Tuesday, July 21, 2015

ABC it's easy as 123!

It has been awhile since I have posted... still getting used to how this whole blog thing works! I wrote a check to someone today (yes, people still do that...) and politely asked the gentleman what today's date was. "July 21" was his response and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor before he did it for me. This summer has FLOWN by. Not having to keep track of what day of the week it is has been nice, but I'm afraid all of that is ending way too soon! With that being said, I started cracking down on some projects that I wanted to have completed by the end of summer..... let's just say I am not going to get to all of them!

The first project I worked on earlier this week is for my kindergarteners. For those who don't know, I LOVE Dr. Jean and all of her fabulous music that is so appropriate for our babies. In fact, I used to have her music playing as much as I could throughout the day... the kids absolutely love it and would sing along during their independent work! One of my FAVORITE songs is "Alphardy." This is an alphabet song that helps children learn letter/sound association, and it is quite catchy! We sing this song everyday in kindergarten until we have mastered our sounds and are ready to move on to blends, vowel/vowel teams, etc. To purchase some Dr. Jean CDs, click here! I promise it's worth it!

I found that as my students were singing along and definitely catching on, we were still having trouble identifying letters. SO, I created a book that goes along with the song and we flip through the book as the song plays. SUPER simple, super handy and super easy to put together. All you have to do is print the book out, laminate the alphabet cards [if you want it to last!], hole punch them and throw them in a binder. You will notice your students will start to grab the binder on their own and sing the song with friends during independent center time! If that doesn't warm your heart I don't know what will! To get this product, just click here! Here is a sneak peek of what the alphabet cards look like!

A great extension for this activity is having your students create their own Alphardy song! This is where it gets really funny because those kiddos come up with the silliest things! Click here to get the blank ABC book template and use it as a quick informal assessment, or just another fun activity that promotes letter/sound association! The way I used the blank template was I shuffled up my alphabet cards, flipped them over and had each child pick one card- the students had to come up with a word beginning with the letter they picked, check with me or my assistant, illustrate a picture and using conventional spelling, spell their word. The excess cards were put in my writing center for students to complete (which they did almost immediately!) and when the book was finished, we got to sing our silly song together as a class! I think my students liked our version just a tad better! :)

If you're looking for an easy way to build class community and get students eager to learn letters and letter sounds, this is the product for you! Visit my teacherspayteachers store at The Reading Palette for more ideas!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The "Back to School" Sign ALREADY?

Good morning, friends! So I was running some errands yesterday and of course found myself ending up at Super Target. Target is my best friend and worst enemy... it's a one stop shop for the most part and I love it/frequent there all too often. As I was strolling down the aisle, crossing item after item off my list, I looked up and saw THE sign... yep, the BACK TO SCHOOL sign is up already!!!  I think I stood in the middle of the aisle just staring at it- part of me thinking: "This can't be, it's just the beginning of July," and the other part of me saying, "GO" and wanting to raid every section picking out the newest pens, markers, binders, sharpeners, highlighters, I mean the possibilities are endless. I am convinced that school supplies are a weakness for every teacher... they are too hard to pass up BUT I am proud (and shocked) to say that I left Target without any writing utensils, crafting supplies, or silly erasers. SHANNON: 1 TARGET: 0. [that never happens...]

When I got home, I started thinking about the beginning of the school year and how close it really is. I decided to start making some products that I can use for Meet and Greet and the first couple weeks of school. Personally, being a kindergarten homeroom teacher, I think one of the most important things to have handed out at Meet and Greet is a "Getting to Know Your Child" questionnaire. Kindergarten is such a huge transition for kids, and some parents even, that any little bit helps! So I created a handout that I am planning to have out at Meet and Greet so it makes my first couple of weeks, and year, to be honest, a little easier... and most importantly, makes the students and their parents just a little more comfortable. To get "Tips for the Teacher" click here!

[This product has two versions of the first page- one geared towards kindergarten, and one generic for all grades.]

Let me know what your thoughts are on this product by posting a comment! If there is a certain question or questions you wish this product included, please leave them in the comment box and I will try and make some edits! Thanks!!