Friday, May 31, 2013


Friday has arrived once again!  This week has flown by and summer vacation is now in full swing.  I am looking forward to time with my little guy and my soon to be teen if I can pry her out of her room!

Now it is time for PHONICS FRIDAY!!  Today let's talk about one of my favorite topics diphthongs:)  I just think the word is way cool and it has not one but two digraphs in a row!

What is it?  I teach my kiddos that a diphthong is two vowels that glide together in a continuous motion to make a sounds like /oi/, /oy/, /ou/, /ow/, etc.

Did you know that not only "y" but also "w" sometimes acts as a vowel?  Like in the diphthong--OW in the words now, plow, how, etc.

Here is a lesson that can be done whole class or small group on the Smartboard.  Keep in mind that I am an intervention specialist so I don't have a Smartboard but I create lessons that I do for class rooms that I go into that DO have Smartboards. 

 This lesson starts with a quick little video about OU-OW.

 Then I introduce the definition of a diphthong and review the patterns.  This past year I have been throwing in some "whole brain teaching techniques" by connecting words and motions to the concepts I am introducing.  

Here is a Fundations tile board that I found on Smart Exchange.  I use this to build words and review concepts.  You don't have to do Fundations to utilize this board. 


 I repeatedly review the learned syllable types.  OU and OW are a double vowel syllable or "d" syllables.  In the case of OU/OW the "d" stands for diphthong:)

During my lessons I give the kids opportunities to mark up the words to review concepts that we are learning and previously taught concepts.

I also try different ways to get the kids to look at words and talk about them.  All of these things then assist students when they are reading and they come to a word that they need to figure out or break apart.  It encourages them to look at words in a different way.

The final part of this lesson involves different activities that allow the students to interact with the pattern.  This allows you to evaluate which students are understanding the concept and which are not.

I hope you have found this PHONICS FRIDAY informative!  If you would like a copy of this lesson please click here.  I realize that not everyone has access to Smartboards so next Friday will include a PDF freebie of some sort.  I would love to hear any feedback from this week's PHONICS FRIDAY and suggestions of what you would like to see next week.

Thanks for reading!!  I hope to see you next week:)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

TBR Here I Come!

I am so excited about joining the talented teachers on Teaching Blog Round Up!  Be sure to check out my first post and get your visual genre FREEBIE!

I hope to see you tomorrow for PHONICS FRIDAY!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five for Friday!!

I am excited to do my FIRST Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Another year down:)  I can't believe I am finishing my 13th year of teaching!  Where did time go?  Before too long I will be the mother of a 13 year old.  How did that happen?

Books!  Books! and more Books!
At school this week we had a buy one get one free book sale.  I have a major love for books and I am a total sucker for a sale!  I got some great deals and added to my nonfiction collection.  I also got Pete the Cat goes to the Beach in the mail from Amazon.  I {heart} Pete the Cat!

I was excited to donate to the Oklahoma Relief fund on Teacher's Notebook and I also plan on donating on Teacher Pay Teachers.  My heart breaks for the community am so thankful to have an opportunity to do my little part to help.

 I posted my first PHONICS FRIDAY.  My goal when I started my blog was to share my phonics knowledge and creations with other teachers.  I have been running on the treadmill of life and haven't gotten around to it.  I hope to post every Friday and also do phonics posts to meet specific teacher requests.

I am excited to announce that I have joined the collaborative blog Teaching Blog Round Up!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to join other teachers in sharing ideas with the blogging community.  I am pumped to do my first post next week!

I love reading Five for Fridays!  I am happy to finally have gotten the courage to finally post one:)  I can't wait to read your five highlights of the week!!

Friday, May 24, 2013


Hello!  One of my goals for this summer is to begin to really share some of my phonics knowledge that I have bouncing around in my head.  I decided to start Phonics Friday to push myself to share ideas and goodies on a weekly basis.

This week I am going to focus on a kindergarten and beginning first grade topic of the short O word family.  I shared a previous post about the short a word family if you are interested in reading more about short vowel word families.

I usually introduce the phonics skill I am teaching by showing the students a picture/word and having them identify what the lesson is going to target that day.

I then review what word families have in common.  Word families LOOK the same and SOUND the same. 

I usually try to add a little song or video to all my lessons.  This video is a great short O word family video from Hooked on Phonics.  After the song students can identify the word families that were listed within the song.
Since families "usually" live in a house, I have students brainstorm short O word families by writing them within a house.  Depending on the target for the  lesson students can also locate blends and digraphs within the word family words.  One solid line for digraphs because they make on sound and two separate lines for a blend because each letter makes its own sound.

I usually end my mini lessons with several activities to review the concept I am targeting.  In this lesson, one slide has a frog that students click on and take turns reading the words that pop out.

This is one of my favorite activities in Smart Notebook.  The students click on the picture and then write the word that corresponds with the picture.  The pictures follow the word pattern of the lesson.

 Another activity is a simple picture and word match.


This is a student favorite!  They love hangman.  This game targets only words with the OT family words.

Click HERE to get your FREE copy of this lesson.  It is done in Smart Notebook:)

I hope you enjoyed this PHONICS FRIDAY!  I would love to hear about how you teach short vowel word families!  I always love getting new ideas to help my kiddos learn their phonics skills.  Also if you have an idea of what you would like to see a post about for next week's PHONICS FRIDAY let me know!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Budding Blog:)

I am linking up with I {heart} Recess for a Budding Blog Linky for anyone less than 200 followers!

1. Why did you start blogging?
When I discovered teacher websites I was hooked!  Slowly my website love morphed into blog love.  I love the ability to see what teachers in Hawaii, Canada, and Australia are doing in their classrooms!  How great is that!!  I love reading what teachers are doing in their classrooms, hearing about their frustrations and loves.  Blogs inspire me and keep me going:)  I entered the blogging world tentatively (It is scary putting yourself out there) but I am getting braver day by day. 

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?

I love to teach READING!  It is my passion and being in intervention specialist allows me to to see a child progress from a non reader to a fluent reader.  Man! Does that put a smile on my face:)

3. Describe your teaching style.

I am a hands on teacher.  I believe in using multisensory techniques to teach when at all possible.  I believe in routine but I also feel that it is important to adjust your teaching to meet the needs of your students.  I am a student centered teacher:)

4. Give three interesting facts about you.

Three interesting facts about me..........hmmmm.........My kids are ten years apart so I am experiencing the terrible twos and the terrible teens simultaneously.  I was an exchange student in high school and spent a yearish abroad in Guayaquil, Ecuador.    Finally I am a total HGTV addict.  Really I watch so much Property Brothers, House Hunters, and Love it or List it that I could become a cast member of the show:)

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)

Yes I do have a TPT store.  It is called the Phonics Phenomenon.  I hope with some down time this summer I can get some more creations completed and posted.  Feel free to check it out!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Who are your Blogging Buddies?

I am linking up once again with with Flying into First Grade with a fun let's get acquainted linky!

I am pumped up about my life slowing down and getting some much needed down time to spend with the fam, blog and create all those products floating around in my mind.  Two days with kids:)  Tomorrow I am going to the park with the first grade and I am praying for no rain!! 

Now for the important part!  My two blogging buddies:)

Always An Adventure

This winter, I was able to convince one of my buddies from work to join the blogging world with me:)  It really didn't take much arm twisting.  Her blog Always an Adventure in Kindergarten is totally adorable!  Lisa and I teamed as reading interventionists for several years so it has been exciting to watch her journey as a kindergarten teacher unfold.  She has totally rocked it out this year:)  She is just beginning to create her own products and I love her excitement about her creations!!  If you love classroom hunts like me you will be sure to appreciate her blend hunt!!  Be sure to grab your FREEBIE from her TPT store.  Don't forget to check out her blog and say hello!

My second blogging buddy is Christina DeCarbo from Sugar and Spice.

Sugar and Spice

She has been a total inspiration to me this school year.  After seeing her present at a blogging training last summer, I finally got the courage to enter the blogging world.  This winter, I bought her sight word fluency pack from TPT and used it for RTI intervention with my struggling readers.  I have had several students make  a growth of 60+ wpm! Be sure to check out my previous post about my fluency intervention using her pack if you want to learn more.  Christina offers a FREEBIE in her preview if you would like to try her sight word fluency pack out. You won't be sorry!!

I can't wait to find out who your blogging buddies are!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why Did You Become a Teacher?

I am linking up with Flying into First Grade for another fun getting acquainted linky!!

1.  What made you decide to become a teacher?
When I first started college, I really had no idea what I wanted to do as a career but my love of kids guided me to teaching:)  It also didn't hurt that my mom is a teacher of students with multiple disabilities.  She has been a great role model for me and has given me the "heart" to work with students with special needs.

2. What has been your most rewarding experience as a teacher?
My most rewarding experience as an educator is when students succeed.  As an interventionist, I watch kids struggle all day long:(  But my kiddos work hard and it makes my heart burst when the light bulb comes on!  There is nothing better then hearing a kid read on grade level when it didn't seem like it was possible when the year began.
3. If you were not a teacher, what would you be?
If I were not a teacher, I would love to be a librarian and be immersed in books all day long!! 

Why did you decide to become a teacher??  I can't wait to find out!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Freebies Roundup

Teacher Appreciation Week may be coming to an end, but the celebration isn't over yet!  Teaching Blog Roundup is teaming up with 20 of the best blogs to host this Teacher Appreciation FREEBIES Roundup blog hop.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  I would like to show my appreciation with this great freebie for you.

Have fun with word family cards!  Included are 4 sheets for every vowel with six cards per sheet.  There are 20 sheets in total.  An example is shown below!

I'm glad you hopped by!  If you are new to my blog and liked what you see, don't forget to follow me!  Now head over to Mr. Giso's Room to Read to roundup the next FREEBIE!

We Appreciate You!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Let's Appreciate a Teacher with a SALE!

 Happy teacher appreciation week!  I hope everyone gets spoiled in some way:)  Tomorrow is our appreciation luncheon provided by our PTO.  YUM!  It is a total bonus that I don't have to worry about packing my lunch.  

 I finally finished my FUNDATIONS WORD DETECTIVE PACK ONE just in time for the sale!  If you teach phonics or Fundations you might want to check it out;)  Everything in my store with be 20% off!!


Get this adorable advertisement by clicking on the pict below. 

What do you have in your cart for the sale?  
I know I have a few goodies I hope to check off my wishlist!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Linking up with Farley and a FREEBIE!

May......already!  I can hardly believe it but I am loving it!!  Sunshine makes me happy:)  I am excited to link up with Farley!!

LISTENING AND LOVING-  I finally got around to opening up my porch last weekend so my family and I have been enjoying the nice weather and eating on the porch.  It is great to watch my little outdoorsy boy play in our fenced in yard from the porch.  I think he could seriously live outside.  He had his gator out tonight and spent a half hour in the sandbox!

THINKING-  I really have an ice cream craving tonight but alas I am not going to have it satisfied.  I will have to keep dreaming of a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream.  Maybe tomorrow:)

WANTING AND NEEDING-  My house is definitely not in the state I would like it to be in but with a two and a half year old it is difficult to keep up with his pace.  I feel like I have it in a decent state and then I look around and see an explosion happened the second I was not looking;)

SUMMER BUCKET LIST- I really want some time to make some items I have been thinking about.  I plan to clean and organize my house and probably my classroom.  I plan on relaxing and enjoying my porch and my family!  And of course the beach is a must and probably the pool!

I am also linking up with Freebielicious to share a spring freebie!  One of my partners in crime is doing a unit on butterflies so I created a butterfly life cycle for her to do with her kiddos.  Instead of being a cut and paste, students write the steps of the life cycle.  I hope you enjoy it!

Any ideas or comments you have please feel free to share!  I would love to hear from you!