Sunday, January 11, 2015

Word Families
  If you teach beginning readers, you already know the importance of teaching word families to your students.  This time of year I spend much of my word- work time teaching and working on the different word families.
Learning word families sometimes called chunks or phonograms can help emergent readers begin to understand our complicated language by providing some predictable patterns within words.  When learning to read, patterns are important.  Children who recognize the patterns will have an easier job decoding words.
Once children learn the most common word families they will be able to decode over 500 words.  This will put an emerging reader well on their way of mastering the entire decoding process. 

This video talks about why it is important to teach your students the word families.  
There are many resources available and I have created many of my own.  In the beginning I love using these charts because they have the ending part of the word families on it. 
Even after teaching these strategies there seems to always be some students that will not quit understand and say something totally different at the end of the word.
This boy is doing a nice job, even coming up with blends in the beginning.
This chart is a center activity in my classroom.  The students sort the pictures in the right family pocket.
 My 10 grab and go word work and phonics activities  has many different beginning reading concepts in it.  Many highlight understanding word families.

     Another activity I plan to start next week with my students is having them work in a word family book. These are printables, just copy into a booklet and print.

And something that I couldn't live without are my Word Family Trucks.  These are trucks that contain word families and the word cards are all included.  Every time we learn a new vowel pattern or sound the trucks come out and we read the words in the pocket chart.
This is really just a quick look at some activities I use to help with this important skill.  Thank you for viewing.
Happy teaching!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Top Pinterest Picks

Happy New Year! Welcome 2015!

Today I am linking up with Pawsitively Teaching and Inspired Owl's Corner to look at great pinterest posts that will help me teach in January.

This is a picture of a pin that I put out of my Martin Luther King unit that we did last year.  Because of our three year curriculum in Multiage I am unable to do this again this year.  So sad it is a favorite of mine.
Click  to see original pin.
I just love this snowman picture and I know I will have to do this art project when I do snowman activities with the youngers.  That will be in my lesson plans the second week back.  Check out these winter activities here

Click on pic to see original pin.

Click to see original pin.
Love this video, need to jam out to this song while we make our New Year's resolutions.
More ideas just check out my pinterest boards!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Questionnaire

Fabulous in First has started this fun linky party.  It is a Christmas Questionnaire.   I like reading all about others and getting to know these great bloggers. So I thought I would link up. Here are my answers. 
1. When do you decorate? 

I usually decorate during Thanksgiving Break, but this year my house is undergoing a little remodel.  We are converting a small bedroom into an office and walk in closet that is attached to our bedroom.  This is very exciting for me and I cannot wait until I have my own office.  My house is finally decorated though amidst the clutter.


2. Elf or no elf? 

My kids are all grown so no elf at home but I do have an elf at school, check out my free elf materials here.


3. Christmas Cookies or No Baking for You? No baking for me. That is one stressful Christmas to do that is not on my list.  I am not a fan of baking. 
4. Favorite Holiday Tradition? 

We have had many but as the kids have gotten older we usually would plan a short vacation somewhere.  Mostly so we can all be together and enjoy each other’s company. We like going to Chicago or Minneapolis and doing all the fun City stuff. 

This is last year at the Zoo in Minneapolis.  It was a 40 degree sunny day so that made it perfect to go to the Zoo.

5. Favorite Christmas Movie? I love Christmas movies.  I like many.  Earlier this week I just watched Christmas Vacation, I think that movie is so funny.

6. Snow or No Snow? 

I love snow at Christmas.  Currently our snow is melting because we have had a little warm spell and rain.  I will be happy if it snows before Christmas. It is cold here in Northern Wisconsin, so it is nice to have snow so we can enjoy being outside skiing, snowshoeing etc...

This snowfall  fell in May.  We had 18 inches!

7. Favorite Christmas Song? 

Hmm. Carol of the Bells maybe.


8. Favorite Gifts to Give and Get? 
I have been busy shopping, my friends at work will all get a bottle of wine, we could all use that to enjoy over break.  My children will get gift cards for many different places and my hubby and I will enjoy our remodel. I do hope that I get the new Piano Guys album, I think that is the only thing on my list.  They also have a beautiful Christmas album. Which I have been busy listening to.  My students in my class beg to listen to the Piano Guys.  Please check out their you tube videos, you will not be disappointed. 

Have a great last week before break.  Hang in there everyone and enjoy the season.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

ELf on the Shelf and a Cyber Monday Sale

Thanksgiving break has been wonderful.  I am thankful for so many things, and I am thankful for all my teacher friends who visit my blog and stores.  When we go back to school on Monday I wanted to have my Elf stuff already to go so I made this little pack of Elf goodies to share with all of you as a great big THANK YOU!

I had fun using Elf on the Shelf last year in my classroom,  and I know you will too. The kids looked forward to it everyday.   I added a little twist with this pack.  At my school we use something called “Hatchet Handles” which are like good time tickets.  I have added this component in this pack to help motivate your students.  The tickets keep things positive and they especially come out when naughty behaviors are seen.  As soon as I start passing these good tickets out the rest of the class soon follows with good behaviors. It is like magic and I know we could all use a little of that. So take a look maybe you can use it in your classroom too. This is a FREE item at my stores so please go and download it there.

More notes are also included. 
I hope you will have fun with it in your classrooms. Please stop by my stores and check out my products for the great CYBER SALE! Everything is 20% off in my store and when you use the promo code TPTCYBER you will receive additional savings!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thanksgiving Interactive Charts

First a quick look at a favorite fall art project.

 It has snowed her in Northern Wisconsin and all the leaves have fallen but a few weeks back I did this art and science activity with my students. I love doing this activity with my students, and my students now know exactly why the leaves turn colors. Why Do Leaves Change Colors?

 Today I am linking up with Holidays Around the Blog Linky hosted by Amy from Learning Lessons with Mrs. Labrasciano and Julie from A First for Everything because it is time to start thinking about the holidays. Yes! Also I found some great new blogs to follow.  Please read Amy's post on Failing Teachers, I know you will all relate.

  I would like to share with you all my Shared Reading Interactive Charts for Thanksgiving pack.  These pocket chart poems and activities have been a hit with my students and I love them, because once all the cutting and prep is done I store these in baggies and they are ready for next year.  Shared reading is a wonderful time for learning in my classroom. More on shared reading please see my last post. The next pages give you a great look at what is included. 

Here is a closer look at what is all included.

Happy November everyone! 


Monday, September 1, 2014

Shared reading time with my youngers!

In my multiage class I switch in the afternoon with the other primary multiage teachers for word work and math.  I have the first grade students that we call youngers. I love this time of day and I am looking forward to a whole new crew this year.      

For word work time it consists of teaching phonics and how words work in general.  It is also a time where I do a lot of shared reading activities.  I love my pocket chart and I love how the students can interact with it.  Don't get me wrong, I like my smart board too, but the chart stays up and students can go back to it again and again. Every time I have a poem or chart in the pocket chart for shared reading it also becomes a word work center where students go back to it during our Cafe time as one of the daily five activities. 

So I created many poems and activities to be used during shared reading time and again during word work time during the daily five.  

You can buy each shared reading interactive chart packs separately.  There is a total of 6 or you can buy them together in one great big bundle for great big savings.
What is shared reading?

Shared reading is an interactive reading experience when students join in or share the reading of a big book or other enlarged text while guided and supported by a teacher or other experienced reader.  Students observe an expert reading the text with fluency and expression. The text must be large enough for all students to see clearly, so they can share in the reading of the text.  It is through Shared Reading that the reading process and reading strategies that readers use are demonstrated.  In Shared Reading, children participate in reading, learn critical concepts of how print works, get the feel of learning and begin to perceive themselves as readers. (Fountas & Pinnell 1996)

Benefits to students

-Students can enjoy materials they may not be able to read

-Students feel successful by providing support to the entire group

-Assists students where to focus attention

-Focuses and develops concepts of print and phonemic connections

-Helps in teaching frequently used vocabulary

-Encourages prediction in reading

-Students are engaged

I keep each poem separate in baggies with the activities that go with them and they are ready to go.  The best thing about this is my students are learning so many wonderful skills and they love the charts.