Thursday, August 13, 2015

Letter Fluency with Brain Breaks

I love Brain Breaks!  

We use several throughout the day and it keeps my students energized and focused.  I decided to combine our concepts with brain breaks in a PowerPoint.  This way students will drill and practice their concepts and have a short 10-20 second brain break in between.  My students love this and it really keeps them motivated to drill those letters and sight words.

Check out the video demonstration.

The PowerPoint is editable so you can move the slides around to keep your students guessing what is coming next.  You can also edit the timing of the slides if you would like to give your students more time or less.  There is a slide for each Uppercase and Lowercase letter.

There are 6 fun Brain Breaks that will get your students moving as they learn.  Each Brain Break is paired with a quick song that goes along with the activity.

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

RTI Interactive Intervention: Lowercase Letters

Intervention are essential to helping your students become proficient in fundamental skills for reading and math.  As you assess your students and gather data you find some students who need extra support in gaining the skills you taught.  Taking these students in a small group to reteach the concept allows students to get individualized and intense support.

The Interactive Intervention packet (Lowercase Letters) includes activities and interventions that help students become confident and help keep them engaged. These are activities I use in my small group that have helped my students master their lowercase letters and sounds.

My favorite activity is the Cover Up Cards.  Students each get a card with letters on them.  You can choose a red or blue card.  The red card focuses on the first 13 letters (a-m) and the blue cards focus on the last 13 letters (n-z).  There are also blank cards that you can write the letters your students need to work on.

There are some different ways to play with the Cover Up Cards.  I like to use magnetic chips because the students love them, but you can use small erasers or even pennies.  You call out a letter and students cover up that letter on their card.

Lotto Cards are another quick and easy way to get your students to learn their letters.  Flip over an alphabet flashcard and have your students place a marker on the matching letter.  I print each sheet on a different color, which help me keep those cards together.  The entire sheet assess all 26 letters.  Students love trying to get their card filled up first!

Matching letters with manipulatives you have in the room is a great way to reinforce letter recognition.  I have included several examples in the picture below (magnetic letters, bottle caps, letter beads)  This can be an independent center as well.  See if your students can name all the blue letters.  Another fun way to asses your students.

The Staircase Game is a new favorite of mine.  Place your flashcards on the staircase and choose a token to play with.  See my little red bear.  He is climbing the staircase.  Start at the bottom and move up the staircase each time you say the letter correctly until you get to the top.

Fluency Strips is a fun way to help students say those letters name accurately and quickly.  Great to use if you assess LNF (letter name fluency).  Students spin or roll the dice to select a character.  Then they say the letters next to that character as fast as they can.  

There are fun Flashcards with the Superhero and Princess theme.  Lots of fun ideas and games, including POW!.  A fun game where students identify the letters, but when they get a POW! card  all the letters they have are put back in the pile.

There are independent worksheets for that focus on the lowercase letter.  Sequencing and visual discrimination help students practice those skills you taught in their small group.

There are several letter assessments to use so you and your students can monitor their progress. Students can see visually how well they are learning their letters.  

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Dollar Store Finds!

I love the Dollar Store.  You can find some great things and of course it is all only a $1.00!

Here are some items I found this past week.

1. Puzzles!  

Tons of puzzles all for $1.00 Great to use on the first day of school.

2. Table Baskets

These are perfect for my tables.  They hold everything I need.  There are some other colors at Walmart. I am doing some primary colors this year on my tables so these are perfect!

3. Chip Trays
I am super excited about chip trays.  I am going to use them to sort letters and count out objects.

4. Chalkboard Stickers
These stickers are super cute.  I am probably going to cut them and use them as labels.

5. Aprons
 Great for that messy project!

6. Window Markers
Decorate your windows with sayings and drawings.

7. Decorative Tape
Dress up your bins, bookcases or walls with this cute decorative tape. 

8. Finger Paint
Perfect size for this thumbprint projects.

9. Fabric Bins

Bright colors to store all your stuff in.

10. Raffle Tickets
Use these for behavior management and hand them out to students who are doing a great job.  Pick a ticket to see who is the winner.

11. Birthday Hats and Glasses

Who doesn't want to wear these cute hats on their birthday? 

12. Basketball Goal

Use this to motivate.  Each time they get a question right or can read a sight word you get to shoot the basketball.

13. Alphabet Magnets

Spell those sight words or names with these letters on cookie trays.

14. Springs
 Stretch out those words with springs.  

15. ABC Foam Puzzle
 Another great activity for tables the first week.

16. Dice

 Big dice to use for games and activities

17. Chalk Markers
Spice up your chalkboard with these cool markers.

18. Bulletin Boards
They are small, but might be just the right size when you need to hang something up. 

19. Poster Supplies 
Letters, burst, arrows.  Make your bulletin boards stand out!

20. Fly Swatters

 Swat the word, letter or number.  Love this butterfly theme!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Best Books for the First Week of School

1. Miss Kindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten is a standard.  I love ending the year with Miss Kindergarten and the Last day of Kindergarten.  This books helps students see how your both had to get ready for school.

2. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a fun way to get students excited about learning their ABCs.  There are tons of fun activities and I have some great SONGS that go with the book.

3. Chrysanthemum lets you explore student's names and know that we all are special and unique.

4. We do a whole unit on friendship and citizenship.  We use David Goes to School to make examples of what not to do.

5.  First Day Jitters is another book that lets the students know you are having the same feelings they are.  I always make some Jitter Juice (Sprite and sprinkles) to chase those Jitters away.

6. We read different Froggy books all year so I like to read this one to introduce this fun character.

7. We always make a chart of how students will get home and this one talks about how they will get to school.  A great reference when you start to discuss fiction and non fiction.

8. Another great character we like to study.  Wonderful way to talk about cause and effect. 

9. This book helps students who may be having a hard time with the transition of Kindergarten.  

10. Absolutely love Pete the Cat.  We are rocking in our school shoes all week long!

11. Kissing Hand has some great activities and is just so stinking sweet.

12. A great way to have an overview of the whole year.  A wonderful way to discuss their hopes and dreams for the year.

13. Llama llama misses mama reminds students they can love their mama and school too!

14. Our mascot is a shark, so we love seeing all the things Clark has to learn to be a good citizen at school.

15. Manners at School teaches students about rules and expectations.  The whole series is fantastic!

16. Waiting is Not Easy is a wonderful way to teach students they have to wait their turn.  Love this book!

17. Another book to help students learn to wait their turn to talk and not interrupt.


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