Reading in a Snap

Thursday, July 30, 2015

I absolutely love to teach reading! Kindergarten is awesome because some kids come in knowing no letters and leave basically reading. I am working on creating a new reading program that will teach reading and writing quickly and easily. The activities are fun and hands on, so they will keep the interest of the children and they will not even know they are learning!

I had my cute, five year old cousin test out a lot of these activities for me. She is the cute "model" you see in the pictures below!

Each unit focuses on ten sight words. There will be 100 sight words taught by the end of the year.
Here are some examples of some of the fun sight word activities, each unit has a ton of other activities as well!
Dot Art is always a favorite activity!
Each month there is some type of puzzle that goes with the sight words for the month, these are the puzzles for the first month. 

There is a cute recording sheet that goes with the game as well.
Sight word play dough is fun too!

This game is so much fun! They roll the dice and write the sight words in the chart.
She had SO much fun playing this game!

"To" won, she was so excited!
Each unit (the first five) have a vowel focus. CVC words start right away, the first month is "short a" so all of the CVC words have the short a medial sound. They will need help reading these at first, but since they are exposed to these type of words early, they will be able to read them early as well.

There are 8 fluency sentences in each unit, for a total of 80 at the end of the year. Two days a week, a new sentence is introduced. The words in the sentence are simple CVC words with the vowel focus of the month and the sight words that have already been taught. They are added to each child's ring after they read them the first day they have it. 

There are also eight emergent readers each month. They start out as patterned reading and looking at the pictures at the beginning, then move on to reading previously taught sight words and simple CVC words. 
There is a letter each week, the first week being the month's vowel focus. Then, three consonants are taught following the vowel. The week starts off with a letter poem and then there are letter activities to follow each day. 

I also include video links for letter videos so that you can have your children watch these during the week, I love using songs and videos when teaching about letters. Auditory and visual learners both do really well with the song videos. Some even have motions to help the kinesthetic learners. 

One of my absolute favorite parts of this program is the reading journals. Each week I have a read aloud title. I read the book three of the five days of the week, there are three prompts that go with each of the books. These are awesome because they are very differentiated. Each child has the same prompt, but they can write at their own level. At the beginning, the prompts only require one word or copying a sentence. However, some lower level children may only be able to draw a picture and some kids may be able to write a full sentence. I think it is important to set high expectations, then let the children do the best they can do at their own level. By the end of the year, the children will be writing multiple sentences, these journals really show the progression throughout the year.

Both of these prompts are from the first unit, they are very simple. 

So far, I have completed units one through three. I am in the process of finishing the fourth unit. I will be uploading them as soon as they are completed. If you are interested in seeing any of the units, click the images below.

Back to School with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I know it is way too early to be thinking about back to school right now, but ever since Vegas, I am so excited to be prepping and creating for back to school.

Today, I am linking up with Adventures of Room 129 and Primary Inspired for Back to School Book Favorites.
One of my favorite books for back to school is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.. This is not the most original choice, basically every kindergarten class does Chicka Chicka Boom Boom at the beginning of the school year. But, there are so many activities that can be done with this book! Kids absolutely love this book, plus that coconut tree theme has to be the cutest ever and letters during the first few days of school? It is perfect!

If you have not read Chicka Chicka Boom Book, where have you been? Just kidding, it is basically the alphabet, just with a cute rhythm and a cute story that goes with it. It is simple to read and the kids love it.

This is a super simple activity that can be done during the first few weeks of school. You can use it in centers, in small groups, as a whole group or as an early finisher activity. During the first few weeks of school you will definitely need some early finisher activities, you will have those kids that have never been to school and will take a lot longer and those kids that are school pros and will be done in just a few minutes.

You can have your kids work independently or separately to match up the uppercase and lowercase letters (since it is just the beginning of school I would just give them 5-6 letter sets at a time, then have them do more when they finish).

You can also just include the set of lowercase or uppercase and have them put the letters in order.
Another cute activity would be finding letter partners, give each child a letter (you will not use all of them, only as many kids as you have), and have each child find the child who has the lowercase letter that matches their uppercase letter.

Click on the photo above to download the activity for free.

Check out these other bloggers and their favorite back to school books!


Back to School Games

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I can't believe I am writing a back to school post now!
Ever since Vegas, we have been so excited to get started with back to school preparation!

This year, we really want to focus on hands on games and activities in kindergarten.
I am starting to get our back to school themed activities together and created a bunch of really exciting games!
We will be using these games in early finisher tubs this year, we always have a few kids that are done very early and a few kids that are done way late, so we are trying early finisher tubs this year. I am so excited about this!
I love including directions with pictures with each activity, so that the kids can see the directions and work independently.

Here are some of the activities that we will be doing during the first few weeks of school.
Game for Kindergarten Back to School
Roll and Color Shapes: This game is so much fun! Kinder kids love using dice, these differentiated dice make everything so much better. I also made one with a foldable paper dice. 
Game for Kindergarten Back to School
Roll and Trace Numbers: This one is perfect for both counting and tracing numbers.
Game for Kindergarten Back to School
Spin and Color Alphabet: The students will have to spin a spinner, then color the apples with the lowercase letter. This is perfect for matching uppercase and lowercase letters. It only focuses on a few letters at a time, which is great for beginning kinders.
Game for Kindergarten Back to School
Alphabet Bingo: This is a great game for kids to play in partners or small groups.
Game for Kindergarten Back to School
Number Match: These little number puzzles are so cute! You can get them for free by clicking the picture below.

 If you liked these games and want to get these plus more, click the circle below.

Fishy Fun!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Every year our school has a fun camp for the kids coming in to kindergarten in the fall. It helps them get acclimated for the school and get a taste of what kindergarten will really be like.
It is only a few hours long each day for a few weeks. I love this camp because we get to do all kinds of fun activities!
Shape Fishing for Kindergarten or Pre-K

Each week has a theme and this week is under the sea.

We started the week off by fishing for shapes. This was a perfect activity for a child before starting kindergarten, it would also be great for the beginning of kindergarten or pre-k.
A perfect book for fishy shape activities.

First we read "A Fishy Shape Story", this book was perfect for this activity! Unfortunately this book is out of print, but I think I found it used on Amazon here.

Shape Game for Pre-K or Kindergarten

We had an "ocean" in the middle of the rug (really crumpled up blue construction paper, but we told them it was an ocean), with all of the fish on top.
The fish have to have a paper clip on them for it to work.
Shape Activity for Kindergarten or Pre-K

Then, the kids stood around the rug and each kid got to take a turn catching a fish. They LOVED this, seriously it was like they were actually fishing! 
We used these Lakeshore magnetic fishing rods. I would definitely recommend these, but if you can't get them, you can make your own with a ruler or some type of stick, a string tied on and a magnet tied on the bottom.
Graphing the Fish Shapes

After they caught their fish they brought it over to the graph and put it in the correct row. We analyzed the graph afterward and hung it up in the hall. 

Another activity that we did was an alphabet fish hunt. We found this cute fish abc song on YouTube to watch before the activity.
ABC Search for Kindergarten or Pre-K
After the book, all of the fish letters were hidden around the room. They had to find the letters and come sit on the rug.
Putting the letters back in order after the hunt.

Putting the abcs in order

Once all of the kids were back, we called all of the letters one at a time and they put them in a pocket chart.
Singing the ABCs after the hunt.

At the end we called one kid up to point to the letters as the rest of the class was singing the alphabet.

This was an awesome activity!

Click here to download all of the activities in this post!

Vegas 2015!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I just got home from an amazing week in Vegas!
I spent the week attending SDE's national I Teach K conference, then the Teachers Pay Teachers seller conference. It was such an awesome week!
Going to the teacher conferences in Las Vegas

My mom and I went together and we both had such a great time, we can't wait for next year.

The first three days were spent at I Teach K, we heard a ton of amazing presenters. I am SO glad that I got the chance to go. The presenters and their ideas really made my mom and I so excited about the upcoming school year. Seriously, all that we could talk about while in Vegas was ideas for next year and everything that we were learning in our sessions. My mom filled up almost an entire notebook, of things to try in the classroom.
Megan Shea and Fran Shea at SDE National Conferences

Isn't this dress cute? I got it for Vegas and was so excited to wear it, that I wore it on the first day. After having it on for about an hour, I noticed it was turning my whole body and my bag navy blue! I like navy blue a lot, but would prefer if it stayed on my clothes and not on my body. I kept it on for the whole day because I really liked the way it looked, definitely not the smartest idea. When I got back to the hotel room at night I was REALLY blue, and it would not come off. I had to use makeup remover wipes on my entire body and still couldn't get very much off. If you saw me this week and noticed I was looking extra blue, it was the dress' fault, not mine!

I absolutely love reading other teachers' blogs, I check my favorites almost every day. I was lucky enough to meet so many of my favorite teacher bloggers, and even got to attend some of their sessions and learn from them. I still can't decide which was my favorite, they were all so awesome.

I spent almost the entire first day learning from Deedee Wills, she is fantastic. I can't wait to use some of her ideas in September!
Megan Shea and Deedee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

I also spent a lot of time learning from Kim Adsit of KinderGals. She is awesome as well! My mom loved her ideas the most!
Megan Shea meeting Kim Adsit from Kindergals

I spent an entire day getting ideas from Elizabeth Hall of Kickin' it in Kindergarten, she had so many great ideas! I can't wait to use what I learned from her!
A quote from Elizabeth Hall's presentation at I Teach K.
I didn't get a picture with her unfortunately, but here is one of the quotes in her presentation that I loved. 
There is always a huge Teacher Blogger Meet Up on Wednesday night, I was so excited to get a chance to attend this year, this was my first time and it was awesome!
The organizers of the 2015 teacher blogger meet up.
Not the greatest picture, but here are the awesome organizers of the meet up.

There were over 1,000 teachers at the meet up! It was packed, but full of awesome and talented teachers!
Some of the crowds at the meet up.
You can sort of see how crowded it was in this picture, this was only one side of the room!
We got our picture with Freckles from GoNoodle, we LOVE GoNoodle!
Megan Shea and Fran Shea with Freckles from GoNoodle.

I got my picture with Amy Lemons, she was one of the absolute first blogs that I started reading and she is one of my all time favorite bloggers. She was so sweet, I am so glad that I got to meet her!
Meeting Amy Lemons from Step Into Second Grade.
Ignore my hair in these pictures! Looking back at the way my hair looked makes me cringe!
I also got to meet and take a picture with THE Deanna Jump. She was so nice, I was so excited to be able to get a picture with her. 
Meeting Deanna Jump from Mrs. Jump's Class.

They gave away $55,000 in prizes at the meet-up! There were all kinds of awesome prizes.
We were shocked when my mom won an Ellison die cut machine! We can't wait for it to come!
Fran Shea winning an Ellison Die Cut Machine.
My mom stopped by the Ellison booth the next day to see what she won and they took her picture for Instagram!
Right after she won, my number was called, I won $100 to spend at SitSpots. I went to their booth later in the week and did a major shopping!
Megan Shea winning SitSpots!

Super cool spots that attach to classroom rugs for classroom management and activities.
Here is everything that I picked out, I already have SO MUCH in mind to do with these!
If you have not seen SitSpots, you have to check them out. They attach to your rug so you can have assigned spots for your kids, or you can attach them to the rug and use them for games and activities. 

The next two days were spent at the Teachers Pay Teachers Conference. It was inspiring and so much fun! I can't wait to go back next year!