Showing posts from February, 2012

Teaching Kids About GERMS!

Last month in January, I felt like a bit like a "sitting duck" in my classroom, just waiting to get sick!  There were so many children coughing and sneezing, and there were so many runny noses that I was certain that it was only going to be a matter of time before I would certainly fall ill with the very same thing.  It is so very difficult to get children into the habit of covering their coughs and sneezes, and it is so frustrating to tell them to do so, over and over and over again- only to have your instructions repeatedly ignored. So, I decided to try to develop some lessons on germs, with the goal of communicating the importance of NOT SPREADING THEM clearly to the children, in a way that they could really understand. But before I get into that, I would like to share a few more of our video contest entries with you!  Time is running out, so get them in by Feb. 29th! Competition is really good this year, and you can see even more videos at our YouTube channel he

Phonics: Teaching Kids to Read Words with Sh and Th

A precious gift from one of my students.  :) Phonics! It’s the dreaded word: PHONICS! It’s not an easy thing to teach. We spend gobs of time trying to teach the children that each letter carries one sound, and then the next thing you know, we are telling them that those same letters sometimes will make different sounds! So this week, I am going to tell you how I have been teaching my class how to read words with the “sh” and the “th” sound in them. We have been working on our these phonics skills for a long time, practicing every day.  The trick is to get the kids to recognize these letters as a UNIT when they see them together, and not to attempt to sound each letter out individually. I print out the pages that I need from the download and then put them in page protectors in a binder. Here's a sample of the TH section of the workbook for you to try out as my free download for the week! (And here is a sample of the ar sounds pattern from the Phonics Workbook Vol 2!)

Teaching Kindergartners to Write PARAGRAPHS!

Today I am going to tell you how I am teaching my students to begin to write PARAGRAPHS!  (Yes, you read that correctly- paragraphs!  It could happen!)  They are very short paragraphs, but they are still paragraphs, none the less!  Okay, some of them have only two sentences , but hey- this is kindergarten , for goodness sake! These are Kimmie Butkus' Fishy Hearts! Along the way, I would like to post some pictures of our little "Fishy Hearts" that my class made.  I am especially proud of this project, because my "baby" Kimmie came up with the idea for this art project!  She will be 21 years old this month, and is studying to become a teacher. This is my daughter Kimmie with one of her best little friends!  Doesn't she look a lot like her mother? She is also an aide in a Kindergarten class at my school, and so she created this art project for them, and then shared it with me.  It was perfect, because it tied in both Valentine's Da

Teaching CVC Words: What to Do When They Are STILL NOT GETTING IT

In this post, I am going to tell you several new things to try with children that just can't seem to sound out words, even after MANY different interventions have been tried!  So for those little sweeties that are "just plain stuck" on the road to learning to read, here are a few more things to try or to think about.  The inspiration for this post came from the question from a reader below.  Hope it is helpful! Question: I really enjoy using your songs and activity ideas in my kindergarten classroom each day. I wanted to seek your advice for a couple of my readers. They have phonemic awareness skills in place and can segment a CVC word independently, but they are unable to blend it into the word independently. If I segment the word for them, they can blend it just fine. I use the Elkonin boxes, manipulatives, etc. to help, but still they are not really making progress and they are the only ones who are unable to demonstrate this skill in my class. I would love to