Thursday, September 25, 2014

My thoughts on dyslexia

Think of how hard and frustrating it is for our students. It isn't just writing/seeing things is about missing the phonemic awareness and phonics components. So as teachers, we have to go backwards and start at a very basic level or students will never get caught up!

Graphic from Project Eye to Eye
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A Wicked Witch Lives Here - Beware!

Don’t be scared, I am not going to get you my pretties, because to quote my neighbor (yes, for real) Sugar Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

I have been too busy prepping for a Halloween Birthday Bash. Since Harrison was born right after Christmas day, we usually have his party at various times of the year so our friends (and us!) don’t feel a financial crunch. This year we decided to stick it during our annual Halloween party to kill two birds with one stone. And it is so fun! 

So here I am getting down with my crafty self...

P.S. Fun fact--Maggie Hamilton who played the witch in The Wizard of Oz was a teacher when she was younger! She rocks!

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Uh uh uh! You didn't say the magic word! Uh uh uh! Uh uh uh!

We saw something at the grocery store that is too awesome to not share…
 Dr. Ian Malcolm: [as they pass through the gigantic park gates] What have they got in there, King Kong?
We give you…a Jurassic Park jeep!

Cool, right?

Now that the school supplies have been tossed off the shelves (seriously now is a good time to find them on clearance if you are a school supply hoarder like me), we must prepare for Halloween and yes, even some Thanksgiving has appeared at stores.

My son wants to be Godzilla. That is easy to make a homemade costume for...NOT. Well, not for me--the lady who does not sew and gets burned repeatedly when near a hot glue gun. So I saw online at WalMart they had the Godzilla costume with the body suit and mask. They were sold out online. I went to the store and did not find it either. Insert sad face. I am playing with the idea of somehow making a papier mache body suit but who knows...I may just call all my local WalMart stores tomorrow lol.

We did find some things for our Halloween party...all edible!

 This makes you hungry, right?

I plan on putting these on top of cupcakes along with…

the red icing, eyeballs & gummy “shards of glass”.

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Somewhere over the rainbow...

Let’s talk about alphabet arcs. It is the alphabet in the shape of a rainbow arc.

I have seen some where the arc is all lowercase or uppercase, and some that have two lines displaying each. You can find some info about alphabet arcs at . I first learned about the arcs in the summer of 2004 at an off-site course my Master’s Degree program required from the Payne Education Center.

They focused on using the arcs to teach phonics. Remember, phonics is when you tie the sound with the actual letter. The arcs were already printed and laminated onto 12x18 paper. 

They provided little blue letters that resembled magnet letters but without the magnets. This is so students can match the letter with the print while exploring the letter sound. 
(This is my son using them!)

I received a class set of 20. I had to pay out of pocket for this course ($500 or so) so while I used the class set in my classroom, I have kept them with me throughout the years.

One way we used this in the classroom was I would have the students sit around the edge of the rug in our circle time positions. The arc was in front of them. If it was PreK, and I was introducing a letter-I only utilized one letter during each session. I hid them in baby socksa letter in each sock. The students had to feel it first. Then they had to describe it and guess the letter/sound. We would take the letters out and then match them onto the arc. We would talk about the sounds and the letters before/after that letter.

Older students would match the arc with the letter manipulatives and pull them down to make words. I made a teacher-friendly sheet of arc activities you can use in your classroom. Download it for FREE here!

I have also included an alphabet arc for you to print. It would be great if you could enlarge it onto at least legal size, but we do what we can. I also encouraged teachers to just trace magnetic letters with a Sharpie on large paper to make arcs. 

The letter manipulatives can be purchased here:

at Abecedarian .

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014