Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fun Free Snowman Poem and Sequencing Activities

Although the weather outside might be cold and frightful, I have a delightful Free poem about a Snowman and 2 differentiated sequencing activities for you. Here is a sample of the poem:
Here is a sample of the Kindergarten Sequencing Activity
If you would like to download the complete packet just click on the image below. 
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter Writing Activities Freebie Packet

Happy New Year! It's been a long time since I've posted but I have some fun winter writing activities for you to use when you head back to school tomorrow. There are writing activities for the K-2 teachers. There are 2 labeling the pictures and writing sentences like this one below.
Also included are 2 Winter Pictures for writing a story about. There are word banks to help your students. Here is one sample.
If you would like to download this freebie just click on the image below.
You will also find another Winter Writing Activity Freebie pack!
Thanks for all you do to make a difference for your students.



Phonics: Blending Sounds

Using cubes for blending sounds into words

We have given our universal screenings and assessments and have found that there are some students needing more phonics practice.  Time to use that information to drive our instruction and planning now.

Phonics is part of common core, but we don't need common core to tell us how important phonics and being able to blend sounds can be to our young one's reading!  Being able to blend those sounds and word parts easily will help students towards being successful readers.

In thinking about how to improve their blending abilities, I remembered these cubes.  Have you seen them yet?  They are so great!  Bigger size and soft so they are quiet when they are rolled.  No more clanking of plastic dice across the tables!

differentiated instruction cubes

This is what they look like out of the package and filled with phonics cards.  You can pick the sounds to target or put all the cards in the center and students can place sounds into the slots on the sides of the cubes.

blending sounds into words activities for centers

But you don't have to go out and get the cubes.  A pocket chart will work too.  Students can place the cards that are color coded into piles and draw out cards to slip into the pocket chart.  Use what you have and what works for you!


blending long vowel sounds into words

Students roll the cubes and then blend the sounds using a Blend It Mat.  

blending sounds into words centers

Then students decide if the word they blended together is a real or nonsense word and record it on their Write It Read It page.

r-controlled vowel center activity

This fun blending center is for r-controlled vowels.  I have 6 Roll, Blend & Write It Phonics Blending Centers:


blending sounds into words centers

I also bundled these centers together to make it easier to have them all (click here or on the picture).  They can be used in a variety of ways including centers, small groups, and RTI Intervention Groups.

We are going to be doing a lot of blending work in the coming weeks.  I know the students are going to be having fun doing it and not even realize how much learning they are accomplishing!  

reading and writing blog

Conversations in Literacy A Reading and Writing Blog


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rice Boxes & Cookie Sheets

using a rice box to teach letters

The ABC song...ABC charts...ABC activities...noticing a theme?  We are song singing, chart reading, game playing our way to becoming letter experts!

using cookie sheets for ABC activities

Finding different ways to match and say letter names is what it takes to get these letters learned.  One fun way to do this is rice boxes and cookie sheets!  Cookie sheets and magnetic letters just seem to go together.  

rice box and letter activities

Rice boxes can be filled with rice, popcorn kernels, beans, pom poms etc... Hide plastic letters in there and let students scoop out the letters with plastic ice cream scoops!  They love, love doing this!  Be sure to go over some ground rules first- like never, ever put the food items in your mouth and scoop easy so not to scatter the rice.  Placing a cookie sheet under the rice box is a great way to contain it.

using cookies sheets and magnetic letters for centers to teach ABCs

Students can match up capitals to capitals, lower case to lower case, lower case to capitals or the other way around too.  It's a good idea to keep an ABC chart handy for those that need that extra scaffolding.

use rice boxes and cookies sheets to teach letters

I like having students practice their ABC fluency while reading as if they are sentences!  Gives them practice noticing punctuation.  This is for students that have mastered identifying letters so they can just concentrate on reading them fluently.  Just give them some fun glasses, pointers and maybe even a play microphone and they are off practicing!

Use magnifying glasses and highlighters to hunt for letters!

Who doesn't love a letter hunt?  And getting to use a magnifying glass to do it is always cool!

ABC Letter Strips and Magnetic letters


Letter strips are a fun way to practice letters, associate the sound and picture that goes with them and writing when they write their letters on the recording sheets.

Hope you had fun seeing these ABC activities!  We go over and over with lots of repetition, but in different ways to get those letters to stick.  You can click any picture or click here to take another look.

Come visit me at my blog, Conversations in Literacy!




Sunday, August 3, 2014

RtI Data Binders & Graphs

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

Is your school implementing RtI or Response to Intervention?  At my school, we have 2 cycles of RtI that are systematic and data driven.  And because it is systematic and data driven, it is successful in helping students improve their reading.

Tracking student progress with goal lines and progress lines

We assess students who are in RtI 3 times to find a baseline, then average those scores to figure the goal line.  Then each week, we assess (progress monitoring) to see how the interventions are working for the students.  

Document and Track Student Progress for RtI

I was asked about having my RtI files available to others so I created these 3 RtI Binders & Graph Pages.  The one above is mostly for first grade, but if you have students below level in second grade or above, they may benefit from these binders and graphs also.

Document & Track Student Progress for RtI

This one is more for kindergarten or lower first grade students.  It includes a binder for the teacher and for students- one cover for boys and one for girls.  


documenting and tracking student progress for RtI


UPDATE:  I have now added my Second Grade RTI Data Binder!  This binder is perfect for implementing using graphs to document student progress.

Third Grade RTI Data Binder is now available and I have all the data binders K-3 bundled together!

organized and manage RTI data with these binders for teachers and students

Manage and Organize RTI data with this data binder bundle



It is powerful to have students track their progress.

document and track student progress in RTI

These pages are for the teacher to track weekly progress the student is making.  This is your evidence on how your student is progressing when you have your RTI data meeting.  Click on any of the pictures to be taken to this item.


I was asked about my RtI folder that I kept on my students:  graphs, student notes on movement through the tiers, rubrics, etc...  So I created these three RtI Data Binders to help out those of you looking to document your students progress in RtI and a way for students to track their own progress.  Above is a picture of a goal sheet for students to fill out before and after the RtI cycle is complete. 


documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

Besides all the graphs, I also keep copies of parent notification letters.  This is your documentation that you have had parent contact about their child being in RtI and what the interventions would be.

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

I have included ways for you to keep track of which interventions all the students in your tier are receiving and a graph for documenting the days and absences your RtI students attend.  

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI

All those graphs and pages, plus binder covers for the teacher and students are included in my RtI Data Binder.  This one covers skills mostly for kindergarten students.  It contains graphs for documenting skills like rhyming, deleting phonemes, letter identification, etc...  This pack is not the assessments or activities.  It is all the forms and graphs you need for documenting and tracking progress.  


If you are needing the activities and assessments and a way to keep track of them, this Kindergarten Assessment Binder & Phonemic Awareness Bundle would be what you need.

documenting and tracking student progress for RtI using graphs

This is an example of a student tracking graph from my first grade RtI Data Binder for students to track their own progress.  This binder has graphs for short vowels, digraphs, vowel teams, inflections, and many more.  


I hope these 3 packs will help you with your documenting of student progress in RtI.  Keeping track of data and specifically adjusting your teaching to according to what trend you are seeing on their graphs makes RtI so much more successful!   Click on any picture to see these packs.

Come see me over at Conversations in Literacy!

a blog about all things reading, writing, and RtI


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack for 3.MD.D.8



Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.
This resource contains:
1. Solving for Perimeter Center Game, Color and Black and White
2. Solving for Perimeter Task Cards and Answer Printable Worksheet, with Answer Keys / Self-Checking Sheets
3. solving for Perimeter Seatwork / Printable Worksheets with Answer Sheets {Use for assessment, small group, RtI, homework, morning work or remediation.}

SAVE YOUR INK ~ Everything comes in black and white to save you ink money!
Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.
 It's a fun and easy way to end your school year!
 Fern Smith's Classroom Ideas Perimeter Pete Mega Math Pack - Finding Perimeter Printables, Task Cards and Center Game For 3.MD.D.8 at TPT.

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