Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Giveaway from Mrs. Dixon at Teaching Special Thinkers

The very nice Mrs. Dixon is having a HUGE giveaway over at her blog: Teaching Special Thinkers

You can enter to win prize packs for:
  1. Special Education
  2. K-2 
  3. 3-5
My Ice Cream Word Families are included in in the K-2 pack.

Check out the giveaway, sign-up, and good luck!

Resource Round-up: April 30, 2013

This week's Resource Round-Up is all about Sight Words.

Teaching and memorizing sight words can get a little stale for kids, so here are three ways to spice them up:

1) Sight Word Dominoes

Sight Word Dominoes

2) Sight Word Word Chain

Sight Word Word Chain

3) Muffin Tin Sight Words

Sight Word Muffin Tin Activity

What other great sight word games and activities do your kiddos like?

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Freebie: Vowel Team Word Sort

Since I've gotten several emails thanking me for the Short Vowel Word Sort and Magic E Word Sort, I thought I would continue with a Vowel Team Word Sort.

Like the others, it follows the same format as before, just with common vowel teams. 

You can download it here: Vowel Team Word Sort

Hope you and your kiddos like it!

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Resource Roundup: April 23, 2013

Here are a few recent  posts you might like:

14 Words That Are Their Own Opposites:  I can see some synonym and antonym fun here

Phonemic Awareness Activities Make Early Reading Skills Playful: Includes fun ideas like "shopping" for letters and sounds

20 Great Websites for Elementary Educators: The name says it all

20 Great Websites for Elementary Educators - Websites for Teachers


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

NPR: Angry Teens Need Happy Faces

Interesting Story from NPR: Would Angry Teens Chill Out if They Saw More Happy Faces?

Essentially people see a lot of "emotionally ambiguous" faces throughout the day.  How we feel internally is directly related to how we interpret this external ambiguity.  If we are depressed, we will see sadness.  If we are anxious, we will see fear.  And if we are aggressive, we will see hostility

The NPR story discusses an experiment that aimed to retrain how a sample group of troubled teens interpreted ambiguous faces. 

And guess what... it worked!  Check out the story get the details, but what this reminds me of is how important a teacher can be.

As teachers we are primary agents in creating the atmosphere of our classrooms.  If we enter our classrooms and approach our students in negative or even ambiguous ways, students may be confused and best and hostile at worst. 

So put a smile on your face, be positive, and make sure that you are contributing to the atmosphere you want in your classroom. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

TPT: Handwriting Help - Print, D'Nealian, and Cursive

Handwriting... it can be put on the back burner as teachers focus on reading, writing, math, science, history, and everything else that we're required to teach.  I've often heard comments like, "We write so much--he'll get better with practice," and "She's young--it'll get better when she's older."

As a former high school English teacher and current reading specialist, I can tell you poor handwriting doesn't "just get better" and many kids don't "just grow out of it."

While practice does help, if a student keeps practicing incorrect letter formation then no progress will be made. 

To help combat and reverse poor handwriting habits, I use this Handwriting RTI packet.

There are three versions to meet your students' needs:
  1. Handwriting RTI - Print
  2. Handwriting RTI - D'Nealian
  3. Handwriting RTI - Cursive
I use the Print version more than the others (cursive is not heavily required at my school), and I see improvement quickly.  Plus, students love seeing their improvement from their Pre-Test to their Post-Test!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Freebie: Magic E Word Sort

Magic E... Silent E... whatever you call it, here is a word sort for it!  This Friday Freebie is modeled after my popular Short Vowel Word Sort.

Since it was a hit, I figured it would be a good idea to follow the same format and continue with another phonics concept - that silent/magic E.

You can download it here: Magic E Word Sort.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

International Autism Awareness Day - April 2, 2013 - Free Apps

Today is International Autism Awareness Day.  If you are looking for information about autism and/or want to know more about it, I highly recommend Autism Speaks.

In honor of International Autism Awareness Day, many companies who provide services and materials for children and adults with autism have made their apps through itunes available for reduced price or even free.

If you use iPads or iPhones in your classroom, then you should be able to find quite a few good apps from these two websites that list many of the participating apps:
Hopefully you can find some good resources. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Little Grammar Humor for April 1st

After the craziness of February's 28 Days of Free Resources I took a little break from blogging.  And by little, I mean pretty much the whole month of March... but I'm back

AND I saw this on pinterest today.  It's from The Oatmeal.   It's a little crude in parts, but it made me laugh.  I hope you like it too:

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