February 26, 2015

Celebrate Dr. S with FREEBIES!

Are you ready to celebrate the good Dr.? I think it's one of the most fun themes to do all year! It's a week of classic books, dress-up days, and a celebration of reading! Before our fun week starts, I send home this letter to inform parents about our Dr. S dress up week. You can get it FREE here
Due to Dr. S having strict copyright laws, I cannot create activities for you and sell them on TPT. :( Here are some of the ones I use in my classroom, if you need ideas to make yourself. 

You can never get enough CVC practice, so I changed out my Valentine's Day CVC cards, and threw these in instead! These kiddos are building words using some alphabet letters beads. They are getting so good at building and reading CVC words by getting all this extra practice during literacy centers. 
We are still working on 2 letter word families, but are ready to move to 3 letter word families. These students are working on sorting the words to the correct family. This game has students matching 4 "sock" words to their "fox" word family card.
We just finished a unit on skip counting, so I made these cards for students to review that skill while at math centers. They work on counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s.
The students really enjoyed this rhyming game. They matched up rhyming cards and recorded their answers on the worksheet. I played this with a few of my lowest students who still needed rhyming help. It was also a great way to work on stretching out words when they recorded their answers.  
Another way to practice word families is with this hat craft. I give each student a hat and 3 red stripes. They had to cut the hat out and assemble it to resemble a famous silly cat's hat. They get to choose one word family and write it at the bottom. Then the come up with 3 words in that word family. I haven't been as good at taking bulletin board pictures as I used to, hence the 2007 date on the photo. ;)
I post these hats on a bulletin board along with a few of my favorite Dr. S quotes and book covers. 
A few years ago, my nephew had a Dr. S themed birthday party.  I found all these fun food ideas on Pinterest, and made them for his party. I thought I'd share these photos because these would be perfect for an end of the week celebration!
These are the same turtle pretzels that I posted about in December as an easy idea for a Christmas snack. You can read about how to make them here
Have fun celebrating reading next week!!

February 19, 2015

Making New CVC Words by Substituting Letter Sounds

Currently we are working on substituting sounds to make new words. I had some word family word wheels my mom had used back when she taught 1st grade. I liked the idea of them, but wanted to create a set that would work on substituting the beginning, middle, and ending sounds. This ideas turned into this new bundle of sound spinners!
I made all of these sound spinners work the same way. Students simply spin the wheel to show a new sound, read the word, then lift the flap to see if the picture matches the word they read. Then students will spin a new sound to make a new word!
I did leave the bottom spinner black & white to make these printer friendly! I send them home with parent volunteers to color them and put them together. :) If you don't send things home for volunteers to do, you are missing out!! At the beginning of the year I have parent sign up to volunteer in the classroom, volunteer to make copies/laminate, or volunteer to work not things at home (sorting, cutting, coloring, etc) It's SO incredibly helpful!!
The beginning and ending sound spinners have 4 words per wheel, while the middle sound spinners have 3-4 words. I do include instructions if you buy these, so you can see how easy it is to make these spinner!
Each set of sound spinners comes with a worksheet for students to provide their answers. You can grab these sound spinners here!
We also use our CVC flip books to practice switching sounds in words. I saw this idea on Pinterest and loved it! I divide a binder of notecards into 3 different sections. Next, add consonants to the 1st and last flap, and vowel sounds go in the middle. To make this more difficult, you could just do 2 flaps and do word families. Add blends/digraphs to the beginning or end for more added practice!

To use these, students flip over 3 letters and read the word. I then tell them to switch the beginning, middle, or ending sound and make me a whole new word. This shows them how to make new words, but it shows me who can read simple words AND who knows what a beginning, middle, or ending sound is. Sometimes students have to find the word I tell them, put the word in a sentence, tell if it is real/nonsense, etc. These flip books can work on so many skills!

Another way we work on substituting sounds to make new words is by using the game Lanolin's Greenhouse on the Professor Garfield website. This whole section called "Orson's Farm" works on a ton of phonics skills and the kids love it!

February 12, 2015

Easy Center for the Whole Year - Dot It! Games

Are you sick of coming up with center ideas? Want something that you can easily throw into a literacy or math center and the students already know what to do? My Dot It! bundles are just that!
My Dot It! Literacy and Math bundles are some of my students favorite activities! They even ask if they can do the worksheets more than once. This student is working on CVC words. He found the "bug" on the purple gum ball, hunts for the word "bug" on the worksheet, then gets to "dot it" with a purple BINGO Dauber. They do this for all of the words, matching the color of the BINGO dauber to the color of the gum ball they found. 
These students are working hard on ending sounds! We talk about how to put the lid on after you use it each time. Also, we practice how to use just a dot and not squeeze the dauber too hard. 
Included in my Dot It! Literacy Bundle is an editable version of this sight word game. You can type in your own words on the gum balls and the worksheet as your students learn more words. 
My math bundle has 11 games including this 10 frame game. 
 Here's an example of the shape activity which works on 2D shapes. 
Students can also practice addition and subtraction with these worksheets as well.

All you need are these bundles and some BINGO daubers, and you can use this center all year! All I have to do is throw in the new worksheets and gum balls into a center, and the students already know how to play! Easy peasy! I use Dot-a-Dot markers (<---affiliate link) which you can get on Amazon, Michaels, or any school catalog. 
I bundled these by subject, so you only have to buy what you teach!
                  Literacy skills include:                             Math skills included:
                  - Alphabet                                                -Numbers 0-10
                  - Beginning Sounds                                   -Number Words
                  - Middle Sounds                                        -Dice
                  - Ending Sounds                                       -Shapes
                  - Rhyming                                                -10 Frames
                  - CVC words                                             -Tally Marks
                  - Digraphs                                                -Adding to 10
                  - R-controlled vowels                                 -Subtracting within 10
                  - Silent e                                                  -Time
                  - Sight words (editable)                             -Money
                                                                                 -Place Value
Having a game with the same format that I can use all year is such a time saver, but the fact that the students actually look forward to going to this center and practicing these skills, make this even better!

February 8, 2015

Secret Admirer Blog Hop

All the girls over at our collaborative blog Elementary Entourage decided to do a secret admirer gift exchange. We each got to make up a small gift and send it to one of our bloggy buddies. My secret admirer was Keri over at Enchanted Kindergarten. If you don't follow Keri, you are missing out!!
Look at all the great stuff I got!! Yes, those are fuzzy handcuffs. LOL! Isn't her valentine card so cute! 
She knows me well because Diet Mt. Dew and Charming Charlie are some of my favorite things! If you haven't been to a Charming Charlie, you need to find one! It has a TON of cheap, yet cute accessories and some clothes, but the best part, is that it's all organized by color! Not sure why I like that fact so much, maybe it's my OCD. I love that I don't have to waste my time searching through the whole store, I just go the pink section if I need a pink necklace. 
Enough about Charming Charlie, we know why you stopped by my page today...for your FREEBIE!! This blog hop will give you a lot of ideas to make for your students this year for Valentine's Day. My students pick stamps out of the prize box a lot, so I decided to give them all a Valentine's Day stamp. Here's a preview of what they'll be getting. 
Things you need to make these:
-stamps (found these at Wal-Mart)
-glue dots or a hot glue gun
-your FREE Valentine's Day cards
How to make these:
-download the FREEBIE below
-once it opens as a PDF, type your name in the light blue box, then print
-attach the stamps to the cards using a small glue dot or hot glue gun

Grab your Valentine FREEBIE by clicking the image below. 
Now follow the blog hop to get more Valentine's Day FREEBIES!

February 5, 2015

Valentine's Day Center & a FREEBIE

February is when I get to do one of my favorite bulletin boards! When we discuss Valentine's Day, we talk about how everyone is special. It's a great way to get in some more of those friendship building activities and show that we are truly a classroom community that cares about each other. I put up a bulletin board called "The Best Part of Me". Each student has to decide what they like best about themselves and then explain why. These turn out great and I love hearing their responses!
You can grab these writing prompts for FREE to use with this bulletin board by clicking here.

I've recently updated my Valentine's Literacy & Math Bundle and added a few new games! Here's a preview of everything that's included! 
We are working on reading and building CVC words, so I added this game to the bundle. My students did great building these words! I always like to use age appropriate clipart, so students will know what word they need to spell without having to ask adults what the image is. I used letter tiles, but you could use magnets, dry-erase markers, alphabet beads, etc. 
To work on reading simple CVC words more, we played Sort the Mail which works on real and nonsense words. After we sorted the cards, we worked on the middle sound they heard in the word, put the real words into sentences, and came up with rhyming words. When I create a game, I like to find multiple ways to play it. We were able to work on many skills during small group with this 1 game.
To continue to work on words, we played this Valentine Friends Word Family game which comes with 30 word families so you can differentiate the game depending on your student's skill level. Included are short vowel and long vowel word families. The students simply sort the words to the correct word family, then record their answer on the worksheet provided. 
I'm sure you've seen me post about these worksheets to work on missing numbers and comparing numbers. We use them to help us practice for mClass math assessments. This product comes with colored versions to use in sheet protectors for centers or black & white versions to use as worksheets. 
This new Counting Cupcakes game is one I added to the Valentine's day bundle this year. It works on number sense skills including numbers, number words, ten frames, dice, tally marks, and 1-1- correspondence to 10. The students say what number they have on their card, spin the spinner, and move around the game board. My students are competitive so they love anything with a game board. 
This game below is part of my Sweet Subtraction game that has 2 games and a set of worksheets to work on subtraction. I put this paper into a sheet protector so students can use dry-erase markers and use this over and over. They simply had to use both spinners, then subtract those numbers and find the answer. 
We are working on skip counting, so I made some cut & paste worksheets for counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s. Click here to get this counting by 5s worksheet FREE!! This game also comes with number cards for students to sequence. Grab all of these games and more in my Valentine's Day Literacy & Math bundle!

February 2, 2015

You asked for it...Fluency & Fitness MEGA Bundle

I've had many people ask if I would ever be willing to bundle all of my Fluency & Fitness sets. It took a long time, but it is DONE!! You can check out the whole Fluency & Fitness MEGA Bundle here!
The MEGA bundle includes all 30+ sets of my reading and math fluency and fitness bundles. It will be a growing bundle, so as I add sets, you'll be able to re-download the product and get the new sets for FREE! The price will go up each time I add a new set. You get a better deal if you buy the MEGA bundle, but you can purchase just the Reading Bundle or Math Bundle that I just added as well.

The Fluency & Fitness Reading Bundle contains includes:
-Sounds (beginning, middle, end)
-R-controlled Vowels
-Long Vowels
-Nonsense Words
-CVC Words
-Short Vowels
-Silent e
-Dolch Words
-Fry Words (1st, 2nd, 3rd 100)
-Sight Word Phrases
-Parts of Speech
-Word Families
-Numbers to 1,000
-Number sense
-Missing Numbers
-Comparing Numbers
-Addition & Subtraction mixed
-Place Value
-Skip Counting
Heres some kiddos doing the CVC Words Bundle and the Number Sense Bundle which are two of my top selling Fluency & Fitness bundles. I'd love to see a video of your students in action doing Fluency & Fitness!

But wait...Fluency & Fitness doesn't just have to be a whole group activity. If you set your printer to print multiple pages per sheet (I choose 9 per page), it creates little flashcards. Students can pull out a card, say the number, letter, word, etc. or do the exercise for a few seconds before pulling another card. Easy literacy and math centers!
What teachers are saying about Fluency & Fitness:
"This bundle is AMAZING! My kids absolutely love practicing their skills with this fun and engaging fluency practice. This has become a staple in Math and Reading. Won't teach again without it!" - Sofie
"This has become my favorite Tpt purchase. There is so much included in the bundle, and my students are engaged from start to finish. They can't get enough of it, and neither can I!" -Jackie
"I use this everyday. My students love it! They look forward to it and call it their exercise!" - Danielle
"My kinders LOVE this SO much that I am going to get more!" - Tiffany 
"I had been hunting and brainstorming for fun ways to practice sight words, while introducing my kinders to more sight words throughout the year - this is the answer!! I am so happy to have this bundle." - The Kindergarten Connection

I hope you are as excited about these bundles as I am! I've had such amazing feedback on these products and I love hearing that your students ask to do these!! If you have any photos or videos of these in action, I'd love to see them!!