Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to school rescource and chance to win!

I am so excited about this Back to School rescource!  It contains as much (or more) as you could possibly want to help get your classroom jitters out of the way, introductions made and pencils in motion!  These no-prep printables are a perfect fit for any classrom 3rd-6th!


If you are looking for a few more Back to school products to round out your fun, check out my MEGA BUNDLE that includes:
AND, as promised, please check out my facebook store for a chance to win my First Weeks of School printables for free!
Happy Teaching!

Watermark Color

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A New School Year, a New Start for Beginning Communicators

Many special ed teachers and SLPs don't know whee to start with their beginning communicators.  And there is a definite lack of materials to use with them.
That's where my Core Words Books sets came in; providing books that illustrated core vocabulary for AAC users.
I started with 6 Core Words, then added More Core Words, and 6 More Core Words.
Then I looked at expanding language with 2-Word Core Word Phrases Books.

But there is still a lack of materials that provide actual practice in addition to real life communication of messages.
So this summer, in addition to the materials I created to go with A Year of Core Words (related to PrAACticalAAC blog's year of core); I've been working on activities and games to help teach the core words in my books.

We all know that teaching vocabulary in context is important and necessary, but we also know parents do not want to give up those 1:1 therapy sessions.  So what to do?
I have created some games and simulated contexts to teach AAC users core words.

Hot of the presses are Teach Me Core Words and Teach Me More Core Words games and activity sets.
I also bundled them together with the books here and here.

Take a look at some of the activities:

You'll find game boards and card games.  There is a play road map with cars and traffic signs, a candy & sticker store role play, a farm activity and a put-in-the-box activity for giving directions, and so much more.
Get your nonverbal and minimally verbal kids communicating more this year!
Have a great rest of the summer!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pre-Post Assesments

Are you ready for your students to return? After the back to school jitters have passed, one of my favorite things to do is preform a pre-test and determine the students prior skills and knowledge. Today I would encourage you to skip on over to my blog and take a peek at my full post!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dice Bring Add the Room Activities to a New Level


Camping Bears Dice Add the Room provides fun and exciting math centers for learners to practice addition facts. This resource takes the popular Add the Room activity to another level. Learners use dice graphics to determine the addition equation represented by the number of dots on the dice.

This packet has 5 sets of Camping Bears Dice Add the Room cards. Each set has 10 cards. There is a recording page for each set of cards. The cards and recording pages have matching camping themed graphics featuring bears. Camping Bears Dice Add the Room works well with a camping, fishing or bears theme.

Print, laminate, and cut out the equation cards. Make copies of the recording pages.
Hang the cards in places all around the room. Give each student a clipboard, pencil, and recording page. Learners search the room for cards with dice graphics. When they find a card, they write the equation and sum represented by the number of dots on the dice in the correct space on the recording sheet.

For example, if a card has a die on the left side with 5 dots and a die on the right side with 2 dots, learners write 5 + 2 = 7 in the correct space on the recording sheet.

Have fun camping with your bear friends!
Kamp Kindergarten

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What have you been doing this summer to keep minds at work?  Many of "us teachers" never really escape our opportunities to encourage year round learning. Weather you have children at home, help with summer programs, church or even neighbor kids. I thought this list of summer fun provided a good balance of fun and learning. 

Happy Teaching!

Dot Paint Ten Frames for Learning Fun!

Dot Paint Ten Frames for Learning Fun!



Bring excitement to your math centers with this simple, but engaging activity.  Use a cotton swab dipped in paint to complete ten frames. 

From Farm Ten Frames No-Prep Printables 

Farm Ten Frames No-Prep Printables contain 36 ten frames no-prep printable pages for your learners to practice counting and labeling quantities of 11 to 20. This packet offers 2 different ink friendly formats to provide differentiation opportunities to best meet your learners’ needs. With the first format option, learners write the numeral for the quantity represented by the ten frames graphic. The second format option allows learners to complete ten frames for a given numeral. There is a farm themed line art graphic printed on each page. There are farm kids, tractors, pigs, cows, chickens, goats, horses, and farm buildings.

Eighteen pages have eight spaces with ten frames and a response blank printed in each space. Learners determine the quantity represented by the ten frames. They write the corresponding numeral in the response blank.

Eighteen pages have eight spaces with blank ten frames and a numeral printed in the space. Learners complete the ten frames by coloring in the squares or drawing the correct number of dots. Learners needing a more tactile approach may dip the tip of a cotton swab in paint and dab the correct number of dots in the ten frames.

Farm Ten Frames No-Prep Printables help learners develop numeracy and support the Math Common Core Standards for Counting and Cardinality.

Have Fun at the Farm!

Kamp Kindergarten

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Back to School Number Book Has Been Updated

Back to School Number Book Has Been Updated!

Back to School Number Book Tracing and Writing Numerals to 10 has been updated.  I am pleased with the results.  I hope you will like the updates, too. 
If you already own this resource, please click here to download the updated version.

Back to School Number Book has numeral tracing and writing pages in with school themed graphics. This versatile product can be used for learners to make their own number book (in color graphics or black and white graphics) or each page can be used in math centers, as independent practice pages, or as homework. There are four different formats of the numeral pages included. These formats offer options for differentiation.

There is a coversheet provided in color and black and white options. You can use the coversheet with the numeral pages to let each learner make their own Number Book. You can use the same coversheet with the varied formats of numeral pages. This keeps students who need differentiation from feeling singled out because the cover of their book looks just like everyone else’s book.
Back to School Number Book contains the following components:
• Coversheet (Color)
• Coversheet (Black and White)
• Tracing and Writing Numeral Pages (Color)
• Tracing and Writing Numeral Pages (Black and White)
• Tracing Numeral Pages (Color)
• Tracing Numeral Pages (Black and White)

Have a wonderful day!

Kamp Kindergarten

Poetry Workshop

By Deann Marin at The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs

Whimsey Clips

Usually when I tell my students that we are going to learn how to write poems, some of them say, “I can’t write a poem,” or “Yuck, Poetry!.” By the end of the  workshop, which takes about 2-3 weeks, most of the kids realize that they can in fact write all sorts of poems and they even like it.

I start my workshop by letting them know that they will be making an interactive poetry booklet of different types of poems and that we will pick one to be published in a book that comes out in May or June. They really love the idea of having a published poem. 

I show them the book from previous years and read some poems for them. Now they’re really hooked.

This was one of the poems that I read. It was written by a 6th grade boy who had no idea that he was a poet until he wrote this. It was published in the book entitled, “A Celebration of Young Poets,”  which was one of the top poems for grades 4-6. So proud of him. What is so great about this company is that all the kids who send in a poem get published.

Azure Drake
Azure blossoms at my feet
Beside the road smelling sweet
To the shade of a Sycamore tree
Swaying branches over me…. Whispering
Footsteps coming down the path
An ancient one with wooden staff
Long white beard and cloak blue smeared
Electric eyes not to be feared….Scintillating
A Druid friend from long ago
The magic words sure to know
Staff held high over azure flowers
Secret words of light and power….Conjuring
Rustling in the indigo bed
Rising up scales, tail and head
Wisdom eyes, majestic wings
Breath of lightning, Dragon sings….Thundering
Climbing on blue scaled back
Soaring on white cloud track
Snowcapped mountains, Seas of sand
Born of air, Free of land….Dreaming
                                                                by Sean Hayden

After this introduction there is an overview of the types of poems we’ll be

1.  Acrostic  is a very simple poem and kids have fun with it. You come up with a subject such as Summer, you write the word down the side of the page. You then come up with a word or phrase that   begins with each letter in the word and describes your subject.
    So many happy weeks
    Under the beach umbrella
    Making castles in the sand
    Moving, splashing, swimming
    Every day till evening comes
    Remembering all the fun

2. Limerick is a humorous or nonsense poem with 5 lines. Edward Lear
      made them famous in the 1800s, when he wrote the :Book of
      Nonsense.” Easy to write and the kids love doing these… The 1st,
      2nd, and fifth lines rhyme and usually have 7-9 syllables.
      The 3rd, and  4th lines rhyme with each other and have 5-6
      syllables. They usually begin with, “There once was a- - -,”
      You should read some limericks from Lear’s book… Here’s one:

There was an Old Man with a beard,
There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!-
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nest in my beard.
                                                       By Edward Lear  
3 Riddle is a type of poem where something is described without
    actually saying what it is. There is a punch line which is the answer
    to what has been described. Riddles are usually funny and can
    rhyme if the author wants, however, they don’t have to rhyme. You
    can do this as a collaborative activity, have each group come up
    with a riddle and have other students guess.
    What is black, white and read all over?
    Answer: A newspaper.

 4.  Cinquain  is a type of poem  that was created by Adelaide Crapsey. It is a
     type of poetry consisting of 5 lines with a certain amount of syllables
     in each. The !st line has two syllables and starts with a subject. The 2nd
     line has 4 syllables and describes the subject. The 3rd line has six
     syllables and shows action about the subject, The 4th line has 8 syllables
     indicates feelings about the subject, and the 5th line has two syllables and
     is a synonym taking the place of the subject.

    The red husky
    runs, jumps, plays and licks me
    sweet, friendly, playful, happy
    my dog.

5.  Diamante  is a poem that was developed by Iris Tiedt in 1969. It is shaped like a
    diamond with 7 lines and uses different types of words that do
    not  have to rhyme. 1st line: Starting subject (noun), 2nd line two
    adjectives to describe 1st line, 3rd line write three verbs, to
    go along with 1st line 4th line write a short phrase about line 1
    and a short phrase about line 7. 5th line, write 3 verbs about
    line 7, 6th line two adjectives about line 7, 7th line write the
    end noun or subject.

Sunny hot
Sweltering tanning snorkeling
Family vacation Christmas holiday
sledding, skating, snowmen
Freezing cold

 6. Haiku is a type of poem that is traditional to Japan. It consists of
     3 lines. Line one has 5 syllables, Line 2 has seven syllables, and line 3
     has five syllables. This type of poem seldom rhymes.

                                                Over the Wintry
Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.     
                                        by  Natsume Soseki

7.  Shape Poem is a poem that describes an object and is shaped
     like the object that it is describing. They are to use as many adjectives
     they can.

a large mountain,
erupting and shooting
lava into the sky! Making all
the people run away. So much
black smoke in the air. Red hot lava
flowing through the cracks and down
the sides. Covering everything in its path.

 8. Free Verse is a poem that may or may not rhyme and it has no set pattern to it. An example is Sean’s poem. 

What needs to be stressed to the class is that they should continue to use sensory words, colorful adjectives, as well as nouns, verbs and adverbs.
I introduce the poetry workshop using the following: I have a number of cards that I copy for each student with these words: noun, adjective, adverb, verb, smell, touch, hear, taste, feel. The first lesson is to shuffle the cards and turn them over so that they cannot see the word. They are to pick a card and write a word that corresponds with it, then put the card on the bottom of the pile. For example: noun they might write down the word- bird, adjective - pretty, taste-sweet, and so on. After they have come up with a word for each card. They shuffle them again and come up with more words. They then write a little poem using only these words and draw a picture to go along with it.

Another activity that we’ve had fun with is to have a day of writing sensory poems. I would bring in cotton, sandpaper, a rock, string, a spoon, etc. and put one item in a paper bag. The kids would put their hand inside it and touch the object without looking at it. Next we’d brainstorm what words could be used to describe the sense of touch. They’d have to write a free verse poem using only these feeling words and could not mention what the actual object was. You can use the same item for everyone, or vary them. This was done for all the senses as well. I bring in coffee beans, peanut butter, a flower for smell; hard candies for taste; I’d play a CD for hearing, for sight, I have a sand painting in a goldfish bowl. They look at it and write a poem about it.

We usually do poetry in the spring so pick a sunny day, bring the class
outside and have them write a poem about nature, just using sensory words. Some of my kids would lie under a tree in front of the school and look up at it. Others would look at insects or flowers or just lie down and look at clouds. Some interesting poems came out of this.

My partner who teaches science suggested that we collaborate. He would teach them the biological and scientific aspects of our senses which made the lesson more valuable and memorable. Love the teamwork.

Stay tuned for my  poetry workshop interactive notebook and more. I'm working on it now and it should be ready soon.

Thanks so much for reading my post.


1.  Celebration of Young Poets- Creative Communication, Inc.
    90 North 100 East
    Logan, UT 84321

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Coconut Tree Letter and Beginning Sound Sorts

Hi everyone!

Here is my latest creation.  I am pretty excited about it.  I wanted to create a new literacy center that can be used at the beginning of the year.  There are two different levels; letter sort and a beginning sound sort.  It's perfect for meeting the needs of a variety of learners.

For students who are still learning letter there is a letter sort.  This can be done with foam letters of even magnetic letters on a cookie sheet.  I LOVE the cookie sheet one because now in the first few weeks of school your kids are sorting examples and non-examples!   So when you start making Venn Diagrams or other graphic organizers where things might go on the outside your kiddos will be ready!

For students working on beginning sounds; they can match the coconuts to the trees. 


Raising Creative Writers in the Classroom

By Deann Marin (Socrates Lantern)

Ever wonder what makes a creative writer? See what these educators are doing to inspire their students to love writing.


                                                 Creative Writing Tips from Pixar

  By Lisa Robles of Lisa TeachR's Classroom
Want some writing tips from best storytellers around? I found this great info-graphic detailing the top 22 tips from Pixar. I took a few and discuss how to use them in a classroom.


How to Teach Creative Writing Every Day

By Marypat Mahoney of Just Add Students
Students love creative writing activities. But all too often, we have to put those fun activities on the back burner. Here is an easy way to engage students in creative writing in every class.

Poetry Workshop

By Deann Marin of Socrates Lantern
Usually when I tell my students that we are going to learn how to write poems, some of them say, “I can’t write a poem,” or “Yuck, Poetry!.” By the end of the workshop, which takes about 2-3 weeks, most of the kids realize that they can in fact write all sorts of poems and they even like it.
By Retta London of Rainbow City Learning
By far, the best idea I have ever found to create better writers is to make sure that kids are writing every day. Good writers are people who write.


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