I Am Thankful For... A Writing Freebie!

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect upon all the things that we are thankful and actively teach kids to be thankful.

This brainstorming page provides a line for each letter of the alphabet for students to think of their personalized answers.

This is a great activity to use as a pre-writing activity or at home to do as a family together leading up to the special day.

Click on the image below to download this freebie!


Reading Strategies for Beginning Readers

How can I help beginning readers when they are stuck on a word? There are a lot basic strategies young readers need to master.

What is the first sound? (Lips the Fish)

Remind your students to get their lips ready to sound out the first sound of the first word.

Sound it out (Stretchy Snake)

Stretch the word out slowly. Sometimes we use a slinky and stretch the word fast then slow.
Know the sounds - Blend the sounds - Read the words!

Look at the Picture (Eagle Eye)

Pictures bring meaning and allows students to develop their ability to predict. Just like young children can "read" a story without reading the words simply by looking at a picture. 

Skip it and move on (Skippy Frog)

If you skip the unknown word try to finish the sentence. Then stop and go back to infer what would make sense. This allows students to develop context clues.

Does it look right? (Careful Caterpillar)

When students read a word and the letters do not correspond to the word that they read they should learn to question what they are reading. They need to carefully read each part of the word to make sure they are getting it correct!

Does it sound right? (Tryin' Lion)

Try a different strategy and try to read the word again.

Look for small words in big words (Chunky Monkey)

The word and is in the word hand. This strategy also works well for compound words such as snow and man in snowman!

Short/Long Vowels (Flippy Dolphin)

Try the short and long vowel sound to read the word.

Look for word families or known patterns

If you can read it you can read sit, hit, nit and fit!

Bossy E!

"Bossy E plays a game, it makes the vowel say it's name!" When students see an e at the end of a word, the e often makes the previous vowel say its name. For example, care and car. The a says its name in the word care! 

Use consistent visuals

I find it important to have consistent visuals so that the images are familiar to students. I like to use visuals in a variety ways to support my students. Check out what I use in my classroom! All of these use the same images for supporting students in reading.

What is a Boomerang Lunch?

What is a boomerang lunch? 

They are school-wide initiatives to reduce the amount of waste created by the school by ensuring that everything is brought to school is returned home by the end of the day.

How can I participate? 

If your school runs this program, they will request that you pack all lunches in a way that it can be easily returned back to you to be reused. So, please consider containers that can be washed and reused!

The end result of the efforts is to educate the school and the whole community about reducing their waste on a day to day basis. Students learn that small things do make a difference! Teachers also remind students that when they bring items home parents are aware of what they like to eat and it prevents wasted food or allows parents to look for new options for future lunches!

Although it is not convenient, buying in bulk is more cost effective. Labels easily help to identify who brought it and it encourages food items with less packaging such as grapes or cucumbers!

Who participates?

All students and staff members of the school participate!

Why participate?

Please consider the environment. Many schools are either an Eco-School or want to be environmentally friendly. Our end goal is to help your child become aware of how they can make big differences in small ways.

Schools who are Eco-schools are audited by children who run or participate in the eco-club at least once a year. Their goal is to try to educate their peers on how to consciously do small things that will reduce waste.

How can I prepare?

Shop in bulk and buy things that can be used over multiple days. Look for reusable containers that have multiple storage spots in them. Stainless steel containers are perfect for helping to reduce your plastic imprint and are easily washed.

Quick Games to Support Learning Letters

Fridge Fun

Post the letter of the week or a high frequency word, based upon ability, on the fridge. Throughout the day ask them what the letter/word is or what sounds it makes.

You can even add a game to it by asking them whenever they want something to eat or drink!

X's & O's

Play X's and O's using the letters that your child is learning! Change it up and make it fun!


Use sight word flash cards (or alphabet cards for letter names or sounds) and three or more cards that say ZAP! on them.

If your child reads the word correctly they get to keep the card. If the ZAP! card is flipped over the person whose turn it is looses all their cards to the discard pile.

The game continues until thee are no more cards. This is a great game for siblings!

Tracing Letters/ Rainbow Writing

Rainbow writing is a lot of fun for young children.

I often get them to pick 4-7 colors to trace based upon their age and ability. These pages can be reused over and over again to save paper and the more colors students add the more beautiful it becomes!

I even love using it for sight words! Please see the images below to check out what rainbow writing activities I have for kindergarten to grade one!


Cheering To Learn Sight Words

Cheering letters to learn sight words is shockingly fun!

Many standard cheers are often used in our class but the most fun are either unique or student invented.

We spell the word with one action and then say the word with a different action. And we always ensure that we cheer each word at least three times.
I have decided to share these with you as a freebie but before I get to that I want to share the benefits of cheering words.

Differentiated Learning

Actions help kinesthetic learners.
Reading helps visual learners (I often post the word).
Chanting helps auditory learners as they hear themselves and others repeating the letters.

Click on the small images below to get the freebie and check out the others available!

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