Sunday, May 16, 2021

Hiding or Changing the Total Number of Boom Cards

I think you know by now that I am a big fan of Boom Cards. Today I wanted to share two tips for teachers.

Tip #1 You can change the total number of cards your students play.

Sometimes the deck has more cards than you want the student to play in one sitting. 

Tip #2 You can hide specific cards.

Perhaps the deck has a few cards that include a skill you have taught yet or are a bit too difficult.

Here is quick video to show you how!


Monday, April 19, 2021

Coins Bundles of Boom Cards & Google Slides

Do your students need to practice the prerequisite skills needed for counting money in CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.C.8?

I made 4 spring puzzle reveal money decks, in increasing difficulty, for Boom cards and Google Slides.

The Identify Coins & Values deck shows the front of back of each coin and the student needs to click on the correct name of the coin. The second half of the deck asks the student to identify the value of each coin. 

Students will recognize the penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and half dollar since I have used realistic images. Each time the student clicks the correct answer, a piece of the spring puzzle is revealed. 

Counting Coins: Pennies, Nickels & Dimes asks students to count the coins and click on the correct total. Each correct answer earns a piece of the spring puzzle.

Coins: Pennies, Nickels, Dimes & Quarters increases the difficulty a bit.

And finally, Counting Coins: Pennies, Nickels, Dimes, Quarters & Half Dollars. 

Visit my TpT store to grab them individually or save on the bundle! 


Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Sale and FREEBIE alert

 It's the last day of the sale!  My cart is getting pretty full, how about yours?

DO you have any of my best sellers on your wish list?

Don't forget to check out all the freebies in my store like this one:

Happy shopping! Don't forget to use the code: FORYOU21 to get 25% off!


Monday, April 5, 2021

Retail Therapy!

 Did you hear that TpT is holding a site-wide sale April 6th & 7th?

 My entire store will be 20% off and if you use the code FORYOU21 you will get an additional 5% off!

Do you pre-shop? I habitually add things to my wishlist when I see something interesting so I will go through there an add things to my cart. Also, I visit my favorite shops to look at bundles since those are by far the best deal. 25% off an already discounted product? Yes please! While I am visiting, I make sure to grab all the freebies I can, don't you? 

I have a few bundles you may be interested in. Many teachers tell me book studies have been helpful during this pandemic year. If you'd like to try before you buy, I have a  FREE Chalk Box Book Study.

And of course digital centers have been great during distance learning. Has your school banned traditional centers due to sharing all the manipulatives? If you have access to digital devices, wiping down an iPad is quite quick.

I have a FREE Boom Card Vowel Digraph OO Sort you might like.

I also find sale days the perfect time to buy a more expensive item so it doesn't feel like as much of a splurge. 

At this time of year, I am already starting to think of next year so I sometimes buy with that in mind.
This product is one of my labors of love that made a tremendous impact for my students. I can't say enough about how valuable I think DAILY practice is to building skill and confidence. 

I have a FREE week of these available if you want to give them a try first.

I have many more FREEBIES so it might be worth a visit to my store

I hope you find something that will make your last couple months of this crazy year a little easier. 


Friday, April 2, 2021

Spring Giveaway last days!

 2 more days to enter my Spring Giveaway! 

Both include:
1. Spring Syllables
2. Spring Ending Punctuation
3. Color By Code Sight Words #1
4. Color By Code Sight Words #2
5. Color By Code Sight Words #3

You can win a Boom or Google Bundle just by leaving me a comment of where you follow me or by sharing on your own social media. 

I'm starting to get that sad feeling that my Spring Break is winding down. Have you started your yet? 


Sunday, March 28, 2021

Spring Bundles Giveaway!

My friends,  I am on Spring Break! WOOHOO!!!. I am also now fully vaccinated! I am a very happy camper.

To celebrate, I am holding a Spring Giveaway!


I made 2 different bundles, one of my Spring ELA Boom Cards and one of my Spring ELA Google Slides.
Both include:
1. Spring Syllables
2. Spring Ending Punctuation
3. Color By Code Sight Words #1
4. Color By Code Sight Words #2
5. Color By Code Sight Words #3

You can earn an entry for each of the following:

1. Become a follower of my TpT store (green star). Leave me a comment with your TpT name.

2. Share this giveaway on social media. Leave me a comment to tell me where. (Entry for each)

3. Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter  and/or my blog. (Entry for each)

I will pick a winner for each bundle on the last day of my Spring Break, April 4th! 

If you are looking for something for this week, my Easter Writing and Craft makes for a fun writing assignment and a cute bulletin board! 

I hope you have an amazing week! 


Saturday, March 27, 2021


Does your school celebrate Earth Day? When I worked at an environmental science magnet we did it up really big with songs, poem recitations, visiting other classrooms to see their projects. I really miss those days. I guess big Earth Day events are also a casualty of this crazy year.

But we can still learn about Earth Day however we can. So I made an Earth Day Syllable worksheet for you. Coloring this printable in was soooo relaxing. Seriously, I forgot what a nice stress reliever it can be! 

I also have corresponding digital task cards for Earth Day Syllables as Boom Cards or Google Slides. So one idea might be to assign the task card version as independent practice in Covid-safe literacy centers or distance learning and then assign this free worksheet as an assessment afterward. 

I also made this into an Easel by TpT activity by adding circles that can be dragged onto the correct number. You could also change it to using the digital highlighter, if you'd rather. Have you tried Easel yet? I'd love to hear from anyone who has.

Here is the link to grab the FREEBIE in my TpT store. Don't forget to follow me (green star) so you don't miss when I post new items when they are 25% off the first 24 hours.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Retiring 2 Vowels Go Walking

Do you use the "two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking" rhyme in your classroom?  It must be a solid strategy because the PBS show Between the Lions and Jack Hartmann both have songs about it, right?

Well, I used this catchy rhyme too until I found out it is wrong about 60% of the time! I was lucky enough to get more in-depth phonics/spelling training that made a huge impact on my teaching. Does your school have a professional development fund? If not, I'm happy to pass on what I know, if you are interested.

I follow Christina (the Reading Interventionist on Instagram) and she posted this week about retiring this saying.  I completely agree and told her I would post about this also in solidarity. Apparently many teachers have questions about what to teach instead. 

My school focuses on learning all the sounds the phonograms make. So when my students struggle to read a word, I say, "Do you see a phonogram? What sounds does it make?" 

We teach the sounds in the order of frequency. So for example, if the student is struggling with the vowel team in the word "steak" s/he would identify  "ea" as the phonogram. The sounds in order of use are ē as in eat, ĕ as in head, ā as in break. This student would try the sounds and determine it is the 3rd one. So the "two vowels" rhyme would have let her/him down but armed with the knowledge of the phonogram sounds,  the student can successfully decode the word.  

This is why it is called the science of reading. There are rules and explanations that I wish I had known earlier. And young children CAN learn them. You know as well as I do that kids thrive on structure and rules. It gives them a sense of control and instead of feeling overwhelmed they have a specific procedure to help them figure those challenging words out.

I realized my best selling resource Decoding Strategies: A Quick-Reference Guide for Parents & Guided Reading, has the two vowels rhyme in it so I updated it to add a version more in line with the example above. 

If your students could use some practice reading words with the 3 sounds -ed can make, I have a new set of Boom cards or Google Slides you might like. Inflectional endings can be hard for some students.

So what do you think? Ready to retire the "two vowels go walking" rhyme? 


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Why Teach Counting Syllables?

 I'll be honest, when I was a younger teacher, I didn't really know why teaching about syllables was important. Whole Language was all the rage when I was in college so it wasn't until much later that I finally got the training in phonics instruction that led to many light bulb moments for me.

So why do we count (or clap or tap) syllables?

Once children can break a word into its syllables, they can be taught some nifty reading and spelling rules! It takes the guess work out and many children feel comforted to have "rules" to help them. I tell them we are word detectives and if we look closely at the clues, we can solve the mystery!

Step 1 Break the word into syllables. 

Teach that every syllable has a vowel. I've found that some children find it helpful to put their hand under their chin. Each time their jaw drops is a syllable.

Step 2 Teach the types of syllables.

  1. A closed syllable ends in a consonant. The vowel has a short vowel sound, as in the word cat.
  2. An open syllable ends in a vowel. The vowel has a long vowel sound, as in the first syllable of open.

It is helpful to use a door analogy.  The consonant is closing the vowel in, keeping it short. If the door is left open the vowel says its long sound. I make up a story about a little sister who will sing at the top of her lungs if her brother doesn't shut the door. I can be quite dramatic and demonstrate my awesome opera voice. We practice with words such as me, baby, music, etc. and I let the class use their opera voices, too. Don't you want to be my neighbor? :-)

There are 4 more syllable types (or 5 depending on which program you follow) but I think I will stop here for today. Can you see, even with just teaching open and closed syllables, how it will help your students have a better idea how to read and spell?

Here is a FREE spring-themed syllable sheet to help you practice step 1. 

I think I may need to make more of these because I found coloring them in for this picture SO relaxing!!

 I also made it a TpT Easel activity in case you want to give that a try. I made draggable circles your students can drop on the correct number or you could have them use the highlighter instead. 

Click HERE to grab your freebie.

If you are looking for more practice with counting syllables, I have interactive Boom Cards and Google Slides available. 

I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Do you teach syllable types? Do you teach 6 or 7? Have you tried Easel by TpT with your class yet?


Friday, March 5, 2021

March ELA & Math Bundles

Are you still distance learning or trying to manage a remote cohort? Need your in-person students to have engaging activities but not share materials? I hear you.

I have put together a Google Bundle and a Boom bundle for March. They both have 7 decks with 4 ELA and 3 math but they are a little different.  

I hope you find something in my store that makes your teaching a little easier this year.

Did you know if you buy an individual product and later decide to buy the bundle, TpT will reimburse your original charge?