Jumping Sounds!

Hi y'all! I want to tell y'all about something I use in my class that has dramatically helped both my struggling readers and my kinesthetic learners....it's called "jumping sounds!" I teach phoneme segmentation using these handy cards and color-codes [check them out here] Green for the initial sound, yellow for the medial sound(s) and red for the final sound.

 I have a lot of kinesthetic learners in my class, so I bought these mats at the Dollar Tree for $1. I put these mats down on the floor and let my little scholars jump on each color as they said the sounds in the word.

This idea kind of morphed when working with my struggling readers one day during small group reading (our small group includes phonics and guided reading components). Many of my students have no problem reading the letter sounds individually within a word, the difficulty lies in blending them together. I used the same green, yellow, and red mats but added the letter sounds to them! I write the sounds of the 3 phoneme word on the chopping mats with dry erase markers. My little scholars literally jump on the letter sounds as they stretch them out to read the word.

We do this several times and then go back to the table to read that word in the text. This kinesthetic approach has really helped my struggling readers and they certainly remember how to blend the letter sounds when they encounter that word in the text. I'll often leave the mats down all day and I'll find a line of my little scholars waiting their turn to "jump the sounds!" 

You can modify this idea to use in your classroom in a variety of ways. You can just use the colored mats (with no letters written on them) to teach phoneme segmentation, you can "jump syllables," you can blend 4 of 5 phoneme words -- just add a few more yellow mats!

For more ideas and to connect with other teachers, join our Facebook group


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DIY Digraph Tiles

 Today one of my reading groups began Unit 14 of our reading curriculum, Read Well. A few of my little scholars struggle with blending words containing digraphs. I supplement the word work portion of Read Well with letters tiles (often building words that cause the most confusion) and today we needed to build the word "dash." I really wanted to my kids to understand that while they are two letters, s and h only make ONE sound. I had some colored foam left over from a craft project so I quickly cut them into one inch squares and created digraph tiles! We used our Lakeshore letter tiles and then the foam digraph tile and we "bumpy and smooth blended" the words dash, trash, dish and wish. When we read our unit readers a few minutes later, my little scholars remembered and said, "s and h make only one sound..shhhh!" Success! :) I had a few drawers left in my letter tile organizer, so I have just enough room for our other digraph friends ch, th and wh! 
What tricks do you have up your teacher sleeve for teaching digraphs?

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Happy St. Patrick's Day and a Spring Freebie!

I'm spending this lovely day with my National Board portfolio. PTL the final submission date is May 31st. Lord knows this girl needs the extra time! How do you tackle large tasks? When are you most productive? I feel like every time I sit down to write I am daunted by the seemingly insurmountable task at hand. Please share your suggestions! :)

Anyway, I wanted to quickly pop in and tell you about the St. Patty's Day sale a bunch of bloggers are having...I have everything 20% off in my shop today!

I am super excited about my new Poppin' Pairs of 10 Packet1 I can't wait to introduce it to my little scholars tomorrow when I go back to school (sad face). Its 70 pages of Common Core fun and includes 4 center activities, 2 mini-books, posters, an original song (written by me!) to help your little scholars remember the pairs of 10, a chant, interactive posters to add to your calendar routine or math meeting and much more! Check it out :) And if you purchase it, I would LOVE LOVE to hear your feedback. 

You can also grab my Spring Math and Literacy Unit for $6.40. Its 149 pages of spring fun all aligned to Common Core!

Don't forget to download the Cracked Up! Sight Word Game for f-r-e-e! I have edited it to include blank cards so you can write your own words if you'd like!

Hope y'all have a lovely St. Patrick's Day! And don't forget to wear green :)


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Who doesn't love a [linky] party?!

I'm linking up with Mrs. Reed from Flying into First today for a fun getting to know you linky!

This week's assignment is to describe 3 things that you like using your intials...well, my initials are JLB so here goes!
J: Well, this one is hard. Since I am not a fan of jogging, juggling, Jordache jeans (hello 80s!)...I guess I'll go with jelly beans! I don't like all jelly beans, just Jelly Belly Juicy Pear. Mmm delicious! 

L: Lemon Icebox Pie. I had never had it before I moved to the South four years ago. There is this fabulous Mennonite bakery in town and their Lemon Icebox Pie is to.die.for. If you don't know what I'm talking about...google it, I promise you won't be disappointed! :)

B: I am going to have to be cheesy and say that I love blogging! Maybe one day I'll get into the true story of why I really started blogging, but I will say this... I have grown so much as a teacher since my blogging adventure began. I love getting to peek into other teachers' classrooms and share ideas! Although I haven't met a single of my blogging friends in real life, I feel like I have such an awesome support system out there in the blogosphere :) 

Whew, what a party! Now, on to my Dollar Tree adventure yesterday. I'm on Spring Break so after enjoying a lovely afternoon at the local coffee shop (remember, I live in the middle of no where) I decided a trip to Dollar Tree was in order. It's like a giant teacher treasure chest! I had to limit myself so I didn't get as much as I would have liked, but I'll share what I got...

 These are fun little ocean themed toys. I'll be using them as math manipulatives when we start my beach unit in a few weeks. $1 for 6 little toys folks!

No, I do not have a toddler who needs a snack cup BUT I do have lots of little manipulatives that need homes in my classroom. These are perfect for keeping game pieces or for dividing enough manipulatives, dice, etc for each student. 

Bingo daubers for a buck! Need I say more? Although these are WAY cheaper than the ones from Lakeshore,  the Lakeshore ones make a little less mess. 

These are colored chopping mats. I saw them and thought I could surely think of a use for them. Well, I did. I'll give you a clue...they are the same colors that I use in my best selling Road to Reading! Phoneme Segmentation Packet. 

While these may look like regular ol' dice to you...they aren't! They are actually erasers. Now, I don't plan to use them as erasers but I will use them for dice games in my class because they are rubber and won't make noise! Can I get an amen?

I hope y'all have a fabulous Thursday! And don't forget to link up with Mrs. Reed for her Getting Acquainted Linky Party! 


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Monday Made It!

So I'm on Spring Break and I've already finished TWO craft projects! How's that for productivity? I'm linking up with Tara from Fourth Grade Frolics to share what I made! 

I saw a cute headband holder made from an oatmeal container a while back on Pinterest. I was going to make one for my headbands (I may or may not have a slight headband obsession) but my sweet little pup Jackson decided they made better chew toys. So I had 3 empty oatmeal containers but no headbands....what to do? Well, I made this little goodie to store headphones in my classroom. My headphones are always in a tangled mess so I'm hoping this will help keep them more organized. I had this fun polka dot tissue paper lying around the house so I modge podged white paper first then the tissue paper. Voila! 

Okay, so my letter tiles/magnet organization looked a bit like this before

So I made this nifty organizer! I bought the organizer at Wal-Mart for $11.99.  I already had the bright colored scrapbook paper and I bought the alphabet stickers for a couple bucks at Wal-Mart too. I just cut the scrapbook paper and stuck letter stickers on them. Ta-da! 

I'll keep this organizer right on my guided reading table for easy access. I also plan on making another for my little scholars to use when they are working with magnet letters independently. 

What projects are on your Spring Break to-do list? 

If you're crafting...be sure to link up!


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No Sunday night blues!

Because I'm on Spring Break, y'all!  Just me and pups for the next 5 days...just think about all the crafting, cooking, and pinning I can do. I have never, ever stayed home when we've been on a school break. Since my entire family is in California, I fly home each Christmas and Thanksgiving. Spring Breaks usually consist of a vacation to a warm place where I can have a drink on the beach and get a tan! Oddly enough, I am thrilled to just stay at home for once! 

As I'm lounging tonight watching Gator Boys, I thought I'd recap my last week at school- and what a crazy week it was! 

 We segmented the phonemes in words with this fun activity. 

We practiced counting by 10s to 100 with this pocket chart center activity. 

Some of my little scholars practiced counting quantities with colorful pots of gold. 

We acted out subtraction stories with these subtraction mats. 

We wrote CVC and CVCC words. 

This sight word game was such a hit! 

Check out my St. Patrick's Day centers [HERE]. Since we're only a week shy of St. Patrick's Day, you can grab the entire unit for half-price! Already on Spring Break? Get it now while its on sale and file it away for next year! :) Grab the Leprechaun's Gold sight word game [HERE] for f-r-e-e. 

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I think I can...I think I can!

Make it to Spring Break! I only have 2 more days of school left but Friday cannot come soon enough. Behavior is always a challenge at this time of the year...my little scholars whiz through all their work, they're growing more independent with each day, and obvi they are all BFF by now. All that makes for one EXHAUSTED teacher!

I'm about to hit the hay but I wanted to pop in and announce who won my new St. Patrick's Day Unit! I LOVED reading all the intervention ideas...thanks for sharing them, y'all! I used the Random Number Generator and the winner is...

 So, how many days until your Spring Break?!

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More Addition and Subtraction Stories

We've been working on addition and subtraction for quite a while...you can read about it [HERE] and [HERE]. I wanted my little scholars to synthesize their learning so I asked them to make up their own addition and subtraction stories AND write equations to match. They did such a fabulous job and had so much fun! We used these story mats that I made and whatever manipulatives they chose to act out their addition and subtraction stories. We had bananas in a pool, dinosaurs camping, sheep on a farm, and frogs at the beach. Having the opportunity to be creative and silly made this such a fun activity for them!  

Click the picture below to check them out!


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