Even MORE! File Folder Phonics

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I absolutely love activities that are super easy to set up and can be used over and over again.  Sure, it takes a little bit of cutting and laminating on the front end, but when they are all assembled you’ll have activities that will last for years!  Last year I created file folder activities for my second grade teacher friends to address higher level phonics concepts.  They were such a hit and the students absolutely loved them.  I just couldn’t wait to create a series for kindergarten and first grade.  The File Folder Phonics for learning the Alphabet is just one in a series that I have in the works.  When you download this file you’ll receive 26 file folder activities for teaching letters and sounds.

Forming the upper- and lowercase letters with Play Doh or homemade dough is always an engaging activity for teaching letter formation.  After the students form the letters with the dough, be sure to have them trace the letters with their finger while saying the letter sound.


When teaching beginning sounds, there’s nothing better than sorting activities.  When you download this activity you’ll receive 16 colorful pictures per letter (pictures that begin with the target sound and pictures that do not begin with the sound).


Just turn the file folder over and you’ll have a practice template for letter formation.  After use, simply wipe the page clean and it’s ready to used over and over again!


I purchased these file folder containers at our local Office Max.  It’s an easy way of storing the file folders.  I’ve included the stickers for you just in case you’d like to store yours in the same way.


Both File Folder Phonics Bundles are available through my Teachers Pay Teachers store or on the Make, Take & Teach website.

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 The Make, Take & Teach File Folder Phonics for the Alphabet is available through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.


The File Folder Phonics Bundle is available in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or though the Make, Take & Teach website.


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How to Paint a Cookie Sheet

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I have to admit it– I’ve been obsessed with painted cookie sheets for awhile now.  You see, I have this “thing” for color coding.  A few years ago I created a series of phonics-based activities that are intended to be used on cookie sheets.  The regular grayish cookie sheets- well… they just didn’t match my borders :(  .  Since that time I’ve been fiddling around with different primers, paint colors, paint types and gloss to get just the “right look” and functionality.  I think I have it now.   So, if you are interested in making your painted cookie sheets this is what you’ll need:


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1.  Cookie Sheet-  There’s a trick with finding just the right cookie sheet.  You will want to purchase a cookie sheet with the least amount of teflon possible.  The good news is is that these are always the cheapest cookie sheets.  I purchase my cookie sheets at either Walmart or the Dollar Tree.  I use 9 X 13 cookie sheets for my activities so the Small Cookie Sheet by MainStay (Walmart brand) is perfect.

2.  Sander-  You will need to buff your cookie sheet so you will need to either use sand paper or a block sander.

3. Degreaser-  We experimented with several degreasers and found Zep (purchased at the Home Depot) to be the best.  This degreaser is a strong and water soluble.

4. Rubber or plastic gloves

5. Primer- I like to use the Rust-Oleum Metal Primer

6.  Paint-  In terms of spray paint, I love the bright colors of Valspar.  I purchase the paint at Lowes.  Any paint color will do, but here are my favorites:

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7.  Glaze- I use the Triple Thick Glaze which I purchase at the Home Depot.  The glaze puts a nice coating on the paint and prevents chipping and scratching.

8. Optional, but a good idea- face mask.


Step 1:  Sand your cookie sheet.  I use a fine sander sanding block.  When sanding, be sure to sand the side borders and the upper lids of the cookie sheet.  Note: I only sand and paint the top.


Step 2:  Degrease.  Wash the cookie sheet with a degreaser.  This step is to ensure that all the non-stick material is removed from the cookie sheet.  Be sure to read the directions on the container carefully.  The degreaser I purchased is water soluble.  There are extra clean-up and safety tips that you need to be aware of when using this type of liquid.


3.  Prepare your area.  I cut out old boxes and placed my cookie sheets in the boxes for painting.  I planned to paint multiple cookie sheets so I set up several boxes; however, if you are  only painting one cookie sheet you may not need the box.  Simply place the cookie sheet on newspaper.

Prepare area

4.  Paint with a primer.  Now it’s time to get painting!  You will need to first paint the cookie sheet with a primer.  I know– some paints say that the primer is included and this would be an unnecessary step, but I haven’t had much luck by simply using only the color.  The white base of the primer also limits the number of coats needed with the colored paint.


5.  Paint with color.  Now the fun begins!  Choose your favorite color and spray away.  You will need to spray on several coats of paint to fully cover the cookie sheet.  I found that you can paint approximately 12 cookie sheets with one can of paint.  Just a helpful hint:  Choose a darker color paint so that you don’t need to use as many coats.


6.  Top Coat.  Once the cookie sheet is totally dry, spray the glaze over the paint.  This step just provides one extra assurance that your paint won’t chip or scratch.

7.  Wait.  This is the hard part.  The paint just needs to settle in.  I typically wait 2 weeks before using the cookie sheets.

Well, that’s it.  It’s pretty simple, but a bit time consuming.  If you are not sure you want to take on such a project and still want the colored cookie sheets, I have a few available on the Make, Take & Teach website.  My garage has turned into somewhat of a painted cookie sheet production area and eventually my husband will want his side of garage back.   Of course, these painted cookie sheets were made for use with students and for educational and arts/crafts purposes.  They are not intended for baking (my little disclaimer).


Just click HERE if you’d like to order the cookie sheets.

The Make, Take & Teach Cookie Sheet Activities are hands-on activities designed for teaching and practicing early literacy and math skills.  The Pre K- K bundle contains activities for teaching alphabetic order, rhyme, CVC words, beginning sounds, short vowels, number order and basic number concepts.  These activities are great for use within independent literacy centers or for small group instruction.


The Cookie Sheet Activities Pre-K/ Kindergarten Bundle is available in my online Teachers Pay Teacher store.

The Cookie Sheet Activities First Grade Bundle contains activities for learning and practicing sight words, blends and digraphs and word families.  This bundle is also available in my TpT store.


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Blends and Digraphs Game Boards

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Oh, summertime!  One of my goals this summer is to revamp several of my earlier created activities and the Consonant Blends and Digraphs Game Boards activity is first on my list.  I’ve added several new game boards for a total of 20!  Each game board is also available in a black and white version so that they can be copied and sent them home with students for added practice.  The consonant digraphs game boards contains the production cues which is a nice companion to the Consonant Digraphs cue card.  Be sure to download the free cue card by  clicking the link below:

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Just click the following link: Consonant Digraphs Cue Card


The Consonant Blends and Digraphs Game Boards are available through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.


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Short Vowel Soccer Shoot Out!

Short Vowel Shoot Out bp


If you’ve been reading my blog for a bit now you may know that I’m a pretty big soccer fan.  Although I never played, my three children played soccer ever since they were 4.  I even coached for several years.  I loved every minute of it!  My youngest daughter, Lizzie, will be heading off to college in the fall and I will soon be “an empty-nester”.    So not only will I miss the craziness of traveling to sporting events, I’ll to get used to a very quite house.  Creating these soccer-themed activities has brought back so many wonderful memories of evenings and Saturdays spent at the soccer fields (sniff, sniff).  I’m hoping your little soccer fans will enjoy them too.

The Short Vowel Shoot Out! activity is a fun twist on a classic sorting activity.  Sorting activities are particularly helpful when students are having difficulty confusing those similar sounding vowels.   This activity is easily differentiated as two sets of sorting soccer balls are provided.  There are 60 soccer balls with short vowel pictures and 90 soccer balls with CVC words.  Also contained in this activity are 7 different sorting templates varying in the number and which vowels to be sorted; therefore, you can tailor the activity specifically to the needs of your students.


The Short Vowel Shoot Out! activity is available in my online Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.

For my little older soccer fans, I created the Let’s Play Soccer! for learning and practicing sight words and the Soccer Shoot Out! for long vowel sounds.


 Let’s Play Soccer! Dolch Sight Words Lists 1-9 is available through my Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.

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 The Soccer Shoot Out! for long vowel sounds can also be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store or through the Make, Take & Teach website.



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Soccer Themed Activities! It’s World Cup Time!

Soccer Themed BP

Soccer is my sport!  I love, love, love soccer.  My oldest child was five when we enrolled him in our city recreational league.   Our family has been hooked ever since.   You know how organizations are always short on volunteers?  Well, the soccer league was short on coaches.  When I was asked to coach I remember saying, “I’ll think about it” and the next thing I know I received a roster of 15 10-year-old boys.  Having never played soccer, I did what any rational person would do–googled “how to coach soccer.”  How difficult can it be- right?  Well, ever since I’ve coached all three of my kids recreational league teams as well as Lizzie’s travel team.  I loved every minute of it.


Here’s a picture of my travel team with my good friend, Mike, who I coached with for many years.  When this picture was taken, these little girls were 11 and 12.  It’s hard to believe that they will all be leaving for college in the fall.  Lizzie is my youngest so I’m going to have to adjust to being “an empty nester”.  It’s certainly  not something I’m looking forward to.

So, being such a soccer fan myself, I really enjoyed creating these soccer-themed activities.  The World Cup is now starting and the memories are flooding back!  For my little friends learning sight words, I created a super fun sight word activity.  This activity is easily differentiated as you choose which and how many sight word soccer balls to use.  Simply have your students take turns choosing the balls and reading words.  If a player chooses the “Goal” ball, he/she can choose 3 more balls.  If the player chooses the “Penalty” cards, balls must be returned to the pile.  The player with the most balls at the end of time wins the game.  I love this game as it’s fast-paced and allows many practice opportunities.


Click HERE to download this activity from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

For my first grade friends working with long vowel sounds, I created the “Soccer Shoot Out!  Long Vowel Sounds” game.  This activity addresses the common spellings for long vowel sounds.  Students read the words on the soccer balls and match the balls to the corresponding soccer net.  There’s also a fun little variation of the activity.  There are soccer nets for all 5 vowels and 140 soccer balls!

Long Vowel shoot out

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Just click HERE to download this activity from my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Hoping your little soccer fans enjoy these activities!


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Road Racers!

The Road Racers activities are fast becoming one of my favorite activities!  It’s amazing how motivating a little car can be.  A month or so ago I created the activity for letters and sounds, and it was such a hit that I quickly created another to work on short vowels, word families and CVC words.

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When you download the Road Racers for the Alphabet, you’ll receive  35 road templates with letters following the sequence of a commonly utilized reading series. Review roads are included for each 4 and 8 letter sequence. Simply print the road templates and gather a few little dollar store race cars and you’ll have a ready-made activity for either small group instruction or for independent literacy centers. Students push their cars along the road while either saying the letter name or sound.  I’ve also included race-themed alphabet flashcards for added practice.


The Make, Take & Teach Road Racers Alphabet activity is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.

When you download the Road Racers for Short Vowels, Word Families and CVC words you’ll receive 39 colorful race car tracks.  There are 6 templates specifically for short vowels, 19 for word families and 11 for CVC words.  These race car tracks are differentiated, too!


 Road Racers for Short Vowels, Word Families and CVC Words is available through the Make, Take & Teach website or through my online Teachers Pay Teachers store.



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