Rhyming for Beginners

"What rhymes with cat?"
"What rhymes with shoe?"
"Okay... What rhymes with sun?"

Have you had a similar conversation when assessing students ability to rhyme at the beginning of the year? 

Rhyming is a skill that I have found many students struggle mastering. Before students can match words that rhyme or produce a rhyming word, they need to be able to identify which words rhyme and which don’t! 

When given too many choices to pick from, students become frustrated and overwhelmed. I created the following product for my students so they only have two words to choose from. This way, students can more confidently decipher if the pair of pictures rhyme or do not rhyme.

This rhyming sort is perfect for students who are just learning about rhyming, small group, RTI, or as a whole group lesson!

This pack has rhymes/does not rhyme headers, 20 picture cards (10 with pictures that rhyme and 10 with pictures that do not rhyme), and a recording sheet so for students to show their work during independent practice.

If you have students who struggle to understanding the concept of rhyming (especially at the beginning of the year) and would be interested in trying this little hands on activity, you can find it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here.

Once students have a better understanding of rhyming words, they can play my fun freebie "Rhyme Time Dominoes" 

*click picture below to download*

Happy Rhyming Everyone!

Made it Monday

I'm linking up this week with 4th Grade Frolics for her super fun linky "Made it Monday!"

My 1st "Made it" was actually inspired by another teacher's "made it" (from 3 years ago)! I found this cute little pencil on Pinterest a few weeks ago created by Rowdy in Room 300 

How cute is that?! 

A few girlfriends and I had talked about doing a back to school crafty get together and I just knew THIS is what I wanted to make! 

Here is mine so far :)

I need to do a few touch ups and then stuff it but I like the way it turned out. :)

I am loving my new color scheme for next year! I have slowly been creating things for my room throughout the summer so that for the first time ever, my room will be somewhat coordinated! ha! 

Here is what I have been working on this week:
*Disclaimer* I am a horrible photographer. Sorry the picture quality isn't fantastic 

Ordinal numbers + Number charts with numerals, words, ten frames, and tally marks. 

A calendar sneak peak - Weather chart, tally marks, and 10 frame recording sheet. 

 Table labels 

A few workstation labels 

I cannot wait to get into my room in 2 weeks and starting putting everything together! 

Be sure and check out 4th Grade Frolics linky for other awesome projects people created this week!


Under Water Word Work

Last week I finally wrapped up summer school! Now that I am done, I could actually blog about some of the things we did this week. :)

Instead of trying to recap all of summer school, I decided to pick five(ish) word work activities that we did during literacy workstations this summer and link up with one of my favorite linky parties!


Popcorn word play-doh stamping. 

For this station, I give kids high frequency words that we have been practicing, play-doh, play-doh stampers, and some kind of manipulative to cover up the words they have stamped. First the read the word, then stamp it, write in in their journal, and cover it up! 

Once students have covered all of the words, I will challenge them to come up with sentences using the words in their journal.  

 Building vocabulary words at the sensory table.

At this station, I fill the bucket with plastic letters, thematic vocabulary words, and different types of sensory materials. Right now it is full of black beans and corn but other things I like to put in there are colored rice, sand, or water.  

Students dig through the beans and find the letters to spell each word, then record the words in their journal. 

The "necklace making" station.

For this workstation, I include thematic vocabulary and letter beads(which you can find here).
This is one of the kid's FAVORITE word work activities and that is for one reason and one reason alone. After they are done spelling their words on different pieces of string, they get to pick one word and wear it for the rest of the day. Gotta love kids! It's the little things that get the most excited. :) 

Wikki Stix word builders

This is another word work activity that is very easy to set up. I put out vocabulary cards and wikki stix and let the kids go to town! 

When I first introduce wikki stix word building, I make sure that the words are big enough that the students can easily form the letters right on top of the word. Once they have gotten a handle on creating letters using the wikki stix, I start giving them smaller cards to create and shape the letters on their own. You can find a small pack to get you started here or go for the big set here.

The last word work station that I am going to share today is a building words station. 

This year my principal purchased these cool word building blocks for us (you can find them here). They are perfect for small group and a fun addition to a word work workstation! To make my CVC words "ocean themed" I just added the pictures to these cute little fish, 

To make it even more exciting, you could add paperclips to the fish and have students "catch" a word to build using a magnetic fishing pole. I would have done this but that idea JUST came to me! Oh well, there is always next year ;)

So that was 5, but I want to share just one more thing....

One of my sweet teacher friends (who was not even teaching summer school!) made this adorable little backdrop for our dramatic play.

In this ocean themed dramatic play, students became oceanographers and observed all kids of sea creatures. 

They explored different textures and patterns. 

All of these items are from Lakeshore but when I went on their site to put the link, all I could find were the animals. The patterns and texture cards are both older so they may not make them anymore. :( 

Then there is my personal favorite, the taxidermy turtle...

3 things you need to know about this turtle:

1. When your dad has been married to a teacher for 30+ years, he finds you weird and amazing things you never even knew to ask for at flea markets.

2. Some kids are terrified of it, most kids think it is the coolest thing EVER!

3. I put a hand lends by the turtle for students to observe it in greater detail. Instead, most students held the turtle like a baby and fed it sand. LOL

That is all for today! To connect with other teachers for more great ideas, check out Doodle Bugs Teaching's linky party.

For other ocean themed ideas, you can check out these posts on my old blog!


Frugal Finds!!

It has started.

There is a back to school section in every store.

Teachers are posting about their new classroom finds all over social media.

School supplies are EVERYWHERE! 

It is almost back to school time!!

As much as I hate to see that summer winding down, I cannot help but join in on the anticipation of a new year. I too have become swept up in the excitement of a fresh start!

 And while I have not hit the stores with the, "I must buy ALL the things!" attitude just yet, here are a few of my most recent purchases:

At Goodwill I found over 20 books to add to my library

I was really excited to find thematic books, a few by some of my favorite authors, and even several pictures books about different math concepts. I usually buy books on Amazon or Half Price but these were soooo cheap! You have to dig and you don't always come out with winners, but it is worth a look!

About a week ago I went to Target and bought my TFA teachers a few things for their 1st classroom (woohoo!) as a gift.

Most of these are self explanatory so I will only discuss is the "swipes". Basically, it is smelly kid chap-stick that I use as a reward in my class. They are usually called smelly swipes but since these are "smarties" flavored chap-stick, they will be smarty swipes. :) 

When a kid is working quietly, answers a question correctly, following instructions, etc. I swipe a little on the back of their hand. They spend the next few minutes sniffing it and basically think it is the best thing ever. lol

For those who will be making a trip to the dollar store soon, I wanted to share a post I actually did last year on my old blog. I will be heading back to the good ol Dollar Tree later this week to replace a few of these items and check out what else I may "need" for this school year! 

The Dollar Store is a dangerous, dangerous place for teachers! You go in for one thing and you leave with 50 things! Right?? I know it is not just me! ;) 

Here are some classroom treasures I picked up on today's trip and what I plan on using them for:

I plan on using these water cannons as pointers. They extend so they are great for little people to point way up high! I got the big ones to use with my ABC line, number line, or anything else that might be slightly out of their reach. 

I will use the shorter ones for Morning Message, reading big books, etc! 

Speaking of reading, I got these "reading glasses" to add to my library collection:

I mean, how fun are these?!?! 

Sorry, I couldn't resist ;) 

Also for my little library nook, I got these cute little paper lanterns to hang (I hope the fire marshal will cooperate):
Since there are 4 maybe I will spell out READ on them. Hmmm we will see.. 

I got these smelly and glittery pens for the writing workstation: 

For small group, I got these krazy and flamingo "pointers"

And this sweet little I am busy leave me alone working with a small group, please wait your turn light:

The light certainly wasn't my idea but for anyone who hasn't seen it on Pinterest, when you are working with a small group and do not wish to be disturbed you push the light on. When you are free again you can turn the light off. In my room I encourage my students not to come up while I am working with a small group period but some little friends need an extra visual reminder. 

These shot glasses are for when Mrs. Alexander is having one of those days... JUST KIDDING ;) I plan on writing letters, numbers, etc. on them and using them on the light table. 

I got two of these bad boys:
These plastic pockets have a handy dandy magnet on the back and I will use them on my white board easel as well as my word wall, which is a white board too. I tested the strength of the magnet (because I am one of those people) on one of the metal shelves at the Dollar Tree and put several things in the pocket. I think they will do the trick :) 

I have been using large hula hoops as for Venn Diagrams and other graphic organizers in the classroom, so when I saw these smaller ones, I could not resist. 

I think they will be perfect for workstations!

I also got these trays for sorting:

I also got a few clip boards for write the room activities. Although, I might decorate these plain Jane ones for my team and buy other ones for workstations.

I bought this index card holder to store all of my calendar pieces for the different months:

and these goodies are for my new "Teacher Binder" I plan to make:

I have not quite decided what I am going to use these for yet:
I am thinking I will use them for some sort of daily vote (for example: Do you have a pet?). One circle will be yes and the other no and students can move their name/picture from the rectangle cookie sheet (not pictured) to the appropriate circle. 

These cars can be used for a ton of beginning of the year activities! 

***To read more about these activities click on the picture, it will take you to the original link***

Name writing (and later sight words)

Letter Tracing (which can later be used to build CVC words)

Letter Matching (1st Upper to Uppercase than Upper to lowercase)

I am also going to use this beach ball for a letter ID game:

I bought this to hang my big A on the door (more on that later):

And these to clean up (obviously). Also, because they are too stinking cute! I LOVE the shark one!

And FINALLY **last thing I promise** I bought these:

To make these little cutties to hand out at Meet the Teacher:

PHEW! I know that was a lot but I wanted to write it allllllll down so that A) I could share it with you wonderful people and B) In a few weeks when I am setting up my classroom, I will not be like, "What the heck did I buy this for?!?" #realtalk ;) 
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