A Freebie For You!

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Watch this video for a preview of my K/1 Halloween Math and Activities Value Bundle, and Save $5.00!


Looking for Halloween Ideas?  Check out my Halloween Pinterest Board here:


Now for some TREATS!

Here is a Halloween FREEBIE!


It's hard to believe FALL is on its way!  I always like to be sure that my young learners are noticing the changes that occur each season.  I used to do this with my own daughters (who are now both teachers), and to this day, when seasons change, they tell me they remember things we talked about.  They, in turn, engage their students in these same observations.  As we walk inside after recess, I always ask my students to stop a minute beside a fenced in pond at our school.  We take a few minutes to look for changes in trees, animals, plants, the water, etc.  At this time of year, students notice the color changes of the leaves, the grass turning brown, geese flying south, wooly bear caterpillars, acorns on the ground, squirrels gathering nuts, etc. Sometimes we are lucky enough to catch a frog sitting on a log!  These observations can be recorded in a science journal about the seasons.   I have a set of emergent readers for Fall. There are 4 versions of each reader.  There is also a version on which students can record their own observations about Fall and illustrate.  These observations can also be starting points for science lessons as well.

One of our annual Field Trips is to go Apple Picking!  The children love the hayride, hot cider, and donuts almost as much as they love picking apples.  Back in the classroom, I use this set of Apple Readers, 3 reading levels plus illustrated vocabulary cards for a word wall or pocket chart.



Fall also means the start of the Football Season! This FREEBIE will help your students master the first 40 Dolch sight words:


Friday, August 26, 2016

Back to School! Flash Freebie, too!

 Be sure to download my Flash Freebie PowerPoint on Balanced Literacy for Primary.  Feedback would be greatly appreciated!  Thank you...

Off To A Great Start!

Establishing a Community of Learners is paramount...   Every student should feel like your classroom is a safe place to be.  Here is a set of Back To School Friendship, Bully-Free and Manners Poems, all sung to familiar children's songs.  I hope they are not too corny!

    I have many, many labels and desk name plates that you can choose from, and all very reasonably priced.

Here is a FLASH FREEBIE...
"A Balanced Approach to Literacy"

Off To A Great Start!
      Here are some back to school ideas that help to make each young learner feel welcome and special!  I'm sure none of these ideas will be new to you, but for some of the ideas, I'd like to show you some materials I created in an effort to help you implement them.

     First of all, I always have each student’s name in as many places as possible in our classroom.  This lets students know that they are really a part of your class, and you have made everything ready for them.  I ask my students to find their desk name plates, put on their name tags that I have placed next to their name plates, and see how many other places they can find their names in our classroom.  While they do this, I greet each student with something unique:  “I like that smile you are wearing!  Wow, you are walking in so quietly!   I am so glad you are here today!  You look like you’re ready for a great day!", etc.   If a student has already put on his or her name tag, I use his or her name as I comment. 

        My goal is to create a safe and caring environment for my students.    I try to never use the word “no”.  When a student responds to a question, and it is not correct, I always try to value that student’s answer, respond with a positive, understanding comment and then guide that student to a better response.   My students quickly learn that when one student offers a response, the others don’t shoot up their hands again in an effort to supply the correct answer, because they know that I will guide that first student to a better response.  I use phrases like:  “I think I know why you said that… It’s because…. That was good thinking, but what about….  Yes, that is a possibility, and what if…  Hmmm I never thought of it that way… I like your thinking, now how about….”  In rare instances when I can’t get a better response, I will ask that student to call upon another student in our class.    I have found that this approach creates a classroom of risk takers who aren’t afraid to take a chance and answer a question. 

     When students feel like they are part of a community, they become much better learners!

      I have created materials for you to use to help you establish a community of friends:  back to school songs/poems with colored clipart and black and white clipart, desk name plates on which you can type your students' names or a version where you can print the names yourself, a wide variety of labels for items such as mailboxes, homework folders, journals, etc., sets of illustrated graphing questions with several illustrated responses for each question,  “How Am I Working?” Work Cards and more that you can find in my shop:

I have custom categories in the column to the left of my store.  They are titled Back To School and Classroom Management and contain lots of back to school materials and learning activities.

     I have many, many labels and desk name plates that you can choose from, and all very reasonably priced.

I have a wide variety of labels for various items in my product listings.  Simply type in each student's name.  Here is a sample:

TRI FOLD Desk Name Plate.  Type students' names. Fold in thirds... students flip for various references.  (also available in cursive and D'Nealian in my product listings).  Also available in single "stick down" style, as well as single fold in my product listings....

Also, our classroom motto is always "Be a friend…"
     When all of the students have had enough time to find their seats and walk around the room, I call them up to our first morning meeting.  The focus of our first meeting is that we are all friends.  The number one rule in our classroom is “Be a friend…”  Before students say or do anything, they ask themselves, “Is this something a friend would say?”  Or “Is this something a friend would do?”  If it isn’t, then the student needs to make another choice.  “If we all treat each other like friends, we will all feel safe and happy.  I will always treat you like a friend, and I expect you to treat everyone in our classroom like a friend, too.”  I have large charts with back to school songs for the first day, as well as individual copies for the students to place in their poetry folders.  We sing a few of those until I make sure that everyone’s name has been used in a song.
     Here is a file of back to school songs/poems in color and in black and white versions for students to color and take home or keep in Poetry Folders.  I have also included some large images in the file to use on large charts to make for shared reading.

Back to School Poems/Songs - Color and Blackline

Each morning we pass a greeting around our circle.  I begin the greeting by starting either on my right or left and saying, for example,  “Good Morning, Nathan!”  Nathan says, “Good Morning, Mrs. Post.” And then turns to the person next to him and says, “Good Morning, Sarah!”  Sarah says, “Good Morning, Nathan!” and then turns to the next student and says, “Good Morning, _______” and so on until the greeting has made its way completely around the circle and back to me.  Then we all say, “Good Morning, Friends!”

      Next, we go on to “Who has been a friend to you?”  I begin by addressing a particular student who I have noticed has done or said something a friend would do or say.  Then, that student tells how another student acted like a friend by something s/he did or said.   Each student can only be addressed once.  We continue until everyone has received an acknowledgement.  The students beam when one of their friends speaks about them.

     Another great activity for helping students to get to know one another is graphing.  I have created lots of illustrated graphing cards and illustrated responses that help students to learn about their friends, and we learn key math skills at the same time.
     I have 2 files of graphing sets.  Each set contains 10 illustrated questions with multiple illustrated responses for each.  Here is a link to set 1.  Set 2 can be found in my product listings.

Set of Pocket Chart Graphing Cards to help your students get to know each other...


Establishing Good Work Habits Early...

     Good work habits are another important thing to establish during the first part of the school year... Old habits are hard to break, so encourage students to try their best right from the start.  Here is a set of My Work Cards so students can alert you when they have a problem.  You'll also know who is working fine...

 FLAT STYLE ABOVE (Cut out cards and put in a small pile.  The student places the card on top that best describes his/her current needs.)

TENTED STYLE  (Cut into strips the long way... fold each strip in half so the same card can be seen from all angles in the classroom... place tents on top of one another.  The student places the tent on top that best describes his/her current needs.)

    Here's a simple file for name badges to be worn by students during the first few days of school.  This one prints out on 2" x 4" labels, but I also have a file of larger ones that you can print out on oaktag.  Instead of the school name and phone, you can put the bus number or type of transportation like walker, van, etc.

Name Tags for First Week of School (Save and use for field trips, too!")

    Differentiation is so important!  All of my emergent readers have at least 2 or 3 reading levels included.  Two reading levels are in all readers for the Fall.  Then, in the winter, my readers progress to 3 reading levels.  I also include Illustrated Vocabulary Cards for a Word Wall or Pocket Chart.  All readers come in color, black and white, and non-illustrated (so students can illustrate to show comprehension).   Many of the readers also have writing follow-ups for students to create their own versions complete with "write your own" text and "draw your own" illustrations.  Here is one set of "Back to School" readers about School Rules.


Here is another set for Back to School!



Emergent Readers:  "PEOPLE AT SCHOOL" 
3 Reading Levels 
Plus Illustrated Vocabulary Cards for Word Wall or Pocket Chart!

To help students with DIBELS onset rime blending, I have onset rime activities with a wide variety of themes to keep students motivated throughout the year.  Here is Level 1 of the Back To School Onset Rime DIBELS Center:


For more back to school centers, please click this link:   

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Take care...