Sunday, July 31, 2016

Who can use a FREE laminator???

I Am In Love With This Laminator!

Enter to win one of these laminators at the bottom of this page.
It's my new favorite thing! 
So sleek, so smooth, so cool!

It heated up so quickly and was so easy to use too. 

All you have to do is slip the items you want to laminate into the plastic pouches. 

Click the image.

Then, slip the pouch into the input slot and let your Scotch Laminator do its thing. 

It will slowly pull the pouch into the machine and what comes out on the other side will make you smile!

I also laminated the backpack so it would hold up at my newest center. 

All of the pieces were laminated and I know they will last for years because this lamination is nice and thick. 

Students loved getting to fill their paper bag backpack with the items like liked most. 
If you like this set, click the image. 

I made extra cards for each piece so students may "buy" more than one of each item.

Did I mention that the laminator is super quiet too? Well, it is and I love how all of the colors pop when they are laminated. 

The best part is that they had fun while learning and sharing about their choices.

If you would like to see this Back To School Set,

You can win a Scotch Thermal Laminator for your classroom by entering the Rafflecopter below.  The Rafflecopter runs through August 6. The winner will be announced on my blog, KFUNdamentals,  and on my Facebook page ( on August 7. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And, if you like this give-away, you can also enter my other birthday give-away this week: 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Time To Win A "Show & Tell" Apron!

Enter here to win the best teaching apron ever!

You can click on the options in the Rafflecopter to earn entries and win a beautiful apron from 
"Show & Tell Aprons"

The raffle will run from June 14-21.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 22.

Each option is worth one entry.
One option, the "secret code" is worth 5 entries.
The code was given to 
attendees at my most recent professional development. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 1, 2016

I'm The Last Blogger Standing... So here is my Simple Guide To Guided Reading

Here is my Simple Guide to Guided Reading:

It looks like I'm the only blogger who continues to blog here, but since I still have quite a few followers, I'll continue to post around the 1st of each month. Here is a post I recently wrote for a private Facebook group. I hope you like my Simple Guide to Guided Reading:

First, you have to set up your Guided Reading Table:

Children love routines. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. But they also seek novelty and their motivation to learn is peeked when we present information in different ways. That said, I like to keep my Guided Reading routine the same each week, but each day I toss in some fun, new ideas.

Since Guided Reading is taught through small group instruction, and is designed to provide differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency, I begin by assessing my students (see more on assessment below)and meeting with them in small, homogeneous groups. These groups are flexible and change as often as needed.

So what does a typical Guided Routine look like?

Basically, I like to plan my small group lessons around these concepts:

Monday: Alphabet Work: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and letter recognition.

Tuesday: Sight Word Work: Reading and spelling sight words (I limit my lessons to one or two sight words.)

Wednesday: Reading Strategy Work:  Discussing and practice reading strategies such as blending, segmenting, stretching out words, etc.

Thursday: Comprehension Work: Practicing comprehension strategies such as digging deeper, looking for evidence, and re-telling stories.

Friday: Writing Work: Practicing writing by completing the writing prompt that relates to the story or topic that week. 

How to bring novelty into your weekly Guided Reading routine?

Monday: Alphabet Work: (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and letter recognition)

We might focus on initial sounds by placing a cube on each image that begins with a particular letter. 
We might use clear and colored spoons to practice word families or onset rimes. This cute idea came from Heidi's blog:
And we reinforce letter recognition by using alphabet pin cards, laminated letter tracing cards, and bingo markers that help us practice letter formation . 

Tuesday: Sight Word Work: (1 or 2 Sight Words) 
Click the image to grab the set of Pocket-Lockets. 

We create Sight Word charts where students use the sight word in a sentence, the teacher writes the sentence, and the student gets to sign their sentence.
We use my Pocket-Lockets set to create a pocket watch or a locket by spelling a particular sight word with letter squares. Students get to wear their pocket watch or locket home. 
And we use choral reading to read our Sight Word Mini Books together.
We use laminated Dragonflies in First's cute  iPhone templates to copy sight words or write a sentence using a sight word with dry-erase pens.

Wednesday: Reading Strategy Work: (Reading Strategies) 

Click the image to grab this cute, FREE set of posters. 
We use multiple copies of small trade books, phonetic books, or familiar literature books to practice reading decoding strategies together. We discuss the strategies found on these FREE posters from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten and share how we used them to read. 
Students also practice partner reading their book during this time. 

Thursday: Comprehension Work: (Comprehension Strategies)

Students use their trade books, phonetic books, or familiar literature books to discuss new vocabulary, look for evidence in the illustrations or text, and re-tell parts of the story. Concepts of print, such as identifying characters, the setting, the problem, the solution, or sequencing parts of the story are also addressed. 

Friday: Writing Work: (Writing Component)
Click the image to grab the American Symbol Flag Writing Template. 

Students respond to a writing prompt that relates to that week's story or a concept of print, such as the characters, the setting, etc. I use my Writing Prompts every Friday. We also used my Career Writing templates after reading about community helpers and my American Symbol Flag template after reading about our national symbols. 

A Word About Assessments:

I have used ESGI for the past 8 years and it has saved me hundreds of hours assessing my students and using the amazing data to drive my instruction and RTI. It's easy, provides you with so much useful information about your students, and you students will LOVE it so much they will actually beg you to test them! Really!
Click the image above to grab your FREE trial!
Remember to enter your code: KFUN.
You can learn more by grabbing your FREE 60 day trial (no credit card necessary) by CLICKING HERE. Add the promo code KFUN when you grab this FREE trial and you will automatically qualify for a $40 discount off of your 1st year! This is a GREAT company. They won't try to trick you into enrolling for a year. Use their built-in tests or create your own to meet your own school's assessments. After you try it, you will love it.

There you have it! I keep the routine the same, but I change out the way I teach each lesson or the materials I use. Sometimes I dress the part wearing a wig and windshield wiper sunglasses if we are discussing the letter W. And sometimes we will play an Onset Rime Hopscotch game. Keep it fresh and new!
Leave a comment and let us know about some great ideas YOU have for making Guided Reading fun!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

You Won't Believe Where I'm Off To Now!

I'm Presenting in Ontario, Canada!

I am so excited to be traveling to Canada to present at SDE's Conference for Ontario Full-Day Kindergarten Teachers in Hamilton, Ontario.  Click the green photo to see the entire brochure:
Click the image to see the entire brochure.

I'll be giving away prizes at ALL of my sessions! 
Teachers will have a chance to win one of my very favorite teaching tools, a Show And Tell Apron!

You can teach so many things with this adorable apron: letters, phonics, numbers, and even story sequence.

Sandy, the inventor/designer of this amazing apron, also makes tons of teaching cards that you can use every day with your students.

You can find the aprons by clicking HERE and tons of cards by clicking HERE.

I'll also be giving away:  a FREE YEAR of ESGI to 14 lucky teachers!

This amazing online testing site will have your students BEGGING to be tested! Seriously, they will beg you! And did I mention how much useful data this site will generate about your students? Well, it will! You can instantly see who knows each skill and, more importantly, who doesn't. Can you say, "Instant RTI?"

And you will love the instant flashcards and parent letters (in English AND Spanish).

And for anyone who does't win, and for YOU too, you can use my code to get yourself $40 off of your first year at
The code is KFUN. Just enter it when you start your 60 day FREE trial. No credit card is required to start your trial, so what are you waiting for?

I'll be presenting a Make & Take Science session where the attendees will be able to try out science experiments and create a cute life-cycle project.  This is one of the images from my presentation, but we won't be trying this one out!

Here is a picture of how I set up my assembly line for making the little kits each teacher will get. They will also get a tiny bottle of bubbles and a tube of glue to use too. 

I'm also presenting "From Re-telling Stories to Writing" and that's also a Make & Take session. Teachers will get to make my cute paper bag cottage for The Three Bears and they will see how to make a fun "re-telling" project that goes with the book Harriet Can Carry It, by Kirk Jay Mueller.

You can find this beautifully illustrated book on Amazon or by clicking HERE

Next, I'll present "Learning Centers: Keeping 'Play' In Your Busy Day" which is one of my favorite sessions. Teachers will get a link to my free classroom signs that communicate the importance of "play" in a child's day. This is how my presentation room usually looks. I like to bring a huge suitcase of samples for teachers to see and touch:

I'm also presenting "Building Academic Language and Literacy" which includes a variety of language acquisition techniques.  Here are some of the teachers who are watching a short video clip that I included in one of my sessions:

Whew! That's just April 7. On April 8, I'll begin the day with "Phonics, Sight Words, & Writing, Oh My!" I'll be sharing my Instant Writing techniques and fun sight word projects.  Click the image of the writing template to grab this set which will make EVERY child in your class a successful writer:
Click the image to grab this set of cards & writing template page. 

Then, it will be time for "Don't Wait, Early Intervention Strategies For Your Littlest Learners". Teachers will discover a new way to look at intervention and the logistics involved in creating a successful program.

My next session is also one of my favorites: "The Amazing Classroom" more than an idea a minute! Seriously, during this 75 minute session I share over 75 ideas! It's a fast-paced session that is tons of fun. 

My last session is on Close Reading. I have simplified the process for kindergarten so teachers will feel confident creating Close Reading lessons for almost any book. 

I can't wait to meet the teachers in Ontario and share my ideas with them. 
The best part is that taking my sessions to Canada will officially make me an international presenter! 

Be sure to visit this blog at the beginning of May when I'll be posting once again! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leap Right Into March With This Read Across America Idea & A Frog Freebie

How Cute is THIS For Dr. Seuss' Birthday? 

Click the image to grab this FREEBIE.

And Check out this CUTE Frog Life Cycle Set:

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 3.28.59 PM 

Frog Freebie

Isn't it fun to learn about slimy squishy animals? Do your preschoolers or kindergarteners know about the life cycle of one of the squishiest amphibians - the FROG? It's a quick and easy lesson to teach. There's a free, froggy resource on Educents - just print the pages and start your lesson.

Ways to use this freebie with a Pre-K or Kinder:

This free resource was created by The Multi Taskin' Mom and is available to download for free on Educents is the best place to discover new and innovative ways to keep kids excited about learning!
  • Practice handwriting & copywork
  • Reading aloud
  • Sounding out the words
  • Have fun coloring
  • Just print & goFrog Freebie Educents

More frog-themed learning resources:

Do your kiddos LOVE frogs? Check out this animation about the Frog Life Cycle, and find more frog-themed games and lessons for all ages below.
  • All About Frogs Packet - This frog bundle includes an informational slideshow, frog-themed anchor charts, rhyming word printables, number cards, writing organizer, and more (all frog-themed!!)
  • Froggy Self-Control Boardgame - Use your frog markers to move across the board and practice relaxation, self-control, and body behavior in the classroom. Students will distinguish good choices from bad choices as they leap around the board!
  • 3-D Frog Anatomy Notebook Model for Dissection - Use this 3-d paper frog model for a dissection-free frog exploration, a pre-dissection study tool, or even as a summative assessment during comparative anatomy studies!
  • Frog Learning Pack for Middle Schoolers - A frog-eriffic packet of printable notebooking pages, activities, games and more!

Check out more frog-themed resources to integrate into your lessons!

Here are some more FREEBIES for your older students or home schooling children:

Click the image to grab this FREEBIE.

Click the image to grab this FREEBIE.

FREE cursive handwriting practice sheets on @Educents #homeschooling

FREE Just Jake Novel Study Packet - quizzes, vocab, spelling & more! Download on @Educents #teachingenglish

And Remember, you can get a 60 day FREE trial for ESGI and, if you enter the code KFUN when you sign up for that free trial, you will automatically get $40 off of your favorite year if you choose to sign up.  CLICK HERE read more about ESGI.

See you all next month!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Fact Families Confusions + A Fact Family Freebie

Hi, Teaching Friends!

"Fact Families: Friend or Enemy?"

That could have been the title of this post. Fact families are a great tool to help students see the relationships between numbers. Using hands on materials (like separating groups of manipulatives) and bridging to drawings, and then numerical representations, fact families are a great way to help students see the connection between addition and subtraction, and can also be a super tool to promote meaningful memorization.

But in the wrong hands, related fact families can be an enemy that's tricky to get rid of. Please tell me that I'm not the only one who's had some students just plug in the numbers, producing number models like 5+3=2 or 2-4=6. Yikes!

You've probably used some of these methods to teach and practice fact families
   * Number Bonds

   * Fact Family Houses

   * Part/Part/Whole diagrams

   * Fact Triangles

   * Dominoes

How do you help those students who've decided that it's easier to plug the numbers in than to think? 

Here's the little game I've used!

Teach students the 3 Finger Test. Hold up three fingers and for each number model you make, ask these questions:

1. Is it true?
2. Does it use all of the numbers in the family?
3. Does it use any numbers that are not in the family? (Sometimes, very dramatically, for extra fun, we  say, "No strangers in this family!")

As each question is answered, they push one of the fingers down. When all three are down, it's a fistpump in the air for a successful fact family!

What are some tricks of the trade that you've found to be successful with teaching fact families?

Here's a fun {and free!} way to add some fact family practice to your math center! This set of 18 clip cards for +1 and +2 facts also includes a demonstration page for use with your doc camera. Print the cards on light or bright cardstock as shown above, or print on white and have your students color them lightly with colored pencils before laminating.

If you're looking for more free and paid resources to build up your February curriculum, stop by Primary Inspiration to check out this linky party. You'll find over 200 February activities for the primary grades!!

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Four Fantastic February Fun Activities For Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First Grade

Here Are Four Fun Ideas For February (From Day 100 & Valentine's Day to National Symbol Writing):

10 Fun Activities for Day 100:  Pick & choose or have your students do all ten activities on your 100th Day of School. 
Click the image to grab these 10 activities. 
There is a FREEBIE in the preview. 

I set this up as ten activity centers that my students rotated through all morning long. My kindergarten students got to keep track of each activity as they moved along in groups of 2 or 3 students.

It was so much FUN! You can do 1 or 2 activities in a whole group setting for pre-k or all 10 independently with your first grade students. There is a FREEBIE in the preview

American Symbol Writing:  Use these cute flag templates for writing. Pre-K can illustrate their favorite national symbol in the box at the top and then copy the name of their symbol on the lines provided. The in-between blank lines should be colored red. They should color the background of their illustration with blue. 
When these are posted on a bulletin board, they look like American flags, but when you get closer, you can see the writing and illustrations.

So cute!  
The set comes with different size lines you can have your students write more or less. My kindergarten students used this activity to practice opinion writing.

Larger lines are better for Pre-K and K.
Smaller lines allow for more writing.
They copied the name of their favorite symbol and then they wrote why they liked it.

First grade students can write more. It's also perfect for descriptive writing where students can describe their favorite American symbol. 

Valentine Descriptive Book:  This activity book makes learning about adjectives FUN!.  
Click the image to grab this cute activity. 

Pre-K students can trace the descriptive words (written in a dotted font) and then choose the construction paper heart to match each description.  Kindergarten students can create their own construction paper hearts to match the description. First grade students can also create their own hearts and they can embellish them too. 

I fold a piece of 12"X18" construction paper to create a 12"X12" pocket. The 8.5"X 5.5" description pages fit nicely on the pocket flap and the hearts fit in the pockets. 
Your students will LOVE this take-home book which they can read to their parents. 

Five Cheerful Valentines Subtraction Book:  This cute mini book demonstrates subtraction from five in a fun way.

Click the image to grab this cute subtraction book. 
Students write their friends'  names on the blank lines and then, they get to color and decorate the hearts which demonstrates subtraction by one until you are left with none. 
This is perfect for students to work on during your Valentine's Day party. 

And, if you missed the buzz that generated over 5000 hits and hundreds of downloads last month...  here is my Instant Writing method and templates that will turn every student into a writer!  

to read how this simple method can make a HUGE difference in how your students write. 
I'll see you all next month,
or you can see me at an upcoming conference:
Click the map to get more info about these conferences. 

Click on the map to see info about the Kindergarten Conference in Austin, Texas.
For info on the other conferences, click the map, then "PD Events" at the top of the page.
Then "overview" and last, the state where you would like to attend a conference.