Sunday, October 18, 2015

Perfect Printing & a Freebie!

Hey There!

Fall is here! The cooler weather is upon us, time for yummy pumpkin everything, sweaters and boots, but best of all,our students have mostly settled into our classroom routines.

Are you like me and LOVE LOVE LOVE neat printing? It makes my OCD self so happy. :) I often tell my students, "Your printing looks like my favorite font!" #BLISS

For me, neat printing is not optional. I expect encourage and praise my students for their neat work.

The beginning of the school year as I am establishing procedures and routines is the perfect time to teach proper letter formation. In my first grade class, I review 2 or 3 letters a day. Even though my students learned proper letter formation in kindergarten, I feel that since I expect it I should reteach it.

I love to use music and chants during transitions. This chant is awesome at directing students what they should be doing to start their work. After the first few times of saying it, my students always chime in.



By saying this chant with me, my students forget they were going to talk to a friend at their table and get off task. #winning

If you'd like this FREEBIE to try with your class, you can grab it {HERE}.

Throughout the year, I have my students continue printing practice. I have sent it as homework, put it in a center, or as part of their morning work.

This year, after social time is over in the morning, my students begin their day with Printing Practice with Decodable Text.



It is working out well for me because my students are able to be independent. My students do not need help knowing what to do on their morning work, which allows time for me to work with a few students who need reteaching or support with previous learning.

Each day my students practice an uppercase or lowercase letter. They also trace and write a decodable sentence with the letter of the day embedded in the text. The sentences review basic sight words and are a mix of declarative, interrogative, or exclamatory sentences.

I made these printing practice pages with short vowel decodable text and long vowel text.


Short vowel sample


Long vowel sample 






You can try these with your class FREE, if you download and print my preview file.  You can find both Manuscript and D'Nealian styles {HERE}.

Thanks for stopping by, I'd love you to comment how you teach printing in your class! Do you have any songs or chants you love? :)





Saturday, October 3, 2015

Spelling Activities {a Freebie}

Hey Friends!

What is your favorite part of your day? Without a doubt, it is literacy centers for my students and I!

They love to work collaboratively. They love to be independant. They love having choices.

I love watching them. They are helpful. They are hard working. They are capable of so much! My students work like Star Students!

I just finished updating a few new spelling/word work activities and thought I would share them with you!


These activity pages could be used to practice spelling or sight words as a center, morning work, or homework. My students enjoy the variety.

Since I have control issues To be sure my students clearly understand what to do for each activity, I model and my students do the same activity for that rotation of centers. After they have learned all the spelling activities I hang a menu board and they are able to choose whichever activity they'd like during word work.





I also have sight word stamps, salt trays, and writing paper to write spelling sentences but these activities seem to be most engaging for my first graders.


You can grab them FREE {Here}!

How do you teach and assess your students spelling words?

I have been asked some questions since I posted this picture on Instagram and Facebook a few weeks ago.


My district didn't have a spelling program, so my team and I made one many years ago. I love it so much and continue to use this program more than 10 years later!


At the beginning of the week after I explicitly teach the new spelling pattern, I give my students a word list to practice what they have just been taught. It also serves as one way for parents to know the new spelling words to practice at home. (Plus I get a little handwriting practice in too).



During the week we practice the words during mini lessons with our whiteboards, word sorts, and dictation sentences.

Pocket Chart Sorting Cards

My most favorite part of the Spelling Bundle is the assessment. It is clear with this assessment if a student has memorized their spelling words or really understands the spelling pattern and can transfer their knowledge of the pattern in untaught words. I dictate the words list words we have practiced throughout the week. The "star" words are words that we haven't practiced but follow the same spelling pattern.


Students must edit the silly sentence and write it correctly, then finally they read (to themselves) the bottom sentence and draw a picture to show comprehension.

If you'd like you can visit my TpT shop to see more.



1st Grade Program {Here}




2nd Grade Program {Here}



3rd Grade program {HERE}

Thanks so much for reading! I'd LOVE for you to leave a quick comment to share with me engaging ways you have your students work with words!!! :)