Monday, December 4, 2017

FREE Holiday Art Fingerprint Activity!

This holiday activity turned out more adorable than I thought it would! I'm so excited to share these with parents! And it's free for you! 

All you need are some washable tempera paints in any colors (I chose green and red) and some markers.

Students color the stars with markers or crayons and write their name on the line. Then dip fingers lightly in paint and make the Christmas lights colorful!



Give as a holiday gift to parents. They look great framed too!
Visit my store and get it FREE
I would love for you to leave feedback on the product page.
Thanks for visiting, and

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Santa Claus Puppet Book


Our students LOVE making these adorable puppet books and reading them over and over, using the puppet to tell the story!
Plus MORE to come soon!
Check out the Santa Puppet Book in action in the video below:


The book is super easy and fun to make!
Easy to follow directions for printing and assembly are included.

Use the Santa Puppet to help tell the cute story about Santa Claus delivering a present. 








Teach positional / directional words, and following directions. 
Santa jumps into his sleigh, through the clouds, over the house top, down the chimney, and under the Christmas tree to deliver a present. 
Store the puppet in the library pocket that is glued to the back of the book cover (or use a paper clip). Watch your students read it over and over again!

OR...
Get all of the above plus much more in a BUNDLE and Save!:

Merry Christmas!

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Math Picture Puzzles ~ FREEBIE Included!

Our students LOVE these math puzzles for centers, interventions, guided math and even whole group! They put one puzzle together and move on to the next. 

Print on heavy paper, laminate and cut apart. Easy Peasy!
These long pencil baskets are a perfect size for these puzzles at centers! Here is an Amazon link, but I bought 3 for less than $1 at WalMart.
You won't get puzzle pieces mixed up with other puzzles with a picture of the puzzle in the upper right corner of each puzzle piece. Organization and clean up is a breeze!
The BUNDLE includes Subitizing, Addition and Subtraction as well as Missing Number skills. But they can also be purchased separately:
My ABSOLUTE FAVORITE part of these packs is the DIY Puzzle. Students get to create their own picture on one side and their own math problems on the other. They cut them apart and trade with a friend. I select some of their puzzles and they love it when theirs becomes part of a center! They soon learn the importance of accuracy with their math problems and spending time making a quality picture that fills the whole page.
 These black and white versions can be used with the DIY puzzles or instead of the color versions for the regular puzzles to save on ink. Print on colored heavy duty paper or have a student color them!
 Get the BUNDLE or check out the links below each picture:
Subitizing Math Picture Puzzle Centers for K-2

Addition and Subtraction Math Picture Puzzle Centers for K-2

Missing Number Math Picture Puzzle Centers for K-2
Get your FREE sample HERE.
Let me know what you think!
♥ Thanks for stopping by! ♥

Friday, November 24, 2017

$10 TpT Holiday Gift Card Giveaway!

Enter to win a $10 TpT Gift Card! 


Giveaway starts 11/24/17 at 5 pm MST and ends 11/27/17 at 12 am MST
One Lucky Winner will be notified by Monday morning, November 27 by email with a $10 TpT Gift Card!
If you missed this giveaway, there will be others. Follow my blog (on the right add your email, follow on Bloglovin', or click under "Followers") so you know about future giveaways!
Easy to enter. See below:

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Get Your Santa Advent Calendar Ready!

Time to print off and get ready for one of our absolute favorite projects!  Our Santa Advent Calendar!

This precious Santa Calendar template was originally hand drawn by one of our 1st grade teacher's moms decades ago and has been a 1st grade favorite ever since!


My 1st graders were SOOOO excited when I pulled out my sample and announced that we were making these advent calendars. They couldn't wait to get started.


As always with 1st grade, each Santa was unique and precious.


After only 30 minutes, our Santas were done! All ready to hang on the wall and add a cotton ball for each day! It was hard to tell them they couldn't take them home quite yet...



Get your Santa Advent Calendar HERE.

Thanks for looking!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

6 EASY Tips for Teaching Blends (With FREE Sample!)

When it comes to small group guided reading instruction, we have the perfect opportunity to target our instruction to the specific needs of our students. Some students catch on quickly to blending consonant sounds. For those students, continue to practice blends in text, but move on to their next reading goal. Other students, especially those with speech disabilities, struggle with blending consonants. They need more repetitions as well as different instructional presentations in order to be successful, confident readers.

Pull out your toolbox of interventions for your students who need more. When it comes to blending consonant sounds, it's best to have several instructional strategies to pull out. There are many out there, but these are the strategies I have found to work the best for my students and are the easiest to implement. I LOVE easy!

1. Sound Boxes Taped to the Table

The following activity is short and sweet, but can be very powerful for those students who need more practice with hearing/saying the phonemes in a word. Get out 4 sticky notes to start and add more as your students progress with blends.

Once the sticky notes are taped down, all you need is your finger and students' attention. Make sure they are looking at the boxes, not you.
Teacher: Say crab. (teacher sweeps across or under boxes)
Students: Crab (teacher sweeps finger across or under boxes)
Teacher: Sound 
Students: c-r-a-b (teacher points to each box for each sound)
At this point, some students will combine cr for the first sound. It is important that they distinguish the sounds as separate, but be able to blend them together. If this happens, model with the following.
Teacher: My turn. c-r-a-b (teacher models pointing to each box for each sound) Your turn. Say crab. (repeat above until students can say each sound for each box.)

After a few days of this activity with various words, when students are proficient with sound-by-sound blending orally, then move onto identifying individual sounds in the word.

After saying the sounds in the word (above), teacher then points to the first box and says:
Teacher: First sound?
Students: /c/
Teacher: Last sound? (pointing to last box)
Students: /b/

After a few days of practicing initial and ending sounds, move onto second and middle sounds.

Scaffold this activity so you are working at their level for several days for only 1-2 minutes tops each day and build upon the activity until they are able to easily identify individual sounds. Then add boxes as needed to work on longer words with blends.

2. Use Speed Drills Daily

Depending on the skill the group is working on, I use speed drills daily for only 1-3 minutes. Students whisper read each line of sounds or words as I quickly listen to each individual, giving feedback as necessary. Since this is a daily routine, students quickly start reading, I listen, and then we move on to the next activity. Every week I pull out new drills that specifically target each group's goals. In order to save precious instruction time, have them ready to go in that group's bin.
Find all my drills for various skills including sight words HERE.

Get a FREE Speed Drills Sample HERE.

3. Using Magnetic Letters to Build Words

I like to use magnetic letters because they are fun, as well as quick and easy for students to put back into place. And BONUS... they are very effective for teaching blends. I first saw this strategy used years ago in a Jan Richardson demonstration and modified it to fit my instructional needs.
Tip: I display a giving tree at open house and magnetic letters is one of my requests. 
First I purchased 6 small cookie sheets at WalMart for 88 cents each. Seriously. 88 cents. They are small enough to place in front of each student in a small group or at a center.
Next, I used a sharpie to mark where each letter goes so students can quickly put letters back.
I place them in a basket with other guided reading tools I use for the week (Expo markers, old socks for erasing, sight word cards, etc.)

I say a word, they quickly build it. I tell them to mix it up and build it again. We repeat this process 2-3 times with different words and it takes 2-3 minutes from start to finish. It works because it is a daily routine that students learn to anticipate and know quickly what to do, taking very little time. Words can be built right on the table. The metal pan is only used for keeping the letters in ABC order for storage.

4. Roll and Read Blends Center

Once I feel my students can attack those blends more independently or with a partner, I include Roll and Read Beginning Blends Activities in their centers. I don't use these during instruction since this is a game for fluency practice. I reserve my guided reading time for activities that require guidance from me. These stay as a May Do activity for a week and then I change them out each week. (See my Must Do, May Do blog HERE.)
See other Roll and Read Activities HERE.

5. Word Family Flip Books Center

My students love making these Word Family Flip books and reading the words over and over. There is practice with short and long vowels and various blends. 
First they cut up each part and then staple them into small books with one staple. Then they read each word and determine whether it is a real word or not a real word. This forces them to carefully read each word. Easy Peasy!
See all of my Word Family Flip Books HERE.

6. Consonant Cluster Pocket Chart Center

The pocket chart center one of my students' favorite centers. I change it out weekly depending on their skill level. With this center, students simply organize the words under the correct blend. Super easy and they work so well with a partner to complete this center activity. Then they must read each word in each column. LOVE!
See this Consonant Cluster Pocket Chart Center HERE.
See all my Pocket Chart Centers HERE.

Let me know your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by! ♥


Monday, October 2, 2017

Flashlight Fridays in Reading!

Wow, did we have fun last Friday! I'm not sure who was more excited, the kids or me. Now Flashlight Friday is not an original idea. I saw it on this blog that is dated back to 2013 : Head Over Heels For Teaching and just had to try it. What a great way to motivate our students to read. But instead of using full size flashlights, we used Finger Lights that I bought on Amazon. See them HERE.
There are 100 in the package with 4 different colors, so our team of 4 teachers each got 25 of these little beauties, each class with a different color. I looked at other brands, but this one had the best ratings. So far so good...

With just a few rules to go over first, our first graders settled down for a good 15 minutes to partner read and independently read. (I figure if we go longer, the novelty will wear off too fast, so I'm sticking to a short time once a week.) They just strapped their little lights on their fingers and away they went. And they were reading! 

Let's see how well it goes for the next few weeks! If you try it out, come back and leave a comment sharing your experience and ideas!

Thanks for stopping by...
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