Writing Mats

Thursday, November 19, 2020
Are your students needing scaffolding to keep them on track with their writing?  I know sometimes my first and second graders and even third graders that were struggling needed some extra visual support.

Welcome to another edition of ...

Keeping your students focused and on track whether you are on line or in person can be daunting.  Especially, with growing class sizes and less one on one time for conferencing.  I've found that my math mats were a perfect solution for my students that needed extra support when I couldn't be right next to them.  So, I thought why not transfer that to writing too?!?

These writing mats are for each of the writing genres that they have to master...narrative, expository and opinion as well as a general writer's checklist.
Your students will move the bead along their mat as they complete each task. 
 Sometimes just doing that keeps them focused  enough to complete their writing.  Let's face it ~ writing is a struggle for kids and throw in teaching it from behind a computer screen and it's become that much more difficult.

writers checklist mat slider

This is the generic writer's checklist that they can use to check their writing and be sure they are following some basic rules to make them successful.

I've also included Opinion, Expository and Narrative writing slider mats to provide that extra scaffolding for them as well.

opinion writing slider mats

expository writing mat slider

narrative writing slider mat

writer's mat sliders

I hope these come in handy in person or online.  If you are still online and send home bags periodically for your students this would be the perfect addition.  It would not only give the support your students need but also a great visual for the parents that may not know how to go about teaching or supporting their child in writing.

Grab them here!

Swing on over to Instagram and let me know how they worked for you!  


Click and Reveal Product Series

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Let's face it....kids need engaging activities now more than ever!  
If you've been following me for a while you know how I feel about technology....and too much of it.  I am such an advocate for hands on, less screen time and being outside...however that's pretty difficult to do in the middle of a pandemic so...

Welcome to another edition of...

I want to share some engaging games that I've been using in my small group time that I've found to be fruitful.  I have started a new product series called CLICK and REVEAL.
The kids are squealing with delight while playing this game and very actively engaged.

It's a powerpoint game that can use basically any skill.  Mine are mostly literacy based as that is my job right now.  I have a heavy focus on sight words for my games, but you can use them for math or other skills easily.

powerpoint phonics game distant learning

So you can share your screen if you are virtual or put in on your smartboard if you are in person.  Call on a student to read a word and have them touch the turkey - if nothing is behind the turkey keep going until a student comes across the 'hidden' image - in this case a pumpkin.  The pumpkin and acorn you see in the corner can be moved behind a turkey of your choice.  You can change it and move it behind another turkey, use a new slide with new words, etc.  

As you can see I've made it editable so you can even incorporate math skills or vocabulary , etc.  The options are endless!

powerpoint phonics game distant learning

If you are interested in adding this fun game to your collection you can grab it here:  also keep your eye out because this will grow into a product series and I'll include them for holidays/ seasons.  Perfect to play for a class party ( are we ever going to be able to have those again?! ) 😢  They are great to use on a Fun Friday - to include a fun but still academic activity for them to do.

Happy teaching - stay safe out there!



Teaching Open and Closed Syllables

Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Open and closed syllables is a very important foundational skill for reading multisyllabic words.  This really is the next big step for readers in their decoding journey once they have mastered letters/sounds/phoneme isolation, manipulation etc. 

Having this skill in their tool box helps them break down words into more manageable chunks as they are decoding larger words.  

open closed syllables

Let's take a closer look at the differences between open and closed syllables and how best to teach it to our students.

There are some really good videos on you tube that are a great place to start:


I had this idea of showing them an open and closed door as a visual...I was lucky enough to find one on Amazon that worked perfectly for this lesson.  I think these have been used as 'fairy' doors possibly.  But, it's super cute and a working door to get my point across.

So on a white board you can write words like:


Have your students say these words and remind them that they said a long vowel word at the end.  I do this like the picture above - with the door open to show them they are an open syllable and have a long vowel sound.

Then as you can see from the picture I add a consonant and close the door...this is on a small sentence strip cut up or index card so I can use different consonants to get my point across and create new words.  

I have taught this  skill for years and I think my students are finally starting to get it ( and much faster ) with this visual!  

If you want to try it out you can  find the cute door here: 
affiliate link

So, let me know if you use this idea I'd love to hear all about it ~ you can find me on instagram or fb by clicking the icons at the top of my blog.
Happy teaching!