Make-Your-Own Writing Offices: A Desktop Tool for Independent Writing

Make-Your-Own Writing Offices are the perfect desktop tool to encourage independent writing in even our earliest writers.

You know I'm all about providing tools to increase independence with even our earliest writers. Writing Offices check all the boxes. These offices include many different aspects of your writing instruction. 

3 Ideas for Introducing Vowels to Early Learners

Providing students with  vowel practice will pay back in huge ways with decoding automaticity. Here are 3 ideas for Vowel Introduction.
In the last five years I discovered the true value of vowels. I have come to realize vowels rule the world. If we want to produce great decoders, vowels are the key. It all started with one student (we'll call her Calista). Calista was a student who struggled with fluency because she struggled with quick word recognition. She could read a word easily and one page and then struggle with the same word on another page. One thing we discovered while working together, if she understood the word, she could retrieve it easier.

Harriet Tubman: A Life of Courage, Bravery and Freedom

Teaching students about Harriet Tubman shows them the very best of humanity in the very worst of times. She is someone to admire!
Harriet Tubman is the face of the best in the worst of our history. She is a model for who we want our students to be: courageous in the face of adversity, relentless in the search for freedom, and devoted to helping others. Sadly, we know her story because she had those virtues in the worst of times.

The atrocities of slavery cannot be swept under the carpet or ignored because it hurts to acknowledge the the facts.

Teaching our youngest learners about American Heroes like Harriet Tubman can be tricky. Her life, along with all those who were enslaved, was full of pain and fear. Navigating the language and basic vocabulary of the time for our youngest learners can be difficult. Using "fun" activities like word searches or quilt addition facts is not meant to diminish their pain, fear, and heartbreak. It is merely to have student interact with words and concepts at an introductory level.

Winter Math Mentor Texts: One Snowy Day Adds Up to Counting Fun

Using the Math Mentor Text, One Snowy Day, students can practice counting and creating numerals to 10 with 10-frames.
I am so excited to blog with some friends and talk about Winter Mentor Texts. The post is a little different, because it's about math. 

Book Summary

The book, One Snowy Day, by Tammi Salzano is such a cute book focusing on counting sets to 10. As
Using the Math Mentor Text, One Snowy Day, students can practice counting and creating numerals to 10 with 10-frames.
penguins enjoys the snowy day, he has 1 wooly hat, 2 warm mittens, 3 happy friends, 4 fast sleds, 5 colorful buttons on the snowman, 6 tasty snowflakes, 7 snow angels, 8 frosty snowballs, 9 snowy footprints and he ends his day with 10 marshmallows in the hot chocolate.

Easy Biographies: Special People in Black History

"Give them tools, not excuses." 4 Square Writing for Special People in Black History. These mats can help students write early biographies with independence.
If you know me, you know my mantra: "Give them tools, not excuses!" We can't give them excuses, they have enough of those. We need to give them tools. One of my favorite tools for writing is 4 square. Kindergarten students can easily write 4 sentences on a topic with the use of 4 square. The basic 4 square contains a topic sentence in the middle, surrounded by 4 supporting details. When we pair 4 square with biographies, we can teach students to write about a person in history. I used this idea to make a 4 square set about "Special People in Black History." 
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