Monday, August 31, 2015

Teacher Week - 5 Facts About Me

I am excited to participate in Teacher Week 2015! Starting off the week is.....

Here are my 5 fun facts!

1. I am now the mother of 2 beautiful children! My little girl was born in May and is absolutely the sweetest baby in the world! She sleeps through the night and is full of smiles for her mommy, daddy, and big brother. My son just adores his baby sister and showers her with love everyday!

2. I am married to a race car driver! We have been married for almost 10 years and I will say that it is a good thing I like the race track because we have spent A LOT of time there over the years! :)

3. I have spent almost every summer of my life on a small lake in Michigan. My grandparents built a cottage there when my dad was little and it has been my family's favorite hang out ever since! It is the most amazing place....relaxing and beautiful! One of the reasons I became a teacher was because I could not imagine NOT spending every summer in Michigan! :)

4. For the first time in 11 years....I am starting out the school year NOT in the classroom! I will be staying home this year with my baby girl and although it is the strangest thing to not be teaching I am loving my time at home. Last week, I even volunteered in my son's classroom which was a first time experience for me!

5. I opened my own private school for kindergarten and first grade students a few years ago. We were open for two years. It was an exciting and amazing journey and definitely a dream come true for me to create a everything from the classroom to the curriculum.....but in the long run it was a job that took me away from my family way too much. Deciding to close it was a really hard decision but it was definitely an adventure!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Phonemic Awareness - Phoneme Discrimination

After being a kindergarten teacher, you come to realize the importance of Phonemic Awareness in a child's education. What is Phonemic Awareness? Phonemic Awareness is not phonics. Phonemic Awareness is the ability to listen for, identify, and manipulate the individual phonemes in words.

Children need to be able to identify the sounds in words that are spoken not words that they see on a page. For example, if I were to ask a child what the initial sound in the word cat is, they would be able to tell me that it is /c/. They need to be able to do this with initial, medial, and final sounds. Once they have mastered this skill, they would move on to manipulating the sounds in words. For example, I would say the word is cat, change /c/ to /b/, what is the new word? Again they need to be able to do this with initial, medial, and final sounds. 

This first Phonemic Awareness pack that I have created has an activity that can be used everyday to help students master this first skill of Phonemic Awareness which is Phoneme Discrimination. There are word lists provided for initial, medial, and final sounds in words. Every day you choose a new sound to focus on. You tell the students that they will be listening for a specific sound as you read off a list of words. When they hear the specific sound they will give some type of signal such as touching their head to let you know that they heard it. This activity can be done in a whole group or small group setting and can be done very quickly. It is great for the beginning of the year and is very beneficial to helping students with their phonemic awareness instruction. See the word lists below. I printed the lists out on different colored paper for initial, short vowel medial, long vowel medial, and final sounds. Then I punched holes in the lists and added a ring to make them easy to use.

I also included worksheets in this pack for students to practice the skill independently. See an example of one of the worksheets below. There are assessment pages that you can use with students as well for a pre-assessment, post assessment, and reassess if they were struggling after first instruction.

There are also a few pictures cards in the pack to provide additional support to students who initially may struggle with the concept. You could use the picture cards as seen below to have students find the two pictures that have the same initial sound or they could try to find the one that does not have the same initial sound.

These are some of the picture cards included.

Children need to master these phonemic awareness skills before they can become successful readers! :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Back to School Sale

Teachers Pay Teachers is having another back to school sale for one day only! Be sure to check it out tomorrow. My store is also on sale for an additional 20%! Happy Shopping! :)

Friday, August 14, 2015

Back to School Sentence Builder Worksheets

I just posted some Back to School Sentence Builder Worksheets. They are FREE for a limited time! :)  This pack contains 12 sentence builder worksheets with sight words and a Back to School theme. These worksheets help students form a sentence and teach them to always put a capital letter at the beginning and a period at the end. These worksheets encourage students to start reading simple sight word sentences and give them the confidence that they will learn how to read! :) Don't forget to leave feedback and like my store for more flash freebies!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to School Freebie

I am feeling a little strange today as many of my friends and former coworkers are back to school today and I am NOT! Starting my first school year as a stay at home mom and not a teacher...crazy! I am definitely missing some of that back to school excitement today where everything is new and you have those dreams and ideas of all the stuff that you are going to do differently this year! :) Wishing everyone a wonderful first day of school! Here is a little Back to School freebie.....a gift tag that you could attach to a new teacher gift, fellow teacher gift, or new student gift!

Monday, June 15, 2015

New job......Mommy!

Lots of changes this summer as I start a new role of......stay-at-home mom. I have had many job changes over the last few years from public school kindergarten teacher to private school business owner and lastly to public school literacy specialist. It has been work, work, work and now I am looking forward to taking the time to just be a mom and a wife!

A few weeks ago we welcomed a baby girl into our family. My son was so excited to become a big brother. While getting ready to leave for the hospital the night before she was born, he was running up and down the halls saying that "this was the best night ever".

With this new little girl and big brother off to 1st grade in the fall, I am looking forward to learning how to be a stay-at-home mom and working on my other passion - creating things for Teachers Pay Teachers and sharing the journey on this blog! :)