Do You need some Sight Word help for your kindergarten kids? I've got some great ideas for you! How about 72 pages of Sight Word Skill Sheets with my kid-tested, teacher approved system? Students TRACE the word, WRITE the word, COLOR the word and then become ABCDe-tectives and "unjumble" the word, by CUTTING out the letters in their easy-snip rectangular boxes, ARRANGING them in correctly -spelled order, then GLUING them to their matching boxes on the skill sheet, where they can then READ the page! Students enjoy figuring out these simple puzzles and being detectives!
Do one sheet each day, or choose whatever words you want from a 52 alphabetical sight word listing and make a booklet for your class to work on. AND for this week only 'til the 14th of October, I'm offering this outstanding 72 page book FREE!
It may sound silly, but I'm giving you the Sight Word Book FREE in celebration of my successful cataract surgery! So enjoy. Just click on the link and print which ever sight words that you use in your class, or print the entire thing. After the 17th of October the book will sell for only $1.99. There's a two-page tip sheet that lists other things you can do with the cards as well.
Besides the Skill Sheet Book I've also made Mini Flashcards perfect for little hands! I'm sure you can think up all sorts of fun things to do with them. A pack of 52 is only .99 cents! Click on the link to check it out.
Here’s Some Other Things You Can Do With The Flashcards:
Finally, besides the Sight Word Skill Sheets and Mini-Flashcards, I made two Easy Reader Sight Word Booklets. Your students will enjoy completing their booklet and then taking it home to share with their families! You can imagine how excited they'll feel when they can read it all by themselves!. My I CAN Booklet uses 10 sight words; My LOOK Book incorporates 20 sight words! They also use the READ, TRACE and WRITE formular to really get those sight words in their heads in a fun way. I post new things EVERY day so please pop by often. It's my goal to write 8 more booklets. Click on the links to check them out. A little more advanced booklet incorporates shape, color and number words + 19 sight words. It's called My Look and See Shape Booklet. I include traceable flashcards and 5 skillsheets for practice so that your students will be reading the booklet in no time. It also include an ABCDe-tective progress-praise certificate. Click on the link to check out this booklet that packs in lots of skills and standards in a super-fun way!
If you're looking for a Dolch Word List for Kindergarten, click on the link. I also have a Pre-Primer Dolch Word List that I also use for my Y5's. Click on the link for that if interested. If you teach 1st grade I've also compiled a Dolch Word List for first grade as well. Click on that link for a copy. Dolch Word List for 1st Grade.
The biggest bonanza is over 300 traceable flashcards and all the Dolch Word Lists all the way up to a 3rd grade Dolch word list in a book I call Dolch Word Help. Click on the link to view/print a copy. I've included a Dolch noun list as well as Dolch noun flashcards and their Dolch Noun matching picture cards + a tip list of how you can use all of this! I even found a fairy tale online that includes all 220 Dolch words from ALL of the Dolch lists! WOW! Click on the link for this wonderfulf reebie! FREE DOLCH WORD HELP BOOK
If you're looking for a fun read aloud to go with your kindergarten Dolch Word list I have just the thing. When I was working on my Masters in Elementary Education one of my reading class assignments was to write something creative for a kindergarten class using the Dolch Word List. I chose to write an ABC book. I really challenged myself because I wanted to see if I could incorporate the entire Dolch Word list, not just the kindergarten Dolch word list but the first grade Dolch Word List AND the second grade Dolch Word List !!! I also wanted it to rhyme and include all the vowel sounds. I'm a big fan of Dr. Seuss so I wanted it to be a silly sort of book using his format that my students would enjoy hearing. Wow! What a job! But so fun to create and my students LOVE LOVE LOVE this booklet. Lots of giggle time. So check it out by clicking on the link. It's entitled Awake To Zleep and is a real tongue twister so prepare to have fun!
I've also compiled a list of consonant blends, digraphs, and long and short vowel words. They are in alphabetical order for easy reference with some tips of what to do with the word list, a song to help teach your students vowels, an art activity to help them sort consonants and vowels and finally, a movement-chant activity to help them conquer the concept of blends in a fun way! Click on the link for a copy. WORD LIST
Letters make up words and words make up sentences and they all make up an Itty Bitty Alpha-bit Book that's fun for your students to make and collect! What a great way to build a child's self-esteem on their road to reading bit-by-bit! Click on the link to learn how. You will LOVE the versatility of teaching with these mini flashcard sets! Learn number words with Numbits, and have a blast making Itty Bitty Number and skip counting books! Click on the link to see how you can join the fun!!
I hope these new sight words for kindergarten activities, and the Dolch word information, will help you and yours. I designed them to be time savers for you as well as great fun and good self-esteem builders. Hopefully they will help promote literacy in your classrooms.
Happy Fall Reading!
How Do You Manage A Classroom When You Have Too Many Kids?
I’m on several Mail Rings and there seems to be a lot of buzz about too many students in the classroom. I know there have been huge budget cuts across the board, but come on administrators 30 children in a kindergarten class and 32 in first grade? How on earth do you expect a teacher to survive let alone teach? Thousands of studies have been done to PROVE that smaller class sizes are BETTER for students. So why is this happening and how are teachers coping? I’d like to know.
One of the things I decided to do when we topped 20 was to handle the class as two single classes.
It’s great for behavior modification too. If I see most of the red team working or sitting quietly, I might walk around and say: “I love how the red team is working quietly; I’m going to give them a red Skittle.” Watch how fast the blue team settles down! I know there is controversy about giving candy to children, but Skittles are tiny, melt in your mouth and such a wonderful “super-duper-shutter-upper” behavior modifier! I buy a huge bag from Sam’s Club and do all sorts of math and color activities with them because of the wonderful rainbow assortment!
The other thing I do is send out an SOS to parents and grandparents. I need VOLUNTEERS, not just IN the classroom, but At-Home Helpers too. I have 4 At-Home Helper Bags that I wrote that title on along with my name. I put all the supplies needed, a sheet of directions, the number of things I need, the date I need the things by, along with a completed sample and send the bag home with a child. At Open House I explained the concept and had parents sign up. I also sent a newsletter home about it and asked parents to ask grandparents. They could sign the bottom and return it. This really helps me so I’m not bringing home work to do each night. This is anything from simple correcting, assembling, cutting, trimming laminated things, putting together memory/keepsake books, to putting art projects together that my little ones will complete.
Volunteers don’t just have to be adults either. There are certain times in the day when older students have blocks of time and can pop down and be “reading and craft buddies” for my kids. Ask a 5th or 6th grade and up teacher if there’s a time in their day that they can send students down that have finished their work. It’s a win-win situation for them too. They get a few kids out of their class, you get some big kids helping little kids, the big kids get out of their class, their self-esteem gets helped, the little kids get helped, you have an extra set of eyes watching and hands helping and life is good. Maybe this can’t be an every day thing, so plan ahead and see if you can have older students help on assessment days or days when you’re doing things like pumpkin carving, or an art project.
Well that’s just a bit of how I’m coping with “the population explosion!” I’d enjoy hearing from the rest of the overwhelmed – underpaid – and overflowing ….so please comment if you have some energy left at the end of your day. I’m sure we’d all appreciate it!
Why buy a unit?
Have you ever bought a book of lessons because it contained a few items you wanted, but had many other items that you didn’t want or never used? My units incorporate multiple subjects and are available for purchase “a la carte” allowing teachers to buy only what they need, at an affordable price. From our home page, click on a season, and the units can be found under each month. Click on the link: Home Page There are currently 43 themes!
There are plenty of lessons for you to choose something that fits your students' level. The beauty of the variety is that you have easier skill sheets for those who are struggling and more difficult ones for children who have mastered a concept.
Unit Skill Sheets…
Unit Skill Sheets are great if you need something
However you use them, I know that my Y5’s have excelled with this program. I truly believe that one reason is that units empower students to work independently and build their self-esteem to such a level that they realize they CAN do the lesson before they even start!
They are ready for workbooks in the next grade because they have practiced with a skill sheet booklet every day for "Table Top Time". For example, by March they are doing a 15 -18 page booklet that takes them about 10 minutes, and they ENJOY it! They are also doing 6-8 centers independently and transitioning with no problem.
My life is made easier because I’m not constantly planning the next day’s centers and I can incorporate art with confidence because I know that it is standards based, and best of all my students are learning and having FUN at the same time.
Read the article, "How to Get Students to Follow Directions" and see how to further empower your students through my "following direction icons" They really work! Your life will be so much easier, AND your discipline problems fewer!
Back To School Ideas
Seeing little ones all dressed up in their brand new clothes, wearing their brand new backpacks, all excited and filled with the anticipation of the first day of school, don't ya just LOVE it? I do! I catch the bug about August 1st when the stores are decorated to the hilt with their displays of supplies. Some people are groaning.
I'm in the ready-get-set-GO! mode. I have to be. I teach Y5's and there's a zillion things I HAVE to do, and ya know what? If you do a few a day, it's FUN, at least it is for me.
In this blog article I'll give you a few tips that I hope will help you have some fun while you get ready to go back.. Next year I'll start earlier, for I know some of you have already started, and I wish you all the best!
Little Giraffes is another of my favorite teaching sites. She has an entire theme for back-to-school. I especially love her "Magic Playdough" idea and plan to do this activity with my Y5's. I also want to try melting a red Solo cup to make an adorable apple name tag! Check out these cute ideas by clicking on the link.
Teaching The 5 Senses Teddy Bear:
If you teach the 5 sesnses as we do at the kindergarten and Y5 level, you'll want to make this adorable tactile bear. Click on the teddy bear link to check him out. What a wonderful idea!
I plan to make him with these changes: Cut a pair of bib overhauls out of an old pair of blue jeans. and glue him to your sandpaper bear. Hot glue the pocket of the jeans to the middle of the bear. Hot glue two brightly colored big buttons to each strap.
Hobby Lobby and most craft stores sell those mini ziplock bags that are only 3 inches tall. You'll need 3.
Soak a cotton ball in tangerine oil, or another fragrance you think your students will like, and zip it up in the little baggie, put a medium size jingle bell with a yarn string on it, so that you can jingle it, in the 2nd baggie, put a gummi bear in the 3rd. Place them in the big pocket.
I'm also going to hot glue another pocket on the back of my bear where I'll keep a medium size baggie filled with enough gummi's for all of my students to have a taste.
I plan to read the story Will I Have A Friend? by Miriam Cohen and then introduce them to one of my stuffed bears and tell them: "Here is one of your very 1st kindergarten friends." Then I'll say: "Give Me 5!" and choose a child who is modeling that. (EYES looking at me, EARS listening, MOUTH shut, HANDS folded in lap, FEET on the floor, or criss-cross applesauce.) I'll hand them the bear and a gummi. I've just reviewed the 5 senses!
She'll say: "Hi I'm Kelli and I'm your new friend." She'll give the bear a hug and pass him to the child next to her, and I'll give them a gummi and away we go!
At the conclusion we can review where the bear's 5 senses are, and everyone can take a turn touching the sandpaper.
If this is one of your science units having each one of your students make their own bear would be an easy and inexpensive thing to do!
I'd pre-cut the bears for them using a Dollar Store scissors, because it will be dull by the time you get done cutting out 30 bears!
Want to make a few cute gifts for your teacher friends or the secretary? I could never do her job! I so appreciate our Sandy! Click here.
My favorite is the Orange. I say that to my students during October when we have that as the color of the month. I make it a knock-knock joke and then give them each an orange slice. "Knock-Knock...Who's there? Orange. Orange who? Orange you glad you're in my class?"
Back-To School Check List:
Do you feel a bit frantic when August rolls around, and a little worried if you'll have enough time to get everything done? Or that nagging feeling of "I know I'm forgetting something!" I did after my first year and I said I HATE feeling like this! It robs me of the joy and excitement that I so enjoy.
So I decided to sit down and make a back-to-school check list of everything I needed to do. Click here for a copy of mine. Then cross off things and add some to make it your own, and you'll have one that's perfect for you to use year after year. It truly will bring you peace of mind. Then, stick it on a clipboard, do things a few at a time-daily and have FUN doing them.
I've learned the JOY should not come at getting the list DONE, but in DOING the list! Life is so much better that way! I try to finish EVERTHING at least 3 to 4 days before school starts so I don’t feel like I just ran a marathon.
It’s nice if you can treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure or simply a bubble bath and do those things for yourself. I also like to go through my wardrobe and figure out what I’m going to wear for the 1st week of school and put those outfits in one section of my closet.
I like to cut some flowers from my garden or pick up a few plants from the store and put them in my room. It just perks me up. Whatever your list, you need to enjoy the journey through it. The more time you allow yourself the more fun you’ll have.
Have last year's kids help you get ready for next year's students!
Try to accomplish a few things BEFORE you leave school and enlist the help of your students.
I let mine have one last fling with playing with shaving cream to get the “gunk” off the desks. If you haven't tried shaving cream for "instant writing boards" you need to hop aboard! Simply squirt a blob in front of a student on their desk/table. Let them flatten it out to make a "white board". They then write on it with their index finger making shapes, letters, numbers etc. The shaving cream softens their hands, makes the room smell great, and gets ink, crayon marks, and glue gunk off the surface. Plus kids LOVE it!
Anyway... Afterwards my kids wash down all of the tables and chairs. They enjoy splashing away with a rag. I don’t clean anything else, because over the summer it just gets dusty all over again and was a waste of time.
Instead the children help SORT all of the tubbies so that everything is neat and organized for the children in the fall. This would have been a huge job for me alone, and with a team of 20 kids it’s a breeze and reviews a report card standard for them.
They make my "Welcome Back To School" bulletin boards!
I also have them create the two in-class bulletin boards. I then have “Kid-Art” up and I didn’t have to do anything. My current Y5’s think it''s “way cool” that they were getting to make a b. board for the in-coming kids, and the new kids think it's exciting to look around the cafeteria to see if they can find a kindergarten friend! And…I didn’t have to dream up and make 2 in-class b. boards. What a wonderful win-win!
During the first week of school they get to make an apple that replaces this bulletin board. As soon as they finish their apple project they go pick an apple off the board and that is their new kindergarten friend that they look for in the cafeteria.
I have parent helpers help me with this activity and I make sure that these children are still here and that everyone will have a new buddy. This works out perfect because the K's and the Y5's have the same lunch and recess.
The K's feel proud because they "know the ropes" and can show them around and share their experiences with them that they had as a Y5.
My other bulletin board is"We Wish You A Dino-mite Year!" I have searched hi & lo for this pix and could only find my sample. They have to find the matching photo to their apple. They enjoy taking two friend "cards" home.
Should it ever happen that I don't have enough K's for my kids, I'd make some apples/dinosaurs and use pix from our year book from K's that I knew from last year, then call them and ask if they'd like to be a friend to a new Y5. I'm sure they'd be thrilled.
Great site for templates:
If you're looking for some templates to make everything from name tags and newsletters to assessments and certificates look no further. Click here for one of my favorite teacher sites.
Do you have an Info Sheet?
I have an Emergency Contact Information Sheet that I like to have my parents fill out for me. I explain to them that I know they've already filled out all sorts of forms for the office, but I like to have my own forms handy. They are kind enough to oblige. Click here for a copy.
If you'd like a copy of my "Getting to Know Your Child" handout click on the link. I like a "head's up" about my students. This sheet gives me valuable information so that I can engage my Y5's in conversation and show them that I'm interested in their world and care about them.
More Helpful Stuff:
To wish you a HAPPY back-to-school year, I designed a little door knobber that you can print off and laminate. Hang it on your doorknob. Take a minute to have your Helper of the Day move a large paperclip down the side to where you're going,. It's my way of saying "Thanks much for stopping! I appreciate you, and I wish you a WONDERFUL year!" Click on the link to print one. :
I run my Open House as a Treasure Hunt which I mentioned in the Welcome Blog, but if you need an invitation, I've made you one here. Just click on the link. Well that's it. I hope this helped.
I will see you in September with lots more EXCITING things for you to do with your students! It's going to be a supercalafragalisticexpialadocious year for all of us! Gotta run, I'm still not done with my list, but....
Let the adventure begin!