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Sunday, April 1, 2018

Poetry Procedure Fun


April is Poetry Month!

Working with poetry helps build a culture of reading within any classroom! I love to use a poem a week to help kindergarten/ 1st grade students focus and play with reading and poetry.

1st Day-Listen/Discuss/Read Poem 

I like to have the students close their eyes and imagine what they hear. No pictures allowed! Students turn and discuss what was imagined. Then I show the poem and point to the words as I reread, still no picture...no comprehension questions, just enjoyment of a simple poem.

2nd Day-Reread

I read the poem as I point to the words. Usually the students will join along and read with me. Sometimes I need to encourage them...a slight pause usually works. I usually have an image at this point. Yes, discussion usually follows.

3rd Day-Reread and Take Turns

Students get a chance to point to the words as the class chorally reads the poem. Students love to choose a special pointer. It really helps me see who has one to one correspondence and provides practice.

4th Day-Reread and Hunt

We practice reading the poem once and then student hunt for words or letters depending on the ability of the students. Once a few students practice chorally reading, the students can circle or highlight words I ask for them to find in their personal journals. I usually only let them hunt the words I ask for because they will sometimes circle all words, and I really want to focus the learning.

5th Day-Illustrate/Color

We reread the poem in their journals as they all point to the words in journals. We hunt for special words and/or letters then the students can color and illustrate their poem. Once finished, students reread other poems or count words/ letters as they wait for their friends to finish.

Check out this short, informative video on how I use these poems! So much fun and rewarding to watch the students grow as readers of poetry!

Must Have Poetry Resource

Free LOVE Poem

Friday, March 30, 2018

4 Fun Reading Strategies

How do you use reading strategies to help young readers learn?
I love The Reading Strategies Book by Jennifer Serravallo. It really is "your everything guide to developing skilled readers." Cracking the code to reading is not the most important part of reading. You need to develop vocabulary, discuss thoughts and connections to become engaged readers that love books! I love the following strategies I found in this book.


 Supporting Print Work-Increasing Accuracy and Integrating Sources of Information

This part of reading always worries me the most! It seems so difficult for some students especially beginning readers!
 Check the Picture for Help helps the child to not only read what is happening but see what is happening as well. They can double check to make sure that word makes sense in the sentence before moving on and getting more confused. I think many students need to be taught this skill. The discussion in the group can't skip this step that seems so easy to some.
 Try, Try,  Try Again is probably the most important strategy every reader should remember. It is especially difficult with some students.  I like to fact that you actually teach it to the students, not just expect it. Teach the students to use all the things they have in their toolbox.


  • You know how to read words from left to right.
  • You know how to check the picture to see if it makes sense.
  • You know how to think about what is going on in a story, and how that can help you choose the right word.
  • You know how to look for parts of words you know inside of a larger word.

Teaching Fluency-Reading with Phrasing, Intonation,and Automacity

 Think, "Have I Seen It on the Word Wall?" What a great idea as a warm up, to read the words on the word wall! I have done this in writing, but what a great connection to do it with reading as well to help develop automaticity with sight words. Just have the students read the word wall words as warm up! Then remind them to use those words in reading.
Rhyming Sight Word Poster
I like to use this rhyming sight word poster in kindergarten at the beginning of the year before they have mastered sight words or with readers that struggle with this difficult words. Itt also helps with rhyming skills!


 Warm-Up and TransferI love to do this with students when they just begin reading. I always did it for confidence but I love the idea to use with strategies. I love the use of "As you read, I want you to be aware of how you let your eyes go ahead of the word you are reading now, how you scoop up many words at a time in a phrase, how you read it based on how the character is thinking in an easy book, then try it in a just right book."

What fun word work do you Love!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Classroom Gross Motor Skills


What are gross Motor Skills?

Major muscle co-ordination
Body awareness –posture and control
Balance –ability to adjust the body symmetrically
Spatial orientation –awareness of how their body is positioned in space and in relation to other objects or people
Crossing of the midline –opposite from one side of the body to the other

Laterality –awareness of the left and right sides of the body

I do a few fun things during transitions and practice to help build gross motor skills because there is not enough time at recess and physical education classes.
We lay on the belly on the floor when watching videos, playing games, working on computers, or hearing books. It is very difficult for some students.
We crab walk or bear crawl around the room. Just be sure to have small groups go at one time. Everyone at once can be a mess!
Any practice that we do we push up and hold, just like planks! You can practice counting, spelling words, math facts, names of planets, etc.
Write or color in kneeling position. No sitting back on the legs.

What can you do to build gross motor skills in the classroom?

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Giraffe Fun +Technology

 We read about giraffes in guided reading, checked out research on PebbleGo, and searched books. 

Then we made giraffe puppets and recorded what we learned on cool videos.

Check out our cool videos!


What facts did you learn about giraffes?

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Snowmen Fun

It is winter and time for snow and snowmen! 

Yeah, anything with a snow theme is fun!



Since segmenting is such an important skill in Phonological Awareness, we used snowmen cards and pictures to match the snowflake letters to the picture on the snowman's belly. You can see the way all students stay involved at Snowmen Segmenting with Phonics. There is a free resource there, too! The picture will take you to the bundle.

Snowman Bundle
We also used cotton balls to segment. the sounds with movement and then wrote the words on a snowball. You can find out exactly how at Snowmen Segmenting.
This Easy Segmenting Activity is so much fun for students and it actually helps learners look through words which improves reading skills.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Five Fabulous Rhyming Videos




Rhyming is such an important skill for language and literacy development. You can check out rhyming books I love to read and students LOVE to hear!

I also have many games to make rhyming fun! Check them out at Rhyming Practice!

Here are the best videos/video stories that I use to help develop this important skill.