Playing Tag!

12 Fun Facts

Thank you to Karlie  at We are ALL Special for tagging me J
 So here are the rules:
 1. You must post the rules.
 2. Post 12 fun facts about yourself on the blog post.
 3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create 12 new questions for the people you tagged.
 4. Tag 12 people and link them on your post.
 5. Let them know you've tagged them!

 1. Where do you live/Where are you from? I have lived in Denver, Colorado for 30 years. I came to Colorado from San Francisco.
2. What is your best teaching advice? Use data to guide your instruction and don’t forget to progress monitor what you’re doing along the way

3. If you could only keep one thing that's currently in your classroom what would it be? My favorite Dr. Seuss book, Green Eggs and Ham
4. What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend? Go to the mountains and hike with my family and my 2 Italian Greyhounds (Aria and Louis)

5. How long have you been teaching? This make eight years
6. What is your favorite teaching memory? A group of spelling changanged students walking into my room spelling all their requests and conversations with each other and m

7. What is your favorite store? Any place with books
8. What do you typically wear to school? If I could wear jeans all week I would; in warmer weather flats and skirts
9. What is your favorite activity to do with your students? Anything that gets them reading and laughing

10. What is your favorite book? Some many books but this one tops the list--David Wiesner’s Flotsam
11. Do you have a Pinterest? no

12. What is your favorite restaurant? Chinese food here I come

Now it's my turn to learn about you....

Mrs. Taska
Classroom Creations
Classroom Ringmaster
Mrs. Blanton
Mrs. Policastro
Fallin for Firsties

1 - What's your favorite season? 
2 - What's your favorite book?  
3 - What's your favorite TV show?  
4 - How do you celebrate March is reading month? 
5 - Where do you live?
6 - What's your favorite thing to teach? 
7 - How do you track student progress? 
8 - How do you use technology in the classroom? 
9 - Do you use Accelerated Reader? How do you reward kids for points if you do? 
10 - Do you play sports? What? 
11 - How much time do you spend doing your hair each morning?  
12 – What’s your favorite memory from high school? 

I can't wait to learn more about all of you who write the wonderful blogs I love to follow:)

Isolating Phonemes--Initial Sounds

From KPM Doodles
This will one of three posts on isolating phonemes that I will share as I create materials for my small groups in kindergarten that are struggling with mastering these skills.
Isolating phonemes is a strategy that allows students to recognize individual sounds in a word. Attending to these phonemes increases students’ awareness that words are made up of individual sounds that connect together to form a word. When students apply this strategy, they are demonstrating their ability to think about and separate individual sounds from one another within a word (e.g., the first sound in dog is /d/, the medial sound in wet in /e/, and the final sound in like is /k/.  

Identifying phonemes is a strategy in which students focus on separate distinctions of initial, medial, and final sounds in words in recognize their similarities and differences. Students who can use this strategy are able to think about and notice that two or more words may have the same initial sound, medial sound, or final sounds. Identifying these sounds is important as students move through the development stages of reading, and it provides students with a tool for reading as well as writing.

Initial Sounds

Kindergarten Here We Come!

Each year about this time, I start planning for the new kindergartens that are coming. The transition meetings are important for many reasons. I get a chance to meet new parents and in many cases the new kindergartner as well. The preschool team always plans on the meets lasting only 30 minutes but I have never had a transition meeting end on time. I usually end up doing most of the listening and answering as many questions that the parents have and we never hear from the preschool team. The preschoolers, always tell me that they are looking forward to coming to the "big school." I guess this makes sense because our preschool is right next door.

This year I'm giving my parents some concrete ideas of what they can do over the next 6 months at home. I have also given it my current kindergarten parents to help them build on what has been taught this year. How do you help parents get ready for moving into kindergarten?

Getting Ready for Kindergarten

Guided Reading as an Intervention

It's funny--I spend most of my time at the beginning of the year using scripted interventions. Then comes the mid-year data and changes. By this time of the year, I find that I miss guided reading and seeing students in text and finding that love for reading. One of the Title teachers I work with asked me last week what I use for guided reading when phonics and word study still need to happen daily. I use "Jan Richard's "The Next Step in Guided Reading" or Beverly Tyner's "Small-Group Reading Instruction: A Differentiated Teaching Model for Beginning and Struggling Readers" to give students a double dose of guided reading.

Since I don't have access to a guided reading program with lesson plans and books, their plans help me design lessons that help me make sure that students who still need phonics but not Wilson get that. What I love even more is that they work great for Kindergarten--who should be in books. Even if I have a group that still needs some skill work, I can get them in books. Even if with scaffolding they have a blast reading and talking about the books--making connections to their own lives.

The Kindergarten class that I provide support to during Daily 5 has several English Language Learners as well as other high need exceptional needs students. Thoses guys have fallen in love with a couple of mini-books that I have created to pre-teach the vocabulary of the books that they are going to read. I hang on to them for a couple of days while we are working in the book and then they take them home and "read" to their parents or to themselves.

Mini Book Who Lives in the Arctic

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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