Showing posts from May, 2013

Tips for Using Sing and Spell Effectively in the Classroom!

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting a wonderful school in Los Angeles Unified School District called Maple Primary Center to do a staff development presentation on how to use HeidiSongs Sing and Spell the Sight Words program most effectively.  As I prepared myself for this presentation, I realized that it had been a while since I sat down and tried to identify what it is that I was doing in my classroom with my materials that help me achieve success with my students!  But once I sat down, re-defined it, and wrote it down for the presentation, I knew that this would make a good blog post for anyone else that may also want to know how to get the best out of their Sing and Spell CD’s and DVD’s . Some of these suggestions have been covered in previous posts, and if so, I have provided a link in case you want to read more.  And by the way, you can bring me to your school for staff development, too!  Contact us for more information. I also had the pleasure of visiting

Tips for Organizing Your Testing Efficiently and Getting the Best From Your Students

This week, I would like to share with you some tips and ideas that I have developed over the years for organizing classroom testing efficiently, and getting the very best from your students.  I started writing them down as I was explaining what to do to my wonderful job share partner this year, as we were making our way through the testing process together. It’s funny- I really had never thought about my testing procedures before, but as I was describing these things to my job share partner, I realized that this might make a good blog post.  I hope that these suggestions are helpful to you!   This week, I changed my “learning objective sign” to what we were REALLY doing this week when we took a practice test on mathematical reasoning.  Getting Ready to Test 1.  Do a mid trimester assessment and send home the results to parents so that they can be practicing with their kids.  2.  Consider using ESGI online software to keep parents continually informed of their

Sight Word Headbands!

Today I am going to tell you about a very simple and fun idea that my class really enjoyed!  It’s called Sight Word Headbands, and you do it in a whole group setting, so it is really easy to manage. I saw a similar idea on Pinterest, where the teacher had the kids lick their foreheads and stick a flash card on it.  The card apparently sticks there until the activity is finished.  The children were to draw a line from their friend’s name to the sight word.  (Follow the link above to the exact pin.)   I already had this list of names typed up, so I just told them to write the word next to their friends’ names.   I really didn’t want to have the kids sticking my cards to their heads with spittle, and I couldn’t imagine that the cards would stick very long.  I also wanted them to write the words instead of draw a line.  AND, I already had a list of their names printed out that I wanted to take advantage of.  (This list is in their journaling baskets in page protectors,

Don't Let the Pigeon Do Guided Drawing!!!!

Last week at the International Reading Association Conference , I  had the wonderful privilege and pleasure of hearing Mo Willems speak, since he was the keynote speaker for the last general session of the conference on Monday morning. In case you are not familiar with his work, Mo Willems is the author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus ! and Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!   He also writes the “Elephant and Piggie” books, such as We Are In A Book , and There Is A Bird On Your Head !   I had no idea that he was such a funny guy, but I guess I should have known!  His speech was a string of great one-liners that kept all of the teachers literally in stitches!   This is Mo Willems as he taught us how to draw his famous Pigeon. At the end of his speech, this what he said to everyone in the room, “I invite you to infringe on my copyright.  PLEASE teach your students to draw the characters from my books!”  And then he taught us all to draw his famous pigeon.