Showing posts from March, 2019

Monster Guided Drawing and Monster Book Freebies!

Today I am going to share with a very simple Halloween monster guided drawing lesson, and a cute little lift the flap book that kids could make for their monsters to "live in!"  I actually did the guided drawing portion of this lesson with my class last year and it was a HUGE hit!  I'm sure that this was because of the popularity of the theme and because the pictures were so simple to draw that the entire class felt successful!

Also, lately, I have been "itching" to create a lift the flap book with a "monster behind the door" type of theme, so I decided that I would try it with my guided drawing monster project and share it with you here today, just in time for Halloween!

One ofmy students from last year named Emily helped me create the artwork for the book that you see above.  Isn't it adorable?  She is in first grade this year, and she is one of my favorite little people.  :)

Above, you see what the book looks like with the flaps closed.  Notic…

10 Preschool Learning Games: Alphabet Fun!

Here are TEN fun preschool learning games for helping kids learn the alphabet!  I have been working on these over the last few weeks, and I am finally ready to share them with you! I hope you and your children enjoy them and learn from them!

All of the activities below, except those done with music, were created with pages from these workbooks.
All of these preschool learning games, except those done with music, were created out of simple alphabet worksheets.  The great thing about them, though, is that children do not even need to pick up a pencil to do most of them!  With a little creativity, kids can practice preschool learning games in fun and active ways without ever needing to push a pencil across a paper.  The alphabet worksheets that I used for this set of preschool learning games came from the HeidiSongs alphabet workbooks pictured above.

The Clothespins Alphabet Learning Game
For this game, all you need to do is print one of the worksheets like the one below onto colored car…

Learning Disabilities: Productive Ways You Can Help Your Child

Does your child or grandchild have a learning disability, or is perhaps a slow learner? Would you like to know some productive ways to help your child learn?  In today's post, I will share with you my favorite tip for helping struggling learners, whether you know that they have a learning disability or not.  When I teach, I always try my best techniques that will probably reach ALL learners first!  That way, if a child has a learning disability, he or she may just get through the year in my class without even falling behind!  And some of them even wind up AHEAD!  That's because a learning disabled child is often a very intelligent child that simply has to be taught in a different way in order to blossom.

So how can you best help a child that is struggling to learn?  This is the question that riddles so many dedicated parents, grandparents, and teachers that want to see these wonderful children learn and succeed in school and in life!  In my own experience, I have found that c…

Help! My Child Keeps Failing AR Tests!

Hello!  Today I would like to tell you a little bit about how you can help kids improve their reading comprehension in general, and do better on AR (Accelerated Reader) quizzes if they have to take them!  If you're are not familiar with Accelerated Reader, AR (for short) is an online reading comprehension quiz program that many schools use to motivate children to read more, with the goal of at least 85% comprehension as an average for every book that is read.  If your child or several children in your class continually read AR books but fail these quizzes, what can you do to help?  I am hoping to give some suggestions that could work both at home and at school.  And teachers, there is a downloadable PDF copy of the "10 Great Ways to Boost Reading Comprehension" for AR Tests that you can send home with your students at the end of this post.  Thanks!

Standard practice for AR is that children are only allowed to read AR books that they can successfully understand and test …

A Valentine's Day Round Up!

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I thought I'd whip together a few of my Valentine's Day themed blog posts, Instagram posts, and ideas! :)

1. Thirty Quick Ideas for Valentine's Day Mailboxes!

2. Valentine Robot CVC Game FREEBIE!

3. Love is in the Air in February! 4 Valentine's Day Freebies!

4. The "Love" Song from Sing and Spell Volume 4!

5. Painting Valentine Bags with Folded Toilet Paper Tubes!

We used toilet tubes to paint hearts on #Valentine bags! #firstgrade #secondgrade A video posted by HeidiSongs (Heidi Butkus) (@heidisongs) on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:09pm PST

Here are our finished #Valentine bags! #secondgrade #firstgrade A photo posted by HeidiSongs (Heidi Butkus) (@heidisongs) on Feb 11, 2016 at 4:10pm PST

6. My Valentine's Day Pinterest Board

Follow HeidiSongs's Valentine's Day Ideas Board on Pinterest.

7. Stained Glass Valentine's Day Collage

Stained glass #Valentine collages! Soooo beautiful! #secondgrade #firstgrade A photo …

Sight Word Dice Game - Free!

"Sight Words Dice" is a FREE FUN little game for kindergartners or first graders to play in pairs or small groups to help them practice their sight words, (AKA high frequency words.)  Sound interesting?  Keep reading for more info!

Sight Word Dice Game
 To download this game, just click here.  I have included a blank version, and a version that already has some sight words filled in.  To use the blank version, you will probably have to write the words in by hand, or type up the words you want, print them out, and glue them in.

To play the game:
Each child rolls the die in turn and reads the word that comes up.  He then writes it in the column under that word.  The first child to fill up one entire column is the winner of the game!

When children aren't sure of a word, I tell them to help each other out by singing the sight word song that goes with the song!  Most kids can start singing them on their own, and then they can figure many of these words out!  I wish I had captur…

Teaching Phoneme Segmentation: Separating Sounds in Words (Freebies!)

Teaching children to pick out all of the phonemes (or sounds) in a given word can be tricky!  This requires good listening skills and well developed phonemic awareness in general.  For some children, mastering phoneme segmentation can seem just about impossible!  Here are some teaching tips that have worked for me in the past.

*  The best advice I can give is to practice segmenting words with a designated MOTION for a short time every single day with your whole class.  Even just one or two minutes per day will help! Look for suggested motions on this post. There is also a downloadable list of words to use, plus a homework sheet that you can download here.

Here is where you can get another word list for practicing words with two, three, and four phonemes.

And here is another post with lists of words with four, five, or six phonemes.

*  Give kids beads to slide down a pipe cleaner as they segment the word.  I made these "Segmentation Sliders" out of pipe cleaners and Push-Up Ring…