When my students enjoy a particular phonics center, I want to keep using it even when we move on to a different phonics focus! This way I know students will be happily engaged, and I won’t have to spend time explaining a new activity every week. Below are some of the phonics centers I use through the entire year for centers, morning work, small group lessons and even take home work. I hope it inspires you with some new ideas! [Read More…]
How do you manage the rest of the class while you’re doing small group lessons? There are many ways to organize this situation, and I’ve tried them all! The most important part for my students is to make sure the centers are both engaging and easy to manage (so I don’t have to stop and explain directions over and over!)
When I find a task my students enjoy, I like to make different versions of that task for all of [Read More…]
Have you tried directed drawing with your students? There are so many ways to use it in the classroom!
COMBINE DRAWING AND WRITING
Use your drawings as writing prompts! You can see more photos of the directed drawing activities we use in my classroom by clicking HERE.
USING DRAWING VIDEOS
These directed drawing videos allow you to walk around and assist students while the video plays – much more relaxing than trying to draw and assist at the same time. Just project [Read More…]
Do you use social skills stories in your classroom? One of my favorite things about teaching is sharing books and stories with my students. Even better if students can learn about important topics while they enjoy the stories and characters!
Bunny And Bear Social Skills Stories
This post focuses on our series of books called Bunny and Bear. Bunny and Bear books are social stories which teach essential social skills to young children. My own students immediately fell in love with [Read More…]
Over the last few years I’ve spent more and more time during my reading block on small groups. This means I need to make sure the rest of the class is engaged and learning independently. My solution has been to fill up my literacy and writing centers with simple, effective and fun tasks that my students can complete independently.
SAME TASK, DIFFERENT SKILLS
One of the things that make planning easy for me is to create a task my students enjoy, and [Read More…]
Segmenting and blending sounds can be tricky when students are first learning to read. Reinforcing these skills, particularly with hands-on manipulation of letters, can be a great help for reading development.
Segmenting (separating sounds like /d/ /o/ /g/) and blending (combining sounds like /dog/) are core skills for phonological awareness, and necessary for learning to read.
Assessing Spelling Readiness
Are your students ready to blend and segment sounds? There is a general progression for most students: 1) identifying alliteration and rhyming words [Read More…]
Have you ever noticed that after new year’s celebrations, when students come back to school after winter break, they act like they’ve never been in a classroom before? Sometimes it seems like they’ve forgotten everything you’ve taught them in the past months!
Of course they haven’t forgotten, but it’s a good time for a refresher. Take some time to remind and re-establish routines and expectations. Review your class rules and even some of the academic goals you reached together. If [Read More…]
Looking for a clickable link for something spotted on my Instagram account? Click on the images below!
MORE FREE DOWNLOADS
You may also be interested the FREE downloads in the posts listed below!
I hope you find some helpful resources!
Free Downloads: First Grade Writing
Free Downloads: Simple Art Templates
Math Centers: Free Downloads
Free Directed Drawing Videos: Students Draw Along
Free Letter Sounds Song [Read More…]
Do you study polar bears or arctic animals with your class?
We love doing this fun art project!
Each year while studying the Arctic, we make these cute polar bears with chalk pastel and construction paper. When I have younger students, we work step by step as a directed drawing. If you’d like to try it, follow the pictures below! You can also download your own copy of the step by step photos for your files (below).
Download your own copy by clicking [Read More…]
WHAT ARE SOCIAL STORIES?
Do you use social stories in your classroom?
Social stories are simple stories that describe common situations that occur frequently in the classroom. They state a situation clearly, possible feelings that may occur, self-talk strategies that can be helpful, and the desired outcomes.
These stories have been especially helpful for my younger students, students with autism, or students with self-regulation problems.
Over the last 20+ years of teaching, I have seen many students struggle to navigate the complex social situations in the [Read More…]