Tag Archives : Grade 1

St. Patrick’s Day: Motivating students to reading for meaning ~ with humor!

St P humor post

Nothing grabs my students’ attention more than something that is downright silly.

They know I tend to make the odd ‘mistake’ when we’re reading together, and that reading just HAS to make sense. Whenever I sense someone’s attention (or foot, or elbow) beginning to drift, I’ll throw in the odd error, for example:

Oh No!

Recently, we have completed the Pirate Pals Read and Write and More booklet together, and it occurred to me, again, that when kids anticipate fun and laughter, they are more willing to invest their energy and focus up front.

Pirate Pals kids joking about space monkey - CopyA 2nd grade student tries to get a  peer to choose ‘Saturn’ instead of the correct answer for the setting question… Pirate Pals Reading Comp photo…then they laugh at the thought of pirates bringing a space monkey on a treasure hunt!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. I read the story of St. Patrick to my grade one class years ago, and remember the pre-reading discussion well. A small group of my students believed that St. Patrick was a leprechaun, and others found the idea to be hilarious. The child who had expressed this idea was embarrassed and it had a significant impact on his confidence in sharing in groups, and taking risks in his learning, for some time.

This, of course, took us off-track into a conversation about teasing, laughing at vs. laughing with others.

I’m planning to give the students I see the advantage of knowing the true story of St. Patrick early, so they can be armed to laugh with their classmates!

The St. Patrick’s Day pages below and the Pirate Pals pages above are only two of the elements of the Read and Write and More Series.

St. P's Day Reading Comp JPEG updated

St. P's Day questions JPEG updated

Isn’t laughter the way of the Irish, after all?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle


Th1 Th1 St P Day Freebie main product cover

More R & W & M Read Rec Sound boxes

Read and Write and DIFFERENTIATE by printing – for Valentine’s Day!

Read and Write and DIFFERENTIATE by printing - for Valentine's Day!

A significant part of my support role to kindergarten and primary teachers in recent years has been to provide instruction and / or resources to differentiate instruction for little people in literacy.

Within one class, the range of abilities can span four grades. A little one’s tolerance to frustration towards a task that is too difficult, or another’s need for something to challenge his or her learning for just the right amount of time, can be a tough order to fill – especially at the same time – after gym and snack time and before recess, library and reading buddies.

I have designed my Read and Write and More packages to allow teachers to #DifferentiateByPrinting. There are always activities in each of these products to address a variety of needs.

Valentine Scrambled Sentences:

(Note: The colored sentence strips shown in the first example are provided in the Valentine’s Day Read and Write and More set. There are two different sentence options to choose from to photocopy onto each color paper, with six identical scrambled sentences on each strip).

Val sent sheet  Slide6 Slide7

Having the option to place and paste sentence strips, place and copy sentence strips, work without the strips on easier or more challenging sentences, means that many pre-writers, early writers and / or are independent writers have an accessible starting point.

Valentine Rhyme and Ending Sounds:

See it, hear it, read it? Assessment or  fun practice activities?
I use the following pages for fun small group review, then send them home for the fridge, where my wish is for the back-of-the-cereal box effect.

When I am doing the following rhyme activity with students, I am mindful of my data. Those who need more practice listening for rhyme and ending sounds and who automatically compare letter patterns at the ends of words will get the sheet without print. Proficient rhymers who need more practice with looking closely at print will get the copy with the words. And, of course, other days there will be other activities for those who do not fit neatly into those categories. 

Slide5 Slide4 Slide3

Check out these fantastic ideas and resources on our Rhyme Time board below:
Follow That Fun Reading Teacher’s board Rhyme Time! on Pinterest.

Valentine’s Day Read and Write and More contains a number of other fun literacy activities, including:


Graphic Organizers, Writing Paper,

B & W Cards to color with insert ->

Valentine Graphic Organizers and Cards

And for another day…

…activities for the 100th day of school!


The Read and Write and More sets always contain three-part graphic organizers, thematic writing paper, and fun, literacy activities with an explanation page, ideas and options to help make activities accessible to a wide range of kindergarten to grade 2 students.

We all remember our little students on Valentine’s Day. Check out the freebies below to be sure no one is missed!

2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle Happy Valentine’s Week, my friends!  

Th1 Valentine Th Staffroom Valentine Cards cover 400 Th1 Reading Buddies V

Save with Bundles!

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Halloween Math and Literacy Fun, freebies and Blog Hop with great prizes!

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Happy almost Halloween everyone! I am so excited to be participating in this Halloween Blog Hop! There are lots of great teacher tips, lessons and freebies along the way, so I hope you’re able to visit each store for inspiration and (who’s kidding who!) the awesome freebies! And check this out:


You’ll see the Rafflecopter machine a little further down. But first, I thought I’d take you down memory lane..

Did you used to sing the classic song 99 Bottles of Beer, with its stick-in-your-brain-forever melody and uncanny ability to teach even the most math-challenged among us to rote count backwards from 100?

I did, and it stuck so much that, years ago, I changed the words and created an activity to go with it. Its adhesive quality remains.

The activity:

  1. Print enough freebies for your entire class, and one for yourself. You’ll also see options for the color version at the bottom of this post.
  2. Plan enough time for each student to take a turn at the board. You’ll see why in a minute!
  3. Have some early finishers color and cut out your freebie, mount on sturdy paper, laminate if you wish, and place magnets on the back for use on a magnetic surface.
  4. Gather the class and draw a wall for your characters to stand on. If you have not read the story with them (optional purchase pictured below), then introduce the activity by discussing their thoughts regarding standing on high walls, predictions about what could happen etc. Throughout the course of the song, one character will be falling at a time.
  5. Now, warm up that singing voice! “Mi, mi, mi…”
  6. Give each child a chance to make a character fall from the wall as you sing this song:

Hal Fr 1  5 Halloween friends on the wall,
5 Halloween friends …
Hal Fr 2  If 1 of these friends has a big fall,
How many friends are left on the wall?

Hal Fr 3 4 Halloween friends on the wall,
4 Halloween friends …
Hal Fr 4 If 1 of these friends has a big fall,
How many friends are left on the wall?

Hal Fr 53 Halloween friends on the wall,
3 Halloween friends …
Hal Fr 6 If 1 of these friends has a big fall,
How many friends are left on the wall?

And you simply continue this way until there is one friend left on the wall.

7.  Invite your students to discuss what they noticed or found interesting about the song / story. Were there any patterns? Does anyone think that there was math in the story? How could a number sentence be written about what just happened?

8. Have fun!

Now back to the fun for the grown-ups!  Here’s the secret word for the Rafflecopter machine…


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to pop over to Elementary AMC by clicking below!

Haunt Over to Next Blog

And grab your freebie below! The story and activity book with color cut-outs is also available here.

Th1 Halloween freebie Th1 5 Hall friends cover

And here’s a little something of interest for those advanced-placement math-types (who I know all too well…)

Happy haunting everyone!

2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle



Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉


Follow That Fun Reading Teacher’s board Math and Literacy Fun on Pinterest.

Canada Day is July 1st, so brush up on your ‘Canadian’, eh?

Canada day cover for post.png


Happy Canada Day, everyone! I write this to you on the eve of Canada’s 148th birthday! 

For those of us who are Canadians of a certain age, life experience and education, the images below are easy to name and contain a number of our national symbols.


Do you know anyone who could benefit from brushing up on their Canadian vocabulary?


BINGO is a fun way to do it at any age!

Click below to access Celebrate Canada Bingo and a Happy Canada Day FREEBIE! in my TpT Store!

BINGO game cover Th1 Canada freebie Canada freebie.png

Like the freebie?

Here is another Celebrate Canada Product, this one focused on Early Literacy, which can be purchased in a bundle with the Celebrate Canada BINGO game:

Canada Literacy preview.png

Click the links below to my TpT store for the Celebrate Canada Literacy activities or Bundle, or to explore other areas of the site with related Canadian content!

Canada cover.png Th1 Canada Bundle cover 350 RobMunsch1

Cndn TpTers CanDayStories

And have a Happy Canada Day!!!!!

Follow That Fun Reading Teacher’s board Celebrate Canada Day! on Pinterest.
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Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉


Fun Summer Lists – Writing for Real Purposes!

Fun Summer Lists cover.png - Copy

Many children today do not have much appreciation for the world of paper and pen. The electronic world is far more seductive and even the adults in their lives are likely spending time on laptops or smartphones. Guilty as charged over here.

While building writing skills may come easily to some children, it can be overwhelming and exhausting to others. What is in it for them? They simply must see a point to it for real-world purposes, and receive positive feedback.

Kids do see us make lists – even if we make them on our smartphones. And kids do what we do (not necessarily what we say!)

For our purposes today, writing will mean any communicating in print. We’re talking about Kindergarten to grade two or three students of varying abilities.

Our goal is to help them understand why they are learning to write, buy into it and know that they are contributing members of society, who are appreciated for the contribution they are making by doing so!

Think of the possibilities for planning a day trip, or vacation….

Packing Lists…

5 Stuff to pack blank - Copy 6 Stuff to pack lined - Copy

7 Food list blank 8 Food list lined - Copy.png

11 Things to pack for Water Fun 12 Things to pack for Water Fun - lined

The Social and Wish Lists…

1 Summer Bucket list blank.png - Copy 2 Summer Bucket List lined - Copy

4 Friends - boys.png - Copy 3 Friends - girls.png - Copy

9 Guest List blank - Copy 10 Guest list lined - Copy.png

Lists about stories and games…or anything really!

16 Fav Stories 18 Stories I want to read 17 Books I read this summer

13 Games I really like 14 Games I really want 15 Apps and Games that help me learn

Whether our child / student draws or pastes pictures, dictates to us while we scribe, prints in hieroglyphics, or phonetically spelled words, we need to make this real world connection and commend them for making the effort. Especially in the summer!

Fun  Summer Lists is included in a WRITING FOR REAL PURPOSES bundle called Summer Literacy Fun Pack, with Summer Fun: Reading and Writing through Play pictured below.

These products were inspired by a post I wrote last summer (also pictured below) and by the effectiveness of these types of activities with my own children and students. I hope you enjoy them. Think Summer! It’s just around the corner!

Best wishes to all of you as we head into the final month of school!


That Fun Reading Teacher 

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WRP Summer Bundle Long pin Summer Fun - Reading and Writing through play! cover.pngSumWrite





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Keeping Students Learning All Summer

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Preventing the summer slide is such a big issue  for teachers and schools. Personally I hate sitting down with parents at beginning of the year conferences and informing them that their child has a lower reading level at the start of the year than they had at the end of the previous school year.

When I was first asked about how teachers can keep kids learning all summer, I thought… adopt? After all, children spend their summers away from us, and out of our control unless they are our own. Thinking about it a bit more though, honestly the answer is to adopt, but not the children, adopt the parents. Adopting the parents means cultivating an excellent relationship with the parents of your students, and making yourself available to them at any time. How far you go with this depends on your personal comfort level. At the start of every school year I create a private blog for parents and I to communicate on, hand out my school email, and personal cell phone number to parents. I send postcard though the mail, make regular phone calls, and even do home visits. When the school year ends I still have parents checking in on our class blog, sending me texts from vacation, and email asking for how to help their child over the summer.

It is not too late though, to increase parent communication and prevent the summer slide. Check out my top 10 tips below which will all be on my classroom blog, but can be sent one in a newsletter at the end of the year. Read on