Robin’s Nest Activities


I know the calendar says “spring”, but we still have 3 inches of snow up here in northern Michigan.  To get into the “spring” spirit I thought I’d dig through my files and pull out all the fun bird, frog and bug activities.  The Robin’s Nest activity is one of my spring time favorites.  When you download the word families activity you’ll receive 15 different word family nests and 66 colorful word family pictures printed on robin eggs.  Your students simply sort the eggs according to the word family.

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The Robin’s Nest Word Family activity is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.

The Robin’s Nest Beginning Sounds activity contains 25 robin’s nests (x not included) and 119 blue eggs.


The Robin’s Nest Beginning Sounds activity is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online TpT store.

The word families and beginning sounds activity can be easily differentiated as you choose how many nests and eggs to use.  These activities are great for either small group instruction or as a center activity.


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Vowel Teams Baseball Freebie!

I’m really having fun creating sports-themed activities.  It’s kind of funny that I haven’t yet created a single activity for my all-time favorite sport, tennis, and only one for my second all-time favorite sport- soccer.  I’m trying to keep with the sports season and it seems like baseball is it for the spring.   Baseball really wasn’t big in my family.  The kids played in our recreational league as young children and only lasted a few summers.  We found it, oh should I really say it?–deep breath–kind of boring.  Okay, please no hate comments from baseball fans.   I will say, however, that one of my favorite family pictures was taken at the ball field.

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Oh my gosh, this picture was literally taken 13 years ago!  Two of those little kiddos are in college now and I’ll be shopping for a prom dress with the other little one this coming week.  Time really does fly by.

I know there are many little baseball fans out there and spring sign up for baseball leagues is just around the corner.  So, for my first grade friends I made this baseball themed freebie for practicing common vowel teams.


The game is quick and easy to assemble.  First you’ll need to print the game boards.  There are 4 different game boards with words containing common vowel teams.

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Click the following link to download the game boards Vowel Team Baseball

Now you’ll need to write the vowel teams on a wooden cube using a black fine point Sharpie marker.  Draw a star on the remaining two sides. You can purchase the cubes at any craft store or at a store such as Walmart.

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Now you’ll need about 20 markers for each student.  You can use bingo chips of course, but I like to use these mini erasers that I purchased at Oriental Trading to go along with the theme of the activity.

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To play the game, the first player rolls the die and reads a word from the row of the vowel team rolled.  So, for example, if the player rolled “ee” he/she would read the word “peel” from his board.  A marker is then placed over the word.  The next player rolls the die, reads a word, and places a marker on the word.  If a row is filled with markers and a player rolls that vowel team, he/she must skip a turn.  If a star is rolled, the player can read a word from any row.  The player to fill his/her board first wins the game.  No worries, when you download the game board, I’ve included the directions for you.

For all the baseball fans–have an exciting baseball season.



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Let’s Play Some Basketball!


The Final Four March Madness Basketball Tournament started today.  I really love college basketball!  With my son attending Michigan State University, we’ve been lucky enough to travel to East Lansing to see a few games.   On top of that, we are traveling again to MSU this weekend to watch our high school basketball team compete in the class B semi-finals.  How exciting!!  This is the first time in 40 years that our high school team has made it this far in the play-offs.  Wishing them all the luck in the world.  Well, in honor of the Final 4, I whipped up a few activities for our little basketball fans.

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Click HERE to download Swoosh! Basketball Sight Word Game from my TpT store.

The Swoosh! game is pretty easy to put togther and makes for a fun literacy center activity.  Students simply take turns choosing a basketball and reading the word.  If the player picks the “Swoosh” card, he/she can choose 3 more balls.  However, if the player chooses the “Penalty” ball, all the balls must be put back into the pile and play continues.  The Swoosh! game is a fast-paced activity with lots of opportunities for response.

Just for my first grade friends working on long vowel sounds, I created the game with words using common vowel teams.


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Click HERE to download Swoosh! Basketball Game for Vowel Teams

Seems like everytime I create a fun activity for reading, a receive a request for the same activity for math.  So, if you need a math center activity, here’s the game for practicing addition and subtraction facts to 20.

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Click HERE to download the Swoosh! game for math.

Hope you enjoy these basketball-themed activities.  Even if you are not-so-much a hoops fan, they are really fun.  AND… hoping you’ll watch at least a little bit of the March Madness Tournament–it’s all exciting.


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Easter Egg Matching Activities


I just can’t believe Easter is just around the corner!  Seeing all those wonderful Easter and spring themed ideas all over Pinterest is really getting me in the mood for spring.   I received so much positive feedback from the candy corn activity that we posted around halloween for practicing rhyme and beginning sounds, that I thought I’d have Kyle create an Easter egg too.   She is such a talented artist and they are absolutely adorable!  The Easter egg rhyme activity contains 24 colorful rhyming eggs and the beginning sounds activity contains 26 eggs.

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Click HERE to download the Easter Egg Rhyme Matching Activity from my TpT store.

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Click HERE to download the Easter Egg Beginning Sound activity from my TpT store

Just in case you want to get a heads-up on halloween, here are the links to the candy corn activities.  Candy Corn Alphabet and Candy Corn Rhyme



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Response to Intervention- Short Vowels/CVC Activity Pack and Intervention Kit


Thanks for stopping by and checking out the Response to Intervention- Short Vowels/CVC Activity Pack and Intervention Kit.  This activity pack is the third in a series of activity packs designed specifically for targeted small group instruction.  The activities align with the DIBELS Next assessment as well as assessments commonly administered in schools.  Most activities can be easily differentiated to meet the needs of all learners.  The Short Vowels/CVC Activity Pack contains 16 activities- 5 activities for teaching those tricky vowel sounds and 11 activities for CVC words.  We know that children learn best using a hands-on approach to teaching so you’ll have to gather some materials to assemble the activities if you purchase the printable activity pack.   The following activities are contained within this pack/kit:

Step-by-step directions for each activity are provided in the 17 page teaching manual.  The simple and explicit directions makes the activities perfect for use in either teacher or para-professional led groups.


The Vowel Sticks and Vowel Snatch activities are ideal for introducing the short vowel sounds.  Picture cues for the Vowel Sticks activity are provided for the initial introduction of the vowels and then sticks without the picture cues are included as your students become more proficient at identifying the vowel sounds.  Both activities are discrimination activities where you provide either the sound itself (e.g. /a/) or a word (e.g. cat) and the students either hold up the stick or “snatch” the vowel with their magnetic wand.  A complete list of words is provided for you in the appendix of the teaching manual.  This activity is easily differentiated as you choose which and how many vowels to use during your session.


There are 35 colorful short vowel pictures that can be used to create Which Vowel? sticks.  The self-checking feature makes this activity perfect for transferring into literacy centers!  Students use the clothespin to “clip” the correct vowel.  Turn the stick over and if the clip is covering the red dot, their answer is correct.


The Clip the Vowel activity is another activity that can easily be used both with your small group instruction and as an activity for your literacy centers.  When you download the activity pack, you’ll receive 19 colorful Clip the Vowel cards.


A fun game of dominoes can be helpful in learning those short vowel sounds.  50 colorful dominoes are included.


Now it’s time to begin putting those vowels into words.  The Word Building, Roll A Word and the Blend It! cards are all beginning consonant-vowel-consonant activities.


It’s also very important that our kiddos begin to identify patterns within words.  The best way to do this is to introduce the word families.  When you download this activity, you’ll receive the printables to create 10 word family flip books.  If don’t have access to a book binder, a stapler will work just as well.


The Bingo is a fun activity for practicing reading CVC words.  The colorful pics are a hit with both teachers and students.


18 colorful word family sliders are included in the activity pack/intervention kit.  Another fun activity for teaching patterns within words.


Your student will have fun building words with the Snapping Words activity.  There are 16 colorful Snapping Words cards included in this file.  Simply write vowels and consonants on Unifix cubes and your activity is ready to go.  Great for both small group instruction or as a center activity.


The 4-In-A-Row activity is great for students who need a little bit more practice decoding CVC words.  Students try to be the first player to get 4 of their colored chips in a row while at the same time blocking their opponent.


Two popular card games designed to practice reading CVC words are included!  Students read CVC words while playing the Rats! game- be careful not to choose the Rats! card or all the cards must be put back into the pile.  Students flip cards while trying to make words with the CVC Make a Word card game.  The first player to create 10 words wins the game!


It’s important that we help our students transfer the phonics skills they are learning into writing.  A phonics skill is not fully mastered until students can spell words containing the target skill correctly.  Having students use dry erase boards and markers is an easy way to elicit multiple response opportunities.  Again, you can use the list of the CVC words contained in the appendix.


When you download the Response to Intervention- Short Vowels/CVC Activity Pack  you’ll receive 103 pages- that’s 16 activities designed to teach and practice short vowel sounds and blending CVC words.   These are hands-on activities so you’ll need to gather some materials to assemble your games- I’ve included a shopping list and assembly directions for you.   The activity pack is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or my TpT store.

If you’d perfer, I’ve done the shopping and printing for you.  All activities are printed in color and on 90 lb cardstock and the materials are provided in this sturdy Sterilite container.  Several of the activities are printed in triplicate for use during small group.

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The Short Vowels/CVC kit is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or in my TpT store.  Purchase orders are gladly accepted, too!

It’s always helpful when parents can work with their child at home- that’s why a parent version of the SV/CVC kit was developed!  The parent kit contains 10 activities printed for single use.  A parent manual with step-by-step directions is provided.


The SV/CVC parent kit can also be purchased through the Make, Take & Teach website or my TpT store .


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