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It's All in the Name and a Freebie

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Name activities for kindergarteners are fun!  Kids just love their names and any activity that includes their name is going to be engaging for them.  Once you get your class list, it would be a good idea to type them all up on colored paper and laminate them.  You can use these names in so many ways to teach ABC letters and print concepts.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

These names and a pocket chart can be used in a variety of ways.  Recognize your own name, sort by color, sort boys and girls, place in ABC order, order by number of letters in the names, etc...

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

When teaching syllables, names are a great way to do it!  Students love to see how many claps they each get and who has the most.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Student names can be used to teach beginning letter and ending letters in a word.  You can have students find capital letters and notice they come first in names.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Building charts with easy sight words and student names are great for beginning readers.  They can circle each word and count them.  Have them use a pointer to touch and read each word for one to one matching.

Other ideas for charts using student names:
*  take pictures of each individual student, use pictures to match in a center with student names
*  search names for specific letters
*  draw a letter card- can you find a name that begins with this letter?
*  using a pointer- touch and read the name chart
 A lot of the charts can be placed into centers after learning the activities in whole groups.

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

But what do you do about the students who come to school not knowing the letters of their name or not able to recognize and write their name?  Send home this free It's All in the Name activity!  

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

It's All in the Name includes a parent letter with directions and activities to do with the letter cards with their child to help them learn the letters in their name.  It even includes an assessment for later!  You can get this free resource by clicking here!


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Reading Anchor Charts Just Right Books and Shoes

Just Right Books Activity comparing books to shoes

It's that time of year of teaching procedures and expectations.  One of those for my class is how to find a just right book.  This is difficult for many of my little readers.  I use the analogy of trying on shoes to help!  A just right book should fit like a good pair of shoes!

I brought in one of my flip flops, high heels, tennis shoe, and my youngest son's boot- size 16!  I also ask for one of my student's shoes to put on the table too.  

We talk about what happens when they go shoe shopping.  All of them are familiar with this process so it is easy to make the comparison to shoes.

Just Right Books should Fit Like a good pair of shoes

First, you find a shoe or book you are interested in.  No one wants an ugly shoe or a book that is boring to us.  Then the shoe must fit us.  It can't be too little like the volunteer's shoe would be on me.  And it can't be my son's boot!  They love this one!  It must fit JUST RIGHT.  I try on the shoes to demonstrate this.

Then the shoe must fit the job- who would wear a pair of purple high heels to run in PE?  No, I would choose the tennis shoe.  So you need to choose the right book to fit the purpose you are reading for.  

3 Ways to Read Books Activities

Another day, we learn about 3 ways to read books.  After discussing these 3 ways and demonstrating them, off we go to read and practice.  After we read, we gather on the carpet to talk about what ways we chose to read.  I passed out Post It notes for them to write their names and then stick them on the ways they practiced.  Great visual!  

Reading Anchor Charts What is an avid reader?

Another great chart is the Avid Reader Chart!  Talk about what an Avid Reader is and what they do.  This makes for a great discussion!  

Reading Anchor Charts What is an Avid Reader?

You can match up remade speech bubbles to your student's answers to create your chart in different ways or you can use the editable speech bubbles to type in their answers.  Printing them on colored paper makes a colorful, stand out chart!  You can see this chart here.


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Have a wonderful week with your readers!

Reading Tips for Parents and Freebies

Tips for Parents About Reading

Parents love to get tips about reading so they can help at home.  I like to send home reading folders with all my reading tips for parents.  

Tips for Parents About Reading

What I hear from my parents is that they really want to be able to help their child when they read at home, but they are just unsure of how to go about it.  

Tips for Parents About Reading

The biggest tip I can give my parents is to be committed to listening to their child read every day.  Research shows that the volume of reading a child does has a huge impact on their success.  So I want those parents to hear their child reading as much as possible!  If you want this Reading Tips for Parents sheet click here.

Reading Tips for Parents

One thing parents ask about is what to say to their child when they are reading and it gets tricky.  These Readers Ask cards are perfect for that!  Print them on cardstock and send them home in your folder after teaching them to students.  You can pick them up by clicking here!

Reading Tips for Parents

Are you using the app Seesaw?  If you haven't started using this app, you and your parents are missing out!  It is the easiest app for sharing notes, pictures, & videos with parents.  The parents get a QR code and they can share it with grandparents and other family members so they can join in the fun too.  I like to record the students reading and share it with parents so they can hear their child's fluency.  Send home the QR code sheet and my Parent Welcome to Seesaw sheet to get started!  Click here to get it.

Tips for Parents about Reading

I try not to send too much in my reading tips for parents folder at one time.  I don't want it to be overwhelming or for it to be so much that it just goes unread.  Parents really seem to appreciate getting the information and if it helps their child with reading then its all good!


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Table Baskets and Retelling


What to keep in Table Baskets for Guided Reading Tables

It's that time of year we get all of our materials set up and ready for guided reading.  I wanted to give you a peek of how my table baskets are set up.  Be sure to read to the end, there are are couple of freebies!

What to keep in Table Baskets for Guided Reading Tables

Here is my list of items for guided reading table baskets.  Every basic item the students might need go in these baskets so we don't lose any of our precious reading minutes.

1.  Pencil and Eraser:  That is pretty basic!  I like to keep a big eraser in there too.  My students wear the erasers right off the top of our pencils.  They wear down the pencil caps quickly too.  So I take the big erasers and break them in half.

2.  Red Pencils:  We don't use the red pencils for checking!  I have students write the chunks of words during word study in red so the spelling of the chunk stands out to them more, like in this picture below.

Long Vowels and Short Vowels Word Sorting Activities

3.  Dry Erase Marker and Eraser:  This is self explanatory.  I like the make up puffs from Dollar Tree for erasers.

4.  Reading Strategies Bookmark:  We get our bookmarks out when we read in case we need help during tricky parts.

5.  Magnetic Letter Cups:  These came from the Dollar Store and are the perfect size for magnetic letters when building a word during word work.  You can see the post on these cups here and in the picture below.

Keeping Magnetic Letters Organized for Word Work

6.  Paint Strips:  Ask for these at the paint store and they will most likely allow you to have them.  They are always very nice to me when I ask to have some for my class.  I laminate the strips so students can write on them as they stretch out sounds in words as they write.  

7.  Buttons or PomPoms:  The buttons and PomPoms are for marking letters or spelling patterns on linking sounds anchor charts.  You can read about the different activities we do with linking charts here and see it below.

Activities for Linking Sounds Anchor Charts

8.  Retelling Bookmarks:  Something new I am trying this year.  My students sometimes a visual for their retellings.  So we are going to keep retelling bookmarks in our table baskets too.  After reading our guided reading story and discussing it, we turn to our partner and do a quick retelling to each other. If you need these just click here to sign up for our newsletter to get them free!  If you are already signed up, the bookmarks, both versions, are in your free resources link.  I will be sending out a newsletter this week with the link if you have forgotten it.  

Retelling Bookmarks for Retelling Activities

How excited is everyone in your school about the eclipse?  I know we definitely are!  If you would like this solar eclipse certificate, you can also get it FREE by signing up for the newsletter!  Click here to do that.

Solar Eclipse Certificate

NEW RESOURCE:

CVC Word Work Activities

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Pigeon, Mo, Kohls and Fun!

Mo Willems stuffed animals from Kohls

Were you one of the many teachers who went to Kohl's and got the Mo Willems animals?  I was so excited to get mine!  My students adore the Mo Willems books, so I know they are going to be beyond thrilled to see these little guys in my classroom.


Pigeon is one of my students' favorites.  They can't seem to get enough of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.  Maybe because they identify with Pigeon and being told no!  😀  

Pigeon Activities

Students can take the patterns from the Pigeon books and write their own comments from Pigeon's point of view for Don't Let the Pigeon Cook Our Lunch!

Pigeon craft and activities

Hmmm...what would Pigeon fix?  Hotdogs?  Cookies?  

Pigeon Activities and Craft

Students can write Pigeon a letter, write a book recommendation (or a I don't recommend- but who wouldn't recommend a Pigeon book??), and use evidence from the text to prove what they think about the story.



Pigeon Craft and Activities

My students are needing practice with retelling.  Several of them just seem to struggle with this skill.  There are two different retellings that can be used with this.  Plus, 2 cause and effects.  Click here to see this!


Scooping Words into phrases fluency Activities

Don't forget about the Scoop It Up! Fluency Intervention Binders if one of your goals this year is to improve reading fluency!  Click here to check it out!


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DATA...It's Not A Four Letter Word

RTI Data and RTI Tips

DATA...It is not a four letter word.  Okay, technically it is a four letter word.  But data is not a bad word.  Neither is RTI.  With a few tips and some organization, RTI can be the process that improves your student learning.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

I have heard of schools progress monitoring whenever they decide and some requiring teachers to progress monitor every day!  Neither is good or productive.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Progress Monitoring

Our school progress monitors once a week.  Some schools assess once every two weeks.  Whatever your school decides to do, it should be at  regular intervals to give you the best data.  Keep track of the results in RTI Data Notebooks.


RTI Data and RTI Tips

Goal lines are so important.  You want to figure the goal and plot it out across the graph for the amount of time the student will be in RTI.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips Using Goal Lines

In the picture above, the goal line has been plotted in blue.  Then each week, the progress monitoring result was plotted in red.  You want to check if the weekly assessments are keeping close to the goal line or above.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

This lets you know whether the student is on track for meeting the goal at the end of RTI time.  
RTI Data and RTI Tips

If after several weeks, improvement is not being shown, you should adjust your teaching to see if that helps improve learning or determine if this is in fact the correct intervention that the student needs at this time.

RTI Data and RTI Tips

RTI Data and RTI Tips Organizing and Managing Data

Not only should the teacher be graphing and documenting student progress, the student should also do this in their own notebook.  They enjoy seeing their progress and it helps them to take ownership of their learning.

RTI Data and RTI Tips How to Manage RTI Meetings

As I said above, the weekly data is only ONE piece of the RTI puzzle.  You and your committee need to take many other items into consideration as you meet to discuss students.  

RTI Data and RTI Tips

Before our committee meets, I make graphs for each student that contains all their information and data that would be relevant to our meeting.  We need this information as we vote to make decisions on each student.  This Editable RTI Meeting Guide can be found HERE.

I hope these RTI tips help you to see data as a positive thing that truly helps students needing intervention instruction.  RTI Data Notebooks for teachers and students are available for grades K-5.  You can find them HERE.


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Build Student Fluency through Phrases with Fluency Intervention Binders

Fluency Intervention Binders- Sets A thru E are available as individual binders or as a bundle!  Helps students build fluency through reading in phrases.  




Free Resources