Monthly Archives: January 2016

Free Theme

Valetnine-Book-Photo 2Valentines and Friendship Writing Project

During the month of February we focused on the importance of friendship and writing about it. I generally started with a patterned sentence where the students were required to add one or two of their own words. A sample of a patterned sentence is outlined below. However, I still encouraged students to write their own if they wished (this varied depending on skill level). If you are a member, the templates to complete this project are provided for you in the Valentines theme unit.


___________ is a _______________friend.




Preparing for Writing Success and Independence

Modeling any activity you wish your students to complete prior to assigning it, is the key to success. Together as a class we would brainstorm for ideas and I would model the writing process.  I would also model how I would plan what to draw.  We would also brainstorm for possible high frequency words that could be used and I would ensure these were readily available for the students as a reference.


Letter Formation and Picture Guide

In observing my students I also learned that that some needed a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes.   If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.


Working In Small Groups

I preferred to work in small groups to ensure the children were leaving spaces between words, assisting those children that still needed assistance with proper letter formation and sounding out words.  Sometimes I would swap guided reading small group for guided writing small group.




What Do The Other Students Do When Working With Small Groups?

A dilemma that every teacher faces is what to do with the other students when working in a small group setting.  I still see so much value in play activities that encourage fine-motor development and thinking. These activities are still very educational and require very little intervention and the students view them as fun!  I teach grade one currently and my students are allowed to engage in these activities when they have completed their work.  My favourite activities are outlined below:


1.  lego, duplo and other blocks



2.  pattern blocks

3.  playdough

4.  how to draw sheets and books

5.  colouring sheets

6.  squizs

7.  magformers


All individuals that post an activity that they use to engage their remaining students, while working with a small group, will receive a free theme of their choosing.  Just e-mail me that you posted a comment and I will reply with the information that I need from you.


Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook” or Adding to Google Plus

Phonological Awareness Activities

Significant Correlation Between Learning to Read and Phonological AwarenessPhonological Awareness Pyramid

I am now teaching grade one and have come to realize the importance that phonological awareness plays in relation to children being able to read.  The students who are unable to identify rhyming matching words are the ones struggling with learning to read.  As a result, my focus for the month of January is to have these students exposed to more rhyming read alouds.


What Is Phonological Awareness?

I have posted the video below previously but this is for the benefit of the readers that have not seen it. It does a terrific job of explaining phonemic and phonological awareness.

Rhyming Read Aloud

Rhyming Read Aloud


Pre-Reading Skills Video


Focus on Rhyming Activities

The Read Aloud 

For every theme I did, I always tried to ensure that my read alouds included a rhyming book.  If you using the “Alphabet Program” the theme for January is “Ocean”.  I have listed some “Ocean” read alouds that make use of rhyme.  Having our learners listen to rhyme and word play is one of the best methods of exposing them to phonological awareness activities such as rhyming.


1.  Gizmo the Octopus by Mark Hooper

Spinning Rhyming Game

Spinning Rhyming Game

2.  Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck  ***

3.  Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae

4.  The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson

5.  Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood

6.  The Pout Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen


Spin-A-Rhyme Board Game

I also included phonological awareness activities in my literacy centers.  The game displayed above is one my students really enjoyed. Partner players take a turn spinning a top and must place a bingo chip on the rhyming picture match.  (Example:  the top landed on a picture of a rake and a bingo chip was placed on the picture of a snake).

Rhyming Matching Game

Rhyming Matching Game


Rhyming Matching Board Game 

This is another game I had at my literacy centers. I copied and placed the rhyming pictures on poster board marked off with a grid.  The students drew a card and placed the picture beside the rhyming match. (example:  clown and crown, ball and doll).


Word Work

Each day we print on our erasable whiteboards.  I introduce a word family and have the students only change the initial letter. They learn that this not only changes what the word says but also that all the words rhyme (examples:  cat, bat, mat, sat, etc.)


Rhyming Mini Unit – Special Deal Until End of January!Rhyming Mini Unit

This mini-unit is not offered as an individual purchase but is only available to members that purchase a membership.  For the month of January only, I have decided to offer this as a single purchase (if you are an existing member, you will already be able to access this under the heading Literacy Centers).


More Information on the Rhyming Mini Unit


Fabulous Freebies!

Each blog post I l also try to include some fabulous freebies.  In the link below you will also find some free rhyming resources.


Free Rhyming Resources


Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.