Saturday, October 1, 2016

Have You Seen The GREAT Ideas & FREEBIES on DJ Inkers' Blog?

Well, they have shared 2 of my ideas & 1 is a FREEBIE! (Scroll to bottom for my give-away)

DJ Inkers included two of my recent activity ideas on their blog.
You can read more on their blog by 
and then just scroll down to see my ideas along with many more.

My first idea was a literacy center created with my Onset Rimes (not rhymes) Flowers:

Click the flower to grab this FREEBIE!

Copy these on card stock, and your students will LOVE spinning the flower petals to create new CVC words. 

You can get 5 of them for FREE, that's 1 for each vowel, by

You can grab the entire set here:
Click the image above to get the entire set.
My Rime Time set was made using 
graphics from 
DJ Inkers' Kids All Year Clipart.
to see the entire set of graphics 
and scroll down to see my Rime Time set 
featured in their "ideas" section. 

My second idea was my Back-to-School Backpack Math Activity:

Click the image to see the entire product. 
This project promotes mental math and oral language.

Each student gets a backpack template to cut out and glue to a paper lunch bag. Working with a few children at a time, give the first child 10 cents and let that child "buy" enough school supplies to total 10 cents without going over 10 cents.  
Click the image to see the entire set. 

After everyone has shopped, they get to meet in a small or whole group setting to discuss their purchases. 

The parts fit nicely in the lunch bag to take home and share with their families. 
You can grab this Backpack Shopping Set by 

You can see the entire blogpost on DJ Inkers' blog by 
or on this image:

and if you scroll down, you will see my backpack project.

My Backpack set was made using 
DJ Inkers Kiddilywinks.
to see the entire set of graphics  
& scroll down after clicking the link 
to see my backpack product 
displayed in their "ideas" section. 

If you are like me, and you love DJ Inkers' graphics, 
check out their website and their blog 
for some really cute ideas for your classroom!

Did you see my latest math set made with 
DJ Inkers graphcs?

You can grab this set by 
And guess what? It's on sale from today through Oct. 2.
So Sum Spiders is on Sale through Sunday! 
Click the image.
I used DJ Inkers "'Spook'tacular Smiles" graphics and fonts to create this product. I'm raffling off an entire set of these "'Spook'tacular Smiles" graphics right here on my blog so,
 scroll down to enter. 
The winner will be announced on October 7. 

Or, click the image below to grab a set NOW. 
This set is ON SALE through Sept. 30.
Click the image to grab your set now. 
If you would like to win your very own copy of 
DJ Inkers' 
'Spook'tacular Graphics,
follow the links on the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


And, you can shop for more Halloween treats at DJ Inkers 

Use my affiliate link and start shopping 
at DJ Inkers 
& find out what all the smiling is about!
to shop. 

Use my "Sum Spiders" all year long. Use spiders in October and then again in the spring. I'll use my other DJ Inkers Graphics to create more themes to use throughout the year, so stay tuned for more FUN with SUMS!

You might also like...
Green Monster, Green Monster, what do you see?

Scarecrow, Scarecrow, please come to my party.Thank you, I will, if you invite....

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

4, Fresh, Fab, FUN, Fine-motor Finds! (+ a FREEBIE)

You won't believe the one we do EVERY day!

Looks like trash, but it develops small muscles.
READ ON to find out how.

My first favorite fine motor activity:
It is a center that my students loved from day 1.
You can use yarn or long pipe cleaners. 

I got some cake cooling racks at The Dollar Store, cut up some strands of yard, and let them have fun.
I taped the ends of the yarn with clear tape to prevent fraying.

Some of the students loved weaving patterns, others just wove random colors, but everyone was working on their fine motor skills!

My second favorite fine motor activity:
It is a sight word center. It looks like spaghetti and meatballs, but the students had to match the pairs of sight words! You can make this out of large wooden beads, but I made mine in kind of a funny way. 
This center works best when two students can help each other find the matching sight word. 

Our PTA gave me a bag of Dum-dum candy pops for my class. I didn't want to give them candy, so I bought them a basket of organic blueberries and I was going to throw the Dum-dums away when I got this idea. 

I unwrapped them, cut the sticks off, and applied pieces of torn brown tissue paper with Mod Podge. (You can find Mod Podge at a craft store like Michael's.) 

I never did tell them that their were candy lollipops inside these meatballs!
Then, I applied a little piece of paper to each "meatball" with a sight word printed on it. I made two matching meatballs for each sight word. Last, I gave the meatballs one last coat of Mod Podge and let them all dry. 
Add extra bowls to collect the matching meatballs.

The next day, I placed the meatballs in a small colander with a handful of rubber bands. I didn't even bother to cut the rubber bands! I added a pair of tongs, a checkered tablecloth & two chefs' hats and that's it! 
You don't need a fancy colander. You can just use a plastic bowl.

This center was a favorite!

My students took turns grasping a meatball with the tongs and having their partner find the matching meatball in the pile of spaghetti! They LOVED it!

My third favorite fine motor activity:
It is my PIN LETTER CARDS. I ran these dotted letters on card stock and let my students place one card on the carpet. Then, they used a push pin and poked a hole through the card and into the carpet until every dot was poked. Then, they could take it home to tape to a window and let the light shine through their letters! They loved making one of these each week for 26 weeks and they strengthened their fingers while having fun!
They wrote their names on the back before they began.
This Pin Letter Set also comes with number cards!  You can grab a set by CLICKING HERE.

My fourth favorite fine motor activity is the one we did EVERY day!  
In fact, we did it several times a day! This is how it worked...
I always asked my students to try to create only one scrap whenever they have to cut anything out.
This is from my Pocket Locket set.
Students create a locket or a pocket watch with the letters from their sight words.

This took pre-planning and lots of thought, but wait, it gets better...

(These are my my SIGHT WORD POCKET LOCKETS. Once made, students may wear their sight words home as a locket around their necks or as a pocket watch in their pockets.)

Then, I asked them to always fold their one large scrap as many times as they could. Now, I think that any piece of paper, no matter how large or small it is, can only be folded a maximum of seven times*, but my students always tried to fold their scrap even more times. 
They would fold, press, and squeeze with all their might!

We called this our "finger exercises" and, since we did this several times each day, it did actually build up the muscles in their fingers!
They made their scraps as small as they could!

The added bonus was that our trashcans did not overflow with large scraps of paper. :)

Your trash cans won't look like this!

*Disclaimer: In January 2002, a junior in high school, Gallivan, demonstrated that a single piece of toilet paper 4000 ft (1200 m) in length can be folded in half twelve times. 

Did you like my Sight Word Pocket Lockets? You can find them by clicking HERE.

I also have two you may have for FREE by CLICKING HERE

You may visit my TpT Store by CLICKING HERE

Well, that's it for this month, my friends. Look for my next post at the beginning of October.  :)


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!