Saturday, October 18, 2014

Teaching Sight Words

It is so important that children not just learn how to decode words through phonics, but also learn those tricky words that just can't be sounded, which are sight words.  It also helps their reading fluency.

I have found that it is best to find high engaging activities to help children learn their sight words.  Some of the ways I teach sight words include:

Music -

Movement - Sight Word Cheers and Chants

Highlighting the Sight Words in printable books using a highlighter or in a regular book with highlighter tape.

Playing sight word learning games!  You can grab this one free until November 5th on my Facebook page by clicking the pictures and then liking my page.  Next click on Fan Freebies under more.  It is editable so you can edit the sight words to what you want them to be!  I used the first 48 Fry words. 

Fall Editable Sight Word Blast Game with a Twist

Fall Editable Sight Word Blast - Game with a unique twist

How do you teaching sight words to make them fun for your students?  Share in the comments below!

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall 2nd Grade Centers

I just created some brand new 2nd grade centers with a Fall theme.  As I mentioned in my How I Run My Reading Centers post, I love to have a game center, writing center, and a word work center as part of the rotation.  These Fall 2nd Grade Reading and Math Centers include activities to go with those centers.  Click any of the pictures to check it out in my TPT store or click HERE to buy it in my Teacher's Notebook store.

A Bundle of Fall Centers - 2nd Grade

A Bundle of Fall Centers - 2nd Grade
 Write The Room Contractions
A Bundle of Fall Centers 2nd Grade
Bushel of Blends Blast - Game with a Twist
A Bundle of Fall Centers 2nd Grade
 Fall Themed Bump Game

A Bundle of Fall Centers - 2nd Grade
 Place Value Riddles - Differentiated Task Cards
A Bundle of Fall Centers 2nd Grade
Pumpkin Regrouping 2 Digit Addition 
Use as a write on wipe of activity if laminated, Write the Room, or use the game board provided.

There is also a sort for sentences and fragments and 2nd bump game using dice.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Cooperative Learning In The Fall

Last school year for my DPP (Deliberate Practice Plan) I set out to engage students in groups and partners.  I found the more time spent in groups and partners doing activities the more engaged my Kindergarten students truly were.  Cooperative group activities work well with any grade!

One simply activity is called "Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up."  In this activity students stand up and put their hand up until their find their match.  Students then discuss why they are a match.  I made some fun place value cards to 120 for you to try out this fun activity in my Fall Place Value to 120 Cooperative Learning Activities.  Pick any 2 of the 4 kinds of place value to try this one out.  Click the picture to check it out.

Fall Place Value to 120 Cooperative Learning

Fall Place Value to 120 Cooperative Learning

Another simple activity is 4 Corners.  You put a vocabulary word up on each corner of the wall.  Give each student a card and they walk to the wall that fits their card.  The cards in my Fall Place Value to 120 Cooperative Group Activities will work with this as well using all 4 cards.  Students figure out if they have the Expanded Notation, Word Form, Standard Form, or Pictorial (Base Ten Blocks).  You can check it out by clicking on any of the picture below or any from above.

Fall Place Value to 120 Cooperative Learning

I would love to hear how you use cooperative learning activities in the classroom.  Let me and my readers know in the comments below and tell us your grade level.  I love learning new cooperative learning techniques.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Music in Literature Plus Brain Break Giveaway

It has been quite some time since I've had a giveaway and also awhile since I have done a review on a CD from The Learning Station.  As many of you who follow me know, I do work with them in social media.  These opinions though are still completely of my own.

The Learning Station's website, blog, and store

Many teachers like to tie stories into many activities besides comprehension.  One fun unique way is to tie in literature with music!  The Learning Station has an amazing CD called "Literacy in Motion."  There are 20 songs that correlate with very popular children's literature.

"Wild Things" goes with the popular book "Where The Wild Things Are," "The Giving Song" correlates with the book "The Giving Tree", "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears" goes with the book of the same name and "Head to Toe Dance" is a fun brain break that goes with Eric Carle's popular book "From Head To Toe."

They have a video for "Hungry Caterpillar," another popular book by Eric Carle "The Very Hungry Caterpillar."  My Kindergarten children loved this song last year.  One of my personal favorites is "Green Eggs and Ham" with the song by the same name.  Other favorites, which also have videos on YouTube include: "Old McDonald," "Five Little Monkeys," "I Know An Old Lady," "Special Friends", and "Kwanzaa."  Click the names of the songs to go to the videos!

The 2nd CD is filled with fun brain breaks.  Children need to have time to just plain have fun and rest their brain.  This gets them ready for learning!  "Brain Boogie Boosters" does just that and includes many very popular songs by The Learning Station.

"Greetings" is a great song to begin the day or when you have a new student join the class.  They recently made a Yoga video for this one.  "Move and Freeze" is a fun song that tells children how to move and then all of a sudden they have to freeze!   "Boogie Rock", the title track "Brain Boogie Boosters", and "Wadlee Atcha" are fun movement songs that are bound to be favorites in your class.  "Itsy Bitsy Spider", the popular nursery rhyme is a fun movement activity to be done with a partner.  Be sure to also check out the Yoga videos for "It's a Marvelous Day," and "Brain Breaks."  "I Gotta Go" is a great song to teach your students proper bathroom procedures in a fun way!  "Skip Count" is a fun song to help teach an essential math skill in skip counting.  My favorite on this CD has to be "You Are Heart" a song with a beautiful message and the children in the video will bring a smile to your face.

 * Please note the videos do not come with the CDs.  You may view them on YouTube by clicking on the titles.

Are you ready to win these 2 incredible CDs?  You can enter by following the directions in the Rafflecopter app.  Do as little or as many entries that you would like.  Be sure to follow The Learning Station on Facebook!  The contest runs for 5 full days from September 25th at midnight Eastern Time Zone until September 30th at midnight.  A winner will be chosen from all CORRECT entries.  You will have 48 hours to respond to the e-mail or a new winner will be chosen. 

***All comments are moderated, they will not show up right away on my blog.  It is the only way to allow users to post without having an account without me getting spammed.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fall Freebie Linky Party

My linky parties have been very popular in the past.  In this linky party you will find products that have to do with the Fall/Autumn season that are FREE forever!  The fall freebies may also include fall holidays such as Columbus Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving.

Credit for the adorable picture goes to Whimsy Workshop Teaching, visit her blog by clicking on the picture below!

Those that make teaching products may link up anything that is Fall related only if you promise the product will remain free forever.  Products may be from Teachers Notebook, Teachers Pay Teachers, or anywhere else.  No deleting the product and adding a price to the freebie.  I would also love it if you would share this blog post by either using the picture created on your own blog and linking back to this post or sharing this all over Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, G+.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

How I Run Reading Centers

I have been asked in the past and get asked this question from time to time during interviews, how do I run my reading centers?

Graphics in above picture from Ashley Hughes

Well it has varied group to group.  I have to wait until they are semi-independent first with independent work and figure out if I have a class who mostly gets along with each other or if it is a class full of behavior problems.  

In the years I've had tough kiddos I only put pairs of students together, which means 8 to 10 centers depending on how many students I have.  Typically, they do independent work first and when they are done they go to their center.  They go to one center day (this way I don't have to constantly come up with new centers) and work on unfinished work and then when I'm done with my first activities.

The past year when I taught Kindergarten, I went with 3 students per center and had 5 to 6 centers.  I went with 3 instead of 4 because I had 3 computers and that was one center.  I also had Library, Listening Center, Word Work, Games (these were educational games), and Writing center.  My students favorite center was writing when I included Write The Room.  They also completed independent work first, then did 1 center so I only had to change them weekly, worked on incomplete work, and then when I'm done with my work activities.

Any specific questions feel free to leave them in the comments.  

Check out some of my new Write the Room Centers below!  They are currently only $1 each.  Click the pictures to check them out.  There is also a freebie for you as well!
Write the Room School Edition Beginning Sounds

Write The Room Animal Edition Beginning Sounds

Write the room Ocean Animals Edition Beginning Sounds

Write The Room Sports Edition Sight Words - 2 different levels is FREE.  This is my 49th Freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers!  Be sure to check out my store HERE to check them all out.  I appreciate any kind feedback.  If I know you like them, I'll continue to make freebies!

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Are There Not More Men In Elementary School?

I have heard the question why are there not more men in Elementary School asked a lot.  I have seen several forums on this very topic.  Many feel there are just not men who want to teach younger children.  This is an absolute incorrect statement.

The truth is principals don't want men teachers.  I am not suggesting all principals.  They don't believe that men can comfort younger children like women can.  I have had many interviews through the year and I have been told by principals I have never had a male teacher in Kindergarten, 1st grade, etc.  I have never interviewed a man for this position, but they won't even interview me for a position above 2nd grade due to little experience.  They do interview and hire women with no experience in any grade level. 

Another teacher alerted me of a job a year ago for a Kindergarten position (I have taught Kindergarten 4 years) and I went on a 50 minute trip just to turn in my resume'.  She told me the principal wouldn't interview me because I was a man.  She went on to hire a first year teacher and I was told that teacher had no clue how to manage the class.  The kids were all over the place all year long.

I know it is not just me and that there are more men out there looking for jobs in Elementary School and also denied over and over again.  I have subbed at schools and talked to these men at lunch and at recess.  I hear the same stories that I have mentioned.

For principals who are reading this.  Have you not watched the news lately?  As many parents have pointed out to me, there are more female teachers in the news for criminal acts lately than their are men.  So if this is what you are afraid of, it is absolutely ridiculous.  In fact, it is discrimination.  There are many single families out there.  Boys and girls both need a positive male role model in their lives.  I and other male teachers can provide this to children.

I won't give up my fight to get back to doing what I love to do, teach.  A special thanks to Dr. Ezell my college professor and Mrs. Lee my internship principal who both put me in Kindergarten and believed in me so much they told me I was born to teach Kindergarten.  Also, a special thanks to Mrs. Rinehart if you are reading this who gave me my first teaching job in Kindergarten.  You believed in me from day 1, I wish I had never transferred and I hope you are enjoying being retired.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are You Ready To Go Back To School?

Unfortunately, I am not headed back to school yet, I sure wish I was though.  The children started back on Monday.  I am hopeful that each one of my past students are doing amazing.  My first ever Kindergarten class, the kids are Juniors in High School, Senior Internship they are Seniors!  Wow, has time flown by!

TPT is having another great Back To School Sale!  Whohooooo!  Use Code BOOST at check out on August 20th to save 28% in my store and many others.  Click on the picture to head to my store and check out over 230 products, many of which are FREE!  I have many products K-6.  Some of my hottest sellers are for grades 3 and up!  Nearly all Task Cards will be priced at just $1.60 and another 10% off that using code BOOST!

TPT Back To School Boost Sale!

I am also excited that I finally figured out how to make colleges!  Pretty simple using Picasa!  Check out my latest ISN Numbers to 10 (using numbers 0, 5-10) by clicking on the picture!

If you want a bundle of all my current ISNs with more to be added in the future (price goes up as I add new ones), click on the picture below!

I have also started making some Write The Room activities.  Click the picture to check out my school themed one for beginning sounds.
If you miss the sale no worries, I am extending it on Thursday for 20% off!

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Get Your Class Quiet!

Do you ever need your students to stay quiet for a predetermined amount of time?  I'm sure we all do at some point.  I found a neat idea on Pinterest (I've seen several versions and I'm not sure who first came up with it) to make "Quiet Critters."  This is a fun DIY to make!

Using felt, a pom pom, and googly eyes is all it takes to make a quiet critter.  Put one on each student's desk or in front of them at their table when you need them to be quiet.  Any student who stays quiet the whole time (unless they raise their hand) gets a treat of some sort or a special privilege from you.

I decided to make mine all one color so there isn't fighting over who gets what color.

Classroom Management, Quiet, Character

I am hoping to get a job so I can give this idea a try in the classroom!  School starts Monday so it looks like it will be after the class size count again.

Do you have any tips and tricks to share on how you get your students quiet for a long period?

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling! 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Back To School Teacher Pay Teacher Sale!

I am so excited to announce that I will be participating in the Back To School Sale going on at Teachers Pay Teachers.  All of my products are 20% off and if you use code BTS14 you will save another 10% off, which makes everything 28% off!  Whohoooooooo!  It will run Monday and Tuesday, August 4th and 5th, 2014!  Click on the link above or on the picture to head to my sale. I have products for all grades through 6th grade!

I do want all of my wonderful fans know that my money that I have earned has bought a mini Ipad that I used in the classroom this past year as well as many books and other teaching materials.  My plan all along was to put the money I make back into the classroom.  I want the kids to benefit!  Right now with no job sadly to start the new year, it will help me pay a couple of my bills.  So I very much appreciate your help with that.  Also, almost a 4th of my store is FREE and I love to give back to each of you!  I hope your students enjoy my ideas and creations!

Many other stores are also participating.  Check out your favorites in the linky party below!

An InLinkz Link-up

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Interactive Student Notebook - Numbers to 5

Wow I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last posted.  Time flies by when you are having fun.  I had a fun month of heading to the Brevard Zoo, Busch Gardens, and Gatorland.  Maybe I'll share some pictures in another post.

Today, I wanted to share what I have been really busy working on.  My new Interactive Student Notebook (ISN) for Numbers to 5.  It is geared toward pre-k (VPK) and Kindergarten students.  It would also be ideal for struggling 1st grade students.  I do still recommend a lot of manipulatives to practice counting groups to 5, determining 1 more, comparing objects, etc.  The ISNs are just more fun than the boring worksheets after doing the fun hands on things and incorporates coloring, cutting, and pasting.

Check out my previous post on what is an ISN by clicking HERE and if you want to check out my addition ISN click HERE.  Clicking on any of the pictures should take you to my store to buy newest ISN Numbers to 5!


1 to 1 correspondence to 5.


Counting to 5


Counting Objects NOT in a row


Writing numbers to 5


Ordering Numbers to 5


Counting Backwards 5 to 1


Counting On - One More


Comparing Numbers

This product will be on sale 50% off through Tuesday July 22nd for only $2!  Grab it while it is on sale before the price goes up.  Your kids will LOVE ISNs and beg you to let them do them daily!

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings!  Keep on smiling!

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