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Archive for 2015

postheadericon Words, Words, and More Words! Words Rings for DIBELS practice

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Today, I made these simple word rings to use at my teacher table with students who need phonics intervention. 


Word rings are a great way for students to practice reading nonsense words. Each word is on it's own card. Once the student has sounded out (phoneme segmentation), blended, and have read the whole word, they can easily flip to the next word on the ring. This is a great way for students to begin blending and reading whole words at their own pace.  This is also a great way to build whole word fluency. 

This is also great activity to use for RTI (Response to Intervention). I have used this with students who get easily overwhelmed when seeing a whole page of printed nonsense words. To decrease student discouragement, I use word rings, so that the student only sees one card at a time. This helps to build their confidence one word at a time.  


 To download the cards for the word rings, click on the link below and print!

(Click on the image below to download)

nonsense words for word rings


To make these, you will need a book ring (these rings are 1.25 inch rings). I found these two packages at the Dollar Tree. They are great for the classroom and have many uses.



Then, I printed the words, laminated them, and put them on a ring. 

Here's a word ring ready to use.



Word rings in an independant center:

If you would like to put word rings into an independant center, I have created activities you can easily put into an independant center. 


Vowel sort:

You can have the students read the word, and then write the word under the correct vowel sound. 

vowel sort



Have the student read the word, build it with letter tiles, and then write the word. 

say it, build, write it



To get more ideas or to read more about nonsense words and DIBELS practice, click on the links below:


DIBELS: Getting Ready for RTI

Nonsense Word Fluency Practice

Menu Board Choices for Word Work

DIBELS Next Intervention Ideas for First Grade


postheadericon Teaching Character Traits- Kindness

This month we are learning how to be caring individuals.

November is a great month to teach Random Act of Kindness.

September- Responsibility


November- Kindness

December- Respect


February- Fairness

March- Courage

April- Determination

May – Cooperation

June- Sportsmanship

Let's take a closer look at November- Kindness.  I've compiled a list of books to use throughout the month.  I will also give you some ideas for activities that can be done to reinforce the trait.


Books that teach Kindness

One Grain of Rice

The Teddy Bear

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: an African tale

Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen


Great Joy

Bear Feels Sick

Those Shoes

Stand in My Shoes


Kindness Is Cooler, Mrs. Ruler


Anchor Chart

What a Kind person looks like:

  • compassionate and show they care
  • express gratitude
  • forgive others
  • help people in need


Kindness Game

Have the children gather in a large circle and throw a ball to another person in the circle. When they throw the ball, have them say something kind to the other person. That person then throws the ball to another person and says something kind. Make sure everyone has a turn (both hears and says something kind). For the second round, explain they need to say something nice about themselves and allow time for everyone to have a turn.


Writing Journal:

  • Gratitude Journal- Who/What are you grateful for?


  • Thank You Letter- Write a letter to someone who has given you something or done something kind.

postheadericon From Trash to Treasure-DIBELS nonsense words


We all know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." A  first grade teacher gave me this bag of foam dice, which was used in a previous math curriculum. Now that we have piloted and implemented our new math program, this bag of dice wasn't needed any longer. So, she gave them to me! 

After looking at them, measuring them, and imagineering them, I decided to use the foam dice to make a nonsense word game. 




I took the dice home and measured them. Each side measured 1.5 inches. 

Now, I had to figure out how to get letters onto the dice. I didn't want the letters to be too big, as I wanted the dice to be able to roll on the foam edges. 

So, I created a document with letters to fit the dice. I inserted "Auto Shapes" in Microsoft Word and created a square to be 1.25 inches. Once I made the square, I copied 18 squares onto the page. Then, I inserted a text box into the squares. I copied that text box into each 1.25 inch square and put a letter in each one. I used letters that were easily recognizable to first graders, even if they were upside down on the die. In ten minutes, I had the document done. No problem!

It looked like this:


letter squares 1.25

I printed the document and laminated it using my home laminator. If you don't have one, you must get one! They are great! 

I cut out all the letters. 

Now, I had to adhere the letters onto the blocks. It was time to get out my trusty hot glue gun. 

I glued the vowels onto one block, and the consonants onto the other two blocks. 




Another center ready to go! 


To get more ideas or to read more about nonsense words and DIBELS practice, click on the links below:

DIBELS: Getting Ready for RTI

Nonsense Word Fluency Practice

Menu Board Choices for Word Work

DIBELS Next Intervention Ideas for First Grade





postheadericon Barebone Sentence Center: Roll, Write, and Read



We have been teaching Barebone Sentences using our Project Read: Written Expression Curriculum. I wanted to create a center where students could create barebone sentences and practice writing them independently. 


I wanted the students to be able to practice:

1. Beginng their sentence with a capital letter. 

2. Putting spaces between their words

3. Ending their sentence with a period. 


I bought these large foam dice at the Dollar Tree. These are great to use in the classroom. I often use them for centers and teacher table time. 




Then, I came home and created the labels for the dice. 

I printed these labels, laminated, and cut them out. Then, I put all the subject nouns on one die and then put all the verbs on the other die. I used a hot glue craft gun to adhere the labels onto the foam. 

barebone sentence roll


When the sets were finished, they were ready for the students to use.



Before I put anything into an independant center, I always model how to use the materials at my teacher table. Once I feel the students are able to do this independantly, I then put it out into an independent center. 




This student rolled the dice and got the words "Birds hop." 

As you can see, she has started her sentences with an uppercase letter. She has spaces between her words, and has a period at the end of her sentence. She is off to a great start! A writer in the making! 




Same thing with this student. He wrote three silly barebone sentences. He has started his sentences with an uppercase letter. He has spaces between his words, and has a period at the end of his sentences. He is also off to a great start! Another great writer in the making! 



I have now used this as a center a few times and the students really seem to love it. They have fun with the dice and at the same time are practicing their writing, sentence structure, and mastering their barebone sentences. 


For other posts on Barebone sentences, see:

Teaching “Barebones Sentences” with Literature Tie-ins

Barebone Class Book: What Do We See in the Fall?




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