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Word Work in the Primary Classroom

Hey all!
Does your guided reading time fly by? Mine sure does! I only have twenty five minutes, twice a day.
When I have my kiddos transition to their centers, and my others hop over to the guided reading table, I need to ensure everyone is working on activities that are appropriate for their independent levels.
So today, I thought I would share one of the activities that I have students work on during centers times for my word work station.

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. This allows me to keep my teeny little blog up and running. 

I use these magnetic boards in my classroom for EVERYTHING. 

I use them in my guided reading groups, and for students that are in the work on words center. 

This new activity may end up becoming my favorite!!!

Word Work Task Cards start with level A-1 and go up through level C-3. Each card has five words. Set one starts with only substituting the ending sound. Set two substitutes either the first sound or ending sound, while each word only changes one letter at a time. Set three can substitute any sound in the word, still only changing one letter each line. Each set has 45 words - with 135 cvc words in the entire pack! 
The task cards have two sized recording sheets if you want your students to have written reinforcement. One is a full size recording sheet that can be made into a booklet for easy storage. The small size is one that you can glue into word work journals. I will have my parent volunteers take these home and create my booklets so that I can keep them all together and glued into their notebooks!

I have also included letters to use in case you don't have magnetic letters. These will fit easily into the task boxes. The boxes are called Iris Photo boxes. You can click the picture below to find the photo boxes that I use. 

I also have this set available in black and white to save you color ink. I will say that I think they really stand out in the astrobrights color paper. I would print each set starting with the color red. I keep everything in rainbow order. Set one is red. Set two is orange. Set three yellow. (coming soon will be set four green, set five blue, set six purple, set seven pink) I do this so that students know what set they are in and start at. Everything in my room goes with the rainbow. They know the order of the colors and know always to start with red and end with pink. The sets also have numbers on them so that students can double check where they are.

The recording sheets either have the words with a space to write after or the picture and the space next to it to record, depending on your child's ability level. 
I used the rings to keep my cards together. These small rings make it so that they fit easily into the task box containers. You can find the rings here.

 These tiles below are also able to be used. They are small 
and skinny enough that you can use them inside the boxes as well. You can find the tiles by clicking here

These letters are also easy to use and fit inside. I of course like them because they are so colorful. You can find these colorful letters by clicking here. It says that you can get at least 3 full sets a-z out of one bucket. I will find out and update this as I pull them into sets. 

You can also use the banana gram or scrabble tiles for students to make these words. Click here for the link to the tiles. 

The great thing about this set is that it goes right along with Lucy Calkins Next Step in Guided Reading. So you know that if you are using this set, you are following right along with what you should be taught at each level. 

You can find the items I use in my guided reading and word work area by clicking on the pictures below:
These are the boards that you can use in your room as well. Click the photo above to find these boards. 

I use this shelving system to house all of my boards(click on either photo to grab the shelving!)

 Here are the magnetic letters that I use. You can get a full board covered with five letters left over per box. So if you want five boards, you will need five of these sets of letters.
Finally the template below that I place on top of the boards is scaled down to 87% so that it fits on these colorful boards. You can click the photo below to purchase the magnetic letter template. This allows students to EASILY return their letters and organize them. They will spend more time working on their activity and less time figuring out where their letters are. 

I hope you find this pack useful! These word work task cards are PERFECT for an organized and efficient word work time. Click below to grab these task cards for your primary classroom. They would be a perfect addition to your pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, or sped classrooms! 

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Magnetic Letter Organization!

Hi friends
I have had so many friends ask me to share my Magnetic Letter Organization with you!

This post contains affiliate links for Amazon. By purchasing an item on the Amazon site using these links, I will receive a small commission on your purchase. 

Do you use magnetic letters in your classroom? I use magnetic letters in my class A LOT. I mean, a lot.  I use them during morning work for some students. I have some students use them during center time or stations. I have my students use them daily during guided reading time. Magnetic letters are something that are used multiple times a day - EVERYDAY in my classroom.

One of the downfalls with magnetic letters, is returning them. The younger the kiddos, the harder this is. (Well, I suppose there are still third graders that don't put them back correctly)

I noticed that my students spent a lot of time figuring out where to put the letters when they are done. Or, they just throw them back in a bucket and spend a ton of time looking for the letters they need for the activity. This slows them WAY down and cuts the amount of time working in half. It was getting so bad, that during guided reading, I was taking letters out of kids' hands and putting them back because it was MAKING.ME.NUTS. I needed a solution!!!!

I thought, ok what can I do to make this more effective? Well, here is my solution! Magnetic letter return sheets!
Click the picture below to go to my TPT store to see the sheets.

I use these during guided reading group times. My students each grab a board that has the letters already on it.  When I do my lesson plan, I spend about 4 minutes with them building words. 4 minutes out of 20-25 minute lesson. That is not a ton of time. What's worse - when it takes students 5 minutes to return the letters. This makes that part of my lesson take up almost 10 minutes. I either had to give them all of the letters I wanted them to use, or I needed a way for them to find the letters they needed and return them FAST!

If you click HERE it will take you to where I got the clear picture frames to my reading strategy posters. If you click on the picture below - it will take you to the Reading Strategy Posters pictured. 

This letter return board has saved SO much time. My kids are actually getting better at letter identification, AND they are getting FAST at it. With special needs students, pre-k and kinder babies - this is HUGE! 

During my guided reading time, I use this pack. It tells the students what letters to grab. Then, we build between 4-7 words. It is based on their guided reading (or DRA) level. You can click on the picture to check out the pack. 

If you click on the image below, it is going to take you to where you can get the magnetic boards that they go on.  These boards are double sided dry erase and magnetic. The best part is that they are PRIME on amazon, so you don't need to wait weeks to get them, like I did! 

I have had SO many people ask where I got my letters for the boards. I got my letters from Lakeshore Learning, and they took about two weeks to get to my school. I found these letters from Amazon, and bonus again THEY ARE PRIME! Can you tell how much I love Amazon? You can get an entire tray completed with one container, with a few left over. They end up being the same price as the Lakeshore ones, but they are prime, so two days, folks, two days!
Click the picture below to find the letters on Amazon.

I have had many people ask, what else do I use these letters for to make the purchase of boards and letters worth it? 
I use them for interactive sight word stations in my classroom. Students scan the QR code and then they watch, listen and learn. They build their sight words with me interactively. They need magnetic letters for it. I have students do this activity during morning work time and centers. 
Click the picture to see all the different interactive sight word stations that you can use these letters with. 

I also use these magnetic letters for students to build word families. Students have four cards. One is to put together a puzzle, then read the card, write the word, then build the word. 
Click on the picture below to see my word family task cards. 

My students also play puzzler. This is another sight word game. Students pick a picture card, then, they look at the chart for the secret letter (they really can be confusing), then they have a bunch of mixed up letters. They must fix them to become a new word. 
Click below to see my differentiated puzzler sight word game. 
Some people have used cookie trays to put their magnetic letters on. I can't share where to find exact ones that are magnetic. I have heard some people have used the dollar tree. My dollar tree didn't have the right size, and they weren't magnetic. Other people found perfect ones at their dollar tree! Check them out!
Stuck on teaching found hers at the dollar tree! 
I kept my boards on this holder at first. It works well, and I liked it. You can click the picture to grab it. 

There was something about this sleek, white, pull out tray that just makes my heart skip a beat. You can click any of the pictures to grab it. I LOVE that it comes literally the SAME DAY with Amazon!!!! I don't have the patience to wait ten business days for Ikea. The nearest IKEA is not close, so going to get it is an all day trip. So, thanks amazon for selling this for me! 
Isn't it just beautiful!? The trays slide in and out. It only has four trays, but there is enough room to put one on the bottom. It works perfect for me. 
Plus, it fits the boards exactly. It also fits into my cube organizer! TEACHER HEART HAPPY.

So again, here is a recap of what I use with my magnetic letters.
Tray to hold them.
Magnetic letters (1 box per board)
Magnetic boards. 
I promise  you will NOT regret buying the magnetic letters, the magnetic boards, the tray holder and my magnetic return sheet! It will make your life so much easier. 
I am going to give away 1 magnetic board, 1 set of letters, my magnetic return sheet and my Set 1 Primer Interactive Sight Words to try! 
All you have to do is leave a comment on my Facebook post on how YOU would use the letters, boards, and letter sheet. I would also love you forever if you shared the post on your facebook page! :)

I will pick a winner on Sunday January 8th at 9pm

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Class Gifts on a Budget

Hi friends!
I have been making these ornaments for the last 5 years.  I started because I wanted a cute ornament that was inexpensive for my son to give to his grandparents. I also knew I was working with a baby, and I would make mistakes. SO, I need something that I could fix if we messed it up. These are SO.EASY. I still make them each year with Reid. We just try to find a different one to make. They are adorable and affordable. Since they are so affordable, I thought I would try them with my class. I can do an entire class set for less than $5.00 TOTAL.

Yes, you read that correct. This entire project cost me less than $5.00. I did have quite a few things at my house. I am betting you have these things as well, so it will cost you even less than $5.00.

First, you go to Home Depot. You will need to grab these tiles. It is only $2.57 for the entire sheet. You can have 25 kids make their ornament for $2.57 (plus tax)

You can use regular scissors to cut these up. I bend them until I get a few pieces. Then, I just use my scissors to cut away the yellow "caulking" stuff. 

I always have paint pens in my possession, but you can grab these for $2.00 each at Micheals. Grab your coupon for even bigger savings! You will need a few paintbrushes. I use acrylic paint.  It adheres better to the tile. You can buy sealer spray. I have used it on a few of Reid's and a few I didn't. I can't even tell the difference.

 First, have the kids write their name at the top with a paint pen, so it doesn't smear.
If they do the bottom, then you will have to do the ornament backwards, which can be trouble, or you can have them write their name on the bottom at the end. 

I use their fingerprints as much as possible. This one is the reindeer. Start with painting on the paint on their fingers. I put a good amount, but not too much. If you give the right amount, it looks like actual fur like the picture above. 

Then, any details they add, I have them add with their brush, brush up in the air, using the handle to draw it on like a pencil. I even tell them to hold it like a pencil. 

They "draw" on their details. 

The paints I use are just these tiny ones you can pick up for .50 at Michaels. See how I have them use the tip of the brush as a pencil? 

For the eyes, they do the same thing. They "draw" them on. Just dipping the black dots for eyes. 

Then, I paint red paint on their pinky finger to get the smallest circle for the nose. 

Look at those eyes! so cute. Sometimes, I do have to touch up with a brush and paint if it doesn't work the first time. 

Tell them this isn't the cutest?!

I always have them write the year on the tile as well. 

This is too precious! 

To add the back, I just put hot glue in a V shape. 

Then, I press the ribbon down. I got the ribbon in the end, spinny thing by Michaels (such professional wording). It was a buck for a roll! 

This is what it looks like all glued on. 

Here is a gingerbread. So darn cute. 

These are a few of the choices that my friends made this year. I LOVE the wreath! 

One word to the wise - when doing the penguin - don't let your kids do the black tip of the eyes - it will be a hot mess. They only need the smallest (seriously, the tip barely touches the white paint) dip and they can't do it. You should do the black part. It really sucks to have to wipe clean and start over because you let them do the black of the eyes. 

Love how this penguin is looking at the snowman. 

They all have such personality. 

Once it is hanging on the tree - everyone will love it. I promise! 
The best part about it is that this gift will not break the bank! Your parents will love it and so will the kids! 

I'd love for you to share what you come up with! :)
Merry Christmas. 

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