Monday, January 21, 2019

Holy cow. It's been a L...O...N...G time since I last blogged. Like five years long. A lot has happened in the past five years. Steve and I went from working in the same district to new roles in new (separate) districts.

He is currently the Literacy Coordinator and making some major headway for his school district. Steve was recently given a huge shout-out from the International Dyslexia Association Central Ohio and spoke to the Ohio School Board (hour 1/minute 33). Between taking care of his three boys and texting me to brag about his days off...

He's pretty busy.

Me? Well, I have taken a little hiatus from website work, blogging, and social media for the past few years. Landing a new role in a new district was a challenge. Although it is in close proximity to my previous district, they couldn't be more different! After settling into my job, I purchased a house...and quickly jumped into my new roles as a plumber, landscaper, roofer, painter, full-time leaf raker, and wanna-be designer. During my free time, I have also tried to focus on myself...eating better and working out everyday. Blah, blah, blah.

Just recently I realized how much I miss you all and sharing classroom ideas & strategies. So, here I am. Back at it again. Today my goal is to get all of my social media icons back up and working. In the meantime, here are other ways to stalk me in my classroom:

Stay warm, friends!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

because we heart you!

It's hard to believe that schools starts here in the next couple weeks. We've been working this summer on making some updates to our TpT Store and for this week only…you can download our Basic Code Fluency Builders for FREE! If you have purchased these in the past, you'll notice the fonts have been jazzed up a bit (sorry, no more Comic Sans!)

We have also created additional resources to help your kiddos.

If you download them, please leave us some love and tell us what you think!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Reading Detectives

It never seems to fail that I forget my laptop when I come up with reading ideas for my kids. Translation: My school computer has a horrific font selection to choose from! 

I should be embarrassed to post this, but since I didn't use Times New Roman, I'll let it slide...

My kindergarten reading groups are coming right along...I have been extremely proud of the progress they've made since the beginning of the school year! Monster proud. Lately, they have been sounding out every single sound in a word even if they can automatically read the word. I've tried everything I can to get them to just read the word if they know it...including standing on the table as "Captain Read the Word".

So, we decided to become word detective readers! I placed 20 basic code words (with numbers) around my classroom (pink words were ones I knew they'd be able to read easily and purple words were ones that might present more of a challenge).

And each student was given a "Detective Reading Tracker" sheet (below) in which they drew pictures to indicate the word that was read. (Clearly, #4 is a crab!)

I told the kids if they sounded the words out, other detectives in the room would hear them! In order to complete their "reading mission" they had to read every word on their own! And they did.

I've attached a copy of the Word Doc I created to do this with them...feel free to use and change the words so they are appropriate for your kiddos! (If you jazz it up with better fonts, please share!)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

B or D? That is the question!

Where have we been???? That's a good now you've probably moved on and forgotten about us over here at TwoCanDoIt. (And well, we can't blame you!) 

Teaching lowercase "b" and "d" this year has been a challenge to say the least...Once I think they got it, they are back to using the guessing strategy! Back in the day I taught these two letters with my handy old "bed" chart, but later realized this technique was not appropriate for many struggling readers. I don't have them use the "give yourself two thumbs up trick" because that sometimes can get tricky if they are writing and have a pencil in one hand!

Because kids tend not to confuse the uppercase versions of the letters "B" and "D," using them to learn the lowercase "b" and "d" can be helpful. Here's how! When a child is unsure about whether the letter they are looking at is a "b" or a "d" have them write an uppercase "B". If you erase the top bubble off, you are left with a lowercase "b".

I keep a poster in my room as a visual if they need a shown below.

When kids are reading and get stuck trying to determine which is which, I give them a little scrap of lamination that I have left over to place on top of the word. If they can draw a bubble on top of the letter, and it makes an uppercase "B"...Then they know they are dealing with a lowercase "b".

Over spring break I stumbled upon a new trick that I found on, none other than Pinterest! Common Core Connection has taken Matchbox bulldozers to show kids how you can only bulldoze the letter "b". If you try to bulldoze the letter "d" it won't stay in a straight line. So naturally, I went to the dollar store and snagged a few bulldozers to keep in my classroom! I made a quick poster (nothing fancy) that you can download here!

Keeping my fingers crossed that this does the trick! What ways do you have to teach these letter reversals?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Finally…A New Font

It's been a while since we've added a new font in the mix…but here you are blogger friends!

You can head over to 2ttf to snag a free download of "Father Griffin".

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tricky Words

I am pretty excited to report that my first grade reading groups are making tremendous progress this year. We've spent the past month learning how to say the sounds in words and being able to put those sounds back together! A few days ago they started to realize that some words are trying to "trick" us! We stumbled across the word "away" and it didn't sound right! 

I created two posters (below) in which we've been adding, "Words We Can Sound Out" and "Words We Know by Sight". (Please excuse the font selection on these posters, as I was in a hurry and don't have much to select from on my computer at school!) I spent some time talking to them about how those "tricky" words are going to be the focus of the rest of first grade and that I'd teach them tricks to figure out those words. Every time we come across a new word, they get pretty excited to write it on a Post-It...

Today I wanted to see how they did when we talked about these tricky words a little bit further. I read aloud to them, "The Two Greedy Bears" by Mirra Ginsburg...Which happens to be one of my favorites! I told them there was a "fancy" word in the story that we were going to figure out the meaning. (The word was 'sly').

If you haven't read this story before, two bears argue over how to divide their food into equal parts. A fox comes along and purposely divides the food so that one piece is bigger than the other. In order to make the pieces equal, she takes an unequal bite...until two small tiny pieces are left.

The kids realize that the fox was trying to trick the two bears...she was being sly!

I told my kiddos that many times words we come across are sly. We can't always say each sound in a word...someone decided to make reading tricky!

We took a Post-It off of one of our charts and tried to determine if each letter was saying their sound. If they did say their correct sounds (like in frog /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/) then it is NOT a sly word. If they didn't say their correct sounds like in my, then the word is sly and we determined the letter or letters that were making it tricky.

Next week we will be generating a list of words that contain the sound /oe/ as in home. My goal for them next week is to see that there are many different ways to represent that sound. (If you'd like to see more on how I teach this, head on over to!) I will be posting our progress over the next few months!

The first quarter is almost complete and I couldn't be more proud of my first grade groups!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Post About 40 Days Late

Well, because of this…

I've decided that it was the perfect time to write a blog post! (Plus it's been a ba-zillion years!) And it doesn't hurt that I'm binge watching Season 3 of this…

A lot has happened since the last post. I currently took a job teaching in a new district. It's been the best decision I've ever made, but it took me a while to get all of my school junk into a small space. Well, it's more like a closet. And no, I don't have a window…but I do have an exposed brick wall, which I've always wanted in my home. So I guess I will settle for having it in my classroom!

This is what I started with:

This is what I've done so far…

Here in a few days I will show you the reading strategies and posters that are hanging in my room. I promise. 

Stay warm, friends!