Monday, December 31, 2018

The POWER of Speed Drills

Sight words, letters, sounds, word families, syllables, prefixes, suffixes... Whatever sight word or phonics skill you are teaching that week, there's a quick drill for that. AND 2 minutes a day is all it takes!

We all know the benefits of getting our 1st graders proficient with their sight words. For years, our team used flash cards, games, sentence strips and everything we could think of to get those words to memory. A variety of strategies is best because students do not all learn in the same way. And all of those strategies helped, but we still had struggling readers. 

We knew we had to find a simple, but effective way to get our students fluent with their sight words so they could read text more fluently and confidently.  

We wanted to create a resource that:

1.  was easy for students and parents to use
2. would be used each week in centers, small group, and at home  
3. would be a routine resource that parents would welcome each week for daily practice at home 
4. could break down the lengthy list of sight words into a manageable amount of 8-10 words per week
5. could provide the necessary repetition of those words

And finally, one that...
6. would be our most effective go to sight word resource!

So we worked closely with our Special Education teacher and created a template for a sight word drill that would randomly repeat a weekly list of 8-10 sight words. (You may have seen similar drills out there since ours were made, but these are the original drills we created as a team more than 10 years ago. They have just been updated a bit.)

As you can see, the 10 Fry sight words for the week are highlighted in the first row. Each row after contains the same 10 words but are scattered randomly so students can practice reading them over and over by sight.

It is important that students practice these words regularly at school in centers, at small group, and at home in order to be most effective. In addition, students must have another reader checking for accuracy as they practice the drill. If inserted into a sleeve, a dry erase marker can be used to check those words that are missed. We encourage the 3 second rule. Students should be able to read the sight words without sounding out within 3 seconds for mastery.

Once we started implementing this resource and trained our students and parents on how to use the drills daily at school and at home, our sight word fluency problems decreased dramatically! 

(We print our drills on the same color each week {blue} so parents know what to look for each week.)

Parents started to understand the benefits of their children being fluent with their sight words. Parents began to see improvements in their children's overall reading fluency and confidence as readers. We noticed parents began to ask for the drills if they didn't see them in their child's folder for the week. Some even started asking for the drills in advance to get a jump start on the next week!

We all know that when parents become partners with us and believe in the resources we use, there is no stopping our students' growth!

We still use a variety of resources to get our 1st graders to mastery with their sight words. One strategy is not as effective as using several: games, flashcards, phrase strips, etc.  Most students benefit greatly from being exposed to sight words in different forms. 

But we have found that our most effective tool for getting our 1st graders to mastery with their sight words is by using our sight word drills.

Download a sample of one of our drills from the list of 1st 100 Fry words HERE.

If you like the sample, check out more drills in the links below each picture!
Drills BIG Bundle (sight words, blends, digraphs, word families, letter recognition, letter sounds. short vowels, long vowels, syllables, prefixes, and suffixes!
600 Fry Words

1,000 Fry Words Drills

220 Dolch Word Drills

Houghton Mifflin Journeys 1st Grade Sight Word Drills

Houghton Mifflin Journeys 2nd Grade Sight Word Drills
Not only do we use drills for sight words, but we use 2 minutes of drills at the guided reading table daily for practicing letters and sounds, word families, and short and long vowels. 
Blends, Digraphs and Word Family Speed Drills

Letter ID and Sounds Speed Drills

Long and Short Vowels Speed Drills


Try this FREE Sample to try it out!

Get a FREE sample of a 1st Grade Fry Sight Word Drill HERE.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear from you!
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Get a FREE month of ink from HP!
If you print as much as I do (HOLY MOLY!) and you haven't checked out HP Instant Ink, you're missing out. (No, I don't work for HP, but I'm just passing along a tip.) If you have an HP printer, see if it's compatible with their program first. Go HERE to see if your printer is on the list. If it is, then you are in luck! Ink can be delivered to your door before you run out. It's like magic. They just know (a little scary if you ask me...). You pay a monthly fee depending on how many copies you make. Easy Peasy. If you use my code: then YOU get a FREE MONTH and I GET A FREE MONTH and everyone's happy!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

FREE Dr. King Freedom Song

Every January, the first day back from holiday break, I teach our beloved Dr. King song. 

17 years ago, my son, Tyler as a first grader, came home from school singin' away. After several repetitions of the catchy tune, I asked him about it. He told me they were "learning about a famous man who helped change bad laws to make things fair for everyone." He got it. The next day I taught my first graders the song and we've been singing it since.

We sing it while lining up for lunch, recess, and specials. We sing it on our way to the carpet. We sing it as we clean up. I think you get the idea. We sing it so much, my first graders spontaneously break out in song at random times during the day! L♥VE!
And it's so easy to learn, they learn it in minutes. If they know Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, they can learn this song in a jiffy.

They love it. They love it even more once they understand the meaning behind the words. Just like Tyler. If taught well, your students will also understand Dr. King's message of peace, love and equality for all.

This song is included in my best-selling Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Activity Pack. 

Students make, color and read an informative book about Dr. King's life and heroic achievements. They love making the Dr. King puppet and then they practice reading the book and singing their new song with the puppet. 

So much more is included to enrich your students' learning experience with posters, activity sheets, writing activities as well as the song and puppet.

Get the whole unit HERE.
Get the FREE song HERE.

Thanks for stopping by! Enjoy! ♥

Friday, November 23, 2018

Holiday Classroom Rotations! 2 Freebies and a Download!

The holiday season is a magical time for all of us, but for our students? Oh my goodness. Most of our little Christmas Cherubs are so consumed with holiday fever, they can't sit still for more than a minute. Especially that last week before break.

So...the last day or two before break our team just gives in. By then, the holiday fever has spread like wildfire throughout the building. Teachers are wearing their best holiday sweaters, reindeer antlers and sparkling baubles. We are busy decorating our doors for the holiday contest, planning our Secret Santa strategies and tiptoeing through the halls delivering our gifts. Oh, and don't forget about the holiday treats in the lounge. We are just as excited as our students if not more so.

Our favorite holiday activity by FAR has always been our annual Holiday Classroom Rotations. Easy Peasy to plan and implement and ohhhhh so much fun. First, we make a schedule for when the students rotate through the classrooms. 

Download an editable version in PowerPoint HERE to make your own! (Be sure to download to your computer and open in PowerPoint, not in Google slides for easiest use.) There are 4 versions to choose from and one is a generic rotations schedule to use for other holidays or seasons.

Then we start planning what activity we each want to lead for our rotation. We make sure we choose something we enjoy and something simple since we will be leading that activity 4 times. Then we decide on how long we need for each rotation and modify the scheduled times.

After our 30 minute (or more) activity, we clean up, line them up, shoo them out the door with their holiday project in hand and welcome another class into the room. The new group is so excited about whatever activity we have planned that they are literally sitting up straight with big eyes and smiles in anticipation. LOVE! ♥

Here are our favorites:
Christmas Inference BINGO

Christmas Craft Poinsettia
FREE Roll and Cover Game:
FREE Holiday Roll and Cover
FREE Holiday Art Activity:
FREE! Holiday Art Fingerprint Activity

Christmas Color by Code
Christmas Symmetry Activities
Santa Claus Christmas Puppet Book
See the Santa Puppet Book in action HERE.

Santa Advent Calendar (needs to be started early in December)
Get all of the above and so much more in this HUGE 168 page Holiday BUNDLE with all our favorite holiday crafts, activities and games! Get it HERE.
Christmas Activities for Art, Math and Literacy BUNDLE

Have fun with your classroom rotations!
Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

FREE Editable Halloween Spelling Activity for Any List of Words!

How cool is this??

Just enter any 10 words into the first page and the next page auto-fills with a Pumpkin Code Activity Sheet ready to print and ready for your students to solve! Use it over and over!

This is great for spelling, sight words, vocabulary and perfect for centers! 

1. Make sure you download and save to your computer.
2. Then open with Adobe and start typing!

Download it for FREE HERE! Don't forget to leave feedback on the product page!

If you like magically creating activity sheets like this one, you will LOVE our newest product Solve The Code Activities for Any List of 10 Words Just Enter 10 Words! 
Solve The Code Activities for Any List of 10 Words Just Enter 10 Words!
This product has 7 activities ready for you to enter 10 words, print the page(s) you need and get your students solving the puzzles! Just like that!

You may also like this adorable Frankie Goes Trick or Treating Pocket Puppet Book! 
Watch the book in action HERE.

Students love to use the Frankie puppet tell the story about Frankie and his mom, Mrs. Stine, going trick or treating. The story teaches about trick or treating safety! Watch a video of the book in action HERE.

Like the product? Pin one of the pictures above to remember where you got it! Follow my blog and store for more great products like this!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Welcome to Week 10, our final week of our Friday FRY-YAY! Series! 

Our 10th and final Friday FRY-YAY Product is one of our best-selling Fry products, and it's a BIGGIE! 

It is our FRY 1,000 BUNDLE at 1/2 Price!
You will probably never see this again at this price. Get it for
$43.58 today only!

There are over 2,600 pages of FRY products that feature all 1,000 FRY words. There are testing materials, center materials, guided reading games, and activities, word walls, flash cards and so much more. It's our biggest bundle ever!

Grab it for 50% off Today, Friday 10-5-18 Only!

Check it out here:


♥ Thanks for stopping by! Visit again! ♥

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Friday FRY-YAY! Week 9

Welcome to Week 9 of our Friday FRY-YAY! Series! 
Every Friday through the New Year we will spotlight one of our wonderful FRY Sight Word products for K-3, and for that day only, we will discount the product at 50% off or even free!

Best way to know what FRY product is being spotlighted is to:

Follow me to be notified of our FRY goodies...

On the right of this post, follow by e-mail, Bloglovin', or Google! Then be sure to follow my store!

Our 9th Friday FRY-YAY Product is another one of our best-selling Fry products that I know you'll love. It is our Fry 600 Drills

I wouldn't teach guided reading without my sight word drills every day. 2-3 minutes every day is all it takes! They also go home every week for homework on Mondays. Parents know to watch for the BLUE page that will be in their homework folders on Mondays. Students practice their sight words all week long at home and at school until they know them fluently without hesitation.

Grab it for 50% off Today, Friday 9-28-18 Only!
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to come back each week for more! ♥

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fire Safety with Firefighter Jenna

I'm so stinkin' proud of my niece, Firefighter Jenna!

Jenna is a firefighter in Fort Collins, CO and worked closely with me to create this very thorough and accurate Fire Safety Book and Activities Pack. Every year for the past 5 years, Jenna has visited my class to teach my students about fire safety. She's such an inspiration and so effective at reaching our students!

You might not be able to have Firefighter Jenna visit your classroom, but you can certainly give a copy of the book,  Firefighter Jenna to each of your students! The boys and girls in your class will learn about fire safety as well as what the day in the life of a firefighter is like.

With the Pack, You get:
Firefighter Jenna Keeps Us Safe book in color
Firefighter Jenna Keeps Us Safe book in black and white
Firefighter Jenna Keeps Us Safe book in black and white and with lines for key words to fill in.
Fire Safety word wall
Fire Safety student activities pages
**Also, after purchase, customers have the option to contact me to have page 10 personalized with their school name so it reads: 
"Later that day, Firefighter Jenna visits 1st graders at (your school name) to teach them about fire safety. She brings some equipment to show them how it works."

Thanks for visiting and don't forget to follow my blog or follow me on Bloglovin' (See icon above on the right.) and "SAVE" this post on Bloglovin'!
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