Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Classroom Cornucopia FREEBIES!

Do you celebrate Friendsgiving? This year I am having a virtual Thanksgiving Potluck with some of my teacher besties! We have so much to be thankful for, and we wanted share our blessing with you!
We created a FREE Classroom Cornucopia of our best selling resources! These are some of our favorite classroom creations that can be used throughout the year. Here's a taste of everything we shared in our Cornucopia...

Emily from Polka Dots Please shared a Tooth Word Bank that can be used for writing folders, anchor charts, or a creative writing center. There are pictures to match every word so little writers feel inspired and supported! (This is a BONUS word bank that is not included in the original set!)

Alisha from Missing Tooth Grins shared Winter Main Idea Passages. These main idea passages are designed for the winter months and help your students understand and practice telling the main idea and supporting details from a short passage. They are consistent, easy to use, and require no prep!

Jessica from Mrs. Stanford's Class shared Post It Note Reminders! These easy to use sticky note reminders are a great way to keep notes home consistent in your classroom. All you need to do is print the template, stick the post its, and print again. Have them stocked up in your drawer for your next writing checklist! Parents and students will love the consistency these checklists can bring to your classroom! Teachers will love the convenience! 

Katie from Simply Creative Teaching shared Place Value Exit Slips from her Math Exit Slips for every Common Core math standard! You can grab exit slips for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade! They are designed to be completed in 5 minutes or less and there are 4 to a page for quick and easy printing. 
Kelly from Sweet Sounds of Kindergarten shared Kindergarten Reading Comprehension Stories that are so much fun for emergent readers! Students read a text with CVC words and sight words while using the tracking dots to point to the words as they read. Students color a star or symbol at the top of the page each time they read. Four comprehension questions are included (multiple choice and fill in the blank). Additional practice is included on the bottom of the page with CVC words or seasonal vocabulary.

Diane from One Giggle At a Time shared her best selling Joke of the Day Set! It's her favorite part of every school day, and it has been rated by her firsties on the Top Ten List of Bests in her classroom for years! Every day of the school year, her class starts the day with a joke, a fact, and a question to ponder together. It is a great way to join together to share some giggles, some deep thinking, and a little each other. Joke of The Day set includes daily cards that can be printed out or a Smartboard version that can be displayed on the screen each morning as the students come in. 

Amber from A Smiling Teacher shared Editable Sight Word Lists! 
They make it easy for teachers to differentiate sight word and spelling practice while giving your students choice! The pack includes 15 word work activities that require little to no prep and can be used with any spelling or sight word list! Students loves the variety of choices and teachers love that students are working on words that are just right for them! EDITABLE word lists are included and make it easy to personalize learning! 

Elyse from A is for Apples shared differentiated reading logs! They are the perfect way to hold students and parents accountable for reading at home while also making it fun! Students color in a picture every time they read a book, and you can choose from over 20 recording pages to meet the needs of all your learners!

Gina from Teaching with Heart shared Work on Writing. You can easily create ENGAGING and MEANINGFUL writing center activities for your kindergarteners or first graders! The pack includes lots of activities so you and differentiate and scaffold to meet the needs of your students!

We are so thankful this year and happy to share our Classroom Cornucopia with you! You can download the whole 43 page pack here or click on the picture below! Happy Thanksgiving Friends!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sight word fluency phrases- PowerPoints & Printables!

Hi friends! I'm here to today to share with you one of my favorite new ways to teach sight words in my classroom. I recently came back to kindergarten after teaching 1st grade for a couple of years. Getting the chance to teach 1st gave me a great opportunity to see what important skills my kindergarten students need to truly be prepared for 1st grade. I have really tried to create more activities this year in my classroom that encourage reading and literacy from the beginning of the school year. I also am working on creating more interactive and visually stimulating activities for my students. My new sight word program strives to encompass all of those skills into one. 
Check out the video below to see it in action: 

So far, this has been an absolute game changer for my students! I already see their reading confidence increasing, and we've only been in school for a short time. 
Let me tell you more about how it works: 

The program that my team uses for sight words goes along with our district's reading/ELA program. We introduce between 1-3 new sight words each week, and the students read little decodable books along with the program. I knew that my students LOVE using pointers and coming up to point to things on our projector screen. So, I created a few fluency phrases for my students to practice reading our weekly words, and put these phrases up on the screen! Well, the results and excitement were incredible! My class responded so well. I turned these phrases into a PowerPoint presentation, and shared with my kinder team so that they could try too. All of the classes and teachers loved it and were having so much fun! 

Each fluency phrase starts with reviewing the sight words that the kiddos already know. The words that will be included in the fluency phrase come up on the screen one slide at a time for review:

Next, the fluency phrase pops up with a "blank" at the end of the sentence, where a picture will go:

Finally, the same phrase comes up with a picture for students to  practice reading. Each phrase includes 5 different pictures/sentences.

I also created PowerPoints that my students will use later in the school year that include the PowerPoint phrases along with CVC words for them to read instead of the picture at the end:

I use these PowerPoints whole class with my kiddos to review and practice. I try to make sure that I do enough different slides so that each kiddo gets a turn to come up and point to the words. I have the student with the pointer read the sentence alone first. Then, I have that student stay up in the front and point to the words again, but this time, the rest of the class reads along with them! 

I've gotten a few questions about why I have the "dots" underneath the whole word rather than underneath the first letter of the word, and I wanted to take some time to address my reasoning for that here. When we are practicing sight words, I want my students to focus less on sounding the words out, and more on keeping track of where they are on the screen or on the page in front of them. I have noticed that over the years, my students tend to touch the middle of the word, or right under the word when they are reading passages. The dots are merely a tool to help them stay focused and have a place to put their finger. There are certainly other ways to practice and encourage tracking, but this is what I have found works best in my classroom. 

In addition, I am training my students with the tracking dots early in the school year, because as the year continues, our reading passages also use dots under the words to help them keep their place. Click on the picture below to read more about those reading passages:

Another way that I like to reinforce sight words in my classroom is through the use of fluency printables in my reading groups:

The phrases on these printables match the fluency phrases on the PowerPoint presentations. My students feel very confident reading these phrases since we have practiced using the pointer on the big screen! When we do these printables together in a group, I have my students read the page 3 times. They color a star at the top each time they finish reading the page. As we are working, I have each student in my group take a turn reading the page individually. The other group members listen and follow along on their own page.

Once we have finished the front of this printable, on the back I give the students the same fluency phrase, but this time with blank boxes. They get to create their OWN sentences. This is so much fun for them! 

My students are super proud of what great readers they are becoming, and I am too! 

Are you ready to try these fluency PowerPoints and printables out in your own classroom to see how your students respond? I created a sample PowerPoint for you, and a printable that matches for you to try with your students. Click on the picture below to download the PowerPoint:

Want to try the printables out too!? Click on the picture below for a sample:

These printables and PowerPoints are currently available on TPT in a bundle with Pre-Primer Dolch sight words. I plan to begin working on Fry words and Primer words in the near future! Click on the picture below to see this pack on TPT:

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading more about my new sight word program! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Big Pumpkin- Sequencing FREEBIE!

Hi friends! I'm here today with a quick post about my FAVORITE Halloween story of all time: Big Pumpkin!

I have used this story with my students EVERY year, and they absolutely love it! I love that it is such a great story to work on story elements with, especially sequencing. We also work on comparing characters, and talk about who the main character and the "hero" is in the story. 
Here is a picture from one of the first times that I used this book about 4 years ago:

There's also a super fun recording of the story told in a song on youtube that I play for my students every year. It's an old recording and there's a "beep" on it so that students know when to turn the page, but I usually just use it whole class during a read aloud. Click below to head over to youtube:

Interested in buying the book on Amazon?
Click on the picture below:

One of my favorite activities to work on with this book is sequencing. The different characters come to try and help the witch pull the pumpkin off the vine. At the end of the story, they eat pumpkin pie together! It is so much fun to put the characters in order, or even act out the story. 
My students love getting to cut out pictures and put them in order:

This year, I thought that it would be fun to make some picture cards for my kiddos to sequence the story in a pocket chart, or even act out the story in small groups:

They LOVED using these cards, and I wanted to share the cards with you as a freebie! Click the picture below to download:

The rest of the activities and printables can be found in my BIG PUMPKIN PACK on TPT:

I hope that you enjoy using this book with your students this season! :) 

Saturday, September 10, 2016


Hi friends!
Happy back to school time! I'm here today to share with you some of my favorite alphabet centers that are so much fun to use during back to school time and are perfect to review throughout the school year. If you stick around til the end of the post, I might have a fun freebie in store for you as well :) 

First up: 
Alphabet spoons

 Alphabet spoons are one of my favorite activities. All you need to prep them is a set of clear plastic spoons, and a set of white plastic spoons. You write capital letters on one set, and lowercase on the other set. Kiddos put the spoons together to work on letter matching. I also like to have my kids put the spoons in ABC order. 

Next up:

This idea is super simple for letter matching! I just buy a set of library pockets at any teaching supply store, along with a die cut that will fit inside. I write the capital letters on the pockets, and lowercase letters on the die cuts. 
This school year, I decided I wanted to make my library pocket center look a little nicer:

I made letter labels for the pockets, and made strips with pictures on them for my students to practice beginning sounds, as well as letter matching! 
This has been a blast in my classroom. You can find this activity in my ABC Centers Pack. 

Next Activity:

I love using these 4 piece puzzles in my classroom! Kiddos have to match not only capital and lowercase letters, but 2 pictures that go with each letter. Once these were prepped for my classroom, they became something that my students can use throughout the school year for extra practice. These puzzles are available in my ABC Centers Pack. 

I also like to use more basic alphabet puzzles in the beginning of the school year:

Next activity:
This is probably my new favorite center!! My kiddos LOVE these cards. They like to put them in ABC order and work together to match all of the letter pairs. I love listening to them collaborate and work together… Even when they use the letter 'p' as a lowercase 'd' :) 

My students also LOVE using magnet letters, and these beginning sound strips have been a big hit:

We also use magnet letters for ABC order:

Letter matching is HUGE this time of year too, and sometimes I like to use a worksheet to get in some extra printing practice as well:

My newest activity that I created this week is: ABC POP!
 I have been using this as an "exit ticket" activity in my classroom! Students pick a piece of popcorn on their way out to recess, and they have to tell me the letter name or sound on their way out the door. They are LOVING THIS!! I also plan to use this in centers to work on letter recognition, and letter matching. I love that it's also something that I can give to a parent volunteer when they come to my classroom, and they can quickly pull a group to work on letters. I got the cute popcorn container from the Target Dollarspot over the summer. :) 

My ABC POP! activity is available as a FREEBIE for you to enjoy with your students. Click on the picture below:

Thanks for stopping by today! Have a fabulous weekend.