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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Writing Activities for the Second Half of the School Year

This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about what students need to work on during the second half of the school year. This is usually the time I like to work harder on writing instruction because the children have learned how to spell so many new words and they are way more confident than when the school year began. Some children still need practice writing words, some need help writing sentences, and some are well on their way to becoming budding writers. Many of them are at different places in their writing, and it's a good idea to arm yourself with activities that will accommodate all of your learners. 

Write the Room is always a favorite in my class. It gets the children up and moving around and they love to find where I've hidden the words. Write the Room is great for reading, spelling, writing, and increasing vocabulary. I love when I see the children using the write the room picture/word cards in their daily journal writing.


Sentence puzzles are a wonderful activity to help young learners practice reading, writing, spelling, conventions, and grammar. Many of my sentence puzzles are fact based, making for even more meaningful learning!

Here's an example of version 1. Students put the sentence in order and copy it neatly.


Here's an example of version 2. Students put the sentence in order, copy it neatly, and write an answer to the question.


Scrambled sentences give the children lots of practice writing proper sentences and writing neatly.

First, the children unscramble the sentences. Each pack includes six different sentences.


Then, there are a few different ways for the children to record the sentences. They can write them on a recording sheet. Three sentences and pictures on the front and three on the back.


Or, they can write them on lined paper, making a well organized paragraph.


And, the last way they could write the sentences, is in a six page booklet. They write one sentence on each page, drawing a picture to match.



Click here to see scrambled sentences for the rest of the winter.


Students will love Writing Through the Winter and so will you! Writing Through the Winter is a fun and easy way to teach children how to write well organized paragraphs about winter topics. 

First, the children brainstorm on the topic.



Then, they choose one idea from each column to write about and copy it onto their writing web. 


There are three different versions of the web. The one you see here contains a lot of support. The other two versions contain less support for more experienced and confident writers.

And, finally, they copy the information from their web onto the final writing template, making a well organized paragraph.



More experienced writers can add more details to their writing. Once you model a few of these, you will see your students writing well organized paragraphs on their own. 

Writing Right Through December and January is part of a series of seasonal and theme related writing activities for each month of the year. All of the activities are differentiated and contain the right amount of support for developing writers to be successful. 



I wrote a VERY detailed blog post, here, about how I set up all my Writing Right Through...templates. I LOVE this series, because I never have to worry about what I'm going to put at my Work on Writing Station. And, since they cover all the common core writing standards, I'm good to go for the entire school year.

The last writing activity I want to show you is Rebus Writing. Talk about fun! Students write stories using a combination of pictures and words. Here is a FREE Winter Rebus Story for you to try.


Here are links to all the activities mentioned in this blog post.













Happy Writing!





Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gobble On!


Hi, friends! Thank you to Mrs. Wheeler for sending you my way!  Gobble, Gobble! Some of my favorite bloggers and I have teamed up to offer you freebies to show how thankful we are for you! Today, I am offering a




These 42, differentiated sentence writing booklets, will help your

 students learn to…

-Write proper sentences

-Match their illustrations to their writing

-Stick to the topic

-Become more comfortable using inventive spelling

-Spell more words correctly

-Edit and revise their work

-Write more than one sentence in a sitting

It takes a long time for beginning writers to learn how to write a proper sentence. And, they are often hesitant to write more than one sentence. These seasonal and theme related booklets will give your students practice writing sentences every week, all year long. The more they write, the better they will become. Students love making and sharing books, and these sentence writing books will give them a feeling of success and accomplishment.

Click here to find them in my store.



Thank you for stopping by! Trot on over to Kristin's blog,


I hope you all have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Building Words Helpful Hints

Building words helps children learn to decode and blend individual sounds in words. My students LOVE building words and it really keeps them interested and engaged. They enjoy manipulating the letters and seeing how moving just one letter can change the sound and meaning of words. 

Managing the letters in these types of activities can be very challenging because you have to make sure each child has the correct set of letters. When children build words at a station or in small groups, the letters can easily get mixed up and there is nothing worse than hearing, "I have no g! I need a g!" 

I am proud to say that I have come up with a fool-proof way to manage all the letters in my building words activities. And, read below to see what keeps my students from losing their place when they are building words. 






The images above, come from my


You can download a FREE Long a activity sheet here!



If your students need a slightly easier version, then you may want to check out Building Words {Short and Long Vowels Edition}.



And, if you need an even easier version, then check out my


There is also a fun blends edition, too!


As you can see, there is a version for every learner!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

$250 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Phew! You did it! You made it through the most exhausting part of a teacher’s school year: back to school time. Congratulations!
After a rewarding, yet very tiring, start to the beginning of the year, a few friends and I thought you might be in need of a little pick me up! Are we right? To help “pick you up,” we are giving away a $250 Amazon gift card to one lucky recipient. YES! Are you beginning to feel re-charged already? Below are the hosts of the giveaway! Recognize all of those teacher friends? That’s Marsha (the author of A Differentiated Kindergarten), Maria (the author of Kinder-Craze), Lyndsey (the author of A Year of Many Firsts), Annie (the author of The Moffatt Girls), and me!
Giveaway Hosts

This giveaway will be a FAST and FUN one so you be sure to enter right away! The giveaway ends on 9/30 at 11:59PM! You can enter by following the steps on the Rafflecopter below! A winner will be announced later on this week.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
But, wait! That’s not it. We know Amazon is amaze-on (I’m so punny!), but we thought you might appreciate a TPT SALE, too! I’m having a 20% OFF SALE today and tomorrow over at my TPT shop. Be sure to swing by my shop to snatch up lots of great steals. Just click on the image below to head there!

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fry Word Interactive Notebooks {Editable}

I LOVE using interactive notebooks in kindergarten and first grade. They are such a valuable learning tool. I have written lots of blog posts about how I use them in my classroom. You can read them here.

I have created a whole new set of sight word interactive notebook activities for the first hundred Fry Words. 

As always, I never create my interactive activities with lots of intricate cutting and small pieces. All of the activities are either just one cut or a few cuts because I don't want to stress myself out. With too much cutting and gluing, the focus of the activity quickly shifts to how to cut and glue, rather than the content. No thanks!

These new Fry Word activities are so much fun! There are a total of 13 different activities and each one uses 5 Fry Words, in the order of frequency. However, almost every activity comes with either an editable version, or a copy without any sight words on it, so you can add your own. With 13 different activities, you can easily differentiate, to accommodate all levels. And it will be awhile until you need to repeat an activity.

Here are some of the activities included...




The activities are labeled with 5 sight words.


I included templates without any words too, so your students can use different words.


And, you'll also find templates where you can type in your own words, by adding text boxes to the templates.

Not sure how to fit interactive notebooks into your already busy day? Just remember this...these activities are meant to replace other activities. This is very important to remember. Once the children learn how to do these activities on their own, which they will, after some modeling, you can put them at a station or use as morning work. And you will be thrilled when you see how engaged and on task your students are, while completing them. 

Make sure to read my blog post about how to incorporate the left hand side of the notebook, where children interact with their new knowledge.

And what to do with fast finishers!

And how interactive notebooks are NOT just for cutting and gluing!

And some great helpful hints to ensure success!

If you want to see these activities in my teaching store, click here!



Click here to see interactive notebook activities for the second hundred words!


And, click here to see activities for the third hundred words!

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard