Fire Truck Guided Drawing + Sounds Fun Phonics!

1.  Fire Truck Guided Drawing

Recently, we visited our local fire station for a tour and a lesson in fire safety from our local heroes. I also taught the children how to draw a fire truck, so I thought I would share it with you here as a free download today!

I have also thought that the fire fighters would love to have some of these pictures as thank you notes, but it sure is hard to get the children to part with them once they are done!  I think we will have to make another set so that we will have some extras to give away.  Enjoy!

2.  The Sounds Fun Phonics CD Is Finally Here!

We finally were able to pick up the finished CD’s, and I again feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment!  Every time I bring a new project from tiny little idea to completed project, I am amazed at how great it feels, and how blessed I feel to have such a wonderful support system in place that helps me achieve such things.  My music arranger and co-writer for this project, Mike Cravens, worked many, many hours to make this CD special and fun for children to listen and learn to.  I don’t know how many songs he had to “re-do” a second or third time because I wasn’t satisfied, because I lost track!  And then there’s my wonderful husband Greg, who although he has been working tirelessly on so many projects, added the packaging and website design for this project to his already overflowing plate and did it beautifully.  In any case, I have to say that I am SO very grateful for all of the help and support that I am constantly given, and I NEED to say that I would NEVER be able to accomplish any of these things by myself!  I hope you enjoy this little video of my kids singing some of the new songs from this CD.  :)

I find it really unbelievable how much the music really helps them remember the letters that go with each sound.  This is making their writing go much faster, and is also making them better readers.  The children are not relying on copying the letters off of the cards so much because they have the sounds and their letter combinations memorized.  Even the children that struggle with reading and writing the most are noticing the letter combinations in print everywhere, and using the basic ones in their writing, such as the “oo” sound.

I am really excited to see what the first grade teachers have to say about their skills next year!  And to celebrate the new release of this CD, I am giving you another free download of a worksheet that I created to practice the “oo” sound. Enjoy!

3.  Sounds Fun Bingo! 

My class plays Bingo with one of my wonderful volunteer mommy helpers each week on Monday morning, and so I just had to add to our collection with a Sounds Fun Bingo game.  It plays the same as all of the other bingo games that I have.  In this game, the bingo caller says the sound, and the children look for the picture that represents that sound and cover it up as they hear it.  There are six pictures on each card, and the object of the game is to cover up all of the pictures on the card.  The first one to cover all of the pictures gets a bingo, but we always keep playing until all of the children at the table get a bingo as well.  Then we exchange cards and play again!  It’s a fun game, and a great addition to our collection of language arts bingo games.

4.  Sounds Fun Bang!

Another game I created to go along with the new Sounds Fun CD and flash cards is Sounds Fun Bang!  This plays just about like any other “Bang!” game, but has Sounds Fun characters on the cards.  When the children get a card, they simply tell that character’s (or letters’) sound.  There are also some “Bang!” cards thrown in there, and if a child receives one, he or she is supposed to say, “Bang!” and then gets all of the cards at the table.  There are also some other cards that say, “Go again.” The child that receives one of these cards, of course, gets an extra turn.  Since the children know the sounds very well at this point, the game moves at a quick pace.  I think that for this reason, the kids find it incredibly exciting, and therefore it has become unfortunately pretty noisy!  My kids LOVE this game!  In fact, they love it so much, that it sounds a lot like a Black Jack table in a Las Vegas casino.  They have been so excited that it’s hard to believe that there are no cash prizes stashed away anywhere on that side of my classroom, but so far, I haven’t found any.  :)

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  1. I am so excited! Just ordered the Sounds Fun cd and flashcard games. I can't wait to use them in my class...even though there are only 15 days left this year. I will be patiently waiting for the workbook to go with it. I'll be all set for next year!
    Thank you for sharing all your wonderful, creative ideas and activities. Your materials make the writing process so much easier for the children. They love all the cds/dvds. Even my lowest students can remember the songs. I have fewer and fewer students asking "how do you spell...".

  2. You're amazing and wonderful!
    Thanks for all your shares!!!
    I would definitely be one of the people coming in very early to reserve a seat in one of your workshop!!!

    Swamp Frog First Graders

  3. I just checked out your new stuff! LOVE IT! I'm ready to order(I'm at a year round school so we stillhave 2 months of school left!), but I'm a bit confused on something. If I buy the CD/flashcards combo, do I need to still buy the "Sounds Fun Cards Resouce Download"--is it the same stuff, or does it have activities to print out with it that are not found on the CD/flashcard combo set??? thanks,

  4. Hey Heidi, I have really enjoyed reading your blog and you and I seem to have a lot of the same ideas as far as using music to teach. I also teach in CA, but I teach a special day program for 3rd, 4th and 5th graders with specific learning disabilities. I am wondering about your curriculum. Many of the students that come to me in 3rd grade are unable to read. I am trying to find ideas that will assist them in their reading, but my resources are limited and I am mandated to teach them grade level material. How can you do that with students who can't read???? I was wondering if you had any suggestions and if you could give me an overview of how you use your curriculum to see if it would work for my students. Please email me at

    Thank you,

    Jennifer YAnez

  5. To Heidi S.
    Awww, thank you! That's sweet! I hope that people will take the time to check out your site. You are pretty wonderful yourself!

  6. Hi, Jennifer!
    Well it sounds like you have your hands full! I feel for you. As far as being mandated to teach them grade level material, doesn't this apply more to the content areas, such as science and social studies, rather than reading skills? I should think that they would rather have you teach them to read using materials that are at an appropriate instructional level and that get results- more so than try to teach them to read from a fourth grade level reader. Isn't that so? At my school, reading interventions are done at an appropriate instructional level. They would never think of doing a reading intervention for a child that is at a first grade level by using a fourth grade reader, simply because the child is enrolled in special education.

    But in any case, my materials are designed to complement any curriculum that you currently use. They are supplementary rather than a main curriculum. It seems to me that you could add the spelling songs, etc., to any reading program that you are supposed to use as an added activity that could help them remember these words. The same is true for the math songs, etc. You just add them to whatever you are already doing.

    I know that low reading level materials exist for many of the content areas that you are probably expected to teach, but if you have to spend your own money on these things, then this advice won't get you very far! I would suggest that you network with the Special Ed teachers in your district and find out how they are solving these same problems within the same perimeters that you are dealing with.
    Good luck to you!

  7. To weety:

    Sounds Fun Cards Resource Download (Printable Masters) gives you everything you would get had you ordered the cards already printed. You are just printing them yourself; that's the only difference. It's the same thing; nothing extra!

  8. Hi Heidi,
    I just love your products and have gotten all the other K teachers at my school to use them. My question is will you be doing a DVD for the Sounds Fun?

  9. To Mary,
    Yes, we will be working on a DVD for the Sounds Fun CD, but we don't know when it will be available because we haven't started it yet! My goal is to have it by August for the new school year, but things always seem to get delayed, so no promises, of course! We have a lot of projects already on the back burner, so it will have to wait in line.


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