Sunday, July 31, 2016

Editable Sight Word Puzzles

Last fall I created a set of editable sight word puzzles to use as a part of my literacy centers.  They were such a hit with my students that I decided to upload them to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

They were really well received and I got many requests to continue making them!
I went on to make a holiday set, winter set and spring set!

But each time I would also get requests for 'non-seasonal' puzzles to use all year long!

I FINALLY got them done in time for the Teachers Pay Teachers Site-Wide Back To School Sale!
The Sale is 8/1 & 8/2 and everything in my store will be 20% off!
Use promo code: BESTYEAR and get an additional 10% off!

So about those new puzzles!

There are 84 editable puzzles in this pack!
There are 21 puzzles for 2 letter words, 21 puzzles for 3 letter words, 21 puzzles for 4 letter words and 21 puzzles for 5 letter words!

There are also color images that match the puzzles for you to use in a literacy center as a 'model,' added practice, early finisher, etc!
(I always had my students practice with the color puzzles 3x and then move to the black & white one.  If they finished early, they could go back to the colored ones for extra (fun) practice!

Here's a preview of what they do:

I have a FREE sample for you to download to try out this newest set of puzzles!
Simply download the product preview and you will get this puzzle for FREE:

Here it is 'in action':
Download the pack and follow the directions on how to add the letters you need to build the word you are working on.  Print and copy!

Have students color the picture

Have students cut the top half off and then on all the dotted lines.

Students spell the target word and then glue them to the frame.

They then practice writing the word on the lines!

For added practice, early finishers or for 'challenge' work, students can then use that target word in a sentence on the back and circle the word!

The 'generic themes' in this pack cover the following:
sportsanimalsfoodbeach/oceanfictional characterscommunityreadingcommon everyday objectsplantingtransportationoutdoorscampingfire safetypicnicschoolhobbies

Perfect to use all year long!

If you are looking for another great sight word center activity be sure to check out THIS POST where I show you how to use my sight word mini books!

You can even find a FREE SAMPLE for 'see' HERE!

And while prices are discounted, it would be a perfect time to check out my sight word readers!  I have been using these books in my kindergarten classroom for over 10 years!
The link will bring you to the SUPER BUNDLE that includes all of my books!
You can also purchase smaller bundles (Bundle 1 and Bundle 2) OR smaller sets!  The SUPER BUNDLE will give you the biggest discount- especially during the sale!  
Valued at $55, during the sale days it will be only $28.80!

Still not sure? Check out the FREE SAMPLER!

And here's a 'cheat sheet' on how to find what is in my store!

On the LEFT SIDE are 'Custom Categories' that will help navigate what I have available.

You can also use the search bar on the RIGHT to search in my store!

BUT there's more ways to find what you are looking for or to 'browse!'
As you can see the list of 'CUSTOM CATEGORIES' is rather long!  So be sure to scroll down!

The other feature is the 'sort by' that is located right below the four 'FEATURED PRODUCTS'
Click the down arrow and you can sort by Most Recently Posted (I LOVE this feature because I go to a favorite seller and see what they have posted since I last shopped!), Best Seller, Rating, Price or Alphabetical!

If you are still having trouble finding what you are looking for or having a question about a product before purchasing, simply click the 'Ask A Question' tab!  I am usually pretty good about responding back almost immediately after receiving the notification (as long as my boys are in a cooperative state at the moment!)

And best of luck as you begin another year of school!
I personally still have a WHOLE MONTH left of vacation...that 'June 26th' end date is not looking soooo terrible about now!

Until next post,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Resources to Use 'On The Fly!'

I know it has been a LOOOOOOONG time since I last blogged (hanging head in shame) and I have a TON of pictures to blog about, but I am having too much fun enjoying summer with my two adventurous boys!
We also just finished a big house renovation project (we were living in only 2 rooms since April!) and are settling back into a 'normal' state.  Most of everything is unpacked and it's not a game of 'where could I have stashed that?' each time I need something!

I am here today to tell you about a promotion I am participating in on Sunday July 31st.

As much as we all love preparing centers and engaging lessons for our students, there are times we need something 'fast' or 'ready to go.'  I never really appreciated this until I became a mom and would be woken up at 2am to a fever or stomach bug calling from the next room that prevented me from going into school the next day.

So 30+ teacher authors and I have teamed up to bring you 'on the fly' resources that will be discounted for ONE DAY ONLY!

There are many different items to choose from for varying grade levels.  Maybe you need a morning work pack, a print 'n go, sub folder activity, printables pack or 'ready to go' center?  
The items in the list do not require a lot of teacher prep or materials!

You can find all the discounted deals by clicking HERE:

BUT that's not all!
We are also giving away Teachers Pay Teachers gift cards!
And not just one....FOUR $50 gift cards to TpT!!!
The entry window is only open until 6am EST 8/1, so don't delay entering!  
(Scroll to the end of this post for details on how to enter!)

They will be awarded in time to use for the TPT Site-Wide Back to School Sale that will run August 1st and 2nd!
My entire store will be 20% off and then an additional 10% will be taken off at checkout if you enter promo code: BESTYEAR

Here's a bit about my 'on the fly' resource:

I have been using these 'flip books' in my classroom for a few years now.
I use them mainly as a 'make a book' center activity, but I have also used them for morning work, early finisher activity and in my small remediation groups.

Just download, print, copy!
PERFECT to have ready for a sub folder too!

I have even taught my kids how to use a mini stapler and it is a completely independent center!
The best part...they are reading '4 pages' BUT it only uses one piece of paper!

Each letter has a page like this:
('X' has 2 pages- one for initial sound and one for ending sound)

You can even copy the 'dotted line page' onto the back for additional letter writing practice and/or a space for them to write their name.

Then they complete these steps:

The students are also practicing fluency by re-reading the same sentence four times (just changing the ending word each time).

I have my students keep their flip books in their book baggies in the beginning of the year when we are just learning how to read so they can feel confident reading independently!  We have also read them to our older reading buddies and they LOVE bringing them home to read to their families!

If you think this is something that would benefit your students, be sure to grab it today, 7/31, for only $5 (which is 50% off and even cheaper than waiting until the TpT Sale on 8/1 & 8/2)!

Are you ready to enter to win a $50 TpT Gift Card?
You have several chances to win if you enter all 4 of these rafflecopters!
Be sure to follow what the entry question asks you to do...if selected as a winner and you did not answer the question you will be disqualified!

Best of luck and wishing you a wonderful start to your new school year!
Be sure to check your email on August 1st to see if you are one of the four lucky winners!
Until next post,

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Easter Fun!

Happy Spring!
They are predicting a winter storm here in NY, but my mind is on Easter and Spring!

Here are a few things I will be doing with my kids this week!

First up are these adorable cards!
These are pictures from last year and they came out so super cute!

I gave each child 2 pieces of 8.5x11 white construction paper that I stapled together.
I showed them out to make an oval that 'holds' the staple.
They then cut the oval out.
They decorated the oval to look like an Easter egg (I had a few books with pictures to show them different examples of how eggs could be decorated.) 

I had them flip the egg up and on the 'inside,' or other oval, I showed them how to make a bunny face using directed drawing.

For some kids I drew a faint line for them to cut (just make sure you open it before they cut or they will cut through the rabbit's face too!)
For others, I did the cut.

I then had them add pink to the middle of the ears!

We pasted them to spring-colored construction paper 'cards' and then wrote a message inside.

Next is this fun center!

I saw an idea on Instagram posted by Mrs. Jones's Creation Station about using the carrot 'eggs' and letter beads, but it was only for letter ID and my kiddos are past that, so I modified it a bit!  (You can click the hyperlink and see her post and grab her free printable!)

I found the carrots at Michael's Craft Store (although I hear they are also at Dollar Tree and Walgreens!)

and filled them with black beans and the letters the kids would need to complete the printable.

Because I have kids working at two different levels right now (ready for CVC words and those still working on identifying initial sounds), I made two different versions.

They will shake the eggs, find a letter, ID the letter and then find the picture that begins with that letter.
If completing the CVC printable, they will tap out and write the entire word.
If completing the initial sound printable, they will simply write the lowercase letter (beads are upper) to match the picture that begins with that letter sound.

You can find the printable FREE by clicking HERE!
These are the letter beads you will need:
b, c, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, z

If you don't have letter beads, you can use dried lima beans and a sharpie to write the letters and then put them in the carrot/egg with the black beans as 'filler!'

Next up is a gift I will be giving my students on Thursday!

On a recent Target extravaganza, I came upon these boxes of PlayDoh and Spring Fruit Snacks
The fruit snacks were $1.99 for 12 packages and the PlayDoh was $5 for 10 eggs of 'doh!'
(You can also whip up a batch of homemade playdough and put that in plastic eggs from the dollar store if you are trying to conserve some cash!)

I put a bag of snacks and a 'doh' egg in a candy bag and stapled a little ditty on top and 'signed' the back:

Super cute, not too sugary and fun! 

If you'd like to do the same, I put the tag in this FREE download!
(It has a blank spot to sign your name and I made a version for 'her' 'his' and 'our' class to accommodate everyone!) 

Here are a few other things we will be doing this week:
Last year we used this the cute image created by Graphics From the Pond as inspiration for this chick drawing!  They used a black crayon and then let them paint!

These rabbits were also directed drawings that we painted!

And if you are planning on dying eggs with your students (or own kids) this works GREAT!
I got the whisk from the Dollar Store...Just slip in the egg inside and let them dunk it!
Less spills...splashes and cracks!

Be sure to check out my other posts for 10 Ideas Using Plastic Eggs and Using Dollar Spot Finds for Spring Centers!

'Hoppy' Spring!
Until next post,

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Let's Make Learning 'EGG'-citing!

Spring is (nearly) here so grab those plastic eggs and...

Today I am here with 10 ways to use plastic eggs for ELA, Math and Science!

I always do an Oviparous Animals unit in my kindergarten classroom each spring.
Because I am a 'theme nerd' and have a need (sickness maybe?!) to make everything connect, I have my ELA and Math centers include eggs, as well!

Here are 10 simple, relatively no-(major) prep ways to incorporate plastic eggs into your centers!
They range in grade level from PreK-2 depending on how you offer support and/or enrichment!

You can also have a recording sheet that has 'Real' and 'Nonsense' listed on top.  As students twist and read a new word, they can record if it is a 'real' or 'nonsense' word!

Focus on just one vowel, a combination of a few students are having trouble with or a mix of all 5!

Don't have enough magnetic letters?
Click here to download this FREE editable pack!
You can type in sight words, CVC words, vowel pairs, vocabulary words, spelling words, digraphs, blends, letters, etc!  Print, cut, stuff!  
Your center is all set!

Use it both ways for differentiation!
Target words your students are working with, or need more practice reading and writing!
Type, cut, stuff and you are ready to get crackin'!

So easy to set up!
Want to make it more appropriate for upper elementary?
Put 2 'blue' and 2 'green'
Students make the blue number from both dice (either add the two numbers, use it as 'tens and ones' or multiply) and do the same for the green.
(Ex. roll a 6 and 2 for blue.  It could be 8, 26 or 62, or 12)
They compare the numbers they created to find the greater/less than number!

I made 0-5 dice so that the greatest sum would be 10 for my kinders.
To support students, place counters or manipulatives for them to use to assist their computations.
To make it more appropriate for upper elementary students place 10, 20 or 30 sided dice in the egg for students to add/subtract!

Decomposing is a difficult skill for many kinders to understand, but I found using the double sided counters really helped them!
You can read more about how I had my kinders use eggs and counters on THIS POST.
(You can even find free recording sheets to download!)

Recruit parents and fellow teachers to save egg cartons for you (and maybe even donate some plastic eggs since this activity requires quite a few)!
The idea of making an egg carton into a 'ten frame' came from a post back in January 2014 by Laura at Differentiation Station Creations!  
And it works PERFECT for this activity of using eggs to make groups of 10!

You can read all about how I used it in my kindergarten class, and download the free spinner and recording sheets on THIS POST!

You can make the eggs match on the same color (top/bottom) or mix the egg colors for a bit of a challenge!

This is just a few ways of using the eggs with numbers!
There are so many other ways to practice numbers with eggs!

So now we are back to the oviparous animals unit!
I use the eggs to introduce the unit to my kinders!
Each child cracks open an egg (I do have some duplicate animals in eggs because I simply ran out!) to learn about what animals are oviparous!
I use different size eggs (the tiny ones to the extra large) to show how eggs can be different sizes.
I highly recommend reading Chickens Aren't The Only Ones by Ruth Heller if you plan on conducting an oviparous animals unit with your students!

I also have several lifecycle crowns that are a great way for students to display what they learned about oviparous animals!

and there is also a butterfly lifecycle freebie available for download:

I hope you and your students have an 'egg'-citing time learning math, words, letters and more using plastic eggs!

Do you teach your students about oviparous animals?
Are you a 'theme snob' too- and feel the need for everything to coordinate?
I'd love to hear from you!

Until next post,
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