Monday, June 27, 2022

Sign Language Decoding

Hi, friends and happy summer!  It's been a great summer so far over in my neck of the woods...relaxation, traveling, and seeing family and friends.  I love the slow pace of summer.  I've spent some of my days working on products (which is something very common for me!).  One product I've created is "Sign Language Words."  This was actually created in 2020, but I never blogged about it or shared it much.  My kids have had so much fun with this during literacy centers the past two years, I decided I needed to spread the word!  

The skills I have the sign language activities for are: cvc words, digraph words, and silent e words. More will most likely be added in the future.

Each set has 20 cards ANDDDDDDDD TWO DIFFERENT ACTIVITIES, for a total of 40 cards/words.  You get two centers in one!  To prep the activity, print a few copies of the sign language alphabet chart.  Print and laminate the set of cards you want.  Print the recording sheet.  Throw all materials in a center tub and wait for the fun!  This center keeps kids engaged and they love "decoding" the sign language to figure out the words!  

Buy and prep now, thank yourself during the upcoming school year!  


Sunday, May 29, 2022

Memorial Day

 If you're still teaching, here's a little something to help you teach your students about Memorial Day.  Have kids assemble their books, search for sight words to circle/color, color the pictures, and read together.  We love mini-books in Mrs. Wheeler's class!  Click the cover below to grab the mini-book.

Want a little more, grab my "Memorial Day" pack, which includes the mini-book and a few other literacy activities.  Click below to check it out.


Wednesday, May 25, 2022

End of the Year Reflection

It's that time again!  The end of the year.  My mom always says, "The days are long but the years are short" and she is so right!  It seems like I blinked at this year came and went.  It's crazy to think back to where we started.  This year, I began with 23 students, many of whom didn't go to preschool.  If they did attend preschool, it was closed down in March of 2020.  My students only received 1/2 year of kindergarten (we did a hybrid model last year, where students came to school every other day).  I began with 23 students who had only known "school" as a place where we wear a mask and stay away from others.  I am ending the year with 23 readers, 23 confident children who aren't afraid to try and make mistakes, and 23 kids who care for one another.  This year, more than ever, I feel greatly rewarded.  I feel as if I've worked harder than ever.  I also feel as though I was appreciated by so many, more than ever before.  All students grew tremendously from where they started, socially, emotionally, and academically.  It's important to look at the whole child and not just the academics when considering growth.  This can be quickly forgotten when we receive our class data.  

As you wrap up your year, keep in mind all that you've done to help your students grow!  Be proud of yourself and your students.  You worked HARD.  The world needs great teachers.  I know you are tired.  Hang in there and enjoy your MOST DESERVED summer break!



Sunday, May 22, 2022

End of the Year Ideas

Good Morning!  As we near the final few days of school, I wanted to share some of my favorite End of the Year activities with you!  I'm down to 3.5 days left, but I know others have longer.  Hopefully you can pick up some ideas here for this year or pin/save them for future years! 

End of the Year Countdown

I started this end of the year countdown chain many years ago and the kids absolutely LOVE it!  The anticipation is so cute.  Every morning, they come in eager to find out what special activity we'll be doing!  This set comes with both pre-made and editable chain links.  It also comes with an ABC countdown if you want to make your countdown longer.  So far this year, we've blown bubbles, buddy read with another class, watched a movie, had a guest reader, and read with flashlights.  As the chain shortens, the activities become more involved.  Grab the countdown chain HERE.

Memory Book
Such a fun keepsake and GREAT time-filler the last week of school!  With several editable pages, you can add a photo of yourself, the class, and individual students.  Some years I laminate the front and back and bind the books.  Some years, I slam a few staples down the side.  Can you guess what I'll be doing this year?  Hint: We have 3.5 days left and have not started our memory books yet.  Hahaha!  Grab the book HERE.  Covers included for grades k-2.  Check out the listing for pages included.

It's great filling time with art projects the last week of school.  Yes, it requires some prep on your end, but the kids are happy and you don't have to entertain them.  This "Cruising to 2nd Grade" craft and writing from First and Kinder Blue Skies is easy and cute.  Grab it HERE.  

I love making suns with my class as the final hallway art display.  Usually we make full suns, but this year I tried the project shown below.  I will definitely be adding it to my list of favorites in the future!  

Picture Books
Who doesn't love a good read-aloud?  Below are some of my favorites for the final week(s) of school.  You can check out all of my favorite picture books on Amazon by clicking HERE.  *affiliate link*

Mini Book
A mini-book is a great way to build vocabulary.  My students hunt for sight words to color within their books prior to reading.  Grab this summer mini-book HERE.   *It's also part of my mini-book bundle.

There are definitely more games happening the last week of school!  Some favorites are: "Heads Up, Seven Up," "I Have, Who Has," "Who's Missing," and "Switcharoo."  Grab the "I Have, Who Has" game by clicking HERE.  *It's also part of my "I Have, Who Has" bundle.

End of Year Assessments
The end of the year is always busy with assessments and testing.  I use my "Beginning of the Year Assessment" pack throughout the year to check progress.  I check letter names, phonemes, number ID, number writing, and much more.  I also use my "Level 1 Trick Word Tracker" to check their trick words.  Grab the assessment pack HERE and grab the trick word tracker HERE.  

Cleaning, Purging, and Prep for the Next Year
It's such a great feeling to clean and purge each spring!  How do teachers accumulate so much stuff!?!?!  I try to be particular about what I bring into my room, but there is ALWAYS stuff to pitch and give away.

I like to get as many things ready for the fall as possible during the springtime.  It's extremely stressful, but having small things ready save time in the fall and allow more time for classroom setup, planning. and meetings.

Things I try to prep in the spring/summer months: take-home folders, Fundations folders, birthday gifts, forms, and spacer sticks.

Have a fantastic end of your school year!  Cheers to summer!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Mother's Day Gift

Looking for a fairly simple, yet thoughtful Mother's Day gift for your students to give their moms/special ladies in their life?  Look no further!  This adorable firefly/fingerprint mason jar is just what you need.  The best news?  It's free!  Just grab some yellow tempera paint and yellow ribbon.

Print the jars on blue cardstock.  Print the label on gold/yellow cardstock.  Children cut and assemble the jar.  They use their index finger to paint yellow fingerprints.  Once dried, students can use a black Sharpie to add the fireflies in the fingerprints.  They can also write a message in the label (teacher tip-use pencil first and trace with black Sharpie).  Students can customize the name "Mom...Grandma...Aunt...etc...OR leave the name part off and simply write the message "You light up my life." 

I pre-tie some bows made of yellow grosgrain ribbon and hot glue them on.  Kids can add their name and year to the back.  Easy-peasy!

Click the cover to snag this freebie.

Grab some festive books below!  Click each cover.  *affiliate links*


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Silent E

 We've just begun practicing silent e during Phonics time.  I have a plethora of resources to incorporate into instruction and independent practice.  Today's post is dedicated to sharing those resources with you!  Some of my photos are old, so excuse the poor quality!  All of the activities mentioned in this blog post are linked for you!

To introduce silent e (vowel-e syllable) words, I use this cute poem.  I model how a closed syllable word becomes a v-e syllable word.  We use my mats to organize our words.  I placed mine in sheet protectors.  Students use a dry erase marker and eraser for this, and I model on the board with my silent e wand.

We love watching this Silent E video on YouTube.  It's a favorite year after year!

During small group practice, my kids use these Silent E Blending Cards.  They are also fantastic for partner work.  We play "Quiz Quiz Trade" with them as part of our Phonics instruction.

Literacy centers focused on silent e include word building matssorts, games, stamping, magnetic letter mats, and more.

These silent e word family strips make great independent or partner practice.

All of the activities mentioned in this blog post are linked for you!  I hope you found some helpful ideas!