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Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

It's around this time of the year that our second graders are introduced (or reintroduced) to contractions.  They really love contraction word work when they are given a variety of fun ways to practice.

Thanksgiving Read Aloud 

My favorite way to kick off our action with contractions is with a read-aloud of Franklin's Thanksgiving.  Franklin's Thanksgiving is a delightful story about friendship and being thankful for friends.  It leaves a message for young readers about the value of kindness.  Definitely an added bonus!
The first time I read the story, it's for pure enjoyment, but usually leads to a discussion about being thankful for our friends. Depending on time and my particular group of students, we write about friends we are thankful for and ways we show our appreciation for them.  Here you can download this free set of Thanksgiving writing templates we use.

Contraction Lesson

Now, back to how I use the text for our contractions study. Either later in the day or the next day, I present a mini-lesson on contractions.  I discuss with them and demonstrate how we shorten two words by putting them together into one word to form a contraction.  We discuss the apostrophe that takes the place of the omitted letters in the second word and practice using n't, 'm, 's, 're, 'll, and 'd.
Together we brainstorm and make an anchor chart with contractions made from the second word being "not, am, is, are, will, and had." It's amazing how excited my kiddos get and how successful they feel during this lesson!

Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

My pumped up contraction experts are now ready to listen for every contraction they hear as I do a second read-aloud of Franklin's Thanksgiving.  More excitement ensues as they frantically raise their hands for every contraction that's read.

Paired Reading and Contraction Hunt

After I finish reading, I pair them up for a paired reading and to record every contraction they find in their notebooks. Franklin's Thanksgiving is perfect for this assignment, not only because it is a seasonal book, but because it is full of contractions! Here's an example from one of my contraction detectives.

Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity
I LOVE pairing up students to work cooperatively on a mission like this. They take turns reading page by page and tend to stay much more focused when looking and listening with a set goal in mind.

Contraction Foldable

I created a contraction foldable  the kiddos can use for some extra practice at a literacy center or as a post-lesson activity.  
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

They can color the Thanksgiving turkey and write their name on one side.........
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

...... and cut along the dotted lines and write the contraction that each two-words make on the inside.
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

This FREE Thanksgiving foldable provides teachers with a fun way to review contractions in whatever way they choose.
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

November is a great month to review contractions, as well as many other important skills before Thanksgiving break. I especially like having this Thanksgiving-themed Contractions I Have Who Has game and these November Math and Literacy No Prep Printables on hand for quick and easy, yet meaningful, reviews. 
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivityGrab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy my free foldable!
Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity

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Grab a FREE template and see how I review contractions and other important skills in November with my students. We have fun with Thanksgiving-themed books, games, math & literacy reviews, and activities like this contraction foldable (free template). #contractions #teachingcontractions #contractionactivity





Can you believe it's already October? Me neither!  In the spirit of this fabulous fall month, I have a quick little geometry spider post for you today.

A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor


At the beginning of October, my second graders really get into helping with the October decorating of the classroom. You know, second graders LOVE, LOVE, LOVE doing those kinds of activities.  I am a firm believer that children need time to just have some fun and be creative.  And making October spiders has always been a big hit. 


Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!

Where do you begin when teaching CVC words?  I prefer to teach them  in this short vowel order - a, i, o, u, e - saving e for last because it sounds so similar to i.

So, first step - Short a - here’s how I taught my emergent readers to read and spell Short a words.

The first day, usually in small groups, I introduce/review the short a sound.  I tell my students that today we're going to practice the "a" sound that is in lots of words like animal, ant, alligator, but we will be listening for the "a" sound in the middle of the word, like in c-a-t, b-a-t, etc.

First I read a book with lots of short a words, while the kiddos listen for and acknowledge words with that sound. They practice sounding them out.

Hap and Cap by Margaret Allen and Dan, the Flying Man  by Joy Cowley are two great books my kids have enjoyed.  Both can be found on Amazon.

For a pretty penny, you can also get  Dan ,the Flying Man in a Big Book format, a six-pack of small books, and a CD to put in a listening center.  All is good, however, without these supplements unless you have extra money to spend. 


Anyhow…..now that my students are feeling pretty comfortable with short a CVC words, I pull out my Progressive Phonics Short Vowel "A"  Beginner Book set by Miz Katz N. Ratz.  These are 100% free downloadable ebooks.  The Short "A" set has 3-4 short stories for each of the four word families at, an, ad, and am. I make just one copy on card stock to read with my small group (you could also laminate it). 



On this first day, we will read the three _at family stories.  
Here is how we do it.  With the book pages facing the kiddos, I read the words in black print and they read the Short a words in red print.  

When we finish reading the stories, the kiddos use letters to build the _at words from the stories as well as any others they can think of.  As they build, they write them in their literature notebooks, and when they're done, I ask them to spell and read the words. 

Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!

The following day, we do the same thing with the next word family group -  _an, and we do the _ad and _am families on subsequent days.  

Sometimes I make individual copies of the stories (copied in grey scale), and send them home for homework that week.  There are great parent instructions at the beginning of the
booklet.  

As the week unfolds, aside from the Progressive Phonics stories, we do other word building and fluency activities, too.

The second day, it's time for a picture/word matching game.  I make a copy of my cvc Short a word cards and a copy of the matching pictures (26 of each).  I give each student 5 or 6 picture cards, depending on how many are in the group.  I lay the word cards out in front of the group.  It is the job of each student to find the matching word card for each of his pictures.  When they have matched up their pictures and words, I ask them to spell and read each word and then write them in their literacy notebooks.  They may also draw pictures to go with each word if they choose to do so.
Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!



Throughout the week, there are many more center and pocket chart activities we do, as we practice building and reading cvc Short a words.

I copy several sets of the colored picture cards with the word cards printed on the back, laminate them,  and put a couple of sets together with a ring.  The kids use one set in a literacy center to practice spelling the pictures, then checking for accuracy on the back (with or without a partner).

Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!


In another center, they use the cards for checking as they play the board game Short "A" Trail.  They love this!

Short a CVC Word Work | Free game board for emergent readers!


One set of the cards (without a ring) are used for the pocket chart center where the kiddos use large pocket chart letters to spell each picture. Again, they can check the spellings on the back of the cards.
Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!


Also, Word Family headings are used on the pocket chart for grouping the cards into 7 different Short a families.  I've never had a student who didn't LOVE working at the pocket chart!

Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!



At the Spell and Sort Short a Words literacy center, I provide printables with Short "a" pictures that have three circles beneath each.  There are also yellow and red counting discs; the letter "a" is written on all the red discs and consonant letters are written on the yellow.  A recording sheet is also provided where they are to write the words they make in the correct word family group.  This, of course, can be differentiated by leaving out the recording sheet.
Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!



And one of my favorite literacy centers is the Short a Word Family Fluency and Sequencing Activity.  For those students who are not yet ready to read independently, I do this with them in their small group (differentiation again).   

There are seven different word family passages with story pictures for this center.  I generally put just one of the seven passages out at a time.  Students are to read the passage, highlight the short a word family words, then cut and paste the three pictures in the correct order of story events.  After that, they glue the page into their notebooks and write the highlighted words below it.  Like this....

Short a CVC Word Work - These fluency passages, sequencing, and word building activities are perfect for emergent readers!



All of the word building, spelling, reading and sequencing activities we do with Short a can take up to two weeks.  It all depends on the class, time limits, and schedule.


If time allows, a culminating reading and word detective activity I like to do with the kids, after all the Progressive Phonics stories are done, is Zac the Rat from the Starfall website.  Zac the Rat can be downloaded in black and white print at Starfall


They also sell a full-color version in their boxed set of Learn-to-Read phonics books.  Again, a pretty penny, so I just use one of the black and white versions right along with the kiddos.  And, of course, I print one for each of them.


This is where we do some shared reading and word detective work.  We read Zac the Rat together first.  Then, depending on whether they are ready (differentiation once again), they either read it alone or with a partner while highlighting the Short a cvc words.
   


When coming back together, we go through each page again as they share the words they’ve found.  They LOVE this!  It makes them feel so smart!  (As I said before, if they are not yet ready to read and find the words independently, we simply read and highlight together.)  They still get excited and feel successful!


And, that's a wrap for my Short a lessons.  On to short i!

Thanks for stopping by!

But before I go, I leave you with a FREE copy of my Short "A" Trail game.  Just click on the image below to download it.


Short a CVC Word Work | FREE game board!


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Here's how to teach emergent readers to read and spell with Short A Word Work!







Teacher friends!  Will you be working on subjects and predicates with your students this fall?  I know they can be a challenge for some kids in the beginning.  I've got a great I Have Who Has game to help with that!  This Subjects & Predicates I Have Who Has game includes 32 cards (perfect for the larger classes).  Full directions and an answer key are also included.  Just click on the image if you'd  like to check it out!

Subjects and Predicates I Have Who Has game - Fall Theme

If you're looking for more fall-themed resources, you might also like these: Halloween Punctuation Task Cards, Thanksgiving Contractions I Have Who Has Game, or Fall Math & Literacy No Prep Printables.

Happy fall!

,

Just how easy can it be to teach Common Core State Standards to 1st and 2nd graders? By using a simple daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year - that's how!


Just how easy can it be to teach Common Core State Standards to 1st and 2nd graders? By using a simple daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year - that's how!  Take a look at week of this one powerful learning tool to see how it will work for student success all year.

One of the most powerful learning tools you can provide for your students is meaningful morning work that they can be successful at while you take care of your morning work. The perfect morning work will reboot the brains of your kiddos with what you've been teaching them and get them ready for the new lessons you'll teach that day. 

I have never been a big fan of morning work that was just busy work.  It has to be meaningful and reinforce what I'm teaching.  The trick is finding the morning work that will do just that - a morning work that will reinforce what I am teaching and spiral throughout the year - a morning work that will be quick, but effective -  a morning work that allows my students to work independently -  a morning work that they will enjoy doing because of the success they feel from just the right amount of challenge - AND now a morning work that targets the Common Core State Standards.  

That's exactly what the morning work I am talking about does.  It doesn't take forever to do, and the kids look forward to it every day.  They are learning, learning, learning and remembering those Common Core skills we need to teach. In just the first twenty minutes each day!  Easy peazy!  

Take a look below and peek into this week's daily morning work for both grade levels to see how it works. Don't forget to read the captions that explain what is being taught or reviewed for the week.
If you like what you see, try out one of the free samples at the bottom.


First Grade

Teach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine
Day 1 reviews last week's short u spelling and phonics skills, as well as identifying and writing question sentences.  It also reviews subtracting 0 and 1 for Common Core Standard 1.OA.6 math facts, and additional Common Core math concepts that continually spiral.

Teach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine
Day 2 introduces this week's sh, th, and /a/ spelling and phonics skills and nouns in a sentence.
Review of subtracting 0 and 1 continues throughout the week, along with the spiral review of first grade math concepts.

Teach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine
Day 3

Teach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine
Day 4

Teach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine
Day 5


Second Grade

Teach Common Core State Standards to your second graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine
Day 1 reviews last week's plural spelling and phonics skills, as well identifying irregular plural nouns.  It also reviews subtracting 3 for Common Core Standard 2.OA.2  math facts, and additional Common Core math concepts that continually spiral.


Teach Common Core State Standards to your second graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine
Day 2 introduces this week's long a spelling and phonics skills and possessive nouns.  Review of subtracting 3 continues throughout the week, along with the spiral review of second grade math concepts.

Teach Common Core State Standards to your second graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine
Day 3


Teach Common Core State Standards to your second graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine
Day 4

Teach Common Core State Standards to your second graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine
Day 5


That's it!  So simple, yet powerful!  Trust me, it's the best and most successful teaching tool I have ever used.  I love it!!

Both the first grade and second grade Common Core Morning Work Bundles work perfectly for tracking student progress and mastery throughout the year along with my Common Core Checklists.  Read about how they work together on this blog post.


You can find the 1st Grade Common Core Checklists HERE & the 2nd Grade Checklists HERE.

You can find the 1st Grade Common Core Morning Work Bundle HERE.
or
You can find the 2nd Grade Common Core Morning Work Bundle HERE.

Or the complete 1st & 2nd Grade Mega-Bundle HERE.
See How Easy Common Core Can Be for First and Second Graders.

                                                            
Grab this Free Morning Work and read about an easy and effective way to make sure your first graders are learning the Common Core skills. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine, #freemorningwork
Click on image.
2nd Grade
Grab this Free Morning Work and read about an easy and effective way to make sure your first graders are learning the Common Core skills. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine, #freemorningwork
Click on image.
1st Grade
If you would like to give it a try for a week, just click on one or both of the FREE 1-week
samples here.


PIN IT


Teach Common Core State Standards to 1st and 2nd graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine, #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutine


Read about an easy and effective way to make sure your second graders are learning the Common Core skills. #secondgradecommoncore, #secondgrademorningroutineTeach Common Core State Standards to your first graders by using an easy and effective daily language arts and math review that spirals throughout the year. #firstgradecommoncore, #firstgrademorningroutine





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