Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Hopping with Free Easter Resources and Activities

Easter time is upon us and those cute little bunnies will be hopping all over the place. In case you are looking for some fun activities, crafts, books, and free activities then this is the post for you!

I found so many wonderful books, free games, puzzles, poems and songs, and crafts at Apples for Teachers. How about these cute clothespin book marks!  Just click on the picture to check out all the free activities to do with your students.

How about a fun Anagram. I found this and tons of great stuff at DLTK. You can download your free copy by clicking on the picture below. If you go back to the home page you will find lots of other free activities, so hop on over!

I  also found online games, and printables at the Kids Page which you can check out by clicking on the picture below.

Are you looking for some fun Easter party ideas? You can find ideas for pre-school - elementary school ideas by clicking on the image below.
A few years ago I created an Easter Packet called "Easter is a Time for......" for Grades 1-2 which includes a Shared Reading Book, 3 Guided Reading Books at 1st and 2nd grade reading levels, 2 fun Poems and a fun mini book called: "Easter Egg, Easter Egg, What do you see? Students will get to design their own egg and write about it as well as 2 opinion pieces with the help of graphic organizers. There are 2 Literacy Centers: Picture/Word Match and Writing and Roll the Die and Read. You can check it out by clicking on the picture below. If you download the preview file you will get a free poem: "Bunny Hop Chant"
Of course I have a freebie for all my wonderful followers and viewers. How about a Making Words and Sentences Activity? Students will make words from "The Easter Bunny" then write sentences with 4 of their words, and sort them into different categories. Just click on the picture below. Your students will be hopping to do it!!!
Don't forget to check out all my Pinterest Boards by Clicking HERE.  I just added one for Homeschooling that some of you might be interested in as well as my most popular one.
 Have a Hopping Good Easter time with your students! Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Spring Reading Resources and Free Emergent Reader

I just got back from a wonderful spring vacation with my family and can't believe how green everything is. Some of you who have had a very long, cold, and snowy winter are ready for spring! Time to start getting out spring books for read alouds and reading activities. Think of all the things that happen in spring: baby animals are born, birds building nests, grass turns green, buds on the trees, farmers getting ready to plant, baseball season starts, and so much more.

Here is a great list of Spring books and summaries you may want to check out by clicking on the image below.
You can also find this Eric Carle book and lots of other spring books at Amazon by clicking on the image below.
For the Pre-K and K teachers you can get lots of free printable spring books and activities by clicking on the image below. You can't beat that!
Since April is National Poetry month it's a great time to read spring poems with your students. There are so many different literacy activities you can do with poetry. Look at the spring poem below.
There are so many ways to use this for teaching the 5 components of a balance literacy program. When students read aloud they develop expression, phrasing, and most of all fluency. Have you ever tried Echo reading? This a great way to get all your students to participate. First you read a line or stanza and then they read it. You can start by having students echo a line and then a stanza. Repeated reading helps develop fluency. Next you can talk about the meaning of the poem and unfamiliar words. Many of the unfamiliar words can be acted out such as blooming and waddling. The poem is all about the signs of spring and a great way to integrate science. Take each stanza and compare and contrast each with what happens in winter to what is happening in the poem. There are compound words to find, adjectives, long and short vowel sounds, ou and ow sounds, and so much more. You can find this poem and many more poems and literacy activities by clicking on the image below.
If you are looking for a Spring Reading and Writing Unit for K-2 you may want to check out my packet by clicking on the image below. There is a Shared Reading book and 3 differentiated guiding reading books, comprehension activities, and lots of other literacy and writing activities. You can see sample pages of all the differentiated reading activities, writing, and literacy activities when you download the Preview file.
I also have a free Emergent Reader called "My Garden" that you can download by clicking on the image below.
Hope you find some great spring reading resources to use with your students.
Don't forget to check out all my Pinterest Boards by clicking HERE. Hope you will follow.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Spring Fluency Tips and Activities

I hope that spring has finally sprung where you are. Here in northern Florida it is in full swing! There are so many things happening in spring and the perfect theme for reading and building fluency.

Fluency is one of the 5 skills necessary to achieve reading proficiency. For students to comprehend what they read they need to become fluent. They need to:
  • recognize words automatically
  • group words into meaningful phrases
  • apply rapid phonic,morphemic, and contextual analyses to identify unknown words
The only way that students become fluent readers is to read. Over the past 20 years research has identified repeated reading as the key strategy for improving students' fluency skills.  Since accuracy and automaticity are a fundamental principals of fluency, teachers who work with beginning readers need to spend a significant amount of time on basic word recognition and word analysis skills. To be effective, teachers need to provide daily opportunities for students to learn to read words accurately. I believe that one of the best ways to achieve this is to use themes and spring is a great theme for building not only word fluency but also phrase, sentence, and text fluency. This is especially important for struggling readers and ESL students. What we do know is that struggling readers don't like to read but if they become fluent with the words, then phrases and sentences first they will begin to build confidence as they become more proficient. Then they can read short passages, poems, and readers theater.

I finally finished my Spring Fluency Activities Packet. It is my biggest packet so far and loaded with lots of great activities beginning with word and phrase activities. These activities are differentiated with just word cards or picture/word cards like the one below.
Once students are fluent with spring vocabulary words they can begin to read sentences like the ones below.

Students will then build sentences with differentiated cards like the ones below.

Finally they will read differentiated passages, poems, and partner readers theater like the ones below.
There are assessments for word fluency, phrase fluency, sentence fluency, and reading passages. There are also repeated reading activities like this one below.
To read the description and see sample pages of the differentiated activities in this packet just click on the image below to download the Preview file.
I have also put together a free Spring Fluency Activity packet which includes Building Sentences Cards. If you would like to download this free packet just click on the image below. Would truly appreciate your feedback.
Don't forget to check out all my Pinterest Boards by clicking HERE. Would love to have you follow.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spring Writing Activities and Free Activity Packet

Spring Break is here and I'm taking a break too from blogging and creating materials. Before I do I wanted to spread some spring cheer. Spring has definitely come to Tallahassee. The trees are in full bloom, bushes are blossoming with flowers, and the grass is turning green. It is the perfect time to get students writing about Spring. There are so many wonderful vocabulary words associated with the season of spring. The more vocabulary words your students know, the more words they will be able to use in their writing.

I have revised and updated my "Spring Edition of Making Sentences with Sentence Frames" to include a Word Wall of Spring Verbs like the ones below:
I have also updated my picture/word cards.
Students will engage in whole class activities to demonstrate their understanding of what a sentence is and isn't, and learn the parts of a sentence using sentence frames.
I like to make sets of the cards above to give to each student. Then, when I hold up different cards with sentence parts, they can hold up the card that describes the part of the sentence. It is a great way to get 100% class participation and informally access your students' understanding of the parts of the sentence.
Once they have demonstrated their understanding, they can work in centers making sentences with sentence frame parts that are color coded and cut into parts.
You can see sample pages of all the activities in this packet by clicking on the picture below and downloading the Preview file. 
Although it is designed for students in Grades 1-2, I have had several kindergarten teachers who have left feedback that they will be using it with their Kindergartners. I was so excited to get feedback from ESL teachers who loved the way the activities were scaffolded to help build on previous knowledge and practice. 

To go along with this writing packet I created a free Spring Writing Activities Packet. Just click on the image below to get your free packet. There are 3 different activities such as labeling the pictures and writing sentences and 2 different photos to write about.

You may also want to check out my What Happens in Spring? Reading and Writing Unit. You can access lots of free spring resources and free activities by clicking HERE

Don't forget to check out all my new Pinterest Boards by clicking HERE.  Hope you will follow.

Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students. I hope Spring has sprung where you live and we can leave that long cold winter behind us.

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