Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bats at the Beach {Freebie}

Our school will celebrate Book Character Day on October 31st. All of the kids will dress up as their favorite book character. It will be cuteness overload! My little man is not a big fan of fiction books. He was determined to be an animal. I told him that if he could find a book with animal characters that he enjoyed, I would make a costume for him. He picked out Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies. So, I made good on my promise. I bought him some sweats and a toboggan from the Dollar Store. We borrowed a life jacket from a friend. He already had the swim trunks. I hot glued some foam ears onto the toboggan. The only thing I had to order were the bat wings. I found those here on Amazon. We both love it! 

We also love the book! 

The illustrations are just so detailed and fun. The longer you look the more little touches that you notice!
The rhyming text has a pleasant rhythm. It is chock full of rich vocabulary!

I whipped up a little freebie for you to go with this book. It contains a Venn, optional cut and paste clues, and an answer key. I hope you enjoy it!  You can grab this freebie by clicking {HERE} or on the picture below. 

Check out more book recommendations on Deanna Jump's blog {HERE}. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Word Building Activity

I have seen several activities with Cheez-its and activities with these 3 compartments plates, but I decided to combine the two as a culminating task for my short vowels unit. 

I used the same plates that I also use when I teach part-part-whole during addition and subtraction. I want them to understand that just as equations have parts of a whole so do words. To make the plates I bought several plastic plates at the dollar store. I used some leftover letters from my scrapbooking mama days. Then, I applied mod podge over the top of the letters to seal them down. I have all different styles of lettering and the kids love to use different ones each time we practice. 

I want the kids to know that words need a vowel part and a consonant part to make a whole word (with a few exceptions like I and a, of course). So, we will sort our Cheez-it Scrabble Junior crackers into consonants and vowels. Then, we will use them to build whole words. It will be so easy to differentiate! Bobby Sue can build 3 letter words and Jimmy Lou can try 5 letter words. 
See, easy cheezy! :)

This will wrap up our short vowel study. I just finished my short vowel study bundle. Yippee! You can check it out {HERE} or on the pic below.
Hope you can use this idea! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Short A (Freebie, too)

Am I the only one with RtI kids who know their consonants, blends, and digraphs, but are completely bumfuzzled by vowel sounds? Please tell me I'm not alone. :)  Whew! These babies need some serious intensive work on their vowel sounds. So, we are working our way through the vowels in my room. I normally would have just bought something on TPT, but most everything I found was just for CVC words. Now, I do have some babies who need that, too, but many of my tier 2 sweeties can handle more than that. So, I am introducing my vowel series today starting with short a!

This set includes several centers and games and a decodable reader with comprehension questions. Again, many of the words are beyond CVC --like branch, trash, and graph. You can check it out in my store by clicking {HERE} or on the pic above. 

I am so excited about this activity that I just had to share it with you. It's called Roll a Rime. The kids roll one die to find out which rime to add to the onset. Then, they decide if they have made a real word or a nonsense word. They color their answer by a code. Easy breezy mac and cheesy for you and fun for them! You can snag your freebie {HERE} or on the pic below.
Thanks for your time and interest! Y'all mean so much to me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

5 TPT resources that I am LOVING in my RtI classroom

One of the things I love best about Teachers Pay Teachers is finding amazing resources for my room from gifted educators! I can't make all of the resources I need. There aren't enough hours in the day. Also, some people are just flat out more talented or creative or tech savvy than I am. I will gladly spend a couple of bucks for resources that will benefit my RtI kids. One thing I am not a fan of on TPT is the search engine. It isn't that effective. Sometimes it is hard to find just what you need. So, I am going to share 5 of my most recent purchases with you. Maybe you didn't know they existed, but you might like them, too. They are amazing! I wouldn't share them with you here if they weren't tried, tested, and successful in my room. So, here we go! {I feel a little like David Letterman doing a countdown, but these are in no particular order.}

1. One Breath Boxes by DK Coleman
We are working hard on both sight word memorization, phonics, and fluency in RtI. These packs combine all of those skills. The goal is to be able to read all of the words in the box in one breath. I bought the sight word pack {HERE} and the short vowel pack (pictured above) {HERE}.

2. Any game made by Angelia -Extra Special Teaching is a HUGE hit in my classroom! The kids love them so much that they don't even realize how much phonics practice and data collection is going on. Here is one that I just printed and was getting ready to cut out. The kids take turns drawing a card and reading the bubble (real/nonsense CVC words because we are working on short vowels right now). If they are correct, they keep the card. Look out for the dreaded POP card or you lose all of your bubbles and have to start over! They are always fully engaged when we play any of these games!
3. Interactive Math Notebooks from Lucky Little Learners are the hit of my math small group time! Every skill I needed to practice..she thought of! Look for the bundles in her store. You are going to want them all! My RtI kids often need math presented a little differently and they also need a lot of review. So, we do a quick walk through our pages and refresh our memories from time to time. One of my sweet ones calls his notebook his "diary of math secrets". LOVE it! 

4. Listening Activities for Common Core - Listen Up! by Fluttering Through First Grade
One of the main barriers for effective learning for many RtI kids is their inability to listen, think, and process auditory information. You may remember that I am a mom of 2 kids with Auditory Process Disorders. Also, I recently took a class on LD kids and they mentioned that verbal mediation is often lacking in kids who struggle. Verbal mediation is how you converse with yourself in your head. Things like thinking through multiple steps, repeating directions, and sorting through possible decisions are examples of verbal mediation. The teachers that I serve often say to me, "______ could do better in class if he/she could just listen to me." So, once or twice a month, we are using these activities as auditory therapy. We are already seeing some changes! :)
The kids get a blank picture. There are two levels of directions. Beginning level (my tier 3 kids) get the one step directions. Intermediate level (my tier 2 kids) get the two/three step directions. You read the directions aloud ONE TIME and only ONE TIME! They have to focus, listen, think, and do exactly what you said. I have noticed and documented some interesting behaviors during this time. I have students who can do this flawlessly. Then, there are others who are trying to see other children's papers. Some others have to whisper to themselves over and over until the task is completed. (Color the flying ghost green. Color the flying ghost green.) This speaks VOLUMES about their working memory, verbal mediation, or auditory processing issues. However, they just think it is a Fun Friday game though. :)

5. Dolch Speed Read All Year by The Primary Techie

These are the coolest Dolch word Power Points that I have ever seen! You can choose the month or theme that you want to use. Then...
You choose which list of Dolch words you want to display. All 220 words are in every file. I can switch lists from group to group. INSTANT DIFFERENTIATION! YES!
The words will appear 4 different times (in a different order each time). The first time is slow. The second is a little faster. The third is very fluent. We call the fourth time through the lightning round!
One other thing I love and appreciate is that the font is different in each round. The kids have to recognize the same word in a different style print. I don't know of any regular flashcards that can do that! Do you?
In between rounds, there is a quick and cute animated message for the kids. They get to giggle and breath before the next round. 
The kids always crack up after the lightning round when all of the characters have swirly/twirly eyeballs! Even my most reluctant readers can't help but participate! My kids are finally starting to understand that sight words really are "see it and say it" words. No pauses or sounding out allowed! 

Many thanks to these wonderful sellers who created such fantastic resources! I am indebted to you each day! If you know of any other homerun hit products for RtI kids, I would love to hear about them!

**I received no compensation or free products in exchange for these reviews. All of these products were purchased (and adored) by me. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

BIG Birthday Sale!

Yep, tomorrow I turn the big 4-0! I am so grateful for every day and every blessing! To celebrate, every single item in my store will be 40% off ALL day on October 7th! You can visit my store {HERE}!

Now, I am off to make some birthday dinner plans for tomorrow's festivities! :)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Happy Fall, Y'all! {FREEBIE}

I love fall! I love pumpkins, brisk windy days, long walks, and comfy sweaters! However, I do NOT love sitting through two days of Professional Development on what used to be my fall break. I guessed that my teammates won't either. So, I figured that some meeting munchies might make us all feel a little better about being at school! 

Each little bag contains this fabulousness from This Silly Girl's Life . OH-MY-WORD, Y'all! The peanut butter M&Ms, chocolate Chex, and pumpkin spice kisses all blend together into a seriously yummy fall treat! {Click the link or the picture to get the recipe from her blog.}

Maybe you have some teammies who need some fall cheer, too? If so, feel free to snag these gift tags {HERE} or on the picture below. 
Now, I am off to read on my screened in porch and later I'll enjoy a campfire and s'mores with my family. Happy fall, y'all!