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Sticky Letters

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

I love back to school!  Students, for the most part, come in excited and happy to be back.  The floors are all shiny and our classrooms are neat and organized.  Teachers are eager to see their students and begin teaching.  One of those skills I will be teaching is letters and students' names.  You might think that at this time most students would come to us knowing most or all of their ABCs.  But sadly, this is not so.  Every year, I have a few that "x" may be the only letter they recognize.  So I have got to get these letters to be "sticky"  or stick with my little students so they remember them.  Working with our names is a great way to start because it is personal and meaningful to them!

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

One fun way is Pinch A Pom Pom!  This activity also builds hand muscles for holding and writing with a pencil.  Hide the letters of  the student's name in a container with pom poms.  Have the student find the letters and get them out with small tongs.  You will have to stress that this must be done only with the tongs.  It is easier for them to use their hands, but some of mine really need to build up hand strength so I insist on No Hands, Only Tongs! 

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

This is a favorite activity of my students, especially the boys.  All students need to be able to get out of their seats and move.  But for some boys it is almost essential for them to add movement to their learning.  I put bean bags with the letters of their name in a basket.  I also add in 3 letters that do not belong in their name.  They pull out a letter, decide if Yes it belongs or No it does not.  Then they get to toss the bag into the bucket for yes or no.  They are learning their name, letter recognition, moving and learning the words yes and no.

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

I don't know about your students, but mine LOVE, LOVE working with Rice Boxes and on Cookie Sheets!!  They get lots of practice identifying letters and matching lower case letters to capitals.  When working with rice (you can fill the container with pom poms or other materials), I like to sit the box on a cookie sheet to help contain the rice.  Add colorful ice cream scoops and they love it!

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

Using magnifying glasses to go on letter hunts is fun too!  Just adding fun props makes the activity more engaging and keeps it fresh for the students.

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

Letter sorts helps students to notice the features of letters and can be helpful to students who are struggling to identify letters.  You can sort straight, curved or even both.

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

Letter Puzzles are fun for students.  Some will need you to start out slow and only work with a few at a time, then build up as they learn.  I have high expectations of my students to form their letters correctly so for some tracing patterns with arrows demonstrating how to write them is important.  I teach in my class that they form the letters the right way to help eliminate reversals.  

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

ABC Arcs and alphabet books are other great ways to practice recognizing letters.  Students enjoy matching the letters to the books.

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

Here are a few alphabet books that my students really enjoy!

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

This game brings out the competitiveness in some students!  But the letters are competing not students against students.  They spin the clip, say the letter or picture (this is important that they say it every time) and write the capital or lower case letter in the boxes.  They color the star when a letter wins!

ABC & Name Activities to teach letters of the alphabet

Reading an ABC chart every day is a big part of our learning too.  After they get better at it, we change it up and read it backwards from z, or backwards across or from the bottom, only the vowels, etc... I call out what letter comes after Pp or before Gg and they mark letters with clear bingo chips.  



There are so many different ways to help students learn their ABCs.  Keeping it new and engaging helps!  


Meeting the Parents

Meet the Teacher Night

We had our Meet the Teacher night this past week.  Or from the teacher's perspective, Meet the Parents night.  I enjoy this night so much!  I love seeing all the kids come back from summer vacation looking taller, dressed in new school clothes and excited to be back!  Most are smiling and talking as they lead their parents down the halls to their new classrooms.  

I set had it set up this year so that parents were notified in their child's classroom that they qualified for Title 1 Reading and to stop by to see me and pick up their child's reading folder.

Commit-Mint to Your Child's Education Freebie

Besides the reading folder, parents and students were treated to mints for their Commit-Mint in their child's education.  This cute poster comes from Nicole Bunt's store and is a freebie!!  You can pick it up by clicking here.  

Meet the Teacher Folder to pass out information to parents

In the reading folders, parents could find all the information they would need about Title 1 Reading and how to help their child at home with reading.   The orange sheet explained Title 1 and how it helps students with an extra boost in their reading skills.  Parents get concerned sometimes when they are notified that their child will be in Title 1.  The most frequent concerns are does this mean the child is now in special education, do we think something is wrong with their child and what will the child miss in the regular classroom if they attend Title 1 classes.  

Reading Flip Chart for Meet the Teacher Night

The flip chart is just more information for the parents.  I find if I use colored paper, make it in different formats my notes are more likely to be read.  You can get the EDITABLE Flip Book by signing up for my newsletter.  You can click here or use the form at the top right of this page.  The flip book is exclusively available to newsletter recipients.    

Reading Flip Chart for Meet the Teacher Night

This is inside one of the flaps.  Under the frequently asked questions flap, I address ways parents can help their child read at home.

Reading Strategies Poster and Bookmarks

On the other side of the folder is the reading strategies that we will be using printed on card stock so parents can have a handy chart at home.   I want parents to be using the same strategies at home that we are using at school so we can all be consistent when helping them read.  The bookmark is for the student to use in their books at home so they too have a visual reminder of how to help themselves.

Reading Strategies Posters

The pictures from the chart for home match these posters that I placed on black construction paper and then hung on the wall.  

Reading Strategies Posters

This is a close up of one of those posters.  Super cute work is also from Nicole Bunt.  Click here to be taken to see it!

Small Group Material Baskets

I also placed a copy of the visual bookmarks in each of our small group baskets.  Students will have these visual cues everywhere to help them be better readers!

Next week, I will post my classroom reveal!


Teacher I Spy at IKEA

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never been to IKEA.  We don't have one in my area.  Maybe that's a good thing!  Eight of us teacher friends decided to take an overnight trip together and one of the stops on this trip was to IKEA.  Out of all of us, only one teacher had ever been inside!

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA


This trip was so much fun!  I definitely could have spent a lot longer here looking at all the fun ideas for your home and your classroom.  SO MANY IDEAS!  While I walked along being amazed, I snapped a bunch of pictures so those of you who also have never been could see what fun things there are inside!

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

This speech bubble and arrow came as a set.  I was thrilled by the speech bubble because it is one of the colors in my room.  I wasn't sure how I would use it, but knew I needed it.  It is in my fluency center now.  When I do my classroom reveal, I will show what I did with it.  It wasn't until after I got home that I noticed this speech bubble kind of matched the speech bubble in my blog header!!!  Love that!

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

I really liked these buttons!  Big plate sized plastic buttons to decorate your wall.  

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

All kinds of frames in all kinds of sizes!  I know a lot of us could use these for all the posters/charts we hang and for the art work the students give us.

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

I loved these fun hooks!  The kids would think these were pretty funny to see hanging around in our rooms.

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

I really enjoy having different seating options for the kids.  This one looked nice and comfy!  I think without even trying, I am just attracted to things that match the colors in my room!

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

These number cube baskets were really fun!  

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

I think we have all seen these rug pieces.  Great way for students to be able to define their space and have their space be mobile.

Teacher and Classroom Ideas from IKEA

How fun are these matchstick tally mark pillows??  If you are teaching math, you need this for sure!

Classroom Set up

I have these type of decorations hanging in my room.  But not the size or shape of these!  Some of them were huge!!  

Classroom set up

I got the idea of these little frames on stands from my friend, Tammy at Forever in First.  My students need vowel picture/sounds reminders and Bb Dd charts to remind them which way the letters go.  These are going to be very helpful this year!

Classroom Set up

These crates on wheels could be so handy for files, book bags, indoor recess games, etc...  I really liked that they were on wheels and would make it really easy to move.

Classroom Set up

I really wanted to check out these stools.  The red on the bottom left is very popular.  They are cheap in price and come in different colors.  The stool did seem pretty good, but not as sturdy as a regular chair maybe.  But if a student breaks one, it wouldn't be as expensive to replace either.

Tell me, have you been to IKEA?  What fun finds did you get for your classroom??

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