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Showing posts from January, 2019
   

How I Taught My First Graders 300 Sight Words- and My Second Graders 600!

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300 sight words is a LOT to learn-  but that is what most schools seem to require in first grade these days.  And my second graders have to master 600!  But if a child is already struggling, what can you do to help?  Here is a list of my best strategies, tips, and tricks that I am using with my first and second graders to help them master these words so that they can say them immediately on sight.  I am including a free download of the list of words that we are working on as well, just in case you find it helpful! Read on for the downloads!




Break the List into Smaller Chunks

Three hundred new words is an overwhelming amount to give any child to learn, whether they are in first grade, second grade, or beyond.  The most important thing you can do to help a struggling learner is to avoid giving them too many words to learn all at the same time.  Even if a child is fortunate enough to have a parent that is willing to help, I firmly believe that sending home a list of 300 words for the chi…
   

Getting Assessments Done Quickly & Efficiently

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The beginning of the school year is filled with many challenges, and one of the greatest ones for teachers of young children is getting the first assessments done.  Obviously, the primary reason that it takes so long is that most of the tests must be given individually and orally because the children do not yet read or write!  This leaves teachers with TWO issues:  the first one is finding the time to test each child, and the second is how to keep the other children occupied in a meaningful way while you test just one of them.



This scenario is true in preschool (if they are tested,) pre-K, Transitional Kindergarten (TK,) Kindergarten, and yes- it continues to be an issue in first grade!  I even needed to test my second graders last year on 300 sight words each, and if I had had any that were intervention students, they would have needed to take the first grade tests as well!




Here are the most important things you can do to make your assessments go more smoothly.

Make a master list of …
   

Let’s Build a Snowman – Singable Book & STEM Project!

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I am excited to share TWO really fun winter ideas with you:  our Let’s Build a Snowman Singable Book Project for kids to make & read, and a fun, new STEM idea for your little ones:  a Marshmallow Snowman!




Some of you might remember this little Let’s Build a Snowman book when we released it a few years ago, and the movie below shows it as I originally created it.  However, I decided to update the book to meet my class’ needs a little better and make it less repetitive.  So the file now contains both the version you see in the movie below, and the shortened version shown in the pictures that follow it.




To shorten the book, I decided to put the body and head together on page one for the text that reads, “First comes the body, and then comes the head.”




Then, I put the hat and the scarf together on page two, and enlarged them both to fill the page better.  (My TKs were able to do both of these pages together on day one of making the book!)  The text on this page reads, “A stovepipe ha…
   

Teaching Kids to WRITE the Numbers! – FREE Number Poems!

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Teaching children to write the numbers correctly can be very frustrating for early childhood teachers! Also, attempting to GRADE their writing can be equally TRICKY!  What does a number written correctly look like, versus one that is not?  In this post, I am going to tell you how I teach my students to write the numbers.  I’ve posted some examples of student work showing numbers that look correct and some that are not, in my opinion.  I explain under the photos why certain numbers “would pass” or not.  I also have some FREE number formation poems to share with you, plus a FREE download of a parent guide that explains what those correctly formed numbers should look like- and the incorrect ones!




So it seems that every year, getting the children to write those numbers can be something like pulling teeth:  it comes slowly, and getting them to just “CARE” seems to be half the battle!  Perhaps the reason for this is that we know that the most important learning in math comes from working w…