Kyle created this cute little ladybug for another activity and I thought he would be ideal for a fun little springtime and summer themed alphabet activity. When you download the ABC Ladybug game you’ll receive 4 free ladybug game boards and letter circles. To play the game, provide each child with a game board and place all the letter circles face down on the table. Players take turns choosing a circle and matching the beginning sound of the letter to the picture on their game board. The first player to have all the dots on their ladybug covered wins the game.
Click the following link to download this fun little freebie Ladybug Alphabet Game
Maybe your students are more into turtles than ladybugs?? They may enjoy the ABC Turtle game instead. Same idea–just a different twist.
Click HERE to download the ABC Turtle FREE from my TpT store
Hope your students have fun with these games. Enjoy the freebies!
So what can you do with a giant fly swatter??? Well, of course, swat giant flies! I was so excited to find these giant fly swatters at the Dollar Tree I almost purchased one of each color (ended up with the pretty red one). The table-topped sized fly swatting game has been an all-time favorite for both centers and small group instruction, so I thought I’d make it even bigger with the giant fly swatter with giant flies to match! Simply print the flies on either cardstock or office paper, cut them out and the activity is ready to go. Scatter the flies on the floor or tape them on the wall and have your students “swat” the flies with the words or letters you name. This game is so simple, but the kids absolutely love it!
Click HERE to download this activity from my TpT store
Click HERE to download the Giant Fly Swat game for letters from my TpT store
I love this game, too, as it is a fast-paced game with lots of opportunities for response. If you’d rather use the table-top sized version of this activity, just purchase a regular fly swatter and print the activities:
I was out shopping the other day and stopped in at the Dollar Tree. It’s so much fun when they change their seasonal items. The spring items are especially fun to use in some sort of activity. These cute little watering cans are ideal for a sorting activity. We have a few kiddos who are still confusing their short vowel sounds and this spring-themed activity will be great to use during small group instruction. When you download this freebie you’ll receive 32 flowers with short vowel pictures. Directions for assembling your activity as well as teaching directions are included in this file.
Click the following link to download this freebie Flower Can 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Seems like this week there’s been quite a few questions about blends and digraphs. Teachers have been asking and wanting to know what the difference is between a blend and a digraph, which to teach first and the best way to teach these skills. Well, with all these questions, that was motivation enough for me to finish this post that I started literally a year ago. I’m hoping this post can answer some of these burning questions about teaching blends and digraphs.
Question 1: What’s the difference between a blend and a digraph?
A consonant blend is when two or more consonants are blended together, but each sound may be heard in the blend. The most common beginning consonant blends include: bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fr, tr, fl, gl, gr, pl, pr, sl, sm, sp and st. Blends can also occur at the end of words as in the word “last”. There are also blends which contain three consonants. Common three consonant blends include: str, spl, and spr. When teaching blends, most teachers introduced them in groups. For example, a teacher may choose to introduce the l-blends first (bl, cl, fl, gl, pl and sl) followed by the r-blends. When introducing the concept of blends and digraphs, cue cards often help. Here’s one I made with many of the consonant blends. You can download this for free.
Click HERE to download this freebie from my TpT store
In a consonant digraph, two consonants stand together to represent a single sound. the most common consonant digraphs are: sh, ch, th, and wh. There are other consonant digraphs (ph); however, most teachers typically introduce these 4 digraphs first as they are the most common. They are often referred to as the “h brothers”. Teaching digraphs can be lots of fun. However you choose to introduce this concept, be sure to add visuals as they are so helpful especially for our struggling readers. Here’s the cue card specifically for digraphs that I made to introduce the concept. Specific instructions for introducing digraphs during instruction can be found in the Consonant Blends and Digraphs Activity Pack.
Click HERE to download this cue card for free from my TpT store
Question 2: Which should be taught first?
This is a little tricky. Some reading programs do not even teach blends as they are really two separate sounds. Personally, I believe teaching blends is a good idea as they are letters that frequently occur together so students are learning to recognize patterns in words. Many reading programs introduce blends before the digraphs. I would suggest following the sequence presented in your reading series.
Question 3: How do we teach blends and digraphs?
For all learners, but especially for struggling readers, systematic and explicit phonics instruction is critical. “Systematic phonics instruction” refers to the sequence of phonics skills introduced. In a phonics program, there must be a logical order of introduction of skills. “Explicit phonics intruction” refers to how the skills are taught. Students need instruction where the teacher is providing precise directions for teaching the skills. Struggling readers require additional guided practice in small groups and instruction must be differentiated to meet individual needs.
My girlfriend, Jen, made this video in the summer using the teaching cards in the activity pack for me. Jen is now a middle school principal (go figure), but prior to accepting the principalship, she was a Reading Specialists in one of our local schools. There are many ways to introduce the concepts of digraphs. This is just one way and I hope it helps my teacher friends who need ideas for introducing this skill.
Make, Take & Teach Resources for Teaching Blends and Digraphs
Call me crazy, but love digraphs almost as much as I love short vowel sounds. It’s so rewarding to see our young readers begin to move beyond just single letters and sounds and move towards more advanced phonics skills. The Consonant Blends and Digraphs Activity Pack contains 10 hands-on activities that you can use to both teach and practice blends and digraphs. The activities are designed specifically for small group instruction and contains a 13 page teaching manual with step-by-step instructions for each activity.
Click HERE to download the Consonant Blends and Digraphs Activity Pack from my TpT store
Volume 5 of the Cookie Sheet Challenge was designed specifically for practicing blends and digraphs. The cookie sheet activities are great for use within literacy centers and contain activities which can be differentiated. Students and teachers just love the colorful graphics.
Click HERE to download the cookie sheet activities for blends and digraphs from my TpT store.
Because I love those blends and digraphs, I have quite a few activities within my TpT store. Click HERE and you’ll be taken to the Blends and Digraphs category.
The Make, Take & Teach intervention kit contains 15 activities for teaching and practicing blends and digraphs. You’ll receive all the materials (Play-Doh, dry erase boards, etc) and printed materials (color copies on 90lb cardstock) all contained in a sturdy Sterilite container delivered to your front door. Assembly is required.
The Consonant Blends and Digraphs Intervention Kit can be purchased from the Make, Take and Teach website.
If you have any fun ideas for teaching blends and digraphs, please let us know by leaving a comment. To leave a comment on this blog post, just click the title.
These cute little 4-In-A-Row templates have just been sitting in my computer files just waiting to be made into an activity. Last month I used the templates to create activities for sight words, but I know many of our kinders are now working on decoding CVC words and I wanted to make an activity specifically for them. Of course, there are first graders who could use extra practice with this skill, too.
Click the following link to download this freebie! Winter 4 In A Row CVC Words
My first grade friends are now working on decoding CCVC/CVCC words. So I whipped up this 4-In-A-Row game board.
Click the following link to download the 4-In-A-Row game board for blends Winter 4 In A Row CCVC
Let’s not forget the more advanced phonics skills. We have second graders who could use a little more practice with r-controlled vowels.
Click the following link to download the 4-In-A-Row game boards for r-controlled vowels Winter 4 In A Row R-Controlled Vowels
If your students enjoy playing 4-In-A-Row, they may also like the game for practicing sight words, too!
Click HERE to download to the 4-In-A-Row game boards for lists 1-9 of the Dolch 220 sight words. There are 9 sight word game boards and 4 blank boards so that you can add your own words.
Here’s another winter-themed activity for practicing sight words. Kyle created 4 different game board designs–penguins, polar bears, snowmen and marshmellows!
Click HERE to download the sight word game boards for the Dolch 220 sight words. There are 9 game boards with sight words and 4 blank boards. This activity can be found in my TpT store.