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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Calling All Teachers! Want FREE Sight Word Resources for Students and Parents?

Looking for a site that provides amazing, FREE resources to support your students' sight word fluency?  Well, I'm here to share with you a site called sightwords.com.  Ever heard of it?  
This site encompasses a variety of tools for you to use in your classroom with your little readers and parents to use at home with their children.  According to the site, the available resources "combine the latest literacy research with decades of teaching experience to bring you the best methods of instruction to make teaching {sight words} easier, more effective, and more fun."  How can you go wrong?  

If you're in need of quick and easy, printable sight word flash cards, look no further.  You may choose from Dolch or Fry sight words, the most common Dolch nouns, as well as customizable words your kids need to practice.  Depending on your needs, the cards are available in different sizes and formats.  They're so easy to implement with individual students for independent practice or in small groups.  I printed and laminated Pre-primer through 3rd Grade Dolch Words, then placed them on rings for an easy-to-grab tool.   
My students enjoy using The Reading Speedometer  
 with the flash cards to practice their sight word fluency. 
Thanks Playdough to Plato! :)
In addition, there are a variety of games available for students to play, including Snakes and Ladders, Sight Words Parking Lot, Sight Word Bingo and more.  Each game board is customizable.  You can choose Dolch or Fry words from any and all levels to make the games differentiated for your groups.  You also have the ability to create game boards with your own selection of words to practice vocabulary from various stories.  If you are in need of support, video tutorials for each game are available for teachers.  My little ones especially love Snakes and Ladders. :) 
In my opinion, here is the best feature of this site: videos explicitly demonstrating sight word lessons and strategies.  When parents ask, "How can I help my child at home?", you can share this site with them!
Hope you find this site as useful as I do.  If you're looking for multi-sensory techniques to help your students learn sight words, click HERE.   

Thank you to EduClips and Emily Education for the clipart in my photo collages and happy Tuesday! :)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Phonics Rules Can Be Tricky: Learning the 3 Sounds of -ED

Since the English language is so irregular, students should be explicitly taught phonics rules, in hopes to make reading and comprehending a text easier for them.  As you know, there are often multiple sounds for the same letter combinations, which can be confusing and tricky for little ones.  Additional time and practice to master the rules of phonics is always helpful, but this is especially the case for English language learners (ELLs).  

Many of the students I service in my RtI groups are ELLs.  I make sure to teach them phonics rules explicitly.  I then engage them in a variety of hands-on activities to reinforce what they've learned. Some activity examples are below to show you ways the students worked on learning the three sounds of -ed.  In addition, I located some awesome, FREE posters from Teaching with Love & Laughter's TPT store last year and have been using them ever since to introduce the rule.  

After using the posters to support the teaching of -ed, I asked my adorable little learners to become "word detectives" on the hunt for words ending in -ed.  Just telling the students they get to be word detectives seems to be motivation enough to practice the rule.  
They were also able to practice reading words while playing the (made up) game "Swat-a-Word".  It's similar to a word splash, but the students were given fly swatters for fun.  Fly swatters are cheap novelty items that make a huge difference on a student's motivation to practice phonics rules.  I called out one of the three sounds ("/t/", "/d/" or "/ed/"), while the students raced to locate and swat a word ending in -ed with the same sound.  They had a blast! 
In addition, I recently created "Reading Words with the Sounds of  -ed" for my students to further practice the rule.  They can either sort colorful word cards onto sorting mats based on the sounds they hear at the end of -ed words, or use task cards to locate words according to a particular sound.  Both activities have been successful at engaging my students and helping them practice and understand the three sounds of -ed!  If you're interested in other products I've created to support literacy, you can check out my TpT store HERE.  


I want to say thank you to Teaching Super PowerKimberly Geswein and Kevin & Amanda for the clip art and fonts used to create my picture collages. 

Have a great weekend!







Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring is Here! Blog Hop: Follow the Path of Poetry Freebies!

Welcome to the Spring is Here Poetry Hop!  I want to start off by thanking Carla over at Comprehension Connection for recruiting and organizing over 20 literacy bloggers to participate in the hop to share poetry freebies with you and for creating the adorable hop buttons. 

April is National Poetry Month, so to celebrate, my students have just begun listening to, reading and writing poetry, even on their computers!  Reading poetry is another fun way for students to practice becoming more fluent readers.  If you're a follower of mine, you know I love getting the kiddos to become fluent readers  in a variety of ways.  Novelty seems to be the key to student motivation! (Click HERE to read more.)  

I've shared my love of poetry with students for almost 20 years.  It all began with a gift from my cooperating teacher during my student teaching days.  Below is my original copy of Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  After reading it hundreds of times to the students and allowing them to read it themselves, the binding fell apart.  I have a new version, but will never get rid of the old! ;)
I have off of school this week, but was able to catch a few snapshots of my students writing poetry before our Spring Break started.  They are thoroughly enjoying being poets themselves! 
  
Here are some of my favorite read alouds to heighten my students' interest in poetry.  Crack open these books to hear some giggles out of your students!   
Okay... are you ready for a poetry freebie?  The first image below will link you to my TpT Store for some Acrostic Poems your students can enjoy, which includes a poster example of an Acrostic Poem.  I also made sure to offer an open-ended version of the poem to allow students an opportunity to brainstorm a word they associate with Spring!  As you know, a rating/feedback on the freebie is always greatly appreciated! :) 
The second image is my Spring Poetry Pack, which includes a poster example and differentiated student recording forms for each of these forms of poetry: Color, Cinquain, Acrostic, Haiku, Couplet and Diamante.  Want to add it to your poetry collection for free?  Head on down to the Rafflecopter to enter a giveaway! :) 
Looking to infuse technology into your poetry lessons? Check out these online poetry resource sites to use with your students during poetry month and well beyond.  There are a great deal of entertaining, interactive and easy-to-use poetry activities for kids.  
Students create their own poems!
Links to numerous poems for kids organized by themes!
Poetry Theater, Word Games, Poet Biographies and more!
Poems, lessons, activities, podcasts and so on!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you to Paula Kim StudioTeaching Super PowerHello FontsEduClips and Epiphanous Owl for the clipart and fonts used to create the blog hop buttons and the picture collages above!  To continue on the poetry path, click the Next Stop button below for a week's worth of 5th grade Poetry Unit lessons created by the talented Michelle over at BigTime Literacy! 
I appreciate your visit to Literacy Loving Gals.  Don't forget to link your blog under the Blogs tab above, so others may find you when they stop by Literacy Loving Gals. Happy Spring!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring into a Good Book! Spring-Themed Graphic Organizers- FREEBIE

Happy Spring!  I'm loving the warmer weather and longer days.  Aren't you? :) Spring is one of my favorite seasons.  Even though we get lots of rain, I stay positive knowing the rain brings gorgeous flowers for the Summer.  (Come on, Summer!)

Once again, I'm linking with Teaching Blog Addict for another Freebie Friday.  I created simple Beginning-Middle-End and Comparing Characters Spring-themed graphic organizers for my 2nd grade kiddos to use when responding to their reading.  A few of my little ones need lines when writing, while others prefer no lines, hence the two versions of each organizer.  You can grab them as a FREEBIE in my TpT Store.






Hope you find them useful in your classroom.  Enjoy!
Thanks again for hosting, Teaching Blog Addict!  Don't forget to link up your freebie. :)

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