Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mastering Basic Facts Made EASY!

As teachers and parents, we understand the importance of mastering basic math facts.  Basic math facts provide a foundation for math success.  It is the precursor for more complex and challenging math procedures. Although we want kids to become fluent with their math facts, this is not a goal that is simple to achieve.

How do we help students master Basic Math Facts?

#1 Students need a variety of opportunities to learn and master math facts. Since students learn in different ways, we need to provide ample opportunity for mastery... in a variety of ways.

When it comes to working with math facts, I am all about making it fun and as hands-on as possible.  I have created 6 packets in our Addition and Subtraction Bundle to make practice FUN! I have also created our Addition and Subtraction Math Fact Booklets to give students endless opportunities to practice with 216 wipe on and wipe off booklets!

For students who need the extra support, it is my hope and goal that teachers and/or parents will use these resources with manipulatives. Below I will show you a few manipulatives that we like to use for adding and subtracting. For students who don't need the extra support, manipulatives may not be as necessary.  The most important thing is that you, as the teacher,  integrate manipulatives, visuals, tables, hundred charts and discussion as needed.
I like to use base ten blocks, jumbo dice, linking cubes and fun counters. 
In the picture above, I have counting bears and insects. You could use ANYTHING...the important thing is to make it FUN and that you provide tangible items for students to manipulate. 

Over time and through multiple avenues of practice, students will begin to master basic addition and subtraction facts automatically.  This is ultimate goal and this is what we hope to achieve for our students.

Providing HANDS-ON, FUN and ENGAGING opportunities for practice will help to maintain student interest.  These 6 packets hit the target and provide opportunities for differentiation to help scaffold the learning process.



In this post, I also want to show you how you can use many of these pages to make a reusable (wipe on and wipe off) binder that 
helps save on paper and ink
and is EASY to set up!
This is especially useful for teachers who have a limited paper and ink supply and/or want to differentiate instruction for their students.

In addition to the printable pages above, we also have the Addition and Subtraction Math Booklets. These Wipe on and Wipe off booklets allow for endless opportunities of practice.  The BEST PART about these booklets, is that they are SELF CHECKING!

In this post I will show you a variety of FUN, ENGAGING and EFFECTIVE ways to help kids MASTER basic math facts!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What is Phonemic Awareness and Why Teach it?

I get a lot of emails from parents who are ready to teach their child how to read. They tell me that their children know their letters and their sounds, therefore they are Ready to READ! "Where do we start and what do we do next?" they ask.

I LOVE their enthusiasm! I LOVE their willingness to dive right in.

However... diving into a full blown reading curriculum at that early stage is not the next step. To build a strong foundation for reading success, children need to master Phonological/Phonemic Awareness.


What is Phonological/Phonemic Awareness?

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness is the ability to hear, identify and manipulate sounds (phonemes).  This skill provides a strong foundation for early reading success. As students become more proficient in hearing, identifying and manipulating sounds, they can successfully move onto segmenting and blending words. A systematic and cohesive approach to teaching phonological awareness can build confident readers who are less likely to struggle with decoding and spelling skills. Students with strong a phonemic awareness are much more likely to be successful readers.

Who Can Benefit from Phonological/Phonemic Awareness?
Reading instruction is important for all students. A strong foundation in phonological/phonemic awareness can benefit:
*Beginning Readers
*Struggling Readers
*Students with autism or other developmental disabilities
*Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and 1st Grade Students

Authentic Phonemic Awareness is done without printed words. It is all about the sounds that letters make. It gives students the ability to work with sounds, manipulate sounds and master these sounds in a variety of ways. When students are able to do these skills successfully, they are able to jump into phonics with a lot less struggle.  Phonics (not Phonemic Awareness) works with connecting the sounds to printed letters and words.  When you target phonemic awareness first, it allows a child to focus on one thing...sounds.  However, when you try to teach both phonemic awareness (sounds) and phonics (linking sounds to letters and words), it can be overwhelming and frustrating for children learning to read.

When a child struggles with reading, the gaps are often connected to a lack of phonemic awareness skills. Going back and reinforcing these skills can help fill in the gaps and build stronger readers.

Within my Phonemic Awareness Bundle, I have provided an opportunity to practice many skills necessary to give children a strong foundation with sounds. Let's take a look at this bundle, see how it works and why it is an important component to reading success.



The pictures and activities that I am about to show you below are all stored in my Phonemic Awareness Kit. This is EASY to set up and just requires a box and some file folders. This method keeps me organized and all of my materials are in one place. When my teaching materials are organized, I am more equipped to meet the needs of those that I am teaching.


In this post, I will show you 9 different activities to help build phonemic awareness.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Review NO PREP Packets (UPDATED)

Summer is almost here! I can smell the beach air and feel the sand in my feet.  I know that the little Moffatt Girls are also ready for a summer break!  We have a lot of things on our "Bucket List" this summer, but one thing that is NOT on the list is the Summer Slide!

Here are some statistics about the Summer Slide:
1. Teachers spend 4 - 6 weeks re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer.
2. Students experience significant learning loss when they do not participate in educational activities during the summer months.
3. Reading as a leisure activity is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary and reading speed. 
4. Reading just 4 - 5 books during the summer can prevent a decline in a child's fall reading scores.
5. The Summer Slide has cumulative effects of greater loss each summer.

In efforts to avoid the Summer Slide, I wanted to give our Summer Review Packets an update… and boy did they get an update!  They have been COMPLETELY revised!  The summer Review NO PREP Packets are packed with FUN, engaging and hands-on activities to help kids avoid the Summer Slide!
The BEST part…
NO PREP, NO laminating, no costly colored ink!  Just print and let kids learn this summer!

Summer Review NO PREP (KINDERGARTEN)
**If you already purchased this packet, just re-download it for FREE!**

Thursday, April 14, 2016

May Fun-Filled Learning!

As we approach the end of the school year, I wanted to make some monthly NO PREP packets that would help keep us on course, review some skills and making learning FUN! I think we hit the spot with May's NO PREP packets!

The following May packets are available:
(Be sure to follow our TPT store to get notifications of when new products are released and sales!)

The preschool packet is FULL of skills to help preschoolers get ready for Kindergarten!
Some of the skills included in the May packet cover sight words, color words, beginning sounds, 
phonics: word families, identifying shapes, patterns, number sequencing, number sense, measurement, positional words, life cycles and so much more!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Mastering Multiplication!

Mastering multiplication facts is such an important skill for 3rd grade students.  As a former 4th grade teacher, I fully understand how crippling it can be for students who struggle with basic multiplication facts while trying to learn more challenging math concepts. If they can master the basics, all other math concepts are so much easier to learn.

I am beyond excited to share with you a Multiplication Bundle that will introduce, teach, reinforce and help master basic multiplication facts!  All of the pages in this bundle make learning multiplication a breeze! No more boring drills or mundane practice! There are 11 different packets in this bundle that will help make mastering multiplication facts exciting and rewarding!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

April FUN-Filled Learning!

April is nearly here and we are geared up for some fun spring-filled learning! 
This month we are keeping it rigorous and FUN!  

The following April packets are available:

The preschool packets are FILLED with hands-on and engaging activities for little learners! 
This packet 70 page packet will cover cutting skills, coloring, tracing, letter identification, one to one correspondence, similarities and difference, counting practice, sight words, sequencing, shapes and much, much more! 
Here are a few of the pages in this massive packet!
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