Sunday, August 3, 2014


After working with two great groups of readers this year, I tried to focus on several skills that they were struggling with.  One of the areas we worked on heavily was the skill of comprehension.  Comprehending what we read can be tricky for struggling readers because if the passage is too hard or they struggle to decode the words they are reading then comprehension is lost or difficult for them. 

So here are some tips that I used to help my readers practice the skill of comprehending what they read. 

1.  Short passages

Some of my readers were first graders reading on a kindergarten reading level.  We began reading short passages that had a lot of high frequency words easily recognized and short simple stories that helped them remember what they were reading about. 

2.  Picture Walks

Before we began any type of reading we would walk through a text full of colorful illustrations that depicted the story.  This helped ease any fears of not knowing what the story was about.  This also helped them recall some facts or things they knew prior to reading. 

3.  Visualize, Visualize, Visualize

I recently read a great article and a tip on how to make the skill of comprehension a little easier.  This is a great read.  During my reading sessions with my little readers we would stop during the story and visualize what the story was doing.  We would also visualize for a moment or infer what might happen next. Click on the picture to read this article from The Struggling Homeschooler.
4.  Teach several strategies
Another great resource I found was this chart found at  I plan on printing out this chart on cardstock and laminating them for my reading groups. I love this chart because the pictures will help my littlest emerging readers and give them a visual reminder of skills we will be working on when we need to comprehend what we are reading.   

Over the summer, I uploaded a packet that I used with my students this year to help with comprehension.  I created this because I often struggled finding short , easy to read passages, for my students to read and answer questions.  Head on over to my TpT store to get a free sample of it with 3 stories to use and then you can purchase the bigger packet with 20 more stories.
Want to get the pack on sale????  Teachers Pay Teachers is having their huge Back to School Sale starting August 4-5th.  My store will be on sale along with additional savings from TpT.  Thanks to Scooting through Second for the cute banner!  Love it!
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Medial Sounds-Phonics Instruction

Keep reading....freebie at the bottom for you.  :)  Follow my blog for more freebies . 
After working this year with a great group of students who needed a little extra help with reading I created an interactive activity to use with them to help them read and identify those medial or middle sounds.  I wanted to share with you a visual clue I use to help my little readers remember how to read words and identify the sounds they make. 

1.  We started off using very simple CVC words.  We wrote words like cat, bat, hat, on the board to start off.  In order to help us read the word in the whole group we used a visual clue to help us identify each sound.  This is something I use all the time to help them understand reading words from left to right.  I start off by turning my back to the class and modeling to them how the whole process works.  I raise my left hand and say this is where I start reading my word.  I say a word like cat and then tap my left shoulder as I say the "c" sound.

Clipart courtesy of Creative Clips
2.  Next, I say the next sound in the word of cat "a" and then tap the top of my head.  And since we are focusing on middle sounds I make sure I tell them that my head is the middle sound of the word and this is where we are listening for those sounds. It looks something like this. 
3.  And finally we get to the end of the word cat and identify the ending sound "t".  For this one we tap our right shoulder. 

After I model the whole word then I model going from left shoulder to right sounding out the word cat along the way as I use the visual cues I showed them to help them remember. 
4.   I stop and ask them where was the beginning sound find your beginning sound we all tap our left shoulders, then I ask where the middle "a" sound is and we all tap our heads , and finally we get to the ending sound and tap our right shoulders.  And then we all tap it together blending the sounds together . 
As we began our lesson using this method we also used this pack to go along with our activities and the kids had a blast using their cameras to find and make words using the correct middle sound.
And just for you all here is a little freebie from the pack....just click to print your freebie out.


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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer Boredom-Boredom Buster Box

How many times have you heard over the summer mom "I'm bored!"  ?   On occasion, we all hear it a lot more than we like to admit.  This summer, I'm going to try something different. I'm going to create what I call a boredom buster box.  I made a trip to the dollar store yesterday and found some great items that I'm going to sneak away into my box so that when the kids tell me "their bored "....I'll have something to pull out of this box.

Some of the things I'm including are science activities, playing cards, a new game for them to learn, and some coloring activities.  If we finish the box, then I will add more items to the box from the local dollar store and that way I don't break the bank.   Let's hope that we don't go through the box to quickly ha ha.
I found a great pin yesterday on Pinterest that shows 40 different games that you can play with the deck of cards. That is why I added it to our boredom buster box. I plan on printing out the list and letting the kids choose a game that they would like to play using the deck of cards included.  Found this over at Delia Creates.  Click on the picture below to go check it out.  Great ideas!

  To make the box I found an old box laying around the house and covered it with a plastic tablecloth that way it would not get wet or messed up during our summer play.  Next, I found these cute little starburst papers that I covered the box with sayings just to make the box look fun.
It was a simple thing to throw together and  next time I will ask the kids to fill it and give them so much money to spend on our box and let them choose items .  This time I wanted it to be a surprise.
Here is hoping that we have a I'm bored free summer. What do you do to fight boredom in the summer? I would love to hear your ideas.
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Summer is coming! Last days of school!

I am beyond excited to begin my summer vacation in only 6 days!  I love the lazy days of summer with no responsibilities and a time to enjoy my family.  We get into our summer schedule so easily it is hard to adjust when it is time to return to school. 
Anyway I am linking up with Christina over at Sugar and Spice once again for Wordless Wednesday.  I have a little something that I have been working on that might just help me out this summer.  Come back tomorrow to get the details on my little project.  What do you think it is?????  Can you guess? 

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday Link Up

I am linking up for the first time with Christina over at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.  Go check out her really cute blog and link up. Click on pic below to head on over to her blog.
Standardized Testing starts this week.  Saw this cute idea on Pinterest from Primary Possibilities and I am going to make these this week.  What fun things do you do to lighten the mood before a big test? 
Have a great week. 
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Monday, May 5, 2014

Teacher appreciation Blog hop!

This week is devoted to teachers all over to thank them for all of their hard work and dedication to children around the world. It is so great to feel appreciated. I have received many wonderful gifts over the years and some of the ones I have saved are handmade cards from my students thanking me for all of my work. So when Amy over at Teaching in Blue Jeans wanted to thank teachers by doing a blog hop and giveaway I jumped at the chance.  I also need to give a shout out to Michelle from the 3am teacher and Marcy from Simply Sprout Educate. 
For part of the giveaway I wanted to share my What's the Matter packet.   The winner gets this pack along with a ton of other great prizes. 
Click here for a freebie!

Go check out the giveaway here:a Rafflecopter giveaway  

If you are looking for some great ideas for Teacher Appreciation gifts...head on over to my Pinterest board and find a board devoted to Teacher Appreciation.  I have created a collaborative board for people to pin ideas and it is growing .  Go stop by and check it out.  Just click on the picture below to be taken to the board .

Continue on The Best for the Best Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop by clicking the picture below.

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Monday, March 31, 2014

"Sh" sound for Mrs. Wishy Washy

One of my very favorite books to share with my little readers is Mrs. Wishy Washy. I think it is a great book to use for the "sh" sound with my kindergartners. We got a little creative this time with our "sh" lesson. Here is what we did. We spent a lot of time reading the story and watching how Mrs. Wishy Washy tried to keep the animals away from the mud. After working with the "sh" sound we added a little treat to the end of our lesson.

Here we used some dollar store lights to build some "sh" words and show the students that even though there might be 4 letters in the words we will only hear 3 sounds. If you notice I use the star and two circles...I do this because some of my little learners struggle with where to begin their words. They forget or do not know which is their left or right so I use the star as an indicator to help them remember how we start a word. Next, we took a little scavenger hunt around the room looking for the "sh" sound and blending it to make words with our cute little cupcakes...stay tuned for a freebie. :) We were told that Mrs. Wishy Washy left us a treat for helping her find the animals and trying to keep them clean. These were not real cupcakes of course but ones where we needed to build "sh" words. The kids had a blast wondering around the room looking for words. Once they found their words they brought them back to the table and began building their 'sh' words .
Click picture above for your freebie.
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