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6 Days of Reading, Learning and Fun

Valentine's Day Sight Word Activity

So much going on this past week!  Lots of prepping of materials and lessons, a conference trip thrown in and some new fun too!

I am linking up with Mrs. Wheeler from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade again for Sunday 6!  We highlight 6 things from our week with you.  Be sure to head to her blog and read her 6 too! 



Valentine's Day Sight Word Activity

Valentine's Day is coming so now is a great time to get our all your Valentine's activities!  My students LOVE this sight word game- Where's My Heart?.  Place sight word cards in a pocket chart with the words facing out.  Hide a heart or two behind the cards.  Students choose a card that they can read, you pull the card to see if there is a heart behind it.  If you find the heart, you win! Fun word  practice!

blends and digraphs activity for Valentine's Day

If you are working on blends and digraphs this is a fun Valentine center!  Complete the puzzles, build words with magnetic letters and then write the words!




Reading Interventions Blends and Digraphs Binder

I found out last week that this Blends and Digraphs resource was featured on TpT.  That was a fun surprise!  You can find it here.



Phonics word work activities

I was sent to Nashville this past week for a phonemic awareness and phonics conference.  It was put on by the 95% Group.  Here we were learning about moving circles for sounds.

Phonics word work activities

Older students learn to map out the sounds they hear.

Phonics word work activities

After using colored chips for sounds, you can switch out the vowels for letter chips to learn the spelling patterns.  




Of course, when you are in Nashville you have to go to the Grand Ole Opry!  I had never been before and it was a lot of fun.  We got to see a lot of different performers from new talent, to those who had been around a long time to the musicians who are popular right now.  Eddie Montgomery from Montgomery Gentry was a lot of fun.  It was also his first time on the Opry stage since his singing partner, Troy Gentry, had passed away.  We got to meet him after the show and get a picture taken with him!


Craig Morgan was also there and I really enjoyed him.  He is a veteran and supports veterans. 


Another place we tried out was the Bluebird Cafe.  Singers and musicians get discovered here.  Wonder if I listened to anyone that night who will become famous??  


We also walked around at the Opryland Hotel.  Beautiful place with an indoor waterway. Just a beautiful hotel!



RTI Data Tracking Forms

We finished up our RTI data meeting and I spend the week prepping new groups and setting the calendar for our next cycle of RTI.  We will begin baselines this week and interventions begin right after that.  Lots of work to be done in RTI and having an organized system makes all the difference!  You can find the RTI data forms here.



Picture Sorting Activities for Word Work

Lots of prep for picture sorts too.  I use picture sorts a lot during my word work in guided reading.  I like to have my cards prepped and ready to go for all the different guided reading groups that I have.  Makes it so much easier!  You can find these here.

Don't forget to head over to Mrs. Wheeler's blog and read her six too!

Tool Kits for Independent Reading

Tacky the Penguin Book Study and Problem and Solution Anchor Chart

All week during read alouds, shared reading, and guided reading we are modeling and helping students, we hope, towards being independent readers.  They need to be able to transfer those skills and apply them during their independent reading  to demonstrate that they do really understand and are capable of using those skills.  But that can be difficult sometimes.  
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We have been reading Tacky books, which my students love!  Who doesn't love Tacky and his wacky, but adorable ways?  I used these books to help the students with problem and solution in stories.  We charted the problems and solutions as we read the books. 



After modeling finding problem and solution, students grabbed their independent reading tool kits and book baggies and off they went to enjoy independent reading.

Using Tool Kits for Independent Reading

My students really enjoy their tool kits!  There isn't a lot in them and they aren't anything fancy, but cool bookmarks and Post-it Notes are worth getting excited for.  😄  And we want excitement while kids are learning!

I just use those cheap pencil pouches that can be clipped into their notebooks to keep everything for the tool kits.  Different sizes of Post-its, pencils, bookmark and highlighter for when we use articles are kept inside.  Easy!

I need to get me some lined PostIt Notes for some of my readers who are struggling to write on the notes and keep it from being all jumbled up.

Tacky the Penguin Book Study and Problem and Solution Anchor Chart

As students are scattered out reading and enjoying their books (I always try to use that phrase- let's go enjoy our books to promote the enjoyment of reading), they take the took kit with them.  As they are reading, they can stop and jot if they would like.  Then for the last few minutes, we gather back together on the carpet to share what we found in our own books.  This day was for if we found the problem and solution in our stories.  After sharing with the group or our partner, the Post-it notes go up on our Problem/Solution anchor chart.  



Teacher Self Care

Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

It's time for some teacher self care.  It's January and I know lots of people make resolutions for exercise and these resolutions can quickly fall to the wayside.  

In September 2017, a report came out that too much sitting can be deadly.  Now, I'm not really sure why we needed a study for that.  It just seems like common sense that sitting too much is not good for us.  We were made to move.  But I must say it does really wake a person up and make you a bit more mindful of your movements.  Some of the the links below are referral links, which means,  I will earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

Teachers do a lot of sitting.  Even if you are moving around in your classroom, we still sit a lot:  at the guided reading table, doing read alouds, sitting on the carpet while working with students, grading papers, writing lesson plans, etc...  You get the idea.  So I want to give you some tips for helping you be more mindful of moving more.  Easy to implement ways to keep you motivated to move more. Not an exercise program.  Just easy ways to move a little more.

Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

1.  Wireless Earbuds

Get a pair of earbuds and listen to music, podcasts, or audio books.  Makes the time go quickly if you are exercising on a treadmill.  Some schools require teachers to complete professional development, so listen while you walk and get both accomplished at once!  Use your time wisely.  I got these wireless earbuds for one of my sons.  They have a good sound and are not ridiculously expensive.  Which is good because he tends to lose things sometimes.  😀

2.  Step Counters
Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

You don't need an expensive step counter.  You can even use one on your phone if you carry your phone around.  It won't be as accurate, but the whole point is set a goal and try to meet it every day.  I have a Fitbit Charge 2.  I can tell when I am not wearing it I am not usually getting as many steps and movement in.  One easy way teachers can get in more steps is to walk those long hallways.  Stretch those legs out and go for a couple of strolls down the hall when you have planning time.  Walk around the playground when you have recess duty!  This helps you see the whole playground and keeps you moving.  Also keeps you warmer when it is cold out!

 3.  Workout DVDs
Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

Find work out dvds that you enjoy.  I have this PiYo and like it.  Some teachers like Beachbody.  You can find friends to share and exchange dvds with too.  Or workout after school together with some teacher friends!  If you do this once or twice a week, it will give you some variety to your routine.



Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

4.  Aerobic Stepper

Do you have a favorite tv show you watch in the evening?  Instead of just sitting while watching tv, get a stepper and use it while watching your show.  Gets you up off the couch and moving.  So easy!  When your show is done, so are you!

5.  Use a planner
Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more

So many teachers live by their planners so use your planner to help you get moving!  Plan out your exercise like a to do list and check it off when you do it.  It's just another easy way to get moving in your schedule and help keep you healthy.  Moving more is just like brain breaks for our kids.  It gives our brains a boost, makes you feel better and gives you energy!  

Wish List:  Treadmill Desk
Tips for Teacher Self Care being mindful of moving more
Some days I think I would like to have this treadmill desk since I spend a lot of time on the computer.  Does anyone have this?  What do you think about it if you have it?  Has it helped you?




6 Days of a Reading Teacher

Lesson plans for a reading teacher

Happy New Year!!  We went back to school last week and it has been super busy with guided reading lesson planning, anecdotal records and planning for our RtI Data meeting.  Busy just like always and just like you!


I am so happy to be linking up with Mrs. Wheeler from Mrs. Wheeler's First Grade this week!  Be sure to head over to her blog after you are done here to read her 6 for the week and the others who have also linked up with her.
Some of the the links below are referral links, which means,  I will earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Bass Pro Wonders of Wildlife

Last Sunday (New Year's Eve day) my husband took me to  Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium and Wildlife Museum for a late birthday celebration.  This place has just been voted as the #1 Best New Attraction in America and it is amazing!   These are just a few pictures I snapped in the aquarium.  Truly a cool place to visit!
Bass Pro Wonders of Wildlife

This place is in Springfield, Missouri.  If you are visiting, definitely stop here!



Lesson plans for a reading teacher

Back to school means back to lesson planning.  😀  These teacher resources are some of my main books that help me when it comes time to lesson plan.  
You can find these here:







Using anecdotal notes in guided reading


While I lesson plan, I also like to use my guided reading anecdotal notes.  Keeping notes and checklists help me when I write my guided reading groups lesson plans.  I rely on these notes to help me move my students forward in their reading skills.  You can find my guided reading anecdotal notes binder by clicking right here!


Tips for RTI Data meetings using RTI forms and graphs

I am also the RTI Coordinator in my school besides being a reading specialist.  We have completed our first cycle of RTI and our data meeting is coming up.  This means lots and lots of prepping and planning on my part.  I make graphs for our RTI team to help us get through all the data information and make informed decisions on each individual student as to what their next step in RTI should be.  You can find this this RTI Data Meeting Guide by clicking here.


How to use Reading Interactive Notebooks for Guided Reading Groups

After DRAs are given in December, I revisit my groups and do a little shuffling around with the students if necessary.  Some students will have shown that they can give it a try without my support and others may need to join my groups.  When I add new students, I have to get new Reading Notebooks ready for them since this is a huge part of our guided reading groups.  I try to keep extra binders with the papers already in them so it doesn't take me long to get new students ready to go!  Find these Reading Notebooks here.


Inflectional Endings Activities

I know many of you are using our Reading Intervention Binders and we have one more new one to add to your collection- Inflections Intervention Binder!  This binder, as always is no prep- just print and teach, will help students during guided reading word work, literacy centers, and RTI intervention groups.  Students will gain strengthen their skills of reading and spelling words with inflectional ends.  Click here to check it out!


There's my 6 for the week!  Now head over to Mrs. Wheeler's and see what she's been up to!








New Year's Goals Not Resolutions

New Years Writing Activities free


Happy New Year!  It's that time when everyone is making resolutions to begin their brand new year.  But how about challenging your students with using FREE growth mindset and creating a Goal for themselves instead?  

Their goal might be a goal for the classroom or it might be for at home.  Either way, encourage your students with this free writing activity to set a goal to write about and then how they are going to go about meeting this goal.

New Years Writing Activities


If students only choose a goal, they are not as likely to meet it as they would be if they write out the steps they will take to achieve it.  This freebie has several New Year's fun shapes and lined paper to match it.  You can pick up this freebie by signing up for our newsletter!




Free Resources