October 22, 2020

Teeth Week + Fall Break


This past week we kickstarted a mini-unit on Dental Health right as we approached our Fall Break. My French colleagues had been teaching all about teeth and taking care of teeth for about a week leading up to my lessons. I love piggy-backing off of what they're teaching because they do a wonderful job of building up students' background knowledge on the subject. Plus, they have the time in their schedules to really dig into the unit and explore the different concepts.


I only get an hour or so Mon-Thurs to reinforce concepts in English and workshop centers are a primary way for me to get in as much content exposure as I can. That's why I'm loving these teeth centers that bridge vocabulary and understanding with ELA objectives!

My favorite Teeth read alouds & activities

To begin my lessons I typically always have some kind of read aloud where students can enjoy a story. We're beginning a unit on sequencing and what better way than to start with brushing teeth?!

Bearenstain Bears Visit the Dentist
This is a great story for my kindergartners because it's so relatable! Many of them are beginning to experience wiggly teeth that are destined to fall out. And everyone has visited the dentist at least a few times so they were all tracking what Sister Bear and Brother Bear were experiencing throughout the story.

After reading the story we discussed why it's important for us to brush our teeth and visit the dentist. I then introduced the skill we'd be working on which is sequencing. I linked our learning to when we discussed washing hands and that we follow an order when we do it. Brushing our teeth follows the same concept: that we follow an order to make sure our teeth are clean.

I love using this FREEBIE from Melissa at The Printable Princess blog. She has so many wonderful resources and this Dental Health Freebie was just what I needed for my whole group lesson on sequencing how to brush our teeth! I used these cards to track our thinking about the order in which we brush, then followed it up with a quick cut and sort activity before releasing them into their centers that day.

Bear's Loose Tooth

Since students have developed a strong understanding at this point about their teeth I begin to transition our thinking to our ELA standards of sequencing events in a story. I love this story because the Bear series is one I use all year long. In this story, Bear has a wiggly tooth and his forest animal friends help him one-by-one to pull it out. 

After our reading we review what sequencing is and how, as readers, we can sequence the events in a story. We discuss how it's important that we remember what happens and that we can retell the story in order from beginning, middle, to end.

As a whole group we practice remembering the order that the animals helped Bear with this FREEBIE from Melissa of First Grade Smiles blog! It's a great way to practice before centers because there are only 4 animals to sort. Quick cutting and sorting! We also discussed what each animal was - like, badger and wren - since these types of animals are new to a lot of my students.

Teeth ELA Workshop Centers

After our whole group lessons we break into our ELA workshop centers. This is 15-20 minutes of independent work time for my students that allows them the time to explore key ELA concepts - including the focus skill for the week. 

Here's a peek at what I've placed in my centers for teeth week!

This activity went into my Creation Station center where students get to use art/coloring to reinforce focus skills. This, of course, related to our teeth unit by sorting the items that make our teeth happy or sad. I had them cut and glue their teeth into their workshop journals instead of hanging in the classroom like the picture shows. 

Another great sorting activity for happy and sad teeth is this Dental Health resource from A Dab of Glue Will Do on Teachers Pay Teachers. She has all kinds of activities that could be used during centers for $7!

I've used this in centers year after year and it's always been a hit. Just place a few toothbrushes in there as erasers and kids are engaged the whole time! It takes some time to prep because of the individual letter pieces but once you do you'll be set for years!

Build a Smile Activity

This center activity comes from Pocket of Preschool and another one I've used over and over again - and yet another that is quite a bit to prep. However, it's great because you can use the teeth to build names (like shown) or sight words! No matter how you choose to incorporate it into your ELA block it's sure to delight the littles.

Another great center for letter identification and reinforcement from Pocket of Preschool!

Other supplemental finds I used during Teeth Week are...

Later in our week we previewed this quick overview of the parts of a tooth from the American Dental Association. It was a great way to visualize the insides of our teeth and explain things such as why our gums bleed when our teeth fall out.

Afterwards we worked together to label the Parts of a Tooth with this FREEBIE diagram from Teaching for Keeps on TpT!

How to Catch a Tooth Fairy

This was just for fun on our last day of the week before break. The kids really enjoyed the story and afterwards we each came up with an idea for our own traps. With a bit of extra time I simply gave students a piece of paper and coloring materials and had them design their traps and shared them with each other.

There are so many ways you could use this story as a part of your teeth unit! It could be a source of inspiration for writing, drawing pictures, labeling, etc. There are so many resources out there that make great companions to this story!

Happy fall break, everyone!

Be sure to catch my SALE going on at my TpT store to grab 20% off everything! Also, if you, too, are heading to fall break be sure to check out these packets I've prepared for Fall and Winter break (Spring and Summer coming soon!!).


October 14, 2020

Fall Break Activity Packet


This week is our last week before heading into our fall break. I've been so impressed these last couple of months with my students because starting the year the way we've had to has been quite the adjustment...for everyone involved. Nonetheless, they've (and we've) earned this break and it doesn't come at a better time.

Us teachers have been buried under assessments, parent-teacher conferences, and I've personally been preparing for my exit as I'll be moving to Texas in November. So, needless to say it's been quite a busy October!

In order to keep students engaged during our week-long fall break I've created this little activity packet that reviews the key ELA concepts we've been learning thus far in class. It's a great option for parents who are looking for additional work and they are activities students are already familiar with. So, let's take a peek!

Fall Break Activity Packet

This packet is full of great review items! The intent for this packet is for students to have about 1-2 activities a day they could do during break. I don't want to overwhelm them with pages and pages of work - students earn their breaks, too! But, it is a great way to equip parents with knowledge of what students have been working on and be able to assist them with any additional practice.

I don't require that students complete their packets nor do I expect them to return it to school. I definitely don't need that added work, however parents can decide how much students complete during their time away from the classroom!

This year we've begun with everyday exposure of rhyming words, beginning sounds, and alphabet knowledge during our morning meeting (see my Alphafriends Phonics Slides!). Students also get a huge chunk of exposure during our weekly workshop centers.

I hope you all find this resource to be helpful in your own classrooms this upcoming break!

October 6, 2020

Celebrate Fall TpT SALE!


If you need to know anything about me or my family it's that we take the fall season very seriously. Being originally from the east coast in Virginia and now a CA (and soon-to-be Texas) transplant, I miss my fall-like weather and watching the leaves change. Although I haven't had a fall like that in quite some time, I do enjoy celebrating nonetheless!

That's why I'm launching a CELEBRATE FALL TpT SALE where my entire shop is 20% off! Yes, 20%! Starting tomorrow and through Friday you can grab all of your favorite resources for 20% off.

I have been busy adding a number of new resources, too, and I can't wait to see how much you enjoy using them with your own classes! My own students have really improved in their various ELA skills since implementing some of these new resources and I know they'll do the same for your students!

So, let's take a peek at all the fun NEW items up for grabs during the sale!

Covid-19 Activities + BUNDLE

This has by-far been the MOST popular resource in my shop ever since I first made it available. This year being so different than any other, I knew I needed a complete resource that can take me through the first few weeks of school. My school is operating under a hybrid model and every day we remind students of what we discussed using this BUNDLE: keeping our distance, washing our hands, and wearing our masks correctly.

You can now pick up this resource as individual activities OR purchase the BUNDLE at a discounted price!

Letter Houses

These Letter Houses are among the newest ELA resources introduced to the shop just this week! I've loved seeing my French colleagues use these in their classes to reinforce letter sounds and knew I wanted to also incorporate it into my ELA workshop centers. It's so easy to prep and students have been doing a great job building on their phonemic awareness!

Nouns! | Picture Sorts, Emergent Reader and More!

This week my class just began a mini-unit on nouns and we've been working together to sort whether the word/picture is a person, place, or thing. This lesson is building upon our growing knowledge about words and the types of words that exist in the English language.

Students have been using this resource both as whole group activities as well as independent work as a part of their workshop centers. The emergent reader is also a great way to reinforce fine motor skills, handwriting, and sight words. It also incorporates labeling, which students have been practicing these last few weeks.

There's so much more on sale tomorrow - this is just a peek! Be sure to head on over to TpT and stock up your shopping cart so that tomorrow morning all of your picks will automatically be at 20% off! Happy shopping an moreso...happy fall!

Let's get going! The SALE begins tomorrow!

October 1, 2020

Letter Houses | A Phonemic Awareness Activity


This year I made a number of new additions to my regular phonics center rotations and I am excited to share with you these Letter Houses! 

Last year I took note of the amazing activities my French kindergarten colleagues used throughout the year and I was completely taken with their maison du lettre, which translates to letter house. They created poster sized houses with the letter of the week at the top and would laminate pictures that would go in the house. They'd use these to introduce letters and sounds and proceed to have a printable copy for students to practice on their own.

Although there are amazing sorts out there for letter sounds, I knew I wanted to try something similar during English class. It's great to find ways to integrate the types of activities that students already complete with their French teacher because it's a process they're already familiar with. Plus, it reinforces their phonemic awareness and abilities to distinguish between letter sounds.

So, today I have the English version of the Letter Houses ready for download!

Letter House Sorts

This resource comes with all houses A-Z along with picture cards that align with each letter and sound. Within the pictures students have to distinguish between the pictures that belong in the house (i.e. share that sound) or not.

All week we spend time with the letter and its sound. I use this Alphafriends resource I created (which has already shown amazing results in terms of phonics retention) at the beginning of each class period along with read alouds and a whole group focus lesson. Because I'm limited in my ELA time I use these houses in my workshop centers so that students manage to complete this activity by the end of the week.

Want to test drive these Letter Houses?

If you're looking to see how much you like these Letter Houses I offer this FREEBIE, which includes houses A-C. It will give you the chance to use them in your classroom and if you love them as much as I do you can easily pick up the full resource for only $3!

I hope you enjoy this amazing activity as much as I have this year! Be sure to check out the rest of my TpT shop to see what other resources you could use in your classroom this year!