Crafts and Writing

Monday, November 22, 2021
Growing up in the 70's as an elementary school student there wasn't much accountability in grade school in comparison to what we face as teacher's today.
That's good and bad in some ways.  Although I do enjoy the PLC model  ( to a certain degree ) one aspect I love is that  our grade level teams are on the same page and collaborate and share their best practices with one another.

I can remember the very first time a principal said to our staff, " absolutely no art unless writing is tied to it " at first I was mad and speechless.

WHY can't kids just have fun, what does EVERYTHING have to be tied to a standard?!?!
😡😠  I made a snowy scene with a snowman without any writing attached and I turned out just fine. 😂
But times have certainly changed and with balance it's not all bad.

So....with all this in mind I wanted to find a solution for you when you just wanted to make a really cute art project....but had to include writing.

Introducing my BRAND new product line which has just been launched called 
My little pals!!  This product line includes the darling art projects with writing - some of them have the writing as part of the art, others have it attached as a separate paper.  But it's all together to make your life a little bit easier.  

The first 3 have been included in my store this past weekend and the rest are in the works.

Introducing My little Polar Bear

Polar Bear Craft and Writing

Polar  Bear craft and writing

Polar  Bear craft and writing

This little guy is sitting on a block of ice which of course is the writing part.  In this one I've included a brainstorm page, a couple writing options and pin art as well as all the pieces needed to complete the art project.

You can find it here.

Introducing My Little Penguin

Penguin craft and writing

This little guy is popping out of her egg which of course is the writing part.  In this one I've included a brainstorm page, a couple writing options and pin art as well as all the pieces needed to complete the art project.

Penguin craft and writing

You can grab it here.

YETI craft, writing and headband

YETI craft and writing

This adorable YETI is just hanging out over the paper they will be writing on or the headband they can wear.  This one can be used in January at the start of a NEW YEAR or at the beginning of the school year August/September.  In this one I've included a brainstorm page, a couple writing options and pin art as well as all the pieces needed to complete the art project as well as a headband to wear home AND bulletin board pieces to create a bulletin board.

You can find it here.

I will be adding to this series all the time, so if you don't find what you need message me and tell me what you are looking for but it may already be on my to do list as well.

Enjoy and happy teaching!


Social Emotional Learning Play Doh Mats

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Let's face it our kids need more emotional support than ever right pandemic kids have felt isolated, missed school and are relearning how to get along and work things out with their peers.

I've seen my students struggle in many areas with behavior and I knew these emotion/feeling mats would come in handy.

Basically you print out the mat that has the emotion on it that you are working on and the skin tone that would be appropriate for the child you are working with...
have playdoh available and let them build the face that matches how they are feeling.  While they are busy building you can use that time to talk to them about their emotions.  I have also included blank ones so you can create your own emotion.

SEL feeling playdoh mats

SEL playdoh feeling mats

SEL feeling playdoh mats

You can find the mats = here

As you can see there are a TON of options in these playdoh mats, some have words, others allow you to add words, some are bald - students can use playdoh to create their hairstyle.  Maybe they just want to create the emotion they are feeling and not the hair so I've also included hair options.
I hope these emotion SEL mats serve your students well and allow you to have an engaging, meaningful activity to do with them  as they are calming down or working through some tough emotions.

Let me know on Instagram how they work out for you.


Easy Phonemic Awareness Activities

Saturday, November 6, 2021
Phonemic Awareness Activities that are easy to implement!!

I wanted to share two ideas that you can implement right away that won't take too much prep on your end...yep!  👏🙌🥳

The first one are my segmenting sound mats ~ I've made them seasonal so you can use them all year long!  My literacy students are LOVING these and every month they can't wait to see what mat I'm bringing out to use and even more fun what manipulatives.

You can easily find mini erasers at the Target Dollar Spot, Oriental Trading Co , Dollar Tree or Amazon to use with these mats.
It's great fun and very engaging to have your students use these and even better they are formatted so they can use the encoding piece as well. 

 Have them segment the sounds they hear first by moving each manipulative up into the box and then have them say/write/spell the word making sound/symbol matching relationships.

  We all know how important this skill is for your young readers and writers!  Click the picture below to get a closer look.

Blending mats for segmenting

Here are some examples of how fun they are for your students:

segmenting and blending mats

blending segmenting mats


Another fun idea are vowel tents...have you heard of them???  I don't know if Orton Gillingham were the first to come up with them but I do know they endorse them.  
Vowel tents are just that - little vowel tents that you print out ( on sturdy cardstock ) and give to your students.  

You then say short vowel words and have your students hold up the correct vowel that goes with the word.  Short vowels are tricky for your young learners and being able to distinguish between the sounds is an important skill they need to master. Click the picture below to get a closer look.

vowel tents - short vowel work

I've included teacher directions in this pack to explain it to you as well.  Basically each child will have the 5 vowels tents in front of them ( done whole class or small groups ) and you say a word.  They can tap out the word and then hold up the correct tent that matches it.  You can easily and quickly see who is struggling with hearing the short vowel ( medial ) sounds in words.

I've also included a handy CVC word list for each vowel so you don't even have to come up with's all been done for you and ready to go for an engaging lesson for your students.

Are your students ready for more...
I also have vowel tents for long and short vowels available.  One side has a long vowel letter/picture and the other side has a short vowel one.  Be sure they are understanding long and short vowels with these fun tents.  Click the picture to learn more about it.

Long and Short vowel tents

Long and Short vowel tents

I know it's easy to get stuck in a rut with small groups.  These ideas will definitely make your small group time more engaging and meaningful.  I always say every minute counts in small groups - our time with them is targeted, explicit and done with urgency.

Use your time wisely and try these out, let me know what you think of them.

As always....happy teaching my friends!