Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday & Cyber Monday SALE!

Haven't purchased Sight Word Flip-It yet? What are you waiting for?

Purchase it on Friday for just $1.99 on iTunes!

This app works and stands alone because of the way it is organized and designed. Word lists have been carefully chosen and organized by vowel sound allowing kids to practice difficult spelling patterns for all 16 vowel sounds in a controlled and systematic way. Our graphics are kid friendly but not overly distracting and simple enough for their little fingers to use. Don't believe us? Take a look at Steve's four-year old using it!

Here's how it works
Once a word list is selected from the landing page, kids, teachers and parents can then choose to practice one spelling pattern or all the spelling patterns for a chosen sound. Once the spelling patterns are selected, sight words are then presented on a fun, digital flashcard. The flash card features four distinct cueing methods to help children read: Flip It, Bold It, Say It, Check It. The "Flip It" & "Bold It" features allow kids to isolate, see and hear the important vowel patterns. The "Say It" and "Check It" buttons provide important feedback and self correction.

Be sure to stop by Katie's TpT Store for 20% off EVERYTHING on Cyber Monday!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


We're back...and we've finally FINISHED our Math-O for K-1! We had such a huge response with our Read-O that we are branching out to Math-O now.

Math-O can be used in a variety of ways to keep your students practicing important skills at home during each month of the school year. Math-O is especially useful for helping parents practice important math skills (aligned to Common Core) with children and offers a fun and effective way to keep kids engaged in academic activities...especially during winter, spring, and summer breaks! 

At the first of each month send home each month’s Math-O sheet, along with the accompanying graph. Challenge your students or children to complete as many of the boxes as they can. They can complete five in a row, more than five, or try and complete the entire page. Offer incentives as you feel appropriate in your classroom to keep students engaged in important mathematical skills outside of the classroom.

Want to see even more Math-O? Head on over to Katie's TpT Store and grab yourself a copy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Metacognition News (Freebie)

Now that I'm working with K-4 students I've been challenged by ways to pass along what we're working on each month without having to create something for each grade level....Luckily, I started a "Metacognition News" a few years ago when I was in the classroom. It's based upon my most favorite book, "Comprehension Connections," by Tanny McGregor. (If you haven't read it yet...You probably should!)

Today I sat down to make it usable for any grade. I've posted it on my TpT Store. Feel free to head on over to snag the FREE download. 

If there is any reading materials that you pass along to families, I'd love to see it!

Monday, August 19, 2013

C-Rule Poster (Freebie)

So, a while back I attended an OG two-week training. I learned a lot of helpful tips and tricks that I'm excited to use in the small-group setting this school year. And one of the tips, well...wasn't really a tip for anyone but myself. I never realized that the letter "c" makes the sound /s/ when it's followed by the letters i, e, and y. The lightbulb went off...Just a few years later than it should've! 

Anyways, head over to Katie's TpT Store to grab the one-page download for free.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sight Word Flip It (Our App on iTunes!)

It's FINALLY here!

Our very first (reading) app is up on iTunes! If you heart our Reading Fluency Flash Cards, you'll LOVE our new app, "Sight Word Flip It!"

This app was carefully designed to help teachers and parents teach kids the advanced phonics patterns in words. The complex phonics patterns are what make reading difficult and this app brings these spelling patterns to life for kids in a systematic and easy to understand way.

You'll love this app because:

It organizes Dolch Sight Words and other single syllable words by sound.
It teaches ALL spelling patterns for every vowel sound in the English Language.
It incorporates four methods of multi-sensory prompting so kids can figure out the “tricky” parts of words independently.
It’s made by teachers for teachers and parents.
It works! Trust us, we teach kids to read for a living and use it daily with our own students.

Let "Sight Word Flip It" help your kids learn to read through sight, sound and touch just like it helps our students!

Sight Word Flip It...

*Common Core Aligned
*Multi-sensory learning tool combining seeing, hearing, and tactile feedback
*Allows kids to see, bold, and hear the letters and sounds in words.
*Allows kids to check their own reading accuracy
*Covers over 425 Dolch and Fry sight words, the most frequent words kids see
*Appropriate for grades K-3
*Professional voice artist keeps kids engaged
*Helps kids rapidly learn to read
*Recommended by teachers and parents across the country.
*Used in actual reading clinics
*Teaches all spelling patterns for all 17 vowels sounds in the English Language

Head on over to iTunes to snag the download!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Vocabulary Posters

I've been back in my room the past couple days and decided to revamp some of my decor...A while back I used these vocabulary posters:

Although I have lots of wall space in my current's already been taken up by other various reading posters! I wanted a smaller version that I could have easy access to at the reading table. So here's what I came up with...well, at least a sample. You can download a poster for synonyms, antonyms, homophones, compounds, and contractions at our TpT Store. Did I mention they are FREE?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Syllable Types Posters (Freebie)

I finally got my new "Syllable Types Posters" up on scroll all the way to find them! I purchased cheap frames at Ikea for them and plan to hang them in my room as soon as I can get back in to school. (I'll update this post with pics of them!) 

I'm also working on some activities to go with them, which I will also be posting soon!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Phonemic Awareness Activities

Last week I was looking to purchase a "blending cards" and was disappointed to find that to purchase a new one, it'd be roughly $40-50 (just for one set).

$40-50 times 5 kids at my reading table = NOT GUNNA HAPPEN!

Luckily, I came across an awesome blog that had them for free! (Not only did they have the cards I was looking for, but there are a TON of really good resources for teaching phonemic awareness). Needless to say, I ran through some colored ink and card stock pretty fast. Anyways, head on over to Make, Take, Teach to snag the downloads for these cards. I did print my cards like a traffic light...the first sounds on green card stock, the vowel sounds on yellow, and the last sound on pink/red. 

Now, I also was looking to purchase a "blending board" and was frustrated to find they too were pretty expensive. You can click on the following links if you want to spend between $35-50 IMSE and RLAC. That too was not gunna happen! Make, Take, Teach has directions on how to make your own...but that was too much work for me!

I located a magnetic board that I purchased from JoAnn Fabrics a while back...(Sorry for the horrible pics!)

I went to Staples and purchased three plastic business card holders ($1.99 each) and six magnets ($2.99).

I took some Gorilla Glue and glued the magnets to the back of the business card holders. I glued two magnets on each holder and let them dry for a few minutes.

When the magnets were in place, I was able to put them on the board...

Another cool thing about this board is that there are holes at the top...If I decide to punch holes in the top of the cards I can also flip them over the board!

I'm sure you've worked with kids who've had difficulty blending at least three phonemes. No matter how much I stretch each sound, /c/ /a/ /t/ sometimes it comes out like 'at' or 'tack'. Here's a little freebie to help those kiddos...a little something I learned this past week when I was taking a reading class. (It's not as big as it looks in the pic below).

So let's say the word is "rag". Place the card in front of the child:

(1) Have them look at the first row. Every time they say a sound, have them tap their finger on a dot. Don't have them try to put the sounds back together! (/r/ /a/ /g/)

(2) Have them look at the second row. They are only going to say the first two sounds as they tap their finger on the dots. (/r/ /a/)

(3) Have them look at the third row. They are only going to blend the first two sounds as they drag their finger on the line. (/ra/)

(4) Have them look at the fourth row. They are going to blend the first two sounds as they drag their finger on the line and then tap the dot as they say the last sound. (/ra/ /g/)

(5) Have them blend the first two sounds (/ra/) and the last sound /g/ as they drag their finger on the line.

And there you have it! I think once the kids have this concept down, it would be helpful for them to look at the cards that are on the blending board as they tap out the sounds...Eventually, they could just tap on the table!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Organization Linky Party

I'm joining Ladybug's Teacher Files Organizational Linky Party this summer...It's been a while since I've joined one, but her's are usually the best! (I heart her labels).

I wish I had some monumental organizational pics to share with you, but I've packed up my classroom for the year and there's not too much to share with you. I was able to snap a few today that might be of interest...but I do promise that I will have some new book labels coming at you this summer, as my mom just retired and left me with more books than one person could ever need. Translation: I've been hitting up every Target store in the Columbus area to stock up on new bins and shelving!

Quite possibly one of the greatest purchases ever...So good, I now have two of them! I bought this one a while back at Sam's Club and have used it as an art cart, math cart...and now, as exciting as this may be...a DIBELS cart! I have a labeled bin for every teacher in the building so when I progress monitor/benchmark I can just take the bin with me...Or I can wheel the entire cart!

I'm also pretty excited about my new shelf that I just scored from my mom. It fits all of my boxes that I use to keep materials for each vowel sound. I know the labels aren't too jazzy right now, but that's on the list as a summer project. I purchased the colored bins at Costco (five for $18.99) and I heart them. As for the bins on the bottom shelf, I am going to use those to keep all of my important RTI docs...They too, need jazzy labels.

Nothing exciting with my next two pics, except for the fact that I cleaned out my cabinet and threw away things that I haven't touched in years...Which made room for all of my leveled fluency passages that I will be using throughout the year!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Amazing Race (Literacy Version)

A few weeks ago my teaching colleague had a great idea to create an "Amazing Race" for our reading intervention students. She's an avid watcher of the TV show and helped me get some ideas to make this come to life! We decided to pick five big ideas we've worked on this year with our second graders, which includes, determining author's purpose, reading fluency, characteristics of non-fiction, retelling, and parts of speech. Since we are at a STEM school, we decided to throw in some engineering and math tasks too! We started small this year to see how it goes, but would love to make it a school-wide end-of-the-year activity. 

Here's the pdf, but if you'd like to tweak it for your kiddos, I'd be more than happy to send you the editable "Pages" (for Mac) template.  
I tried to color-coordinate each reading task so that it was easy to prepare. Instead of using yellow envelopes for clues, I used manila folders. I placed the directions on the outside and the materials needed in the inside (and laminated). Since there are roughly six to seven kids in each reading group I created four of everything (figuring that they'd be working with a buddy). Here's a picture of what it looks like when it's put together:

So when I started working on this, I had to bribe some of my colleagues to participate...I only needed five "stations" or "legs" so it wasn't too hard to get the help. Although it's pretty lengthy, here's what we came up with... 

Students started out in the Reading Intervention Room where they read a selection to determine the author's purpose. (For this, I found a persuasive letter that I retyped). Depending upon their answer, they had a clue to tell them where to go next. (These clues are located in the "Tracking Sheet"). The next clue was located in the gymnasium which told them to find a 1st Grade teacher with an odd classroom number.

Once they located the correct teacher, they received a reading passage and a timer. One student had to be the reader and one was the timer. Their goal was to increase the number of words per minute for three trials. If students were able to do this correctly, they were given a simple engineering task. If they weren't able to do this correctly, they were given a more complex engineering task. Upon completion, that teacher would provide them with the next clue!

Students were given a non-fiction story (pulled from Reading A-Z) to read and be able to list four characteristics of non-fiction. Depending upon how many they were able to get correctly determined how many rulers they were given for the next task. Students had to measure the length of the the more rulers, the better! Once students successfully completed the hallway measurement task, they were given a clue to find a teacher with only one short vowel sound in her name.

Students worked together to read a story (also pulled from Reading A-Z). Students had to identify the beginning, middle, and end...while making sure they also addressed the characters, setting, and plot. Students received 1-3 clues for their next task based upon how well they were able to retell the story. 

Students read a passage and had to sort the nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Once the teacher ok'd their work...They were finished!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Phonological Awareness (K-1 Common Core Aligned)

It's been quite a task getting this up and going...I've been working on bits and pieces since spring break. {Nothing like waiting until the end of the year to get it posted. Better late than never, I guess}. I've been compiling my favorite phonological awareness activities over the past year, some of which are new and some Steve and I already have on our website. (I tried to jazz them up a bit though).

Here are some sample pics of what's in our new 58-page Phonological Awareness Activities Download

This is my favorite part about our new download! You'll get a 30-page phonological awareness progression for ways to help your students at the word, syllable, and sound level. Simply cut the page down the middle, punch a whole in the corner, and bind with a metal ring! It's perfect to do with your students when you a few free minutes...and it's super handy. (Scroll down to see another pic!)

You can head over to our TpT Store to purchase this download!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Balanced Equations (Worksheet)

Today I sat in a 1st Grade meeting where teachers were frustrated with teaching their kids balanced equations. Since I was testing for a large portion of the day, I thought I'd help them out. 
(Plus I miss teaching math).

Instead of using addition and subtraction problems, I decided to get rid of the equations...Go back to the basics and use pictures! Not sure if it will help, but it's worth a try.

Feel free to grab the 2-page download...Leave some love...Let me know any tips & tricks you have for teaching balanced equations!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Instagram (Teacher Talk Tuesday)

We finally did it. (That's Katie speaking of course). 

You can find us on Instagram. I'm going to go ahead and blame Amanda for getting me started. I swore I'd never use it...and well, she goes and has a linky party with What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABC's...and now I'm hooked. I'm sure Steve is going to jump on this quickly (insert sarcasm of course) but for the time being you can catch a glimpse of what my reading intervention room looks like...mainly just a bunch of bins filled with books. 

Be sure to follow us on Instagram (readingresourcedotnet) and head over to Amanda's blog to link up! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Visualizing High Frequency (or Sight) Words

So this probably isn't a new for most of you, but when I heard it last week...I thought it was the greatest thing...And I wished I would've used it with a few kids in the past! 

If you read my last post, you'd know that I went to a PD and thought it too, was the greatest thing. There were many strategies presented for helping visual learners. One way to do this with high frequency/sight words is to have students draw a picture or cartoon to go along with the word. Details of the pictures will help students trigger the words in their head! I tried this with some second graders (and let them pick the words)...This is what they came up with:

On the left is the word "hot" which is falling into the fire. On the right is the word "mess" with dirty clothes laying on the floor. {I'm pretty sure they planned these two words together}.

I'm thinking next year I am going to have these as my Word Wall Words and Words on a Ring...Thoughts?

{On a different note, some 4th Grade teachers came across this OAA video that I thought I'd pass along to you Ohio bloggers}.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pound the Sound

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a PD by The Therapist's Toolbox called "Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia & Right-Brain Thinkers". It was quite honestly one of the BEST presentations I've been to! The presenter provided so many tips and tricks that I can't wait to use and share with my kiddos. (Unfortunately, I'll be giving the OAA...So it's not going to happen this week!) I wish I was able to tell you everything that I learned, but I'm not sure I could do it justice. I am however in the process of making some things for my kindies and firsties...I promise to share. 

One of the things that was shared (which most of you already know) is that these students need information provided to them visually...and that black & white text is usually very difficult for them to read. The subtle change of color for the background also is best. These students also learn best when colors are associated with learning tasks. (Hence, the colored circles with numbers). I have a few students who are STILL having difficulty with many phonological skills. I've tried every strategy and tool known to help with segmenting sounds in words. Pound the Sound is my next attempt! I will prove students with a word with 2-5 sounds and have them tap (pound) the circles as they say them out loud.

More to come later...If you are OAAing this week...Good luck.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Creativity In Education Is As Important As Literacy!

Thought provoking presentation I viewed just before a week of standardized testing begins in Ohio (sigh). 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Read-O, Math-O, & Write-O Revised!

So, a while back I posted a sample of "Read-O" and "Write-O" that I created for my kiddos over winter break...They looked something like this:

It was a freebie that I linked to Scribd for downloading, but apparently you have to pay...Fail. I said if you e-mailed me, I'd send you the PDF. Yeh, well I'm getting tired of doing that. Today I decided to repost Read-O, Write-O, & Math-O with an updated version. That's because I heart my followers so much. I even got smarter and put them all in the same file. If you'd like the free download, click here.

Oh, and here's what it looks like:

If you want a entire year of Read-O for your class, you can head over to our store to purchase it! (It's our best seller!)

Happy Wednesday bloggers!

Monday, April 1, 2013

All Bundled Up!

Even though Katie and I are officially on Spring break, it doesn't mean it is warm here in Columbus, Ohio. I told my 2 year old son Maxton that it was "too cold" this morning at 7am to play outside, so he took matters into his own hands and proceeded to tell me, "My all bundled up and ready to go, Daddy!" 

So in honor of Maxton and the ridiculous weather in Ohio, I took to our Store and put together a product "bundle" that blows away the 20% maximum allowed at TpT.  

If you are interested in snagging ALL 17 of our digital reading products (including teacher favorites READ-O, Sight Word Uno & our Fluency Builders) at one fantastic price, check out our new "Product Bundle" and save yourself some serious cash.  And yes, I did end up playing outside....once I put some pants on, me figuratively and literally on Maxton.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday

I'm not gunna lie, I'm usually not a fan of linky parties...but seeing is how I'm sitting in my apartment working on my Master Teacher paper (on a Friday night), I figured the alternative would be better. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs to give you my "Five for Friday". 

Most bloggers are probably posting pics of happenings in their classroom, but I think I'm going to just give you a little something different!

Our blog designer, Ainsley is helping us design our new app. I'm pretty excited about it...She's super good at making my ideas come to life and I'm jealous of her font selection. Here's a little sample of what the homepage of our app will look like:

I was woken up today by mass texting going on within my family. It's a rumor that my  cousin will be going up to the majors, the LA Angels to be exact. Luckily for me, they will be playing the Cincinnati Reds this week (when I'm on break) which is pretty close to where I live. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will get to see him play. {This was my 30th birthday present from him, along with some horrible gum that I chewed for 1 minute before I had to spit it out}.

I am not a big fan of OAA test-prep, but that's another story. I am however a big fan of really great responses...They may not get points for accuracy, but they should get points for making me laugh. Here are a couple recents!

Nordstrom Rack is opening in Columbus in Fall of 2013. Yes, I will be waiting on opening day. 

The first FIVE people to leave me some love (and e-mail address) will receive one of my digital downloads at TpT for FREE! Be sure to tell me which download you'd like! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Class Pics

Most people post pics of their classroom at the beginning of the school year, which seems like the logical thing to do...But seeing is how I'm FINALLY getting around to adding stuff to my walls, I thought I'd share what I've done so far (with three months remaining). This year my reading intervention room is in what is supposed to be the music room. I don't really have "bulletin boards," rather I have six large sound-proof boards...When I was a classroom teacher I would have KILLED for these boards, but this year am having a hard time coming up with boards that work for all my K-4 students AND getting things to not fall down is a super challenge.

I realize the pics aren't the greatest, but I'm going to blame Steve. He finally gave me back my camera...with an uncharged battery and no charger. Fail.

All of my kids LOVE to read non-fiction books, but most of them don't understand how to use the information appropriately to deepen their understanding. Each time we talk about a characteristic, we copy a page from the book we found it in and hang it up on the board with a "label". If you'd like to use the this template, you can download it here! (I just printed the pdf on cardstock, laminated, and cut them out).

I've realized that many of my 3-4 students don't understand why they are reading. I usually get the response, "Because my teacher makes me." I decided to back track a little and help out my K-2 students. Each week I select a short story to read aloud, and together, we determine the author's purpose. It's hard to see, but I stapled three pie pans to the board. Under each pie pan, there is a definition...After reading a book, I copy the title page and place it around "persuade, inform, or entertain". You can download them here!

Each year I've had to make new comprehension posters to fit in the classroom space I have...I am hoping this is the last time I will have to redo them...Everytime we talk about a strategy, we add words or pictures to represent what it means. For those of you who aren't familiar with Tanny McGregor's book, "Comprehension Connections," I highly suggest reading it...It's where I got most of my ideas for teaching comprehension. Download them here!

If you have any pics of boards in your room, please send me the links...I still have three more to go!