August 3, 2016

S'MORES Wishlist and Sentence Editing Practice

Happy Wednesday! 

Can you believe it's already August? This time next week I'll be working in my classroom and getting it ready for all my little Happy Campers! I can hardly wait! 

I've been hard at work prepping some things for Meet the Teacher night at my school. Every teacher always has a Wish List for parents to choose an item from and bring on the first day of school. For me, this is a great opportunity to ask for school supply items, since I do not get supplies from my students like the classroom teachers do. In the past, I displayed my items on my door using post-it notes, where parents could easily grab a post-it off the door. But this year I wanted to be more creative. 

I decided to bring in my classroom theme with my wish list and I made S'MORES out of craft foam, felt, and jumbo cotton balls! 

I then made a tag that I will be stapling to the S'MORES, this is where my wish list item is written. 

They turned out super cute and I'm hoping they'll be a big hit! 

Shifting gears now to my activity for the week! I'm not the only one who loves testing out activities for my kiddos. :) 

Kato was a great helper while I was testing out this game Monday night! Sophie, however, was fast asleep. 
This game uses the same 16 paper plates I used last week. All you need is index cards and these awesome little foam dart shooters I got from Target's party aisle (they come in a bag of 6!). 

We focused on sentence editing while playing this game, but you can modify it to fit the needs of your kiddos. On my index cards, I wrote a sentence with up to 3 capitalization and/or punctuation errors and noted how many mistakes there were on the bottom of the card. On the back of each card, I wrote numbers 10-150, and 200 to serve as the points. Next, you set the plates up like a target on a flat surface with each card inside:
Pardon my messes :)
(I spy a sleeping Sophie, can you?)

Now, the tricky part of this game is you never know where your foam dart is going to go when you shoot it. Aim it down towards the target and watch it go crazy! When it lands inside a plate, or very close to one, the student will read the sentence, identify and orally correct the errors and  then he/she gets that many points on the card. We practiced our addition skills as well during this game by adding the points together as they are earned (ex: 120 + 60). 
We had a blast shooting the foam dart at the target (of course I played too!). My little friend got SO excited when her dart landed smack-dab in the middle plate and earned the 200 points! 

I hope you are able to use this activity with your kiddos! Let me know if you have any specific skills you are working on, I would love to help you create an activity for it! 

Have an awesome week! 

July 26, 2016

Hard n' Soft C and G Connect 4


I'm back from a much needed vacation and I have a fun game to share with you all today. Today's game is incredibly easy to prepare and you can mix in just about any skill. The best part is, you can use this game inside your classroom during the school year as a small group or review game. 

Here's what you'll need: 
16 Paper Plates 
16 Index Cards 
Something to toss onto the paper plates (I used a little Dory and Squirt from the Target Dollar Spot)
Somewhere to keep score 

The rules of the game are quite simple, lay the paper plates out on the ground in a 4x4 array. Place the index cards inside the paper plates. For today's game, we practiced reading words with soft and hard c and g sounds. 

We also used these cute Dory and Squirt squish toys I found at the Target Dollar Spot... 

Players decide what team name they want (we used Squirt and Dory) and if they want to be "plate up" or "plate down" when marking their spots on the ground/floor. Finally, determine who will go first. 

The first player tosses their game piece onto a plate and reads the word on that plate. If correct, they will put the word under the plate if they are "plate up" or flip the plate over if they are "plate down". This helps you visually see what plates have already been played. If the word is read incorrectly, I give one "break-it-down" try where they use phonics rules to help them figure the word out before their turn is skipped. 

The object of the game is to get 4 in a row before your opposing player, just like the classic board game Connect Four. Every time a player won, we added a point to our score chart (we used sidewalk chalk). We even added in bonus points for certain words to mix it up!

This was a super simple, fun, and competitive way to review our hard and soft c and g sounds today! I hope you will be able to use it in your classroom! 

Have a wonderful week! :)

July 5, 2016

Tap Mats - Sidewalk Paint Style!

Happy Tuesday!

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July

Today my little friend and I had a blast during tutoring as we put a little spin on our typical Tap Mats we use in class! If you haven't ever used Tap Mats, it's a great visual for students to help them segment the sounds in words. I use the mat from Playdough to Plato

Typically, (in summary): I laminate them, give each student a dry erase marker and  one of those wands that sparkle/light-up when you hit it on the table (I get mine from the Dollar Section at Target). I call out a word and the students repeat the word and sound the word out by hitting the bubbles on the mat with the light-up wands. Last, they spell the word in the circles with the dry erase marker. For example: "dog" d/o/g (d) (o) (g)

Now back to our game today. She had this laying around...

...and we decided to put it to use! I also had a small bucket of water on hand, a foam paint brush (I recently snagged from Target's Dollar Section), and some Phoneme Segmenting cards. I use these from Lavinia Pop. - I also had sidewalk chalk on hand just in case, but we didn't need it. :)

First, we drew three large circle on the sidewalk, to resemble our Tap Mats. 

Next, I drew a card from my bag and she spelled the word as she hopped from circle-to-circle. 

Last, she spelled the word on the driveway with the fun sidewalk paint. She got very creative and even mixed colors! 

This paint was so much fun! Here's a glimpse of her finished masterpiece. I even had some fun painting when we were done. :) 

That's all for today! 

Thanks for stopping by :)

June 28, 2016

Diphthong Water Bombs!

Happy Tuesday! 

Every Tuesday this summer I am so lucky to be able to tutor one awesome little girl whom was a former student of mine. Today was our second session together and we've been having a blast practicing skills while soaking up the sun and mixing in all those fun summer activities (sidewalk chalk, water, etc.). A normal tutoring session consists of the first 30 minutes indoors working on skills (the "not as fun part"), then the last 30 minutes is spent outdoors doing a kinesthetic activity of some sort incorporating the skills practiced indoors. 

Today we focused on writing and spelling. Specifically those tricky vowel teams and diphthongs! 


"Diphthong Water Bombs"

- Water balloons. I use these water balloons, if you haven't tried them, you're missing out. They are SO worth the extra dollars! 
- A large bucket to keep balloons in 
- Hose (to fill water balloons)
- Sidewalk chalk (I get mine at the Dollar Spot at Target)
- Words to call out (I used these cards from TPT - it's best to laminate them just in case they get wet)
- Concrete area
- Be prepared to get wet!

Fill up the water balloons per instructions. 
Using the sidewalk chalk, write vowel teams/diphthongs all over the driveway. We focused on oa, ow, ai, ay, ee, and ea only today. 
Call out a word, the child will determine what vowel team/diphthong is in that word and then go hunting for that pattern and then smash a water balloon on it! 

It's a blast and great practice for identifying the sounds and placements of vowel teams/diphthongs! ex: ay is typically at the end of words, whereas ai is in the middle.

That's all for today! 
My dogs are begging for dinner! 

Leave me some comments and tell me what you like to do for summer practice! Especially writing practice, because who wants to sit inside on a nice summer day? :)

Ta-ta for now! 

June 25, 2016


Well, hello there! Thanks for stopping by! 
I am so excited to be blogging again, it sure has been quite a while! My blogging adventures began in college where I shared my D.I.Y. projects and recipes. Two of my guilty pleasures. I am so excited to share my classroom journeys with you all! I will be sharing activities I do with my students as well as some great resources I use in my classroom. 

I am going on day 22 of summer break and I think I have redecorated my house at least 5 times by looking online at Kirklands, Target, and Pinterest. I spent 45 minutes searching for the perfect ceiling fan for my bedroom online. You should know, I bought my very first home last March and I'm slowly trying to make it my "own". The first thing I bought was a new shower head. I don't think I have ever felt such excitement as I felt when I bought something shiny and new for my home. That was the defining moment when I knew I needed to start hiding my Lisa Frank coloring books. (insert awkward laugh here)

Final pictures of my classroom will not be uploaded until August, my school is getting a new roof and I am not able to get into the building. i just moved into a new classroom that is closer to all of my kiddos and after spending four days up at the school moving into my new room after school got out, my classroom flooded. It was a bit of a roofer/plumber "whoops". But here is a little sneak peak prior to the rainfall: 

I have a camping theme. The wood bulletin board paper is from Hobby Lobby and I am obsessed with it! You'll find lots of Target Dollar Spot goodies in my classroom. 

All I know is, my picture gallery wall had water running down it. Thank goodness my principal is awesome and she took my pictures down for me and I think all I have to do is replace the paper. Saying a prayer! My carpet has some gnarly water stains on it. All I can say is, thank goodness it's summer break! 

One more thing for you to ponder before I go... I am using a lot more flexible seating options in my classroom this year. I had my beach chairs and cushions last year, but I have some more ideas for this year that I am so excited about! Check out Two Nutty Teachers Teachin' from the Same Tree's classroom: 

I stumbled upon this picture on Minds in Bloom's blog. 
Check both of their blogs out here:
Two Nutty Teachers

That's all for today! Until next time! :)
Have a fabulous weekend y'all!