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Monday, December 5, 2016

12 Days of Christmas -- Day 5

Today's 12 Days of Christmas gift is Christmas Hink Pinks, et al. These vocabulary riddles are wildly popular with teachers and students alike.  My kiddos literally beg to do more Hink Pinks!

Christmas Hink Pinks, Hinky Pinkies, Hinkity Pinkities, and Hitinkity Pitinkities are not only great for exercising critical thinking, but are perfect for corralling some of that holiday excitement. When you share Hink Pinks, et al., with your class, you will be giving them learning disguised as fun. They will work on vocabulary, parts of speech, synonyms, rimes, making inferences, and interpreting data. That hits a lot of CCS Standards.

If you are not familiar with Hink Pinks, et al., here's an explanation of them:

You can unwrap this gift for free, but only for 48 hours.  So follow this link to my TPT store and download your copy.

Check out these Hink Pink products, too:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

12 Days of Christmas -- Day 4

It's day 4 of my --
Today's gift is Friendly Frog's Holiday Syllable Sort. In this CCSS aligned activity, the kiddos will determine the number of syllables in each holiday related word as portrayed on the sorting cards. Here's a sneak peek:

If you are looking for a literacy center perfect for this holiday season, this is it!  Head on over to my store and get your free copy.  But don't waste time; it's only free for 48 hours.

Stop by again tomorrow for another 12 Days of Giveaways.

Have you checked out these products that also feature Friendly Frog?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

12 Days of Christmas -- Day 3

On the ...

This emergent reader has just been renovated, with new formatting and the addition of sentence strips for rebuilding the text. I have also included suggestions for skill instruction and explanations for teaching techniques. These recommendations have their roots in the training I received for Reading Recovery™.

You can read more about this fun, little book in a previous blog post.  

Be sure to grab this emergent reader while it's free. Just hop on over to my store.

You may also like these emergent readers:

Friday, December 2, 2016

12 Days of Christmas -- Day 2

I am just sooooo excited to release my new product, Vocabulary Fractions, Christmas Edition!

This critical thinking activity asks students to combine fractional parts of words to create Christmas vocabulary.  For example:

The task gradually increases in difficulty, transitioning from 2 part clues with pictures and words to 4 part clues with just pictures.

Students must deduce the correct words from the pictures. This requires them to exercise flexibility in their thinking.  For example:

At the same time, they must be careful to use correct spelling. Solving equivalent fractions provides even more challenge! 

I urge you to solve several of these task cards together. By "thinking out loud," you will model the problem solving that is required.

In the spirit of the season, this product is my gift to you. This is day 2 of my 12 days of Christmas. 

Stop by often to score more seasonal gifts.

You may be interested in these Vocabulary Fractions, too:

Thursday, December 1, 2016

12 Days of Christmas -- Day 1

It is the season of giving. In that spirit, I am pleased to launch 12 days of giving to my fellow teachers.

How Many Ways? is an interactive math bulletin board. It is a fun, open ended, computation challenge that works well as an anchor activity, a math center, a sponge activity, or for fast finishers.   It may be easily adapted to any elementary grade level and provides differentiation within a single grade. 

Use the ornament icons to create an array on the bulletin board. Add the operation(s) you want your students to use and post the question along with a target number.

Now invite your students to determine how many ways they can reach the target number.  Students may use each ornament only once, however, they need not use every ornament.  Add an extra challenge by requiring that the numbers used touch each other. 

To determine how many ways a student is able to achieve the target number, I give each one a strip of adding machine paper. Something about that long, thin ribbon of paper is enticing to children.  But, a piece of notebook paper or a recycled sheet will work just fine.

To get double the learning from this activity, require the participants to have a friend check their equations for accuracy. (Calculators preclude lots of disagreements.) Then allow them to hang their strips in order from the largest number of equations to the smallest. (That's triple the learning!)

Change the target number daily and you have an interactive bulletin board that is good for the entire month. Or, change the operation signs to expand the challenge. Or do both!

If you teach young children, a set of ornaments with counting dots is included. If you teach in the upper grades, post all 4 operations and turn your students loose on multi-step equations. 

It pains me to give a gift with strings attached, but this product will only be FREE for 48 hours.  

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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Christmas Emergent Reader & Teaching Techniques

That means it's time for another holiday, emergent reader.  And here it is...

Green Tree, Green Tree, What Do You See? is perfect for the holiday season. The pictures not only support the text, but are inviting to color. Ask your students to color the pictures, noting the color words in bold print on each page. This will provide additional support for the emerging reader. 

When working with beginning readers, it is advisable to choose 1 strategy and focus on it until your students show mastery. While I will be covering several topics, you should choose the one that best fits the needs of your students at the time. One of the most valuable lessons I learned in Reading Recovery™ was to avoid the shotgun approach. 

High Frequency Word Practice
This Christmas reader emphasizes color words and 14 high frequency words. Some of the HFW may be unknown or partially known. Select 1 word to accentuate as you conduct the book walk. Ask your student to point to that word on each page as you explain the story to him. In this example, the chosen HFW is what.

If the word is troublesome on the first read, provide the initial sound whenever the word is encountered. Resist the temptation to teach ALL or several HFW at the same time.  

Picture Cues
Words such as reindeer and stocking are not HFW, nor should you expect your young learners to know such words in print. The illustrations provide support for these unfamiliar nouns. If a student balks when he comes to these words, remind him to check the picture for a clue. 

Or, upon turning to a page with a problematic noun, simply point to the picture cue. 

The last sentence on each page presents a noun that does not have picture support.  Either supply the initial sound or simply tell your student what the word is if he stumbles or hesitates.

1 – 1  Correspondence / Self-Checking
The print is large enough to allow easy pointing to the words as the children read aloud.  If your students no longer need to point, require them to point on a few chosen pages.  This practice leads the children to self-checking.  After reading a selected page, whether correctly or incorrectly, ask the child to read it again while pointing to each word as she reads.  Upon finishing that reading, ask her if she had enough words, i.e. was there 1 word for every time she pointed?  If the pointing did not match, help her reread with correct pointing.  It is important to ask her to check her 1 – 1 correspondence when she is correct at least as often as when her pointing did not match.  Otherwise, YOU are the one who has learned to self-check.

While the text is highly predictable, there are enough exceptions to require your students to truly attend to it.   It is not unusual, however, for polysyllabic words to be problematic.  For example, snowman or reindeer may entice your student to double point or get lost in the pointing if she moved on to the next word, but realizes it does not match what she is saying.  This is the perfect opportunity to explain that some words have 2 or more beats but still get just one finger point.  Again, ask your child to check the accuracy of her pointing both when she is correct and incorrect.

Several of the HFW have inflections in this text. If your student is ready for this skill, draw his attention to the word by repeating what the student said. You may wish to leave your finger on the inflected word as you ask him if what he read sound right.

You are leading the child to reflect upon whether his reading sounds like standard English. If the inflection was incorrectly read or skipped, use finger masking to help him focus on and recognize it. It is important to ask the child to assess the accuracy of his reading both when he is correct and incorrect.

Punctuation and Fluency
The lilt of the story encourages fluent reading.  However, this book provides ample opportunities for learning to “read the punctuation.”  The frequency of commas, question marks, and periods make them obvious choices for “reading the punctuation.”  Resist the temptation to “read” all of the punctuation.  Choose 1 type to focus on with this book.  Introduce the other punctuation with subsequent texts.  If, for instance, you decide to work on question marks, model reading the sentence and punctuation correctly.  Emphasize the change in pitch that the question mark requires.  Then call for the student to use the same pitch whenever she encounters a question mark.  

If she reads past the punctuation, point to the question mark, leaving your finger there until she rereads and “reads” the punctuation. Learning to “read the punctuation” is crucial to comprehension and fluency.

Since this book is intended for the children to keep, be sure to send it home prior to the winter break. Encourage them to read it to everyone at their home.

[This is a revised version of this reader. If you have purchased it in the past, you can download the new file for FREE!]

TPT's annual Cyber Sale is 11/28-11/29. Everything in my store is on sale for 20% off. If you enter the code: CYBER2016, you will get an additional 10% off, for a total of 28%. *My store is on sale from 11/27 - 11/30.  The extra 10% is only available 11/28 & 11/29.