent practice after color days for me in the fall. 
Uppercase and lowercase matches are also great practice in the classroom. If you were focusing on several letters you could essentially make several copies of those specific letters and use those as a pairing. 
Beginning sounds picture and letter match. 
Medial Vowel Match
I also took the liberty to create some fun opposite matches. I have two separate sets of the regular old matching set and a set of food matches. 
If you want to check out this unit click here. I love this little activity. I do this really quick in the morning before my morning message. You can choose how often you do this activity. I've tried from everyday to a few or once a week. They all work out great and as my kiddos got better at the oral language the quicker the activity went. 

How do you get your kiddos paired? How do incorporate oral language activities? I'd love to know! Thanks for reading!

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