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…]
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…]
Here’s an easy way to make math time more fun!
Integrate math, art and writing to practice ANY math skill through the whole year!
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Here’s how it works:
Choose a math skill to practice. (ie: Addition Doubles)
Use the built-in spinner to choose a number to double. (ie: Spin a 2)
Write the equation in one of the spaces provided. Find the answer. (ie: 2+2=4)
Use the answer (4) to choose which doodle design to use on the Doodle Chart.
Use that design to [Read More…]
Phonics centers are the core of my teaching when it comes to emergent readers. As an early literacy teacher for over 25 years, I’ve learned a thing or two about how children successfully acquire and practice reading skills. In Kindergarten, our focus is letter sounds. That is the foundation of decoding letters as symbols for sounds we hear in language.
Once students can tell you which letter makes which sound, we are ready to move on to isolating those sounds. The [Read More…]
This post is all about teaching reading, and it also contains a FREE alphabet printing activity for you to download!
You may have seen my recent post about my HUGE teaching dilemma last year: a new teaching partner who had no experience with teaching primary math! How could I make sure that my new partner stayed on track without spending HOURS talking about math lessons, planning, intervention and reporting?
My solution? I had the idea to make a whole year of paperless daily [Read More…]
Do your students love animal research projects?
It’s a great way to introduce non-fiction writing, and it can be a source of pride for students who feel very “grown up” because they are doing research! However, this enthusiasm can be dampened if emergent writers are not supported with reading materials at their level, and so long as the information sources are not too overwhelming.
This is why differentiating your non-fiction materials for emergent writers is so important.
Here are some tips for implementing your [Read More…]
Teaching phonics can become a bit monotonous day after day, but there are lots of ways to keep it engaging!
Here are a few examples of the ways I’ve tried to keep phonics lessons interactive, hands on, and FUN!
Phonics instruction can also be differentiated with a little creativity.
BUILDING WORDS & SENTENCES
This activity allows for differentiation because the tasks get more complex as you work down the page. Some students will only be required to print the letters and build the [Read More…]
When do you start teaching phonics?
There are so many things going on at the start of a new school year!
We are getting to know new personalities, watching them interact with each other, and at the same time, we are taking notes and assessing abilities.
One of the first things I set up are my EASY and independent literacy centers.
These take very little explanation, and students can happily work on literacy skills while I use valuable time to assess their abilities before moving [Read More…]