Sounds, Sounds, Everywhere!

Dear Blogger Friends,
Hope you are all doing well and are starting to enjoy the festivities of this holiday season! I absolutely looooooove this time of year! I am slowly wrapping up my circus unit (one more cute idea/freebie to come!) and have begun looking into my holiday activities (great ideas/freebies to come!). Seeing as though I am slightly in between units at the moment, I thought it would be nice to share something I do each day during my morning routine! 

As a cycle one teacher, my main focus is to help my students learn and improve upon reading and writing skills. I do so by having my students take part in many daily 5 and balanced literacy activities. Furthermore, I have a phonics routine! This can be done at the beginning of each day, during calendar time. Everyday, my students review the jolly phonics (b, s, t, etc...) sounds as well as other more difficult sounds (ee, ea, ough, ow, etc...). 

My bestie, Mrs. Leslie (I think I've mentioned her before, hehe), has so graciously shared some wonderful sound posters (free of course). 

These are displayed on the wall and a designated student (usually the V.I.P for the day, also courtesy of Mrs. Leslie!) points to the sounds and the students say each sound. We say "oo" as in "tooth," thus helping students remember the letters and sounds. More specifically, when they are reading or writing, we can refer back to the sounds cards. For instance, if a student wants to write the word "booth" and is stuck on the "oo" sound, I say: "oo, like in tooth!" The students usually refer to the sound posters and are then able to write the sound correctly. 

Click here to download Mrs. Leslie's Sound Posters
Click here to download Mrs. Leslie's V.I.P. Student

Another great freebie by Mrs. Leslie, is the mini sound chart. It is a great resource to have in writing folders and around the classroom for reference. It includes all the same sounds as the posters with the added bonus of fitting all on the same page! 

Click here to download Mrs. Leslie's Sound Chart

I have also made small sound cards that can be cut and used as flash cards. Once again, they include all the above sounds (bottom portion of the poster) and are without pictures. These are used after a certain knowledge of the sounds has been attained. It is a good daily practice for the sounds and can be sent home. I use these with my students who are having a little more difficulty remembering the sounds. A great tool to use when the resource teacher is in your classroom. Also fun to use when the students are in centers and you want to work one-on-one with a struggling student.

Click here to download  FREE Sound Cards

Hope these prove to be helpful for some of you out there! 
Be sure to continue to check out my blog and Mrs. Leslie's for more great ideas!


Walter the Elephant!

Hello All,
                I have only just arrived home, upon spending a wonderful evening meeting most of my kiddies parents. I have to say, not only am I blessed with great students, but with wonderful, supportive parents as well (isn't that the greatest!). This job is so rewarding! I loooooooove it!!! I also love teaching the second grade because I can really have some fun with my units and the kiddies...

So much fun indeed, that I introduce to you, Walter the Elephant!

I swear, even the adults at my school are in love with this cuddly guy! P.S. you can find him at IKEA!

Walter LOVES to watch the students work AND he really enjoys going home with students to take part in many great adventures!

Everyday, a different student has the privilege to bring Walter home. Walter usually chooses a student who has demonstrated a positive attitude and has worked hard all day! He also likes it when he catches a student doing something really great, like helping a friend or sharing. He sometimes likes to go home with students who have been putting a lot of great effort into their work. He is really good at choosing the right home to visit each day! 

He also wants the students to write and illustrate about their adventures together. 

Walter is a great motivational tool and the students respond well to receiving him and sharing their adventures with their peers. Every morning, the student brings Walter back to school and reads his/her story to the class. I have seen some great reading and sharing from reluctant readers as well as timid students. He is a great tool to use for building confidence!

You may of course use any stuffed toy you wish. We are using an elephant, as you all very much know, we are in the midst of our circus theme.

You can download the Walter the Elephant pack here: FREE

I hope this activity brings smiles to your kiddies faces!
See you all very soon


Draw a Rhyme Clown

Hey Everyone,
                        I tell you I am on a circus frenzy! I am into all things clown, lion, elephant, popcorn etc... HeHe!!! I truly am enjoying this theme and better yet, so are the kiddies... One of our latest activities is   a draw a rhyme poem. While googling, blogging, stalking (wtv you would like to call all this), I found these wonderful little poems that are great for listening and comprehension skills (they are also great fun!) Basically, they are funny and ridiculous poems about various characters (monsters, clowns, and aliens) that you read aloud to your students and have them draw what they hear. I also had my kiddies complete the rhyme (as they were quite simple). For instance, the first rhyme is "When making a clown it is said, always start with his big round HEAD." The kiddies enjoyed "calling/yelling" out the answers. They most especially loved drawing the character.

The great thing about this activity is that although they are all drawing the same clown, somehow through their imagination and creativity, they all turned out different and magnificent no less! It was great to see them all excited about their art and upon reading each rhyme, they all would raise their papers to show me.. It was a darling little activity and we had great laughs! 

Here is the link to the 3 poems: Draw a Rhyme

Click here to download my free poem printable (which I used as the sign for our bulletin board) It has been slightly adapted from the original version: Draw a Clown Rhyme Poem

Here our my kiddies creations! I love, love, love them!


Aren't they the cutest! 

We had an absolute ball completing this activity! I hope you do too!
Stay tuned for a lion taming extravaganza! 


My Circus Elephant Freebie

Hi Everyone,
                     My kiddies are just loving everything about this circus unit, including our latest writer's workshop: My Circus Elephant.

                                                                                                 We read the most adorable book:
                                                                                                 "What Elephant?"



After our book discussion we wrote a very cute story about a circus elephant! 

Finally, the kiddies went back to their seats and wrote their own Circus Elephant Stories. Here is what they came up with!

Cute right?!?! 
To make the elephants all you must do is have your kiddos paint a paper plate gray and download my free templates below!


Have Fun!


Differentiated Instruction (for reading) Circus Style!

Good evening all,
                 Thank you to all the newcomers and please do not be shy to follow! Ever since I started this blog, as well as started stalking all you amazing bloggers out there, I am soooooooooooooooo motivated to teach, learn, and implement all kinds of new ideas in my classroom. I haven't loved teaching this much in well... EVER!!! I think, of course, it is also due to my amazing kiddies and my very supportive and resourceful staff!
 So! Back to why I am actually posting tonight! Although my kiddies ROCK, I do have a challenge this year, as I have varying strengths and needs in my classroom. I am currently teaching approximately 3 different levels in my classroom. I am fortunate to have attendant time as well as resource time, which really helps in terms of modifying the program! I wanted to share with you some reading activities that I have implemented in my classroom this week. Along with guided reading, read to self, and read to someone, I looooooove to have shared reading activities. The kiddies really enjoy it and it is a great way to help improve fluency, word recognition, vocabulary, and build confidence in reading.
 Simply put, all you need to do is find a text that is repetitive and includes some new vocabulary words as well as theme words. I generally make my own as it is far more conducive to what I am looking to work on. I type the text at the bottom of each page and have the students illustrate each page accordingly. I read the story to them (emphasizing correct punctuation and fluency), we read the story together as a class, and then I ask students to read aloud on their own (this is great for reluctant readers, as they have heard the story twice at that point and are more confidant in wanting to read a page). Finally, we work on 1 to 2 pages and re-read, talk about the vocabulary and what is happening on these pages. The students then go back to their seats and re-read the pages on their own and illustrate! The next time you work on shared reading, you may overview what you did in previous lessons and then simply do the steps over again with the 2 pages you will be working on (no need to re-read the entire story again, unless you feel it would be beneficial).

               There are also many advantages to shared reading. It is a great way to introduce new vocabulary words and discuss the meanings. Furthermore, it is a simple way to check for understanding and comprehension. Finally, you can have students work on various skills such as punctuation, grammar etc... I usually have my students highlight (always fun!) proper nouns or descriptive words etc... it's a great addition to the activity. 
    So here is how I differentiated the reading instruction this week. I had my emergent reader group work on a circus printable booklet, which I found for FREE!

            My second group, who are now focusing on fluency, new vocabulary, and comprehension, received my lovely creation: "A Day at the Circus." This is the story (which I made up myself) that I used for the above mentioned shared reading activity. 

Finally, my advanced reading group worked on literature circles, using a circus themed chapter book.

A "Bit" About "Lit" Circles

Students work cooperatively in groups, while reading the same novel. The students complete a variety of activities for each set of pages read. The activities cue comprehension throughout the reading of the book. Once the novel is completed, the students proceed to complete a series of questions that require a good understanding of the contents of the story. With a touch of art, relations to the students life, working with peers, and a variety of other activities, this unit is a wonderful addition to any language arts program. The students generally read 1 to 2 chapters each lesson and complete a different "job."
 Then they get together and go over their "job" and discuss the content. 

I hope that this is beneficial to some of you and that you have a blast implementing any of the aforementioned activities in your classroom. My kiddies did a fantastic job and it was nice to have various groups working on different projects that were suited to their strengths and needs. 
I'll be back soon with more fun activities!

P.s. Did I mention I have a Facebook Page!


Did I mention that my mentor/colleague/bestie has an amazing blog (she is like a grade 1 and 2 guru people!) as well as a Facebook page!

Please visit, she has all kinds of great FREE resources for you!


If a Moose Joined the Circus! Trust me, you will love this!!! (Freebies Included!)

Dear Sweet Blogger Friends,
           You will not believe how much fun I am having with our circus theme! The kiddies are, simply put, creating absolute masterpieces! I am seeing so much progress and effort from these little kiddies!! I loooooooveeee it!!! 

           Here is my latest lesson which can be done in several parts. I don't know about all of you but my kiddies have been experiencing some difficulties with punctuation, most especially placing capitals in the right places. Thus, I decided to create a circus themed Smart Board lesson on editing! 
I chose to use the book:

I adapted it to fit my lesson plan needs as well as to incorporate ideas and concepts that would suit my follow up lesson. 

I used part of the story to create my Smart board lesson and left many spelling errors for my students to edit. Read the description below to better understand how to use the lesson and 
download your free copy of the notebook file here

How to use the activity!

Read the sentences on each slide. Have the students come up and circle the grammatical errors. Once completed, pull up the shade for the edited version of the text and check if they missed anything! All previous mistakes have been corrected in red font. 

This 10 slide activity is sure to be a successful editing introduction. With emphasis placed on proper nouns, capitals, punctuation and even a small introduction to quotation marks (for your more advanced students) it will motivate your students to pay closer attention to sentence structure and grammar during writing assignments. Tried and true! 

It is important to mention that at the end of the story (included in Smart board file) Morris the Moose expresses his disappointment with regards to the fact that there are no moose in the circus. Boris the Bear, who at this point is at his wits end with Morris' silly questions and comments (told you it would make the kiddies laugh!) sighs and tells him to join the circus!

At this point, my students are asked to discuss various circus jobs and acts. We brainstorm together and then write a class story entitled "If a Moose Joined the Circus." I took the opportunity to discuss the present, past and future tenses with my kiddies. At this point, we have almost always written stories in the present tense. This was a great way for them to practice using "ed," "would have" etc...

Upon writing our class story about a moose called Bouncy the Clown, the students were asked to go back to their seats and create their own stories. They did an absolute amazing job! Talk about creativity! We had moose juggling, lion taming, telling jokes, practicing magic! It is amazing what they come up with!

Tell me these are not the cutest ever!!
You can download the templates for the "moose parts" and copy them to construction paper.
Download here:

Hope you enjoy this activity! I sure did and the kiddies loved it too!
P.S. Please like my Facebook Page!!!


Currently November Linky Party

Good Evening All,
                              My very wonderful friend over at Grow Up Learning had this adorable little post about what's going on in her fabulous life RIGHT NOW! P.s. she's worth the visit, a wonderful teacher who shares fantastic resources. She got the template from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade. Both Blogs are most definitely stalker worthy!!!!

Here's my Currently November Post

Enjoy and don't forget to let us know what you're up to this minute!


Portfolio Freebie!

Hi Everyone,
                    I don't know about all of you, but I am all tuckered out!!! All this assessment and evaluation "stuff" has taken over my life and classroom! Our first term ended on Friday and I have spent countless hours assessing my students and looking over work samples to evaluate. This is definitely not my favorite part of teaching, but alas, it must be done!
                   So, I thought I'd stop by and share a quick little activity that you can complete with the kiddies anytime a term or session ends. It's a great way to look back and reflect upon all the great activities they took part in, as well as all the progress they have made.

             My kiddies really enjoyed answering the questions and were very honest and quite accurate with their responses! It's a self-evaluation, however I was pleased to see that for the most part they seem to be on the same page as me!! They can write about what they enjoyed, what they disliked, what they really worked on, what they had difficulty with, etc... It's a fun little activity and can easily be completed after each term has come to an end. Moreover, you can place it in their portfolio!

Download your free copy here: Term Report

                  Enjoy and see you have to report cards are done! (I haven't forgotten about all the great circus ideas and differentiated instruction activities I promised!!!!!)

Back to Top