Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A Daily 5 Freebie

Hi! Hope that your summer is great! I love being a teacher, but I think part of the reason I love it so much is because we get those 2 summer months of downtime so that we can be awesome the rest of the year. Don't ya think?

I just updated an old freebie, brightened it, changed the font and added a few other extras. If you do the Daily 5 in your classroom, it could help you out as you begin again this school year. I just noticed that my kids needed a way to remember all the components of the Daily 5, so I used the word RIGHT to help them remember.  If you are implementing the Daily 5 in your class this year, I wish you well. It takes a lot of legwork to make it flow right along, but after the foundation has been laid and you look around and see everyone on task, it is an amazing feeling...
Click on any of the pics to download.

Have a great week!

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Short Vowel Mystery...Solved.

The short vowels used to be a bit of a mystery to me. When I started teaching first grade 3 years ago, I walked into what would be my new classroom and I looked at all the posters on the walls. None of them were mine and almost all of them were rooted in phonics of some sort, little tricks and games to remember the rules. I was a 4th grade teacher at the time, so I didn't worry a whole lot about the vowels and their sounds. That was usually already done for me by the time my kids got to 4th grade and I would always feel so grateful to those early primary teachers for setting all that up -  that way, I could get onto the important business of writing and all that goes with that.

But, I am now, a 1st grade teacher and those vowels looking back at me from their respective posters that day were kinda scary. What did I know about that?? And they all sort of sounded the same to me, in a way. So, I thought, if they sounded the same to me (the teacher) imagine how they sounded to a little kid. I'll go one further for ya - a little kid who speaks another language (other than English) at home. My kids speak French at home.  Once, I took on that first grade classroom, I knew that I needed a trick and my own way of teaching these vowels. And once I had that trick, it was honestly, a breeze.
This is how I teach the short vowels, character by character. And I finally have had time to do it all up in a Pack. Each vowel character has his or her own story and the sound that vowel makes is blended into the story, so that the sound and the character become one and the same. This is how they look.

And, of course some practice pages too. 

And so, there you have it. Mystery solved. Except to say that when you watch 1st graders decode a word beautifully, using the skills that you've given them, there is nothing quite like it. The way they look at you because they are so proud and amazed that they did it, that it worked, that they now have the key and those doors to reading will just open up wide for them. That feeling - I could just never trade.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 4 July 2013


Happy 4th of July to all my American friends! Hope you have a great celebration. On Canada Day, I celebrated by going to see these famous horses. I love the RCMP Musical Ride, it is magical.

I'm late to the Bloglovin party, so am trying to catch up now. Since the end of google reader, we will all need something new to follow blogs, and you can now follow my blog through Bloglovin. You do have to setup an account with Bloglovin to follow this blog and all the other blogs you love. 

Have a great 4th of July!!