Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pop Tens!

I want to share with you today, a fun game that my students are always thrilled to play. It helps them build up their understanding of place value and seeing numbers as groups of tens and ones. 

I use a commercially produced game called 'Pop for Numbers' that is great for Numeral Identification. It has lots of gumball cards inside that each feature a numeral. 

Students take a ball from the container, and collect the same number of ones.

Upon their next turn, they collect another set of ones. Once a group of ten can be formed with the ones they have collected, they can trade it in

And so the building begins... 

if a 'pop' card is revealed, this player returns all their blocks to the tub and must turn their gum ball numbers over. The building then commences again. 

Your students may also like to practice building specific numbers using a new file of mine called "Show Me the Number Fun Book".

You will tell them a number for each page, and they can use MAB equipment to build the number.

The pages of this file can be printed and made into books for your students. 

You will direct the students to write a number on the "show me" card..

Students will then colour...

Trace .... 


Draw ..... 

And create an interactive flap page... 

to show their understanding of the numbers. 

You can direct your students to show an understanding of numbers between 1 and 99!

Find it here in my TpT store!

Have fun with your tens and ones! Thanks for stopping by! 

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Patch Up Post!

Brooke from Teachable Moments has a brand new Link-Up for blogs that need a little bit of love! We have been on Summer Break here in Australia for the last 5 weeks and head back into the classroom next week... sigh... so our blogs have been a teeny tiny bit neglected..

So this post will hopefully patch things up somewhat and shower a little bit of love on our blogs.

I made this printable scrappy worksheet for the first week of school. It is great to start the first week with a few "getting to know you" activities! Students can finish this picture by drawing in their facial features and filling in some basic information about themselves. 

You can snag it from Google Drive by clicking on the image below

or by clicking HERE

If you need more activities for these first weeks at school, my friend Deanna has this great unit. I have used these with my kinders before, and they love them!

Last week, one of my new teacher friends, Susan, showed me this FABULOUS worksheet - you may have seen me share it on Facebook

I LOVED it and was so happy to hear that she was about to make a set of them. My daughter and I had dragged out my box of picture stamps over our break, and I had actually started to wonder how I could utilise them more in the classroom. This idea is brilliant! ALL students love to stamp, and this activity will have them stamping AND working on essential writing skills at the same time! They will help you teach sentence structure, sight words and essential reading skills all at the same time. And did I mention that they are FUN!

Susan has made a free sample of her 'Stamp Sentences" so you can see for yourself how wonderful they are! Click on the image below to find it at TpT!

Head over to Teachable Moments to link up and show your blog some love!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

FREE Scrappy Valentine's Day Coloring Page

I had a hair appointment today and while I was sitting and relaxing.... I got the sketch book out....

and made a fun scrappy colouring page for Valentine's Day. My daughter loves doing these and I love making them, so its a win win! 

YOU can grab it from Google Drive, by clicking on the image below:

or the link HERE

If you need some more sweet worksheets, grab these little cuties from my TpT store that I made a few years ago.

If you need some number fun for February, this set of 8 number games will be perfect! 

It's in my TpT store HERE

Have a wonderful day friends! 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Big Shape Tracing

Handwriting line practice is always a great activity to do with Pre and Kindergarten students! 

I created this little robot to help a friend of mine who is struggling to motivate her little boy with pre-writing activities! I would love you to have it too!

Just click on the image below and download it from Google Drive!

If you need more 'big shape' tracing - you can find them in my A-Z Big Shape Tracing Worksheets packet on TpT. Click on the image below to find it!

Thanks for stopping by friends!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Bonus Bonanza!

Did you grab the Blends Bonanza that I posted yesterday. I was so eager to post it, that I overlooked 3 little errors on the pages of the Cut & Paste worksheets in this file:

They have been corrected! You can download the revised version, by simply going to your "My Purchases" tab at TpT and clicking to download. 

I have to say, I was very upset with myself! To make up for it, I made an EXTRA file for you, and have included it in the pack. I LOVE making 'puzzle paste' resources, and my students love completing them. These ones will get your students thinking about blends and building them in a fun way!

Head over to TpT to grab the files, and I thank you once again for your amazing support and patience! 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Is it time to move on?

I know I often say I am excited, but this is on a whole other level. I just finished some resources that have been a labour of love for quite some time. I had to create 60 unique clipart images for these resources, and they have helped bring to life, some of my teaching ideas that have been on the to-do list for a long time. 

I decided right from the outset to bundle them up, as I know so many of you like to buy my bundles. 

The 'Blends Bonanza' will help you move on from cvc words.

 In Kindergarten, as part of my explicit phonics teaching, I teach the order:

1. single sounds
2. cvc with a focus on short vowels
3. consonant blends (initial and final position)
4. consonant digraphs
5. vowel sounds and 'harder' sounds

Sure, when reading and implementing my 'wider literary' program, students are interacting with sounds in a more organic way. 

But when we use worksheets and structured activities to progress through a continuum-of-learning in 'phonics' I use the above sequenced progression.

My teaching makes more sense if students move from cvc to ccvc. Why? Because the only difference between a cvc and a ccvc is one extra consonant. They learned all those in #1! 

In my teaching program, my students had only been exposed to single sounds and short vowels up until the point of learning blends. 

I can't understand trying to teach blends in Kindergarten with big words that include harder sounds. 

For example, I would much rather teach the "cl" blend with words like 'clam', 'clip' and 'club' than 'clothes', 'cloud'  and 'clever'.

Sure, in the wider literacy program, students will be exposed to words like 'cloud'. But they will only need to 'hear' the sound and perhaps read/understand it in part of a wider context.

When I'm explicitly teaching "blends" and learning to ENCODE AND DECODE with blends - spelling worksheets, 'building' activities etc - my activities MUST be ccvc or cvcc.

Use resources with words like 'cloud' and "blue" for activities where the students just have to 'hear' the sound, NOT for when you are teaching how to spell and write. 

There are not a huge amount of these words available (ccvc and cvcc). But the idea is that you teach your students about blends and how to blend, and then they apply this knowledge to their reading when they encounter blends in longer and trickier words.

Because there are not too many words in ccvc and cvcc format, you will need to structure your program based on a short vowel sound focus - not a 'blends' focus. This is very achievable, as students 'pick up' blends so quickly. They are easier to learn that tricky digraphs that make a whole new sound - like oi or ou. Consonant blends look like they sound. Once students learn a few, they pick up the others quickly. 

You may also have to 'teach' some new vocabulary - only a couple - that may not be too familiar "stag' for example is a word used, and the children may think it s 'deer'. But in my experience, the kids pick it up almost instantly and LOVE the new words. Your first activity for the week should be to introduce a bank of words and discuss them. Perfect timing!

When you have a short vowel focus to your program, your students will be learning multiple blends at the same time - for example if you do 'short a' first, they could focus on 

plan, tank, trap and ramp all on one day. What ties them together is the short vowel, not the blend. 

This packet of resources would follow on very well from our "Words Train" resource, that helps learn cvc words. Although it is not necessary. This resource encourages students to build and make cvc words to gain and understanding of cvc words. 

When you use a framework like this for word work, where students are 'building' the word on a structure, it makes learning blends SUPER easy. You just show students how you are making one letter to one of the cards. During my very first lesson on blends, I often make a cvc word with my coloured cards, and then physically write a new letter on one of the existing cards - so in the image below - b, a, t would become br, a, t and the students could see very clearly how easy it is to add a new letter and make a new word. 

For blends, I would recommend that you print and use the posters to help introduce the students to your focus words for the week. Start with short a and work your way through to short u. 

I printed these '2 to a page'.

The bundle includes worksheets where students can cut and paste to build the word. Writ'n'Wipe cards are also available to use in a literacy centre or small group. 

The word building mats are very similar to the ones in my cvc packet, incorporating colours for each section of the word. This will assist your students in recognising the blend as one chunk within the word.  You can use them with letter brick, magnetic letters, or my favourite - dry erase markers. 

Blends Bonanza is in my TpT store HERE

I also have a little free file for you today. Schools in Australia head back for a brand new school year in late January, early February. This little interactive sweet cupcake incorporates a Valentine theme AND 'getting to know me' theme - perfect for this time of year.

You can find it on Google Drive by clicking on the image below:

I used the template from my 'Sweet Interactives' graphics set, available at TpT HERE

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Rules for Pinning!

My kinders have always loved pinning activities, and my daughter is loving it at the moment too!

I just made this 'Penguin Love' pinning page for her, and would love to share it with you.

One thing that I LOVE is visuals. I have to say, I do struggle to really teach something well, if I do not have a 'visual' of some sort to go along with it. When I introduce new activities and procedures in my classrooms, I find things go very smoothly if I have taken the time to explain the rules and procedures that go along with the activity, before we commence. If I do not have 'visuals' ready made, I often 'act it out' and create a little action scenario for the students to watch. Another approach is to take photos. I use photos of positive and correct procedures to manage student behaviour, and keep them in the bottom drawer of my Core Drawers.  I find that sometimes, little kinder minds are overloaded with TOO MUCH LANGUAGE! A picture, as they say, tells 1000 words. As soon as a picture comes out, I can see my little friends nod in recognition - they REALLY understand!

It also helps them to organise their thoughts, and put the various points you are talking about into an easy-to-process logical sequence. 

Today, I made some visuals for "Pinning Rules".

These have been on my to do list for a long time, and now that I find drawing pictures on the computer a lot easier - they have finally come to life! 

These visuals will help you to have a discussion with your students about the way you want them to behave when using pins in the classroom. I always start out, in discussions of these sort, by saying something like "Today, you might like to join in a very special activity. IF you want to do the activity, you need to follow some special rules. The only way you can do this activity, is by following these rules. IF you cannot do these things, you will not be able to complete the activity".... that way my students know right form the-get-go, that 'this is the way it its done".

I have found that in my classroom, it is easier to start things 'tightly monitored', and then 'let go' a little, than to start with no rules and then try to tame the chaos. I hope that makes sense. 

There are 4 main rules in my pinning activities.

1. The sharp part of the pin ALWAYS points down. This is the case when you are holding it, using it, or putting it away. It never points out, or towards another person.

2. We always sit to pin. Students must be sitting down to begin and complete their activity. 

3. The pin goes in paper only. We do not poke our pin into ANYTHING else!

4. Put your pin away. This is a very important one. Immediately after the pinning page is complete, the pin goes back in the tub. This will stop pins from ending up on the floor and in a shoe!

You may find that after a discussion like this, the mood of the class is somewhat 'down'. Children do not tend to eagerly await a discussion about rules. I lighten things up, by adding a few laughs to the discussion, but then bringing it back to a mention of the seriousness of safety. Also, point out to your students how happy the children are in the posters. Tell them that they are happy because they are having fun, and at school, fun comes when you follow the rules! 

I found these GIANT pokey pins this week!! SO in LOVE!

I would like to offer these posters, to you, my very special blog followers, for FREE for a very short time! So head over to TpT now to grab them. Click on the image below.

You can also grab the Penguin Love pinning page from Google Drive by clicking on the image below!

Find more fun pinning pages in my TpT store HERE