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Word walls can take up quite a bit of room, so I want to make sure I'm getting the most out of them.

I try and refer to the word wall all day long.  I started putting the words on different colors, and it has made a big difference. I can say, "that" is the word that is on green, next to "so."  It has helped students find words much more efficiently.  I also find that I encourage the word wall more.

Since the purpose is to have the students take ownership of the word wall and use it as a reference, I have had them place the words on the word wall when we add new words.

Some ways to use the word wall daily are by incorporating it into a work station.  Mr. Giso's Room to Read has a great free What to do With My Word Wall set!  It has all sorts of activities that students can use during literacy work stations.

I've also had students make their own personal word wall by using spiral-bound index cards.  Back-to-school time is the perfect time to find them!  Students (or the teacher) write each letter on each page.  As words are added to the word wall, students add to their personal word wall.

I love this fun link-up - especially in the summer!

I have been very busy this summer- relaxing and catching up on house projects and scrapbooking!  I've also started a little bit of school supply shopping.
I'm hooked on Project Life App.  This is one of my favorite pages...it was from places I've traveled in 2016.
These are a few things I found at Michaels and Walmart.  My local Kroger has been having REALLY great deals!!!  I've been posting some of the bargains on Instagram!
Here are two pictures from my travels this summer...I love Colorado! I love the first picture because I'm totally relaxing!!

I love this picture, because I took it about 2 miles into a hike.  I still had a ways to go, but I made it!!

I found five easy and fun ways to help with organization in your room.  I'm always  If you click on the pictures, it takes you to the blog post.  My Pinterest Board is full of more easy and cheap hacks!

I loved this idea for dry erase markers from Brandi!  

Here is another dry erase idea from Collaboration Cuties.

Lorena at Little Treasures has found a fun and colorful way to keep track of student passwords.

Hanging bulletin board border can be a hassle, but April from A Modern Teacher has found an easy solution!  Using command hooks and binder clips is an easy way to store them!  

One of my pet peeves is "missing pieces" and boxes that get damaged (think corners split) or boxes that won't close after the students have played with the game (think Jenga).  Since it is almost back to school time, Target and Walmart always seem to have sales on their drawer containers.  

I'm savoring every moment of summer, but I am thinking ahead!  School will be here before I know it!  This month, I looked for easy classroom hacks that are inexpensive and cheap.  

I'm always looking for cool classroom hacks!  This one is perfect for summer...you just need a pool noodle!


Another cool idea is using ice buckets for book holders!

I love this idea!  This is easy and cheap...and books get returned where they belong!

Look at these other great ideas for July!

When I went to Michaels, the Heidi Swapp products were 50% off (and I used my teacher discount).   I bought a Light Box :)  Right now my daughter has it in her room.  We may have to buy another one before school starts.

This is one of the sets we bought from Michaels!  It is on transparency paper.

I've made some strips to use with my reading groups.  I printed them on paper.  It isn't quite the same effect, but they still work (and are a cheaper alternative).  I can't get to my building where I have HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of transparencies (because nobody uses the overhead anymore)!  

“Sound it out!”  Once students are beyond kindergarten, this isn’t always the best advice, especially for struggling readers.   I believe that this is teaching students to read letter by letter and they aren’t being taught to use meaning or chunking strategies.

There are so many times we get new first graders at my building, and they read letter by letter.  /S/ /H/ /I/ /P/ is what they try to say for ship. They look at me because they can't figure out what /S/ /H/ /I/ /P/ is. It makes no sense.

To help struggling readers that are in reading intervention chunk words, I created thesecards.  The dots represent sounds or clusters of sounds (bigger dots).  Students read the sounds, then read through the entire word.

When students are first learning to blend, they have to read each sound.  However, this phase shouldn’t last for long.  The goal is to get students reading onset and rime.  There are cvc word cards that have 2 dots; one for the onset and one for the rime.

There are also long vowel words that students can practice.  They have a line over the long vowel.  Notice the dot is missing over the silent “e” in the words.  If there are vowel teams, they are combined with one dot.
Then I made a set of short and long vowel blends and digraphs.  By this time, students should not be reading letter by letter and should be able to chunk the words.  I understand that blends such as fr, br, sl, sm, etc. are not diagraphs and make a new sound, but I don’t want students back tracking to reading letter by letter. 
Finally, there are 16 different cards that are perfect to use if you teach phonics by analogy.  For example, if you can read ‘rent’ then you should be able to read:  sent, went, tent, went, etc. 

Once we practice a family of words, I have each student make up a sentence.  I write them on a sentence strip and then they cut them up and practice assembling their sentence. 

When we are reading and students get stuck on a word that I’ve taught the rule.  I’ll use the following prompts:
“Let’s try to chunk this word.”

“What would make sense that starts with *?”  I’ll say the beginning sound.  Then we check and see if that could be right.  

  I am linking up with Just ReadPositively Teaching 

and Inspired Owl's Corner for their monthly 
Pinterest Pick 3 Party.  When you click on the pictures, it will take you directly to the website from the pin :)

My first pin is focused on a yummy beverage for summer!!! I love lemonade, and raspberry lemonade sounds refreshingly sweet!

Since I'm home all summer, I like trying to get organized.  Paper clutter is the one area that gets out of hand during the school year!  I thought this pin was the perfect summer project!

I looked for a cool Father's Day Project.  This pin was perfect.  I've made coasters before with scrapbook paper, but these are much more "manly."  

You can follow me on Pinterest by clicking on the P at the top of my blog or clicking here.  I have over 30 educational boards from classroom management to teaching phonics.

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