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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Years ago I would get some disapproving looks when I mentioned how much classroom time I dedicate to social emotional learning. “What about the curriculum! You’ll never get through it all if you don’t start right away!”
But I did get through it all, sometimes with time to spare. Why? I found that if we solidified expectations for kindness, inclusion and self-management early, and spent a LOT less time on disruptions through the year. Plus, we were shaping future citizens; it’s not [Read More…]
Teaching about kindness and acceptance is always time well spent, especially at Christmas.
Here’s a fun and FREE activity to share with your class!
Santa’s long beard is filled with acts of kindness for children to complete. The tasks are simple, such as “Smile at as many people as you can today” or “Give a compliment”.
Students trim each task off of Santa’s beard as the task is completed! This makes for wonderful discussions as students share their experience and feelings after spreading [Read More…]
It can be tricky to support your emergent writers who are tackling spelling. Early writers may have a delicate confidence when it comes to spelling, and they often don’t realize that guessing and making mistakes is an important part of learning.
It’s our job as teachers to explain that they are not expected to know how to spell every word! Always take time to let your students know that you’re looking for the effort and the attempt. Our mantra is “Make [Read More…]
Phonics: Classroom Practice
Much of our phonics instruction comes from our daily practice. Most of the activities are embedded into PLAY. Apart from some direct full class and small group lessons (including guided reading lessons), most of our phonics practice takes place through game boards, sorting, word building and creative writing.
Here are some specific ways to find phonics practice happening in our classroom.
PHONICS BOARD GAMES
The easiest to prep, and a big class favorite through the whole year is phonics game boards.
I have [Read More…]