Monday, July 29, 2013

Magnetic Circle Trays and a Freebie

And a Freebie.... I am currently being frustrated by blogger working on adding to my CVC units including write the room and memory cards like above. This freebie is sample worksheets for follow-up use where the students rainbow color the letters.

Some links to check out:
Fran's post on Kindergarten Crayons
Florida Center for Reading Research
Monday Made It at 4th Grade Frolics

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Monday Made It Magnetic Alpha Circles

And A Freebie...I am currently updating my cvc activities to include other activities like memory & write the room and additional card sizes seen above. This freebie is follow-up worksheets with short a. Students trace the letters in different colored markers while saying the sounds.

Some links to check out:
Fran's post at Kindergarten Crayons
FCRR PDF with Alphabet Arcs and Circles
Monday Made It Linky Party at 4th Grade Frolics
My Sound Boxes at TPT
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Va Blogger MeetUp


Mrs. Stamp's KindergartenMrs. Stamp’s Kindergarten - She has a give-away going on (and ignore my hair :)

Heidisongs Resource
Heidi Songs - her blog and don't forget to check out the DVDs, Cds, activities & more on her website

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fine Motor Matching Game

I was making a fine motor color game for a friend's little boy and my son and I found other ways to play. So I'm sharing it with you as a freebie. All you need is a floss box (you probably have some to use to hold letters or letter cards), some pom-poms and a clothespin (or other pincher). I had gotten a sewing bag with 3 floss boxes in it on clearance a long time ago and picked up some colored pom-poms from Dollar Tree.

By changing the pictures, you can make a color game, a number game, a letter game, a rhyming game, etc.. You can use Velcro in the sections but we found the cards stayed nicely without it (even for my not-quite-2-year old and were use easy to get out by dumping it upside down.

Here is a page of pictures on different ways to play.

To Play: Color – Put color cards (shape, words, crayons,animals) in the boxes of the floss box to match the color pom-poms. Player(s) picks up pom-poms with clothespins, other small pinchers, or spoons and place them in the correct section.

Number – Put numeral or dot cards in the container. On your turn, roll 1 or 2 dice. Put that many pom-poms in the section matching that number. Variation: Take turns putting your color pom-pom in a space (if you put pom-poms in the 3 space, you put 3 or if you put them in the 5, you put 5). Play with a friend and try to fill 3 spaces in a row or play until your run out.

Alpha – Put the desired letters or pictures in the boxes. Take turns placing a pom-pom in the box. Say the animal and letter/sound or come up with another word that starts with hat letter.

Download the freebie from my TPT store here.
And check out the other Freebie Friday freebies this week at TBA.

I know it isn't that fancy or crafty. You could add name stickers to a cute cover to the lid. My kids liked the see-thru aspect esp. since we made a couple kinds. But I am linking up to Monday Made It. :)


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Rhym-ominoes Freebie Friday

In all the rhyming games I've been working on, I created a game freebie. Rhym-ominoes. This freebie is a set of 24 "domino" cards. There are 4 word families (-et, -en, -at, -an). Each has 4 picture choices. 8 dominoes are doubles (same word family on both sides).
I printed them to play with my daughter. Here is a picture of one of our games. She really likes to see if we can play into a rectangle.

We played a couple of ways. Each of us started with 6 dominoes and turned over the starter domino from the draw pile. We also played where we divided the dominoes up evenly from the start (12 each). This was our favorite.
You play like dominoes where you match one half to a piece on the playing area - to make a match, it has to rhyme (but can't be the same picture).

I also added in a "key" sheet showing which pictures were in each rhyme family to support struggling readers during independent play. I created this after playing with my son. You can use it to pre-teach the pictures (be sure to have them say the words each time to reinforce).
The rhym-onimoes can also be sorted as rhyme and not a rhyme prior to playing to help work on discriminating rhyming sounds. If you prefer a horizontal format, you can use the cards from my Rhyme It: Rhyme or No Rhyme Pocket Chart Center.

My kids also played these with me this week. I printed different size sets. The first picture shows the size in the pack for use with hanging pocket charts. The second picture shows them printed 2 per page if you use smaller charts or stand alone triangle charts like in my pictures. We like to use this size in centers and in small group to save space. You can work with one vowel or mix them up when picking rhyme families to focus on.
Hope you and yours enjoy as much as we did! If you download, please leave a comment. Don't forget to pop on over to TBA for Freebie Friday.

Alpha Animals Giveaway Winner

Thank you to everyone who entered!
All emails from rafflecopter were sent a link to download the Alpha Animals Sampler.
5 Winners of Full Products were:

Lorena P - Alpha Animals Bundle
Samantha T
Michelle C
Ivannah R
Charlene S

Ladies, you should receive an email from me with your product. If you don't have it by the end of the day, please email me

Don't forget to come back tomorrow for Freebie Friday! It is something with -ominoe in its name. ;)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Classroom Management Linky

Classroom management to me is....having high expectations and knowing when to scaffold. I expect generally polite behavior with positive choices just as I expect all students to succeed academically. I know that every child in my class will be successful socially, emotionally and academically and that some need more support than others. 

My Tip: Any system a teacher or school puts in place may need to be modified to meet the needs of the students and families. This is important when dealing with special needs students (whether or not they have been identified), different cultural and socio-economic expectations and parent communication (think surveys and intake conferences as well as reporting systems).

This has been brought home this year as my autistic son went through his first year in school. I am thankful that his teacher and administration understand that they have to speak with him in a different way to help him understand the choices and not focus on the system.

In this linky, I loved the warm fuzzies in Mel's post from Seusstastic Classroom Inspirations. These remind me of "pets" (plastic animals) I used long ago before we had a school wide program with punch cards and clip charts. I also liked Erin from Creating & Teaching's post on why clip charts didn't work in her class. Her Happy Sticks chart with a place for awards is neat.


Sorry, I didn't get the image for the linky linked back to Mel D's page. Here is the link up.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Favorite Teacher Linky

My Favorite Teacher

Tell about your favorite teacher and explain why.  Share a memory or two.
Wow. This is a hard one because I was blessed with many great teachers (not that I am that old <cough>). There was my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs Brown, who was retiring and noticed with a smile and a chuckle that I was always listening in on her reading groups (and took steps to find me a challenge) and all my HS English teachers who were quirky in their own ways that inspired me to succeed. For this post, I will pick my 4th grade teacher Mrs. Koon. She would refer to us as Miss or Mister, assign us to be "buddies" or teachers to the other students, & a million little things that inspired me to take pride in what I knew and be humble about learning from others. I remember doing a lot of partner work and different strategies used to group us. Many years later I came home with my teaching degree and was subbing at my old elementary school. I took a long term sub job in 4th grade and she was the lead teacher in 3rd (and her son was in my class). She was a great resource and inspiring to me again as a teacher.
Share your memory in a comment below or link up with Latoya over at Flying into First Grade. Click on the picture to go to Creative Clips store for that cute mix and match clip art.
Don't forget to check out my giveaway. Everyone who enters (with a valid email) will be emailed a sampler of my Alpha Animals line of products. 5 winners will receive products from the Alpha Animals line including one winner who will get all of the items in the line available at the time of winning. Click on the TPT widget on the right to check them out or see links on the previous post.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Small Group Reading Instruction Begining With Letters and Sounds

I have been reading some great posts lately on reading. And I have been remiss in my bloggy duties so I wanted to give you a meaty reading post.
The ladies over at Freebielicious are hosting a great book study Check out the blogs linked up on Marsha's blog A Differentiated Kindergarten. Lots of examples and freebies.
To go with the book study, I was also checking out Jan Richardson's website and found a clip where she writes the letters on the cookie sheets for magnetic letters in making words activities. How much sense does that make sense for passing out materials but also for letter id. On the Maggie's Kinder Corner facebook page, she shared a link and this picture  to build-a-word magnetic tray. The author Jenae used tiles and gems to write the letters on. Again, I'm thinking I will be wishing for some magnetic trays to start the year off. 
This reminded me of the way we work with the alphabet arc on cookie sheets. You can get full and partial arcs for free from FCRR (along with directions for volunteers or parents) or Neuhaus (we use their book and it is helpful for the assistants). My kinders love to do this one and the circle alphabet with the clothespins.
Another great beginning alphabet small group (or if you are lucky assistant/volunteer activity) is to use tongs or tweezers like these tongs from Montessori Services. I have a variety of tong types from the kitchen section of the dollar store. You can use any type of letter tiles. I have foam tiles in both thick and thin to work those fine motor skills. The students are activating different parts of their brain in this tactile activity. You can work with the letters in their names in this activity. Each child gets a name plate. They take turns using tongs to select a letter tile (hide them in a small container of rice or lay them out on the table depending on your kids) and identify the letter. If it fits in their name, they get to place it over that letter on their name plate. You can do the same with the letter arcs or letter charts. All of these can be used to work on letter name or letter sound identification. You may want to alternate using arc and a letter chart with picture cues.
Picture Copyright © William Vicars, sign language resources at" I also like to teach the sign and a motion for the letters. Checkout these from lifeprint. When the year gets further along and we are working hard to identify short u in words, the sign for up shows up. Heidi's Songs' Action Alphabet (youtube here) song is great. We use it whole group and refer to it in small group.
Now a little on working with sounds...I am all about phonemic awareness. Are these sounds the same or different? Which of these 3 sounds different? Do these two words rhyme? Which of these 3 rhyme? I teach and assess both orally and with pictures. We will do hand signals in front of our chests, use craft sticks with happy bear/sad bear on opposite sides, and even big gestures (like from Jack Hartmann's Make a Rhyme, Make a Move. I just made a set of cards to play rhyming memory using scalloped frames. Each short vowel has 4 matches (8 cards) and is in a different color for easy sorting with a mixed set. You can expand the memory game by mixing sets. There are 2 styles - background and no background (to save ink or for cutting around the scallops).

Memory of any kind is a favorite game of my kinders. You can also use the cards to lay out three and have them pick the two that rhyme. Another version to engage a small group is to give each player 3 cards face up in front of themselves and put the matching cards upside down like you would for memory. The players take turns turning over one card looking for a match to one of their 3 cards.

Thanks for making it through my post. I'd love some comments on activities you use or topics you are interested in.
Don't Forget....Check out the last post for more info.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 5, 2013

Alpha Animals, 50 Followers Rafflecopter & Freebie Friday

Friday Again! It has been a freebie week. Did you catch all the FB freebies? I wasn't in the freebie hop but I have a special July fan freebie tab on my FB. Not to mention my freebie on the first...and it isn't over because it is Friday! Don't forget to stop by TBA for Freebie Friday.

Right click and save the picture above for this freebie to play Roll and Cover or Bump! 

Have you seen what I've been up to? Alpha Animals!
Pink Cat Studio has a great line of animal clipart that I used before with my Sea Creatures Research It, Fish & Friends and with Reptiles and Amphibians. Then came the Alphabet Add-on so every letter had an animal. PCS even added walrus due to requests for a non-wh animal. You can check out that in the logo for my giveaway below. What was a girl to do but create a line of Alpha Animals products! :) I have an Alpha Animals Bundle that includes everything created in the line (and to which I will add more items as I as add them to TPT). Those packets are also available separately and include:
 Alpha Animals Posters - Blue Chevron
Alpha Animals Find & Circle ABC Booklets
Alpha Animals Quick Letters
Alpha Animals Clip It
Alpha Animals Alpha Bump

Alpha Animals Puzzles


And Finally....I am having a 50 Followers Giveaway to celebrate 50 Bloglovin' followers and 50 likes on Facebook. Everyone who enters (with a valid email) will be emailed a sampler of my Alpha Animals line of products. 5 winners will receive products from the Alpha Animals line including one winner who will get all of the items in the line available at the time of winning. Click on the TPT widget on the right to check them out. The giveaway is over. All emails listed in Rafflecopter have been emailed the sampler, 4 winners were emailed a full product and 1 winner was emailed the Bundle. Thank you to all who entered! Jenn

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Sale

Time for Fireworks. What is the 4th to you? Fireworks and picnics with the family? Parades and concerts? Whatever you do, take a moment to enjoy the freedom, the independence, we so enjoy.

I am joining up with Flying Into First for a 20% off sale in my TPT store.

Which makes my Deal of the Week (see post here) on Counting Kids Write the Math Room and Counting Kids Posters, Printables & Calendar Pieces  even sweeter.

Check out all the other stores participating and Happy Shopping 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Facebook Fan Freebie

How surprised was I to find that I had 50 followers on Bloglovin' and 28 likes on my Facebook page!

Thank you to everyone who is following me, downloading the freebies, purchasing from my TPT store and TN shop, and leaving me comments.

My Counting Kids Posters, Printables & Calendar Pieces unit (or P3) is now up on TPT. I have been going back and forth between it, other projects & family time for a while and it is finally up.

From now until July 5th midnight EST, purchase my Counting Kids Posters, Printables & Calendar Pieces unit from TPT, leave feedback and email me at with your TPT username, and I will send you the coordinating Counting Kids Write the Math Room.

I promised a freebie with the new unit. So in honor of the pack & my new followers, I have pulled the BUMP games out of the pack for a July Facebook Fan Freebie.

There are 3 versions of Bump in this freebie.

Purple: 2 kids per numeral
Green: Lots of kids
Peach: Lots of kids with numerals and dice (pictured)
It is the red, white and blue July Fan tab on my facebook page.

Here is the page! Click on it to go there. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Read and Cover Freebie

Two posts on the same day - both with freebies - am I getting too much sun?

No, I am just a little excited about a new idea. I was talking with a friend who is ready to deliver boy#3 any minute now. She is working on sight words with her almost kindergartener. We talked about how kids learn these words in both isolation and in stories. I created a game with sentences that match pictures. The players read the sentences and cover the picture. The freebie here has cards with pictures and sentences. They also have a word underlined so that students beginning to read can read the underlined word. I also tried to create a fan freebie on my new facebook page with this freebie. Check out my July 2nd post for more facebook fan freebie info!)

If you download this freebie, please leave me comments or email me


Don't forget to check out all the Freebies on the First from Freebielicious.