Saturday, February 14, 2015

Deep in the Heart of Texas Blog Hop

Welcome, welcome! I am so excited to be a part of the Texas teacher blog hop! I am thrilled that you stopped by! We have got some fun freebies as well as some awesome giveaway prizes for you! Let's get started, shall we?! First off, let me tell you that I was born in South Dakota but currently reside in Texas with my husband! I consider myself a Texan because I love living here so much! I have never met more friendly, generous, and heart-warming people than I have in Texas!

I'm from good ol' Houston, Texas! Land of the crazy drivers, tons of malls,  LOTS of places to eat, and the Houston Rockets!
What I love about Houston is that there are so. many.choices. and so many opportunities. You want BBQ, well you can pick from the bazillion BBQ places! Oh what's that you say, you want Mexican food? SAME. Food is crazy in Houston! I am such an indecisive person, but at the same time I love to have my options if that makes sense?! I also love that a Target is pretty much in driving range no matter which part of town you are on. I grew up in a town where there was only ONE Target in the whole town. If you lived on the other side of town, guess what, you drove to that specific Target no matter how far it was!

One of my absolute favorite activities to do with my students is the "building words" activity! I incorporate this into my morning message using word chunks that we focus on each week in our word studies. Each time you choose to do the word building activity with your students, you will need to plan ahead to make sound cards for each words you are going to have them build as a class. Here is a picture of my sound cards (precut).

As you can see, I have prepared for my students to spell the word "cards." This is because one of our focuses for spelling patterns has been "bossy r". The way this works is first, having students come to the floor. Then, I strategically pass out the cards, giving the students who struggle with particular sounds those specific cards. For example, if Johnny is struggling with the "ar" sound, I would be sure to hand him this card to allow him more opportunities to practice and recognize it. Next, I begin with saying "Let's build the word "cards". First, all students will break it up using their fingers on their arm. Then, the students who heard their sound used in the word, will come up to the front of the room and position themselves in order. After all students are in place, we check it as a class as the students hold up their sound card.

After we agree the word is right, I will ask them to listen to a NEW word. students who do not hear their sound in the new word who were already up at the front will take their seats. Some students may need to stay up at the front and some may need to come from the floor to the front of the room to position themselves in the new word. For example, I may say "We built the word "cards", but now lets change JUST ONE letter to build the word  "carts".  (In this case, you would have to have already made the "t" sound card.) This forces the students up at the front to listen and know their sounds to see if they need to stay or go or if students on the floor need to come up to the front. 

This is an excellent activity for my ELL learners because it focuses on the listening domain. The kids love this interactive activity and is a great way to practice phoneme segmentation!

One recent freebie that I love is a forever freebie in my Teachers Pay Teachers  store. It is a mini writing pack (Valentine's themed) that includes letter writing templates (primary) as well as other blank writing pages for you to use while incorporating Valentine's Day themes or writing prompts! Now, I know that Valentine's activities for school are already over, but what a great time to print and place in your files for next year to use! You may download this Valentine's mini pack here.

FREEBIE: Valentine's Paper

Another awesome freebie that will work awesome in my classroom is from Sara Rucker, Blossoming in First Grade. Her sight word game freebie is wonderful and not to mention, super cute! As a reading teacher, I know how tremendously important it is to have students practice and master their sight words in order for them to move up in reading levels to reach their goals by the end of the year. My kids LOVE sight word games and don't even realize they are learning by playing! The game operates like "fiddlesticks" where you have students take turns to flip over a face down card. If they can read the word, they keep it, if not, they lay it back down. However, if they draw a love monster card, they have to hand all of their cards they have earned to the other person playing! Check out her awesome freebie and snag if for yourself here.
Valentine's Day Sight Word Game {FREEBIE}

Thank you, thank you, thank you for stopping by! Us Texas teachers have put together some awesome prizes for you to enter to win as well as get to know the rest of us! I am so glad you were able to read a little bit about myself and get to know me a little bit better! I hope that you will follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store, my Facebook Page and my Instagram. You may also follow my blog by clicking my my side panel! I hope we can be great friends:)

P.S-I will be attending the 2015 TPT conference, will I see you there?!?

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Click on the buttons below to visit some other awesome Texas bloggers!



  1. I love that Target is everywhere too. Funny how so many of us are not native Texans (myself included). Thanks for participating in the hop!

    Literacy Spark

  2. I'm a country girl from Oklahoma, so I enjoy the fact that there are tons of options here in Houston as well. :)