This is such a busy time of the year and we ALL need a little break! It is so hard to keep our kiddos focused and still learning. It is especially hard for teachers but our students struggle too!
For this reason, I have teamed up with some great TpT authors to give you FREE TEACHING CHRISTMAS resources!
Just choose what you would like and click on the photo. It will take you to that resource to download from TpT! Please be kind and leave feedback for the author. Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work in your feedback or blog comments so we are encouraged to keep the freebies flowing! Have a great holiday season! I hope we have made your life a little easier!
In today’s academic world riddled by standardized testing and accountability, administrators and teachers sense there is no time to sing or use movement during the school day. It tends to look like we are “just playing” when we should be learning. When teaching our youngest learners, this could not be any farther from the truth. Having fun is not only beneficial academically but emotionally and physically as well.
Brain Development Research is on Our Side!
Within the last twenty years, brain development research has given credibility to our profession as Early Childhood Educators. We no longer have to “gut-teach” (teaching intuitively), which was the way we taught because it “seemed” to work or because it “felt” right. We now have the advantage of all the exciting new information which allows us to truly understand the meaning of “developmentally appropriate”. Therefore, we are empowered to offer children the best possible strategies for learning new information.
Play is the Most Vital Element in any Early Childhood Program
According to developmentally appropriate practices, play isthe most vital element of any early childhood curriculum. Through play, children develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills. Music and movement are interrelated with play. Consequently, they are essential to a child’s development.
One of the best ways to incorporate music into the early childhood classroom is to relate it to other areas of the curriculum (Spodek & Saracho). Dodge and Colker agree that children’s exposure to music can have an impact on three key aspects of development. These three aspects are cognitive,social-emotional, and physical development. Music also allows teachers to cultivate the emotional development of their students.
Songs and chants can make transitions engaging so that children pay attention. They teach children what, when and how to do something. Songs can also introduce new skills and concepts.
Click the picture below to sign-up to receive your free resource of 14 songs and chants.
Music helps children hear
rhyme and since music has a rhythm, they learn to hear patterns created by the
beats (or syllables) in words. This builds early-stage literacy. Add movement
with the songs and you are adding the kinetic modality to language acquisition.
Every time we use a movement for words and phrases, you are adding to their
knowledge about language.
According to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, the more senses we use in the learning process, the faster we learn the information and the more information we retain. Use finger plays, chants, and songs!
4 Questions I Hear Most Often About Blends and Digraphs
The number one question I hear teachers asking:
1. “What is the difference between blends and digraphs?”
A BLEND is when each sound of two or more consonants can be heard as they are blended together. For example, /pl/ as in play. You say (and teach) /pl/ but the /p/ and /l/ can be heard as separate phonemes. Each letter within the blend is pronounced individually, but quickly, so they blend together.
A DIGRAPH is when two consonants together make a single sound. For example, if you tell someone to be quiet by saying “shhhhhh”, you say it as one sound. You don’t say /s/ /h/.
2. What are the most common blends and what order should I teach them?
The most common beginning consonant blends include: bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fr, tr, fl, gl, gr, pl, pr, sl, sm, sp and st.
There is a great deal of variance as to which blends to teach first. Even many basal reading programs disagree. Yet, it is thought that the following is a good guideline of which to teach first: gr, pl, bl, st, br, sp, tr, cl, fl, sl, fr, sn, thr, cr, dr, sm. HOWEVER, this differs with the level of students you teach and the most important thing to remember is to teach intentionally!
There are also ending consonant blends in words such as fast.
Some blends contain three consonants (clusters) such as str,spl, spr, shr, scr, squ, str. It is thought that these clusters along with nk and sk should be taught later rather than at the beginning.
3. What are the most common digraphs and what order should I teach them?
We like to call the most common consonant digraphs the “h” brothers. The most common are sh, ch, th, and wh but there also is ph. The most common to teach first are the “Big 4”! Many reading programs introduce blends before the digraphs. The main thing to remember is you need to teach whatever your district says! This goes for blends (clusters) AND digraphs.
4. What is the correct spelling and pronunciation of DIGRAPH?
It is spelled d-i- g-r-a-p-h and pronounced dī- graf. There is no “a” as in d-i-a-g-r-a-p-h. It is not pronounced dī-uh-graf.
In conclusion, learning digraphs and blends are important in learning to read. Go by your district, your campus, or your reading program to guide you with when and how to introduce them. We all have our opinions but we must go by the guidelines our employers give us.
Click HEREfor a FREE digraph resource with activities and worksheets aimed at 1st-2nd graders and upper Kindergarten students.
If this works well for you, there is a 329-page bundle for the digraphs ck, kn, ph, wr, sh, ch, wh, th with activities, center activities, and worksheets. The bundle is more than 20% off with a FREEassessment pack. The assessment pack is only available as part of the bundle deal. I don’t think you will need anything else for the entire year to teach digraphs. If there IS something else you need, just email me at email@example.com and tell me what you need. I will try my best to accommodate your needs. Click HERE or the picture to take a look!
This has just been loaded on to Teachers Pay Teachers. At this time of the year, we need to review and assess our students’ knowledge of digraphs. Take a look at this 105-page review and assessment packet.
It’s the time of the year for us to pause and be thankful for our families, friends, jobs, health and much, much more! I am thankful for our profession and for YOU!
As part of showing our thanks for all you (we) do, there are several events coming up. I have teamed up with some awesome authors to bring you some hashtag sales. RIGHT NOW through tomorrow, we have $1.00 resources. Search TpT for #turkeydeals. The Fun Factory is offering the following:
If you need something last minute or want to stock up for next year at this price, grab this.
Hanukkah 2018 will begin in the evening of Sunday, December 2 and ends in the evening of Monday, December 10.
Thank you for looking through this post. Here is a FREEBIE for you. Teach your students to play a dreidel game and use it in your Math Center! Great way to practice math… OR send it home for students to play over the holidays. They will be practicing math on their vacation! A WIN-WIN for everyone, in my book. Just click on the picture, download and enjoy. (It would be nice if you would leave feedback if you like it.) Thanks in advance.
My number 1 reason to celebrate Veterans Day is the fact that my dad, brother, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and son-in-law are all veterans. Everyone is touched by a veteran in some way. This is a time when we should reach out and thank them.
No matter what your political views are, these men and women have sacrificed something to help protect ME (us). All of them have stories to tell but most won’t share those stories. Growing up I did not understand nor appreciate what all my dad sacrificed. I didn’t understand (and still don’t) what he buried deep inside (psychologically) or the physical pain he endured but never complained about.
Our children need to know about Veterans Day. Let’s teach our children. Reach out and thank a veteran this week, this month, this year.
So……..to all the veterans in my life, thank-you! However, my biggest thank-you goes to my HERO, my DAD! Thank-you. I love and miss you!
Do you have a special veteran in your life? Tell us about them! We will give one lucky person your choice of one of our American History resources! Meanwhile, click on the picture below for a simple, FREE resource for anyone teaching grades K-5.
If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-understand resource to help you teach about Veterans Day for Kindergarten – first grades, take a look at this for only $3.50!
Activity/WorksheetsIf you are interested in Grades 3-5, this informational resource is excellent to teach about Veterans Day. Check it out here.
I hope you enjoy the freebie and please, please, please, thank a veteran!
Did you score some awesome Dollar Deals the past 2 Fridays? If so, you have another chance because Friday, October 19th, we do it all again- but with 40+ new deals for you to choose from!
If you missed it, here is your chance!
Just to remind you what’s happening……throughout the month of October, we are bringing you 4 weeks of incredible $1 deals on over 40 products!
Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one product from their store (normally priced $3-$5) to mark down to just $1 for the day!
How will you find these resources?
Choose one of these methods:
1. Click this picture:
Many of the sellers on Instagram are using this hashtag when showing their deal: #freakyfridaypegs but you won’t find ALL the deals that way.
So what will you find from The Fun Factory this week? Click on any of the pictures.
This resource has 40 task cards that can be used at centers or in small group instruction. (I have used them both ways. First, I used them in small groups and then placed them in my Math Center.) It really depends on the level of students you teach.
Here is a preview of some of the cards. There are 10 fairy tales with 4 cards each….2 addition and 2 subtraction.
The cards are color-coordinated for easy center management and clean-up.
Each fairy tale has 3 addition and 3 subtraction cards. There is a recording sheet for student accountability (if you use in a center) and an answer sheet as well.
This normally sells for $4.00 but October 19th it will only be $1.00. ONE DAY ONLY!
Now for the 5th year, FREAKY FRIDAY is in full swing! If you missed it last week, you want to be sure to check it out the next 3 weeks!
Each October, The Fun Factory joins a group of sellers to offer $1 Deals each Friday in the month and this year is no exception! Each Friday in October, there are incredible $1 deals on over 40 products each week!
Here is how it works:
Each Friday the participating sellers will select one resource from their store (normally priced $3-$5) to mark down to just $1 for the day!
The Fun Factory’s resource for this week is Daily Writing and Morning Work for First Grade.
This NO PREP, First Grade Morning Work/Daily Writing resource has been very popular. All you have to do is print. NO PREP time for you! There are so many ways to practice the skills first graders are learning! The skills build as each month progresses and they cover many Common Core (and TEKS) objectives! Some days are easy and some days are a little more of a challenge.
I developed this resource to help me with my intervention classes. They can be used for your morning work, small group instruction, intervention, assessment, homework or center work. Daily Oral Language, “Fix-It” Sentences, Writing and Language Skills, Sight Word Practice (High-Frequency Words) are all a part of this resource.
Over the years I have been asked dozens of times: “Should I require my students to have individual supply boxes where they keep their own supplies or should I place community supplies where each group or table can share?” I have used these two systems and many in-between. By far, I recommend using community supplies for students in prekindergarten through second grade. Here’s why:
Top 5 Reasons to Use Community Supplies vs Individual Supply Boxes
1. Productive: Having community supplies cuts down on waste. If a child does not have a notebook to draw on, rip up, stuff in his desk, make paper airplanes with, etc., then it isn’t wasted. Tools turn into toys when left in that desk cubby. (More on management techniques in the next post.)
2. Sanity: Community supplies keep students from arguing. No more, “That’s MY pencil!” “She took MY crayon!” “That’s MINE give it back!” “Ms. Paul he’s using MY scissors!” Etc. etc. etc. The supplies are OURS.
3. Money: Community supplies save money. It will save you, the teacher, from having to go out and buy more supplies and it will save parents from having to replace lost pencils, crayons, scissors, paper, and dried up glue. At one point in my career, I had a standard form that I would send home at the end of the week for each child who needed more supplies. I had parents write their child’s name on every single pencil and marker. There had to be a better way, right?
4. Time: Lost time is time lost learning. If everything is right at their fingertips, students don’t waste time digging in their desks, crawling around on the floor looking for lost items, or accusing their neighbor of stealing.
5. Community: Sharing supplies teaches and reinforces the classroom as a community, family, tribe, or whatever you teach your class. The supplies are not “mine,” they are “ours.”
In conclusion: Use community supplies! You will never want to go back to kids digging in their desks for their pencil boxes. You will have less stress, I promise! Anywhere we can cut out a bit of stress, we should. Right?
Next: How to manage community supplies, what to say to parents, and ways to teach students how to share. Feel free to leave comments or questions below. I will address any questions in my next post. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you need labels for your supplies, click the picture to check these out.