Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Blogging at Seabear's Kindergarten

Hello friends! Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to guest blog over at Kindergarten Lifestyle. Click HERE to read the post if you missed it. Now, I am offering the same opportunity to anyone who would like to try out guest blogging. If you would like to do this, please just click on the "Guest Blogging" tab at the top of my homepage. I would just love to have some of you try it out!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

100+ Followers! Check Out This Giveaway!

Hello friends!
I am truly thankful for all the new people I have met along the way in my blogging journey. I certainly never imagined that 100 people (and even more) would be interested in what I had to share! 

To celebrate the fact that my blog now has over 100 followers, I am hosting a Giveaway! This is truly a giveaway. You don't have to follow my blog (though I would love for you to) or post on your blog about this. All I ask for in my giveaway is for you to leave a comment about something you might like to see more of from my blog.

I am giving away a $25 Target gift card! If you would like to enter, please enter here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

VC and CV Playdoh Reading Game

When I recently posted for Jeannie at Kindergarten Lifestyle, I received a lot of emails about more ideas for reading activities.
Here is another way I teach beginner readers to learn how to work with sounds before letters.
Young students grasp shorter sounds easier than longer sounds. Short sounds are in many of the first words they will learn to read, so I work with those first. Short O's and short A's are also easier than short I's or short e's.
Choose which vowel (a's or o' can introduce i's and e's after they master these ones) you would like to work with and add any consonant sound (single consonants or digraph consonant sounds) to it.
VC Examples: op, ot, osh, och, om, and ak, ath, af, ab
Give each student a small ball of playdoh. Ask them not to touch it until you tell them to.
You say your letter combination or "fake word" and ask your students to copy you.
Then have them say it slowly, really stretching out the sounds so that your students have the chance to hear the sounds separately.
Ask them to tell you how many sounds they hear.
Have them tear their ball of playdoh into as many pieces as they hear. In this case, it should be only 2 sounds.
Have them touch the first piece of playdoh as they say the first sound.
Then have them touch the second piece of playdoh as they say the second sound.
They will then blend the sounds together as they squish the pieces of playdoh together to make words.

You can do this over and over with any combinations of letters mentioned above. As students get more familiar with these, they can try words with i's and e's.
As they are comfortable with this concept, have them try the same activity, this time, have them do the activity with consonants first and vowels second. 
CV Examples: po, cho, to, so and ka, tha, fa, na 

It may help to have students use a mat like this. Click on the picture to get your free copy. Laminate the sheet so the playdough can be placed in the boxes as you do this activity. The playdough sits in the top box as you begin the activity. Have the students place their playdough pieces in each of the two middle boxes for the sounds they hear. When they blend the word back together, they can place it in the final box. Since the paper is to be laminated, you can use whiteboard markers and even have the students spell the sounds as they hear them and learn to blend them later.


P.S. Click on the heart to check out a post at The Organized Classroom Blog. I am truly working to do my best to provide lots of useful tried and true educational activities to other teachers and educators!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Learn How to Teach Reading Without Using Letters!

I am honored to be a guest blogger tomorrow (Thursday) for Jeannie at her amazing site! (Thank you VERY much Jeannie!)

Kindergarten Lifestyle

I would LOVE for you to go over to her blog and read about one way I teach children how to read without using letters! I have even included a free two-page reading activity, exclusive to those who go over to read the post!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Mother's Day Freebies

As Mother's Day approaches I like to find ways to help my students to think about all the wonderful things that their mothers do for them. In this activity, students can either write words or draw pictures on the petals that depict different things a child might love about their mother. For the students that do not have a mother or live with their mother, I have included a similar sheet that they can fill out for someone that is like their mother to them. The students can use different colored pencils or inks to write words. They can outline the petals in different colors as well. If these are matted against complimentary colors that the student uses, these make a beautiful display!

The next sheet is so fun to do. I love to have students draw their best rendition of their mother and then have them write how old their mother is. Some of the students are clever and really do know....but some do not, and that is so cute to see sometimes! I let the student write whatever number they think fits their mother's age. These look really great when the student draws colorful detail in the picture as well as the background. I like to mat these on black paper. The cute frame is from Mel with Graphics from the Pond. Check out her blog called for some super fun graphics by clicking HERE.

I Love My Mom! I hope you enjoy using these free activities! If you are looking for other writing activities, please consider checking out my TpT store for more ideas by clicking HERE.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Mo Willems Reads His Book to You!!!

How cool is this? At the Barnes and Noble Books web site, they have something called Online Storytime. It highlights books read by authors. This month, you can see and hear Mo Willems read his book, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy. I especially loved seeing it because you do not very often get a chance to hear an author read their own story, exactly the way that they meant for it to sound. Click on the book cover and you can enjoy the book!


Click HERE to see his website. You can play games and even "tweet" with pigeon.
Click HERE to see his blog.


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