Thursday, April 19, 2012

Short Vowel Interactive Presentations

What a great find! Interactive presentations to teach short vowels and digraphs and blend using Prezi. I think my son is going to love these as a way to review CVC words. Check it out!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Phonological Awareness Resources

Part of my assignment this week for my Stern Center literacy course was to print an article related to phonological awareness (PA) and to present a synopsis to the class. I decided that I wanted to find a resource for quality PA activities that I could share with parents, and I also wanted to find an article or handout that shows typical ages that children master specific phonological awareness skills. Thought I would share my findings...and would love to hear additional resources you might have on these topics!

Phonological Awareness Activities for children:

“Get Ready to Read” has a set of 36 skill-building activity cards with early literacy activities to try with 3- to 5-year-old children. This site also has online games for children to play.

This site organizes the activities by easiest to hardest. Many of the activities include free printables when you click on the red “Materials” link at the end of the activity.  

Florida Center for Reading Research offers an amazing resource of student center activities for all areas of literacy for grades K & 1. Click the links and download the PDFs.

The best resource that I have found online for phonological awareness activities is the University of Virginia's PALS website. The PALS Activity Page is sorted by skill and then subdivided by grade level for preK - 3rd grade.

Developmental Timeline of Phonological Awareness Skills:
This article by Louisa Moats gives clear descriptions of phonological skills and a list of ages at which 80-90% of typical students have achieved a phonological skill:
This link takes you to an excellent four page print out that describes literacy socialization, phonological awareness, print knowledge, reading, and writing for ages birth-2, 2-5, 5-7, and 7-9 years old.

Other worthwhile resources to check out!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Teaching Resources Online

Teaching Resources Online

April Zajko, M.Ed.

Preschool Websites & Blogs:

A wonderful website full of ideas and activities to do with preschoolers.

Another wonderful preschool website full of great activities~

Preschool Themes at Little Giraffes website -

I love all the updates that TeachPreschool posts on FB and her website is a great resource too~

I've recently discovered Activity Village and love some of their printables! "...thousands of free colouring pages, kids crafts, educational resources, puzzles, printables, jigsaws, sudoku and lots more fun, free activities for kids!" Normally I don't print many worksheet type activities but I love their 'how to draw' printables!

One of my favorite sites to find quality (and free) printables to use with my themes is 2TeachingMommies. They're work is engaging for young kids - I love the number sequence puzzles, pattern sets, and matching activities!

Homeschooler blog for Tots that I love. Lots of great ideas for using tot trays, themes, lapbooks, and activity packs and she even hosts a weekly link up with a bunch of other 'tot school posts'

Tot Tray inspiration through pictures. I love the ideas here because it make assembling activities for young preschoolers & tots so easy!

Kindergarten Websites & Blogs:

I had the pleasure of finding Fran's blog this summer during a Math Work Stations Linky Party. I love her approach to teaching kindergarten and love reading humor her filled posts. She has lots of freebies on her blog, and great products to purchase at TpT. Check her out at

Who else is going to open up their weekly lesson plan books and give you a free 'Peek at my Week'? DeeDee does just that and the document is hyperlinked so with a click of a mouse you can have the same activity in your classroom! I read this each week and salivate over her variety of activities and organization! Definitely check out ~~ ://

Great free printables are availagle at:

Another wonderful kindergarten blogger who I've been following for the last year. Her weekly posts give great insights into teaching a variety of levels with a huge class size.

Literacy - Reading & Writing Links:
Amazing resource of student center activities for all areas of literacy for grades K & 1. Click the links for the PDFs!

University of Virginia's PALS Activity Page - sorted by grade level and skill

Webbing Into Literacy - UVA

Math Links: A great collection of activities and lessons. The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives is a goldmine of resources. Math Games - 41 page document. Geometry Lessons and Free Printables

Arts & Crafts Links: "DLTK's Crafts for Kids features a variety of fun, printable children's crafts, coloring pages and more including projects for holidays, educational themes and some of our children's favorite cartoon characters. " -- any craft using handprints or footprints will be a keepsake!

Our "Go To" Sites:
Our "go-to" websites when the kiddos want to 'play on the computer'! (See the other Page, websites for kids on my blog for even more ideas!) - my top pick for free education games for kindergarten - 5th grade. - one of the first sites that my son used and he still enjoys it today! - great games for ages 3-7 years old

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Bird Nest Making

Last year my son come up with the idea to make bird nests one day that we were out playing in the woods. We got so into the project that we ended up making enough for all his classmates, several relatives, and for all of my preschoolers. We were quite ambitious!

This morning as we were unpacking the Easter decorations something triggered his memory. "Remember when we made all those bird nests last year. Want to do it again?"

So this afternoon we headed out and made the first batch...ten big nests. Who knows how many more we will craft this week! The base is made from inner bark peeled from fallen trees, then layered in with moss, grass, twigs, leaves, and other treasures from nature.

A simple yet beautiful craft...and an annual tradition that I hope that lives on for many years.