July 30, 2014

School is Cool Mega GIVEAWAY!

Becca at Teaching First has organized an AWESOME giveaway!


The lucky winner will win 23 great items, including my Vowel Teams Phonics Readers.


Check out my blog post about my Phonics Readers!


July 23, 2014

Chalkboard Labels

Every summer I used to go label crazy! I would make, print, laminate, and cut out labels to go all around my classroom. I like to keep things super organized, but it's not something I'm naturally good at. My labels always started out so great, but then the school year started. I plan like crazy during the summer, but I found myself always needing to rearrange what I stored in all my pretty little plastic organizers once school was in full swing. I always ended up buying new manipulative or activities, but I never seemed to find the time to make new labels for them.

This. Drove. Me. Crazy. {But not crazy enough to actually find the time to make, print, laminate, and cut cute new labels}

Last summer I tried something new. I completely reorganized my classroom because I was switching rooms and grades. I threw out all my paper labels. This time I put chalkboard labels on most of my plastic bins and used chalkboard markers to write on them.

I LOVED it this year! If I got new supplies and needed to change what was in a bin, I just wiped it clean and wrote the name of the new supply. So quick and easy! 

I recommend using chalk markers because you have to use a wet paper towel to erase them {meaning they didn't smudge if my little firsties touched them}. I found lighter colors erase the best.

As I'm getting ready to prepare my classroom for the upcoming year, I find I'm not dreading labeling. Some of it will stay the same, and the rest of it can easily be rewritten. I also like the look of chalkboard. 

To make my labels I bought chalkboard vinyl and cut it to size on my Silhouette. Then it was just peel and stick! I've also seen sheets of chalkboard stickers for sale.

July 19, 2014

My Favorite Fonts

I'm linking up with Ashley Reed for her Favorite Fonts Link-Up. I am a little {ok, a lot} obsessed with fonts. A good font can make anything look better. I also love experimenting with how fonts look together. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Now make sure you check out Ashley Reed's linky and enter her awesome giveaway {5 KG Single Font Licenses}!

July 17, 2014

Phonics Readers

Last year I made the switch from second to first. I don't know how people constantly switch grades, it was SO much work! I love my little first graders though. In first grade there was a much bigger focus on phonics. I needed to get these little ones to learn and apply each phonics pattern. Some of them could master the pattern in isolation, but really struggled with the pattern when they came across it in real text. 

My Solution: Phonics Readers

My small group reading time is so precious and I felt I could be more effective during that time. I needed something for my groups that struggled with phonics. I came up with these little readers so we could study phonics patterns IN CONTEXT. 


One thing that was important to me when making these was that they were easy to copy and assemble. I really don't have time to cut out individual pages, sort, and staple. These are made so that you can use a copier to run double sided copies, staple (I use the staple feature on the copier and then just add a few more staples to reinforce), and cut (just one slice with the paper cutter). This will give you two books. Easy Peasy.  

If you are a washi tape addict like I am, you can add a little tape to cover the staples and color code the books.

These books are great to use in guided reading groups, or you can send them home with students.  I like to use highlighters (or highlighter tape), finger pointers, and Wikki Stix to have students interact with the text.

I made 70 different readers! I wanted to cover all the major phonics patterns. I have sorted them into six different sets. 

The first set has one reader (ing) and is free so you can see what the readers are like. I also have sets that cover short vowels, silent e, blends and digraphs, r-controlled vowels, and vowel teams. They are priced so each individual reader is only 50 cents. So the sets that have 6 readers cost $3. If you want to buy them all and save, I have a bundle available that saves you 20% off the price of the sets sold individually. You can click pictures below to go to the store link.


Happy Reading!