Author Archives : Reading Spotlight

Child’s Play: Phonics Bingo Games

Perfect Activity for Last Days of School!

Simple to Use!

Great Phonics Review!

Provide extra review of short and long vowels with this Bargain Bundle: Vowels. Includes 24 classroom-tested cards and uncomplicated format with directions. Enjoy the smiles while your students review important phonics fundamentals. All Bingo Games are also available individually in the Reading Spotlight store.


Most Often Misspelled Words Crossword Puzzle

Perfect Last Day of School Activity!

Spelling practice can actually be fun! Help your students improve both spelling and writing by using this Most Often Misspelled Words Crossword Puzzle.  The Set includes 90 commonly misspelled words and an Answer Key for easy checking.





Phonics Word Searches

Great End of School Year Activity!

Fun! Motivating! Effective! Easy to Use!

Perfect for homework, seatwork, and/or learning centers!

Each set of 3 Word Search Puzzles provides extra practice and review of c, g, y, silent consonants, silent e, double, or r-controlled vowels. Available in Bargain Bundles or individually in the Reading Spotlight store.






Earth Day Script

Easy to Use! Inspiring! Builds confidence! No memorization! This simple  Earth Day Script  can be adapted to elementary classrooms of various sizes and reading levels. The 20 simple statements, designed to be read over the school’s P.A. system, can be easily divided or subtracted according to class size. Teacher instructions, a simple format, and individual pre-separated lines make this script easy to use for busy teachers.







Save Those Sports Photos!


The Super Bowl is coming! The Winter Games are coming!

Use the hype of these games to improve comprehension at all levels.

This photo/caption matching All Sports Comprehension Activity can be used for any sport and any level.  Highly motivating for struggling readers, the learning center activity is simple, inexpensive, and effective! This FREE product includes clear instructions and forms, as well as paper medals to award.

You might also be interested in these timely new Grammar Sports Stories:

The Greatest Stars of the Winter Games.



Valentines and Adjectives: Little Love Letters

Improve vocabulary and classroom cooperation

Encourage friendship and community in your classes while improving vocabulary at the same time!

So much better than those common, perfunctory, pre-printed Valentines!

Little Love Letters includes a Matching Exercise (with KEY) for improving knowledge of many adjectives that explore character traits. It improves word power while also serving as written prompts for the personal Valentines.  The notes themselves give students a little nudge toward class cooperation and affirmation.  Complete, clear, and simple instructions and forms for busy teachers are added.

You might also be interested in another unique Valentine activity from the Reading Spotlight Store:

An Invisible Valentine Card

Yes, it really is invisible!

Enjoy the smiles!


New Year’s Resolution


Help your students help themselves! While friends and family are devising New Year’s resolutions, this FREE Study Habits Self-Help Test assists students in making a resolution to improve study habits. It can be used as a group exercise or individually. Also available FREE in the Reading Spotlight Store are Self-Help Tests to improve reading habits; two are available, one for Grades 1-2, and one for Grades 3 & Up.




Holiday Traditions Grammar Stories

Holiday Traditions Grammar Stories

Grammar practice does not have to be boring! Students can learn about origins of Holiday Traditions (such as greeting cards, carols, plants, foods, Santa Claus and more…) while practicing grammar skills. Great for homework, seatwork, and learning centers. Answer Key + explanations for each correction included.

Also, be sure to check out the FREE parent flyer, Great Gifts for Children, in the Reading Spotlight TpT store.












A Masked Task

Motivate creative writing

The table was set for dinner. Plastic dishes, spoons and cups were attached to the tablecloth that covered a large box. Holes had been cut out of the sides for his face and arms…

Read about an unexpected discovery to motivate creative writing with extraordinary results on the Reading Spotlight Blog.

Save Those Candy Wrappers!

Candy Wrapper Stories


Fun! Motivating! Easy to do! Clear and simple directions to facilitate student creative writing with candy wrappers within the text of the stories. Check out Halloween Candy Wrapper Stories in the Reading Spotlight Store.

Teach Kids to Listen the First Time

Listening Skills   Back To School… Focus on LISTENING

Enjoy the smiles with The First Day of School, a FREE product from the Set of Four Audience Participation Plays. Easy! Effective! Enjoyable!   Also, read about teaching listening skills to all grades on the Reading Spotlight Blog.  



Should You Redshirt Your Kindergartener?

Redshirt Your Kindergartener?

Kindergarten Readiness




Will a delayed start to kindergarten improve or hurt long-term chances of school success?

Read what the research says on the Reading Spotlight Blog and offer parents Reading Spotlight’s FREE Kindergarten Tip and FREE Self-Help Parent Guide to Kindergarten Readiness.

One Million = One Thousand

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Read on to find out how one million can actually equal one thousand.

The benefits are enormous and proven!

We all have busy lives, including students, but this is not asking too much.

Many research projects reach the same conclusions. Read about this on the May

Blog Post @

For more information about other research-based information , view Reading Spotlight’s Free Tips:

Why Kids Don’t Read

Choosing Books to Read for Pleasure

The Best Way to Read a Story




painting poetry

Painting Poetry



April is National Poetry Month. We hope that you will take one minute out of your busy day to enjoy our Poetry Paintings and find out how we did it@

WOMEN’S HISTORY BIO-TEXTS: Comprehension and Spelling Practice


Women’s History

Fun!   Timely!   Effective!   Modern!   Easy to Use!

Improve students’ comprehension and spelling while they learn about women’s history.

Great for homework, seatwork, and learning centers.

These eight short biographies of famous women resemble cell phone texts. The students are provided the complete wording with blanks for most vowels that they then must supply.

This variation of the cloze technique, recognized as effective by reading authorities, requires students to analyze sentence structure and meaning as a way to improve comprehension.

Each story fits on one side of a single piece of paper. An Answer Key is provided for easy grading. Students enjoy the challenge of completing each story.

Set 1

  1. Fabiola Gianotti—Nuclear Physicist
  2. Maya Lin—Architect
  3. Georgia O’Keefe—Artist
  4. Sally Ride—Astronaut

Set 2

  1. Susan B. Anthony—Early Suffragette
  2. Elizabeth Blackwell—First US Female Doctor
  3. Sacajawea—Wilderness Guide
  4. Harriet Tubman—Darling Abolitionist

For Grades 3-8

Be sure to check other activities in our Reading Spotlight TpT Store:

  1. Holiday Menagerie
  2. Bargain Bundle: Vowel Families (Learn to Read Bingo)

 Thank you for considering this timely product.




From our Reading Spotlight Blog
Say “I love you” to a special someone in a different way!

Here is a list of ways to say “I love you”

in several different languages, and…

it’s so easy because phonetic pronunciations are included.

French: Je t’aime (Zhe tem)
German: Ich liebe dich (Eesh lee-bah deesh)
Italian: Ti amo (Tee ah mo)
Spanish: Te amo (Tay ah mo)
Swedish: Jag alskar dig (Yag el skah day)
Also, don’t forget to check out our Invisible Valentine (Yes, it really is INVISIBLE!)

Very Clever! Easy to make! Few requirements! FREE!

It is a great last minute Valentine activity.

Download now, and find out how to do it!

Most of all, enjoy the smiles!

Some information from: Susan Gordan, The Language Lab, NY


Yes! It really IS invisible!

Very Clever! Simple! Easy to Make! Great Fun!

This invisible valentine can be used with ALL ages, as a science experiment, as an exercise in composition, even as simple practice with scissors.

All that is needed is white and colored paper, scissors, a stapler, and a pencil.

Clear directions for use with all ages are included.

Download now! Find out how to do it! It’s FREE!

Enjoy the smiles!

Visit my Blog @

FREE Language Arts Activity


The Super Bowl is almost here!

Be sure to save photos from newspapers and magazines for this timely and enjoyable reading comprehension activity.

It can be adapted to any level and any grade. Simple and easy to make and to use.

Clear instructions included.

Visit the Reading Spotlight Blog @

Are Your Kids Using Too Much Digital Media?

In a long, cold winter, there’s a whole lot of digital viewing going on! Probably too much!

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently changed its digital media standards for children. (You can read about the new guidelines on my Reading Spotlight Blog (


Do not underestimate the importance of human touch and interaction! Why not send home a gift of Reading Bingo Games for students to work on decoding words in short, enjoyable sessions with their parents and/or siblings?


A small cost for big rewards! Something different, something fun, something helpful for beginning/struggling readers in grades 1- 5, something short for tired and busy parents.


Kids will get some individual extra practice that you simply cannot provide in your busy classroom. Reinforce your lessons, or send home games with specific skills that need development for specific students. The ½ price TpT site license makes sending home copies easy.


This is a win—win—win–situation for students, parents, and their teachers! There are many Bingo games at my TpT Store: Reading Spotlight. Just call me The Bingo Lady! The games are clear, simple, and easy to use. Here are just a few:


Reading Tutor Bargain Bundle:


Learn to Read Bingo Bargain Bundle: Consonants, Blends, & Digraphs:


Learn to Read Bargain Sight Word Bundle:




Diet! Exercise! Save money! Spend more time with family!

As their parents are making New Year’s resolutions, you can help your students make resolutions to become better students and/or better readers.


These three self-help tests are designed so that students can easily recognize their weaknesses in study skills or and/or reading. They include simple instructions and space for a resolution at the end of the test. The self-help tests can be used in ALL grades, but an easier version is provided for grades 1 and 2.

Always useful! Always FREE!

Study Habits Self-Help Test (Grades 3 & Up):

Reading Habits Self-Help Test (Grades 3 & Up):

Reading Habits Self-Help Test (Grades 1-2):




About Gifts…

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-1-25-30-pmAcross from me at a parent-teacher conference, she sat crying. This single mom was relating how she was unable to buy the most desired gift for her child—a pair of very expensive tennis shoes.

I tried to remind her about all the important things that parents can give to their children which do not cost money and are much more valuable. Later, I started thinking that those priceless gifts might be important reminders for other parents in our materialistic culture.

If you think it would be helpful, download this free parent handout from

My Reading Spotlight Store at



Timely! Fun! Informative!

Do your students wonder why we have candy canes, gingerbread cookies, pine wreaths, and Santa Claus during the holiday season? The Set– HOLIDAY TRADITIONS: ENGLISH GRAMMAR STORIES –is a great way to practice grammar skills while learning the origins of these holiday customs and many others.

Grades 3-8

Each 20-30 sentence story focuses on the most common errors in homonyms, subject-verb agreement, apostrophe, capitalization, punctuation, irregular verbs and plurals. An Answer Key with explanations of corrections is included.





Britney was a quiet, cooperative student, but she never kept her focus for more than a minute or two. When I met her mother at Open House, I mentioned this fact, hoping that her other would help with Britney’s problem. Instead, her other looked around my well-decorated classroom and sighed…

Read more of this post@

FREE LESSON- Boo! Eeek! Whhhoo! Ha-Ha-Ha!

screen-shot-2016-09-03-at-9-45-23-am     Fun! Fun! Fun!

Reading poetry helps students improve fluency because the natural rhythm of most poems enhances ease of expression. Adding sound effects to group or individual Halloween readings incorporates pleasure into reading aloud, often a difficult task for beginning and struggling readers. Then throw in even more levity by…

Read more of this post @

Be sure to check out my FREE Project Plan for another enjoyable Halloween activity…Halloween Candy Wrapper Stories.

Visit my Store @

Clip Art from


New! Effective! Motivating! Easy to Use!

Use the hype of the Summer Games as an enjoyable and exciting inspiration to practice grammar and spelling skills! These stories are so much better than boring, ordinary, grammar practice sentences. They focus on the most common grammatical and spelling errors, and each story includes an Answer Key PLUS an explanation for each correction. Paper medals to award are also added. See it @
Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.09.18 PM copy 2


Ms Makinson Earth Drawing ScreenshotI relaxed for several days in an ashram in India. I scaled Mt. Everest in a dangerous ascent. I explored declining sea life on faded reefs and in the depths of the ocean. I also gazed at famous paintings and scultpures in the Vatican, and I spent an entire week in Africa. I visited with the inventors of the airplane, the Wright brothers. WOW! I did quite a lot! How did I do it?

Find out @