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Showing posts from June, 2012

A NEW HeidiSongs CVC Book is HERE!!!!

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Happy Summer, everyone!  I hope that by now you are all finished with the school year and are done for the summer!  Today I am going to tell you about a brand new resource for teaching consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words that we finished just a month or so ago- our CVC Book, Volume 2!!!!  I have been wanting to create a second volume of this book now for quite a while, but there are so many important projects on my "to do" list that they all get piled up and then things take longer than we want them to.  But this one was finished in May, just in time for me to try it out with my kiddos for a little bit before releasing it to you here.



This book follows the format of our first very popular CVC Workbook Vol. 1, but includes new word families that were not included in the first book.

• Short A (–ad), (–ag), (–ap) Family Words:
bag, gag, jag, lag, mag, rag, sag, tag, wag, bad, dad, fad, had, lad, mad, pad, sad, cap, gap, lap, map, nap, sap, tap, yap, zap

• Short E (–ed), (–em…

Motivating Kids to Participate in Music Activities

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The question of how to motivate children to sing and move along to classroom music is often asked of me in my workshops and presentations.   The question was also asked on my HeidiSongs Facebook page by Sue Keeler, so I thought I would address it in a blog post, since student participation is essential to multi-sensory learning and a big part of learning through HeidiSongs.




Here is the question:

"I know it's been addressed before, but what are some 'positive' ways of motivating kids who refuse to sing the phonics songs, etc.? Of course, they haven't learned too many of them..."

Set Clear Expectations
First, I tell parents at the beginning of the year that non-participation in music is not allowed and will be treated as refusal to do any other academic activity would be treated. We learn from music and movement, just as we learn from doing worksheets- but we probably learn MORE from the music and movement! So if the child refused to do a worksheet, he would be …

How I Got 18 out of 23 Kids to Master 100% of Their Sight Words

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Each year, as I am getting ready to assess my students for the last time, I do a quick assessment of the children’s sight word knowledge and CVC knowledge, and some key skills in phonemic awareness, etc.  I also test their number identification from 0-30.  Then, I try really hard to get parents and volunteers on board to help get as many children to master as many skills and words as they possibly can before the school year ends.




Basically, I am trying to “squeeze” every last “point” out of them that I can possibly get!  Usually, I try to send home either RAN boards with all of the sight words, or lists of sight words that most of the children still need to learn.  And that usually does it!  Every year, for 20 years in a row in Kindergarten, I have had the majority of the parents try really hard to help their child master every single word and every single vowel sound, etc.  Sure, there have been a couple of exceptions involving everything from apathy, to poverty, to homelessness, an…

A One-On-One iPad Program in Kindergarten!

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Last spring, I was fortunate enough to visit Trost Elementary School in Oregon that is using iPads and iPods in one-to-one situations at every grade level!  This school has done so much with mobile technology that Apple now sponsors classroom tours through their school for educators.  As luck would have it, it also happens to be the school that my husband's sister, Julie Johnson works at as an Intervention Specialist!  So my husband and I flew ourselves up to Portland, and then drove south for about an hour to Canby, where the Canby School District is implementing some very BIG ideas in technology in a beautiful small town setting.  After that, we had a chance to catch up with his "little sister" and her husband that we really don't get to see often enough.  What a wonderful "excuse" to visit Oregon and his family!  :)

In addition to these groups, there was another group with the teacher behind the camera.

The Apple Mobile Technology Classroom Tour started…

Sounding Out and Making New Words with the New Sounds Fun Word Building Kit!

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A child uses the Sounds Fun Word Building Kit to make a word and write it.

I've been waiting a long time for this kit, and I am super excited to be able to share it with you now!  I put this project on my wonderful husbands (very long) "to do list" a few months ago, and it finally made its way to the top of the list.  So I now finally have my wonderful Sounds Fun Word Building Kit!  I'm only sorry that there is so little time left in the year to make use of it.

Children needed very little coaching to figure out that if they simply changed a beginning or ending sound, they could make an entirely new word with very little effort!

The Sounds Fun Word Building Kit gives children a way to practice building, writing, sounding out, and reading words with the Sounds Fun Phonics spelling patterns.  To use the kit, all you need to do is make copies of the alphabet cards and the Sounds Fun Word Building Kit cards necessary for the word families that you are working on.  Cut th…