Showing posts from January, 2012

Eight Great Tricks for Sounding Out Three Letter Words

In November, I posted a blog entry on teaching children to sound out CVC (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant) words.  And like most Kindergarten classes, we are still working on mastering that skill. While most of my kids are doing fairly well with this, there are still a few little ones that are struggling to figure out how to blend sounds together. These are mostly the younger ones with the fall birthdays, so it is really not their fault at all, poor babies! But, the Common Core State Standards were written for everybody- no matter when their birthdays fall- and so I am responsible for teaching all of them to sound out CVC words. It doesn’t matter if English is not their first language, or if they only just barely turned five years old at the end of November. It doesn't matter if on top of that they were born prematurely, or may have a learning disability, or have any number of other problems you can imagine. It makes no difference if their parents are uninvolved in their schoolin

A Draw and Tell Story: The Curious Little Mouse

I have been wanting to write a “Draw and Tell” story for quite a while and share it on my blog, but the thing that has been holding me back is the need to break the artwork for the story down into tiny steps and save each one as a separate step.  That takes a while!  I also wanted this story to be seasonally appropriate, but not holiday oriented so that everyone might be able to use it.  I keep hearing from teachers that are unable to use any lesson plans that have a connection to a holiday, etc.  My school doesn’t have any such restrictions (at least not so far!)  Nobody really seems to care or object if the children make a Santa project or a candy cane.  BUT, I do feel bad for those of you that teach in places where that is a no-no.  So, with that in mind, I created a story about a mouse and a snowman.  Hopefully, nobody has found a reason to object to a mouse or a snowman, other than the fact that they may be a little too cute or a little too much fun.  If your administration o

A HeidiSongs Alphabet Picture Book!

I sent in two art projects that I saved from my class last year, and here they are: First of all, our new website has my first full color story book on it, called Alphabet Action !  I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally have this accomplished!  Some of you may remember seeing me post a little about this process on my HeidiSongs Facebook page.  Having never published a story book before, it was an interesting process for me to go through.  Luckily for me, my husband used to work in the publishing business, (though he was creating catalogs and other products, not little books), so he is knowledgeable about how to go about this sort of thing. My book is now in our school library! As you might guess from the title, my book is based on the song, Alphabet Action , that can be found on the Singable Songs for Letters and Sounds CD and DVD, Letters and Sounds DVD , and also as a “Bonus Track” on my Musical Math CD and DVD.  My husband found a wonderful illustrator

Lessons About Fire: An Experiment With Candles

Here is a fun little experiment with candles, and some lessons about fire that primary children will find truly fascinating!  My kindergarten class really enjoyed this lesson, and many of them chose to re-do the experiment over and over again at their playtime, (under my supervision, of course!)  This should also be a great lesson for pre-K and first or second grade students as well. Here's what we did with candles during that last week in school before Christmas vacation. 😍 I always like to read a fiction book to launch a discussion in science whenever possible, just as a means to pique their interest.  And this time, I used the book, The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie de Paola.  I usually use this book to introduce the poinsettia and then do a poinsettia craft , but this time I used it to launch a discussion of candles and fire, since there are lots of images of candles in this book. I got the idea for the first experiment from Pinterest!   There are SO many