Saturday, July 14, 2018

Back to School Word Work (Free Resources Included)

Word Work is so important in Kindergarten and in First Grade. Throughout the year, I expose kids to letters and sounds and back to school is no different. Kindergarten can be tricky because some kids do not even know the names of the letters in their name. I think it is important to expose kids to all of the letters right away. You never know which letters will stick. Then, I will go through the letters slower, for students who may need that.

I LOVE using Pocket Charts. This is a letter sort for letters with holes and without. This helps students to really look at the letters, even if they do not know the names yet. In my Back to School Word Work, you can get this pocket chart sort, tall, short, hanging letters sort, and a sort for letters in my name, not in my name.

After introducing the letters in the pocket chart, you can move to centers with the same activities. You can also fin thee sorting boards in my Back to School Word Work.

In small group, I like these letter recognition cards. They include a small picture at the top to help students associate the letter with the sound. Thee are great for Guided Reading at the beginning of the year and then they can be transitioned to an independent word work center.

Matching Letters to Picture cards can be used in a pocket chart, Guided Reading Groups, or Independent practice. For students who know their letters and sounds, make it a challenge by them play memory.

These cards can be used for so many activities. In the beginning of the year, I use them in Guided Reading. I put them in a cute box, pass it around the group, have students pull out the card, say the letter, the picture, and the sound (make sure they say ALL THREE). If they don't know it, just model for them. Eventually, they will get there. this is another favorite from my Back to School Word Work.

These Letter Formation cards are perfect for teaching how to write the letters. they come in both Print and D'Nealian. You can put them in a cute tub and have students randomly pull out a letter, say the name of the letter, and then trace the letter.

Roll a Letter makes a great center, after you have taught letter formation. This FREE Resource is also Editable. You can print it on color paper and laminated it for multiple uses with a dry erase marker. You can get this Free Editable Roll a Letter HERE.

Teacher Tip: When your laminated sheets start to look yucky, use a magic eraser to clean them. I also avoid red on laminated sheets. Eventually, it won't come off. I like to to stick to black, for lamination.

Picture sorts are an essential piece  word work. If kids do not know the letters or sounds yet, you can model the letter, have the student repeat, model the sound, have the student repeat. After all the picture cards have been sorted, have the students repeat all the letters and sounds. Daily exposure to letters and sounds will help transfer the skills into students long term memory. This is in my Beginning Sounds Word Work unit.

These puzzles are perfect for an independent Word Work center. I recomend you have an amazing parent cut these out. They take a LONG time! You can fin this in a Beginning Sounds Word Work.

 I LOVE Roll, Say, Keep Games. The kids love Roll, Say, Keep Games. They are fun with a partner or small groups.

I like to use these letter cards in my Guided Reading Groups. You can use letter tiles, magnets, or you can have students write their letters with a dry erase marker (less prep because yo don't have to sort out the letters!!! lol).

Aren't these FREE Letter cards adorable? You can have students match letters to them or cut them in half as a matching game. Easy Peasy!

I hope I gave you same great ideas for back to school word work!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Positive Behavior Clip Chart

I also created the FREE Positive Behavior Clip Chart. I know a lot of teachers have a Love/Hate Relationship  with clip charts. 
The same kids always move up.
 The same kids always move down.

Yes, this can be true, but as teachers, it is our job to provide students with positive behavior supports. We have to promote Social Emotional Learning. One of my goals for the 2018-2019 school year is to focus on Social Emotional  Learning (SEL). I am looking forward to sharing with all of you what I have learned. I plan on making more interactive read alouds/ book companions to support this as well.

 All of the kids start on I am Working Hard. I believe all students are working hard all the time, they just may have a funny way of showing it. Even if they move down, they CAN improve their behavior. Clip Charts should be fluid. Even if they move down, please, always give them the opportunity to move back up. ALWAYS. 

Let's say a child hits someone. You move them down to Let's Talk About My Choices, then talk to them. Why did they hit? What social skill do you need to teach them so that they do not hit again?  Did they hit again that day? Hopefully, the answer is no, so they showed you that they could improve their behavior.  Clip Charts should not be seen as a punishment, but a visual learning tool. Yes, you may choose to award kids that are up high, but I recommend you don't do it on a set day. Randomly, pick a day for prize box, brag tags, positive notes home, or whatever your reward may be. Try to pick a day when your struggling student is up high or your always on top student is down low (no one can be perfect all time, but that's a lesson for another day).

  I know what your thinking. Jacob is always moving down, no matter what. Poor Jacob. Even with positive language, he understands that he is making bad choices each and everyday.


Yes, I said it. Not every student need to be on the clip chart. Like I said before, clip charts should be a positive visual tool. Jacob may need his own sticker chart, where he earns rewards for the little things. For some kids, they may need a reward for sitting for 2 minutes on the carpet...but that is a going to take a separate blog post...COMING SOON.

Clip Charts work for some teachers, but not for others.
 Clip Charts work for some classes, but not for others.
Clip Charts may work for some students, but not for others.

I will continue to work on posts for you all about Social Emotional Learning, and this will include a variety of classroom and student behavior management systems. For the last 12 years, I have worked as an inclusion and small group teacher. I have had students that hit, spit, throw, and run. I get it. I may not have all of the answers, but I am here if you need some support. Please email me at  I want to help you create a positive social emotional learning environment.  

I have started creating Interactive Read Alouds that focus on Social Emotional Learning. Check out Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark.

Pout-Pout Fish and The Bully-Bully Shark

Have you read Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark? I is perfect for back to school. It is great for social emotional learning.The story talks about being kind and why we need rules. Plus, there are some great vocabulary words. I created a NEW Interactive Read Aloud and Book Companion to go with it. You can purchase it here.

This is an affiliate link below. 

There is a craft and writing prompt for both the Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark.

There are picture sorts for being a nice friend and a mean friend. There are also word cards for building sentences.

There are vocabulary words with picture cards, definition cards, and sentence example card. I have also included comprehension questions that can be used for Think, Pair, Share.

 There are extra writing prompts and anchor chart pieces.
You can purchase Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully-Bully Shark Interactive Read Aloud and Book Companion  HERE.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Summer Math Centers With Freebies!

Hello, June! How I have missed you! Are you still teaching in June? Do you teach summer school? You are going to LOVE my New Summer Math Centers.

Warning: There is a FREE Resource for you at the end of this post.

You get 4 Math Centers. Each Center Comes in Color and in Black and White. Each center has a set of 4 Exit Tickets so you can easily assess student learning. Exit Tickets are great for student progress for report cards, RTI, or Student Assistant teams. The math centers are all common core aligned. They are hands on learning. Most importantly, they are fun and engaging. You can buy these centers HERE.

In addition to the 4 Centers and Exit Tickets, you will also get 4 printables. These are perfect for independent practice or homework.

 Did I mention the Exit Tickets???? Seriously, there are 4 Exit Tickets per center..that we you can asses more than once...not worry about students copying each other....

I know what you are thinking...I want centers like this that will last me ALL YEAR! You are in luck. Not only do I have a Growing Bundle...The bundle is DISCOUNTED 75% right now. That means, you can get 80 centers, 80 Exit Tickets (really, 320 Exit Tickets), and 80 Printables for ONLY $20!!!

Buy the the Growing Bundle HERE.

Are you ready for your FREE Printable???? This Roll and Color Printable is perfect for the end of year or summer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Crayon Box That Talked

Have your ever read The Crayon Box That Talked? It is a great story to read at the beginning of the year or anytime you may want to work on classroom community. At the beginning of the story, a little girl hears a crayon box talking at the toy store. The crayons do not like each other.She takes the crayons home and shows them how together, they can make a prettier picture.It is a great story about how important it is to be unique.

You can buy the book on Amazon here.
 This post contains affiliate links.

As a special education teacher in an inclusion classroom, I am always looking for great books that help build a classroom community. I am very excited about the Interactive Read Aloud Unit that I created for this book.
I have included vocabulary words fro the text, with pictures, definitions, and sentences. There are also comprehension questions for Think, Pair, Share time. For this, I give a question, and i have students turn to their partner to discuss an answer. At the beginning for the year, I always model my thinking, but I like to still give students a chance to speak with a partner.

There are writing response sheets for students to draw or write to show their understanding. I love the one color versus many colors sheet. This not only shows how important every color (person) is, it doe carry into writing and how we draw pictures with multiple colors.

Since we are talking about colors, I have included a student reader and pocket chart sentences for working with colors. These will be great to carry the unit over into literacy centers.

Finally, I included an adorable craft. You all know how much I LOVE crafts. I always try to tie them back something academic, but I think it is so important for students creativity. This includes a writing prompt where students can share what makes them unique.

I plan on creating a lot more Interactive Read Alouds/Book Companions for Community Building This Summer. Do you have a favorite book for building community? I would love to hear about it.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Spring Math Centers

Spring has officially sprung! The flowers are blooming and the crazy winds are blowing. And, we rapidly approaching the end of Kindergarten. For me, it is bitter sweet. I love spending time with my kids in the summer, but I really love my class this year.

I am so excited about my new Math Centers. I just finished Spring and Garden themed. Earlier this year, I started creating Math activities with 4 Centers in BOTH color and black and white, 4 Exit Tickets (some actually have more), and 4 Printables. They are designed to last you an entire week.

First up, my Spring Math Centers.

 These centers look great if you print them in color or black and white. There is one set for making fives and one set for making tens. There are 4 DIFFERENT Exit Tickets on each page. That way, you don't have to worry about copying or you can use them multiple times. This activity has 4 Exit Tickets for making Five and Four for making ten. You can buy these centers HERE.

 We have been working hard on number bonds. I love this one where the kids roll the dice and fill out the number bond. There is a subtraction version too. You can have students complete an exit ticket daily or weekly
 THIS is my FAVORITE one. How cute is this??? They add up the number expression and place it above the correct answer.

 The 4 printables  are an awesome add on. You can use them for homework, independent practice, or a 5th center rotation.  They are also great if you have a sub. The above all come from my Spring Math centers, which you can find here.

 Do you use Engage New York or Eureka? I made this center because my students need more practice  at complete the number after Module 5. There are card like this for the numbers 5-10. I used flip cards but snap cubes would work too. I might add those next time.

 This Ten frame mat can be used for number building, adding, or subtracting. I have so many spring erasers that I can use with it. Like all of the centers, it comes in color or black and white. I really like it on the bright paper.

 We have been working hard at teen numbers. This one is a great way to get them ready for First Grade.

How cute are these printables??? Seriously, LOVE them. I know our schedule starts to get crazy this time of year. Printables make great fillers when you have limited time.

You can find my Garden Math Centers HERE.

Do you LOVE the idea of having Math Centers, Exit Tickets, and Printables combined??? Check out the GROWING Bundle. Are you a first grade teacher interested in these? I have  First Grade Scarecrow Math Centers, Exit Tickets, and Printables. If you are interested in more, let me know!