Total Pageviews

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.

Monday, October 2, 2017

High Frequency Words + Research

There are many ways to practice high frequency words.  Since these words are essential to fluent reading. Repeated exposure and memorization are crucial for students to read fluently and consistently. Students must be able to read these words quickly or decoding will take too much time and effort.  When reading takes too long, readers become frustrated.

Click here to find the 50 words needed by Kindergarten.  You can cut them apart to make small words cards to help you sort.

 Recognizing high-frequency words by sight primarily involves memorization; and memorization comes most easily through repetition. Remember:  PRACTICE! PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  Students need to read and write high-frequency words as often as possible.

  Remember to read/write as quickly as possible.

Sort the words into words columns.  One column of words that can be read in 5 seconds and one column of words to work on learning. Be sure to count and discuss the words known. Look for an increase each day.

 Make 2 copies of the words and play "Memory" with the cards!  Don't forget to read them as quickly as possible. 
Make flash cards.  REMEMBER: only practice 3 new words mixed up with7 words you already know.  It can take between 25-55 times before you can remember all of them!  Click on the picture to find the words to make.

From Radford University:

One strategy to consider when teaching and learning discreet skills is “Drill Sandwich” (Browder, D.M., & Roberts, M.L., 1993).  The steps are simple but so worth the effort!

Drill Sandwich:
The drill sandwich strategy is a way children can practice and learn any information (new sight words, math facts, vocabulary, spelling words) by mixing what they know with what they need to learn. This method is typically more motivating to any learner because the new information is next to something known. Only three new pieces of information needs to be the focus, while reviewing  recently learned material. Perfect for long term memory because of the repetition,

How to build a Drill Sandwich!

1.) Make set of flashcards for the information to be learned.

2.) Go through the complete stack of cards once, separating the list into two piles – knowns and unknowns. (Hint: Cards are only knowns if the information is automatic. If the learner has to think even for a few seconds, then the card should be placed in the unknown pile for more repetition of the information.)

3.) Build a “sandwich” using seven knowns and three unknowns. Be sure to follow the pattern below. (K = known; U = unknown)

4.) Have the learner practice identifying all ten items in the order of knowns and unknows.

5.) As the unknown items are learned move them into a known section of the sandwich by removing well-known knowns (be sure it is guessing!). Add new unknowns and begin the learning process again.

Practice with three new words each day. Learning information in this manner is much more manageable for students, and will help them learn quickly.

Remember to make it fun!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

5 Goal Setting Read Alouds

Reading and talking about goals is so important. I try to read and discuss many read alouds to encourage students to work hard to achieve goals. 
These videos from YouTube are great stories to use to discuss goal setting along with hopes and dreams for a growth mindset.
Check out:
Giraffes Can't Dance

 A Chair for My Mother (start at 2:08)

Amazing Grace

Miss Rumphius
Check out how I use Goal Setting in my classroom! Once the students color, they kidwrite their goal on the line. I underwrite it so I can read it later. We hang the completed papers to help remind us of our goals!
Working on goals can start in K! What are your goals?

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Goal Setting CFTC Guest Blog

I am so honored to be a guest blogger and to learn from so many other inspiring teachers. Check out the fun of Goal Setting at 

Conversations From the Classroom Goal Setting.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Alphabet Fun

The first 2 days of school were so much fun! Learning about new friends and trying to remember all the new rules and procedures.

The students favorite book was Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom. They also loved the videos.
 Comparing and Contrasting the different versions.
We also practice saying the alphabet with motions.
We will be creating our goals next week!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Math Musts CFTC Guest Blog

Check out the Math Musts needed for beginning learners that I published as a guest on Conversations From The Classroom. Check it out! Math Musts

Monday, July 17, 2017

Poetry Procedure Fun

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 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

Best Videos for Math Skills

 9 Best Math Videos

I love to use videos to practice and teach skills! 
Here are the best videos I use for Math.
1. Practice writing numbers in air. Digits 0-9 so you can write any number once you learn the pattern. 
2. I use this at the beginning of the year to practice counting to 20 with the number! It is also a fun way to get some movement.
3. Students love to move and exercise to count to 100.
4. Count to 100 in a simple, fun song. Learners love the simple song.
5. Number sense practice! A must for understanding the number sense. This makes it so easy to understand.
6. Explains the idea of teen numbers! So important for introduction of teen numbers.
7. Fun 3 D shapes! Catchy tune!
8. 2D practice song!
9. Fast song but fun to teach all the shapes. 
Great ideas for other math skills.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Dice Fun CFTC Guest Post

Check out my guest post at Conversations From The Classroom all about using dice to make learning fun. Teaching Math with Dice.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Math Number Sense Fun

Have your students catch Number Sense!!

Number sense, numeration, and numbers need to be caught (not taught), explored, and investigated. It can be done with easy, fun activities.

Search the Room, Oh Yeah!

One of my favorite is Search the Room. I hide small cards around the room. The students walk around with a recording sheet to find matches. The students must count the dots, color the match, and then search for a new match. It is amazing to see the students that need to count the same number of dots over and over ( I can also quickly assess one to one counting)...then the ones that begin to add independently.
Then I make it fun by changing the solid blue squares into apples, pumpkins, turkeys, and presents depending on the month. The most important part is that the students get the chance to practice and catch number sense. It takes a lot of time and practice.

Recording sheet that focuses on subtizing.

Walk Down the Number Path

Click on picture for free copy.
Another fun activity is Number Path;think of a concrete representation of a number line. A number path should be use for K-2 learners instead of a number line because it shows an image instead of a space, which can be difficult for concrete learners.

Here a student is practicing counting while pointing to the number

I print the picture on card stock and cut in into groups of 5 to hang on my white board. I also make a copy for the students to cut into groups of 5 and take home to practice counting. By keeping the 5's connected, subitizing and work with 5's and 10's becomes concrete.

Students cutting apart number chart for home practice.

Adding to 5.
  I make the 1-5 path bigger with a document camera and the students used the number path to "show" how to solve addition and subtraction word problems. 
Number in order matching.

 I, also, cut apart a second sample for ordering practice. Match the individual number to the ordered set. The groups of 5 make this activity much easier than separate numbers.

Get Things Rolling!

 Rolling Dice games makes subitizing,  number id, and counting fun. We roll a dice, throw a bean bag to identify the number rolled, and hop to the number. Then turn and count backwards to hop back to 0. So many skills covered. To keep all the students involved, we record the number rolled and create a graph worksheet. Once everyone has a turn, we discuss the number that was rolled more and the number that was rolled less.  Counting again.
Click pict, to see Apple theme dice.

Sometimes we just roll a dice and fill in the graph! A great way to change it up is to use different colored dice. Keep the sheet the same! Students think it is new and fun, but they actually can do it themselves. This is one that is requested again and again by the students,

Fun Resources

So many fun things to do with numbers! Here are the resource I use. Click on the pictures to find the resources.

Here are some great books to develop Number Sense.
1,2,3 Peas by Keith Baker
Chicka Chicka 1,2,3 by Bill Martin Jr.
Splash! by Ann Jonas (counting)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (counting)
How Do Dinosaurs Count to 10? by Jane Yolen
Number Everywhere by Elliot Kaufman
10 Black Dots by Donald Crews
How Many Bugs in a Box? by David Carter
How Many Snails? by Paul Giganti, Jr.
Ten Sly Piranhas by William Wise
None the Number by Oliver Jeffers
Zero the Hero by Joan Holub
More or Less by Stuart Murphy
Tally O’Mally by Stuart Murphy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

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.
 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 hep 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.

 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."

Be sure to check back to find more as I keep reading!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

1917 Teacher Rules!

Be sure to check out my blog post from Conversations from the Classroom to read the rules for teacher conduct from 1917. You may also want to find out why I will stop complaining about too many students my kindergarten classroom!
Click picture to go to CFTC.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

End of Year but NOT end of Learning!

 The end of the year is fast approaching, but we are still learning! Best way to keep behaviors from spiraling out of control! Keep them busy!!!

What are we doing to stay engaged?

We have started a study of insects. We are learning that they have 3 body parts and 6 legs! Great as we watch caterpillars turn into butterflies!
We pulled pattern blocks from a bag and graphed to see which was pulled the most and least!
Make it even more fun by adding a blindfold! We had to use our senses to describe the sides and angles. 

We use dice to practice writing numbers 1-6 or use a math template to make sure the they go in the right direction! We still mess this up in K!
We continue to work on "spilling beans" to find parts of a total! This type of numeration work helps develop fact fluency!
 Re-read stories that we know! It helps us practice fluency! Plus we are so proud that we can stretch words, reread and figure out words from the sentence/picture! Using all these strategies can be so difficult for beginning readers!
 Focusing on the sneaky, silent e makes reading more difficult books fun! We sort fun ice cream cones. This type of word work really focuses learners on looking through entire words!
Stretching and blending beautiful flowers keeps the learning fun! When we write the words we work on letter formation! Telling a sentence makes it more difficult, especially with nonsense words! You should hear those sentences!

I really think the students love this time of year because they are so successful and they do all of the work now instead of listening to me talk!

What do you do to keep learners engaged at the end of the year?

Monday, May 22, 2017

End of Year Gifts Cards for Teachers Giveaway!

TEACHERS!!! It’s been a long school year and it’s time for a Gift Cards for Teachers MEGA Giveaway! 

I teamed up with a bunch of cool teachers to reward 5 LUCKY teachers by giving away 5 $100 gift cards! 

You could win a $100 Gift Card to Target, Amazon, Erin Condren, or Teachers Pay Teachers! 

Good Luck! Enter Below:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Addition Math Fun

Practicing math skills can be so fun if taught using games! It is so much more fun than doing worksheets!
We had so much fun doing the Double Double rhyme when we rolled 2 dice! I think they heard us across the building! Check it out!
1st-Roll 2 dice! 
I made paper dice that had no 6. Our standard focuses on adding and subtracting to 10 so this made it easier. I do use a 6 if I have advanced students.
2nd-Student must tell each part then the total.
This is a great time to observe the students that need to count the dots! I am so excited when a few start to count from another number instead of all the dots.
Student-" 2 and 5....5, 6, 7. The total is 7."
Yes, I still have students that have to count each dot when rolled so more number and counting practice is needed!
DOUBLE-If a double is rolled, we do the rhyme from above and you should hear the cheers!
3rd-Record roll on recording sheet
This is such a fun game to work with addition facts, numeration, numbers, and number sense all in one stop! So fun! 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Math Centers

We have been working so hard at math centers the past few weeks! The students have told me that this was their favorite thing to do! I think it is because they do all the work! I just help!
I am amazed at how they have grown in one to one counting, number formation, and the flipping/moving of shapes! We LOVE MATH!