Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Earth Day Activities

Earth Day is coming up!
Here are some fun grammar and writing station activities 
for first and second graders. The activities are rich in vocabulary and will definitely teach the children how to take care of our precious planet, while reinforcing important foundational skills.

Parts of Speech Sort
Students sort the word cards on the mats 
and then fill out the recording sheet.

Sentence Editing
Students read the cards and discuss the mistakes on them. There are errors in spelling, conventions, and grammar. Then, they choose any 5 cards and write them correctly on the recording sheet. Cards also come in black and white.

Picture/Sentence Matching
Students read each sentence and match it to the picture it describes. When they finish reading and matching, they can copy some of the sentences or write their own on the recording sheet. The cards come in color and black and white.

Scrambled Sentences
Students put six sentences in order. Then, they write them neatly on the recording sheet or in the booklet, or copy the sentences, in order, onto the included stationary, making a nicely organized paragraph.

ABC Order
Students put the cards in ABC order and then fill out the recording sheet. You can choose 6 or 12 words. The cards also come in black and white.

Trivia Game
Students read 21 cards and decide if the statements say something that is good for the Earth or that hurts the Earth. An answer key is included.

Here are images of some of the other activities included.

To see these fun and engaging activities in my store, click here or on the image below. Have fun celebrating Earth Day!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Kindergarten Literacy Stations

My favorite time of the school day is when the children are learning independently or in groups, during station time. This is the time of year when all my hard work pays off and the children know how to function without me. It's my time to be the "guide on the side." While I am conducting small groups, I trust that my students are working, while having fun, and staying engaged and on task. It's a tall order, I know, but they are expected to do it. And, they do.

During this time, when they are working and learning without me, it is very important that their activities are engaging. They need activities that are interactive, where they can manipulate cards, cut, glue, write, color, etc. Working on a boring worksheet will not hold their attention for long.

When I'm creating activities, I always keep this in mind. I like knowing there is some kind of recording sheet for me to look at. Not all the time, of course, but a lot of the time.

Here are some of my favorite literacy activities to use during station time. 
Each activity has cards to manipulate and five activity sheets. The children put together puzzles, or sort and match cards. Then, they show what they've learned, by filling out the recording sheet. The recording sheets and the cards correlate with each other, to extend learning. Since there are five activity sheets for each skill, you can use these activities many times throughout the school year, to review previously learned skills.

Here are the skills covered...

Beginning Sounds:
Students assemble the puzzles by matching the 
pictures to their beginning sounds.
Then, they cut out and glue each letter under the picture
 that begins with that letter sound.

Middle Sounds:
Students sort the picture/word cards according to their 
middle sound. This activity can be done on the table, carpet, 
or in a pocket chart.
Then, the children cut out the vowels and glue a 
vowel in each box to make words that name the pictures.

Ending Sounds:
Students assemble the puzzles by 
matching the pictures to their ending sounds.
Then, they cut out and glue on the letter that 
makes the ending sound for each word. They write the words 
and color in the pictures.

CVC Words:
Students match the CVC words to their pictures. They can do 
this on the table, carpet, or in a pocket chart.
They, they cut out the CVC words, glue them next to the correct 
pictures, write the words on the lines, and color in the pictures.

Students match the rhyming cookies and milk glasses.
Then, they cut out and glue the milk glasses next to the words they
 rhyme with. They write another rhyming word on the line.

Students sort the picture/word cards according to the number 
of syllables they have. This can be done on the table, on the carpet,
or in a pocket chart.
Then, they say each word, color in the number of syllables, 
trace the words, and color in the pictures.

These activities help to teach some of the MOST important kindergarten literacy skills. They are also great for first and second graders, who need to review foundational skills. The activities can be completed independently or collaboratively. I prefer to see my students working together. 

You can find all these activities by clicking here or on the image below. Once the cards are prepped, they are ready to use all year long! Enjoy!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Kwik Stix Solid Tempera Paint Review and Giveaway

It's no secret that children LOVE to paint. When they see you take out the paints and the brushes and the water and set up the tables, the excitement builds and they start thinking about what they'll paint. And, of course, the children's excitement makes us happy, but, deep down inside, we know that painting can be messy and time consuming and that we're going to have a lot to clean up. We also think about where we will dry all the paintings and how we have to find the time to wash all the brushes so they don't get all crunchy. But, we do it anyway because painting is fun and children love it so much.

Well, now, thanks to Kwik Stix, from The Pencil Grip, Inc., we don't have to worry about the mess and how time consuming it is to set up and clean up! 

Kwik Stix are solid tempera paints that require no water, paint brushes, or smocks. They are low on mess and high on fun!

 Kwik Stix come in tubes. All you do to use them is twist off the top and start painting. They dry in under two minutes, so by the time someone is finished with his/her masterpiece, it is already dry. No more walking across the room with a paper dripping paint all over your carpet or floor!

Kwik Stix are easy to hold and the colors are very vibrant. They glide smoothly across the page and allow you to paint lines of varying thicknesses, as well as, fill in large areas. They dry with a beautiful paint-like finish. The paint doesn't crack, even when the paper is folded. Kwik Stix can be used on many different surfaces, like paper, posterboard, wood, and canvas. Lots of variety!

The children truly enjoy using these paint sticks.
Here are some of our completed masterpieces.

I highly recommend Kwik Stix
They make it fun to be creative and they are easy to clean up.

You can purchase Kwik Stix in a 6 pack, 12 pack, and 96 pack. They also come in Metalix and Neon! You can find them on Amazon, as well!

Would you like to win a set for your classroom? I am giving away a 12 pack of Kwik Stix to 3 lucky winners! Just enter using the rafflecopter below. I've given you lots of opportunities to increase your chances of winning. Just pick and choose the options you prefer! But, please remember to enter with integrity, as all winners will be verified. Thank you and good luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mind your bs and ds

b/d reversals are very common in young children. However, I like to try and help those who are having issues, as soon as I realize they are struggling. 

A few years ago, I created some fun activities for my students. I found that the explicit and repetitive instruction really helped them. Recently, I updated all the activities and wanted to share some of them here, in case you have any students who are struggling with reversals. 

This is a roll and read for b/d fluency. Students roll the dice and read the row of letters for every number they roll. I encourage them to read slowly and really concentrate on the letters they see. Reading too fast will cause them to get confused. This is a great activity for a station or a small group. 

These cards and sorting sheets can be used as a whole class Scoot game or as task cards for a station or small group. There are recording sheets for 10, 12, 18, 20, and 24 cards. An answer key is included to make this self checking.

Students sort b/d cards on the sorting mats. If you print two sets of the sorting cards, they make a great memory game. You can also have them sort the cards in a pocket chart. I've had my students use the cards to write sentences. They also like to write the words and draw their own pictures. There are a total of 48 picture/word cards.

Write the room is always a favorite! There are a total of 24 word/picture cards. The recording sheet you see here is for writing the words only. There is also a recording sheet where the children find the words, record them, and draw a picture for them.

This is a simple sorting sheet. Students cut out the bs and ds and glue them in the correct column.

This is another sorting sheet. Students write in the missing letters, cut out the boxes and glue them in the correct column.

Children love using spinners! Here, they color in a bee every time they spin a b and they color in a dinosaur every time they spin a d. They keep going until they color in the whole sheet. 

Word searches are always engaging. Students find and color in the words. The word search you see here is less challenging than the other two included. The other two have 10 words. Answer keys are included to make them self checking.

There are a lot more activities included, like mini-books, two posters, more printables, and certificates for when the children have mastered their bs and ds. The certificate is a great motivator!

If you have students who are having b/d reversal issues, try out some of these activities. I think you and your students will really enjoy them. They are great for stations, whole/small groups, and interventions.

Click here to find these activities in my teaching store!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

CITGO Fueling Education Sweepstakes

STEM education is essential to our education system and teachers all over the country are striving to build a stronger curriculum around science, technology, engineering, and math.

CITGO Petroleum Corporation is dedicated to fueling education, and has launched a website and program, with the goal of celebrating STEM education, and encouraging and celebrating imagination and innovation in classrooms across America.

CITGO is encouraging teachers to enter the CITGO Fueling Education Sweepstakes, which is a promotion they are running, in partnership with National School Supply, We Are Teachers, and renowned STEM educator, Steve Spangler. This is a GREAT opportunity for teachers to win amazing prizes!

Steve Spangler could visit your school (grand prize), or your students could have the opportunity to attend one of his "Science in the Rockies" workshops (9 prizes), or your classroom could win a $1,000 National School Supply Voucher (90 prizes).

It's super simple to enter the sweepstakes. All you have to do is share how your students use STEM to boost their creative and critical thinking skills. Click on over to the sweepstakes here and enter to win. 

Don't delay, though! If you are one of the first few teachers to enter, you will receive a free STEM toolkit with loads of fun STEM "Imagination Lab" experiments, a free poster, and much more. These goodies are available while supplies last.

While you're checking out the sweepstakes, you can also download some STEM content to use in your classroom now. 
To find these resources, click on the FREE STEM TOOLKIT tab.

Thank you, CITGO, for giving teachers the opportunity to encourage and celebrate imagination and innovation in our classrooms!

Please note that this sweepstakes is not open to everyone.

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard