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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 the ways we show our appreciation for them. Here you can download this free set of Thanksgiving writing templates we use.

Free Thanksgiving Writing Papers

Contractions 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 Contractions 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. This helps them to stay much more focused when looking and listening with a set goal in mind.

Contractions Foldable

I created this contractions foldable for the kiddos to use as extra practice. They can use it 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 ELA No Prep Printables on hand for quick and easy, yet meaningful, reviews. 
This Thanksgiving I Have Who Has contractions  game is a fun way to review that important skill with your students in November.A great way to review important math and literacy skills in November with your students.

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

If you like using craftivity-type of learning activities, you might want to check out my Halloween themed Teaching Geometry Skills Spider Glyph post.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
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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


This blog post contains an affiliate link, which simply means I will make a few pennies from Amazon should you purchase the book.

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

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.

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. 

A few years ago, I had a principal who forbade us to do anything in the classroom that was not related to the academic standards.  We were required to attach the standard to any student work or activity that we posted on the walls or bulletin boards.  Can you imagine kindergartners, first graders, second graders, or any grade for that matter, not being allowed to have creative downtime!?

Well, that October, I was not going to keep my second graders from the usual spider craft my class did each year. Sooooo, I changed up the activity a bit to make it a geometry lesson that fit with our geometry standards.  Each spider part had a geometric shape.  We talked about the shapes, their names, how many sides, and how many angles.  The kids had a blast choosing their spider parts and counting the sides and angles before they even began putting their spiders together.

For you, today, I have a Spider Glyph and the spider patterns.  I've also included a Spider Geometry page to guide your students in counting the sides and angles of their spiders (this can be a little tough for some, so doing it in small groups will be helpful).

But first, let me show you how we put the spiders together.  Again, it may be easier to do it in small groups, so you are more accessible to help.

First, here is the spider glyph that is used to design each student's spider, according to his or her answers.
A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
These are the patterns for building the spiders.  I copy all of them, except for eyes and mouth, onto black construction paper, and I can see the pattern lines.  If yours does not show up on black, you can make card stock patterns to trace around. Copy the eyes and mouth sheet onto white construction paper.

A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
Two per page.
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A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
Two per page.
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A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
Six per page.
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A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
Six per page.

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Rectangular Legs (straight)

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

Two sets of 8 per page.
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Rectangular Legs (accordion)
A geometric spider craftivity and spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor
One set of 8, plus 2.
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Eyes and Mouth Choices

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


After students have their chosen body parts, they may cut them out and begin building their spiders. Take them through it step-by-step, talking about the shapes and attributes as you go.


Glue the white eyes and mouth onto the head.

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




Fold the body down the middle on the dotted line, with the two little dots on the outside.

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




Keep the body folded in half, and use a hole punch on one of the little round dot marks. This will be holes for the web string to thread through, so you can hang the spiders from the ceiling.

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




Have white string or yarn cut to about a yard length for each student.
Thread it through the two holes evenly and tie in the middle on the backside of the spider as shown.  You can do this at the very end, if you choose.

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




Glue the head onto the inside fold of the body, as shown.

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




Glue four legs on each side of the spider's back

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




Tie the two parts of the top of the string together and hang the spiders from the ceiling.

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

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


A variety of spiders will be looking down at you and your students all over the classroom!


Before you hang the spiders, let your students use their spiders to help them complete the Spider Geometry page.

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


Make sure to grab your free Spider glyphpatterns, and geometry page.

With November right around the corner, you might also want to check out my Contractions Action Thanksgiving post that offers another free learning activity.

Happy October!

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spider craftivity and teaching shapes spider glyph  #spidercraftivity #spiderglyph #Octoberclassroomdecor

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







A special thank you to Teaching in the TongassKB Konnected Clips, and The Clipart Factory for the graphics.



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 StarfallI use one of the black and white versions right along with the kiddos.  And, of course, I print one for each of them.

You can get a full-color version as part of a set of 15 Phonics Books HERE.


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!





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