Letter C, H and Q – Found!


I am posting the new Letter C, H and Q Power Points! They were missing and now they are back! I actually had to re-create them, so they are brand spanking new-ish! Enjoy! They can be found on the “Letter PowerPoint” tab, at the top of the GBK page as well. As always, these are FREE! Enjoy!




Reward and Behavior Charts! (Motivation Matters)


This is a great alternate chart to use as an individualized behavior “incentive” chart. Negative behaviors are not listed on this chart. Points are not taken away. Only positive things that is attainable for the child to work on, are noted on this chart. Explain to the child the goals. Ask him/her what prize he’d like to earn. It can most likely be a prize that he/she would get anyways, like a new backpack or a new book or toy. This chart has proven successes with many children. I hope it works for your child too! I recommend using it in the classroom and offering it to students’ parents, to use at home, as well. This is how I used it in my Kindergarten classroom. Motivation matters for some!

Follow the link below to find the download:

Click here and it will take you to the page!

Enjoy! -Andrea



Kindergarten Assessment – Easy Breezy!

k assessment

This is a 2 page comprehensive Kindergarten Assessment that will give you a general starting point of what your students DO and DO NOT know. It can also be used to show what your students have or have not learned. One other use is to utilize this as an ongoing assessment, to monitor growth at the end of each grading period!

The “Kindergarten Assessment 1” tool is a great beginning of the year screener to reveal which students are entering K with pre-reading and school readiness skills or not.

The following skills are assessed on these “easy-to-read” and “easy-to-assess” pages:
1. All 26 capital letters
2. All 26 lowercase letters
3. Common letter sounds
4. Simple CVC Word Reading
5. Name Sample
6. Common Shapes
7. Number Identification
8. Number Writing Sample
9. Counting Sets of Objects
10. Rote Counting
11. Simple Sight Word Reading

Directions for Use:
1. Beginning of the Year Assessment – The “Kindergarten Assessment 1” tool can be used as a beginning of the year and end of the year tool to show student growth. Simply print one form and use it for the beginning of the year and then use the second form for the end of the year. Compare and use each form to show student growth.

2. Ongoing Assessment – Growing strides will be evident, and the need for RTI or Special Education intervention, as well. *Suggestion: at the end of each grading period, re-assess and record using a different colored ink pen. Date your data and add a + or – sign. Add up the amount of + signs, then compare between each grading period. Your data will speak for itself!

Click here for the link!

The link above will take you to a sample of the actual Assessment! Enjoy! -Andrea

New! Lesson Plan BUNDLES for 2015-2016

2015-2016 Lesson Plans!!!!!!!!!!

I now have COMMON CORE aligned lesson plans, available for Kindergarten, Special Education Kindergarten and Pre-Kindergarten. All are available below. Just click the link and it will take you to my TpT shop. Look at the menu on the left and everything is organized by category. The link is below:

Common Core Lesson Plans – Click Here! Updated 2015-16

TpTLoveTransparent-03K SpEd Full Year Info



Emergent Reader, Printable Books are also included with many of these lesson plans!


Writing Activities are included in lesson plans (see content lists)


Here are just SOME of the Emergent Reader skills that are focused on within the included printable books!


This is one of the Math Workstations (Centers) that is included to help introduce addition.



Special Education Visuals!

I am once again sharing these charts that I used with some students who benefitted greatly from the visuals. They needed visuals, to help them process the verbal directions that were being given in the school setting. The extra-abilities that they live with are: Autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, PDD, Cerebal Palsy and other multiple cognitive disabilities. A few parents used these visuals at home and they reported that they enjoyed using them there.

When using a visual, the child learns not to “defy,” argue or throw a tantrum with a picture or visual. They learn to comply, because the picture said so.

To assist my students, I have made a handful of visuals that have been successful. Here they are: If I have the link below the picture, then I have the printable available. If not…I’m so sorry, but it is floating around on a jump drive somewhere that I have to locate!


Time Out Corner


Time Out Chart


Here is the link to my FREE time out chart: click here

















Visual Directions – Click here for the printable link





Adaptive Reading Book “Where Am I”– Click here for the link

This is an interactive Adaptive Book answering /wh/ questions- “Where?” I created this book to teach and assess comprehension skills of stories. The question asked is: Where am I? Various answer choices are: bedroom, bathroom, Pizza Hut, shoe store, grocery store, etc…..



Adaptive Reading Book  “What Is It?”- Click here for the the link

I designed this book (as a special request from another super-star teacher). It is modeled after my other WH question adaptive books: “WHO am I?” and “WHERE am I?” already available for download on my TpT shop. I made these books for my students with autism (one non-verbal and one with limited comprehension skills). They are working wonders! My other students love them as well….there is just something about velcro!

This is also a great “cold read” book to use to have your student read and answer the questions on his own to see if he is comprehending what he reads.


How to Make and Use this Book –

1. Print on Card Stock Paper.
2. Laminate.
3. Hole Punch each page, then place them in a 1-1 ½ inch binder.
4. Place the question page and the answer page [top to bottom] so that when the child reads the page, he can see both pages at the same time.
5. The “adaptable” part of this book can be utilized by cutting out the 3 answer choice pictures for each question. (Laminate these also, then attach Velcro to the back).
6. Attach Velcro to the inside of the empty box on the “question” page. This is for placing the “answer” picture.




Rhyme Time with the (-AT) Family


My students absolutely loved this mini-lesson. This is what everything looked like, after I laminated it. The orange “My Cat” book is an easy emergent reader book and is a printable black and white book. It is 8 pages total. This is the teacher copy and it is in color. I printed a black and white paper copy for each child and allowed them to color in the picture on each page.

The featured sight words in this book are: LIKE, MY, HAS, SHE, THIS, IS.


The featured RHYMING words in the “My Cat” book (as shown on the picture cards above) are: CAT, HAT, FAT, RAT, BAT. Vocabulary words shown are: MOM, DOG, BEE.


Word Work Station 1: Directions: Practice together in whole group using magnet or practice letters, or even letter card pages (m, a, t, f, b, c) to form the words: rat, cat, hat, bat.


(Above) Student book!



(Above) Word Work Station 2: Directions: Practice together in small group using letter card pages (m, a, t, f, b, c) to form the words: rat, cat, hat, bat. Use glue next. These are the pages that the child gets to take home or save in his/her portfolio!


(Above) “Cut Apart Sentences” – Directions-As a whole group, read the story and then pass out the word cards one sentence at a time. Decide the correct order of the sentence and then glue it to a sentence strip. Add the matching laminated picture.

(Below) Word work card


There is also more, that I didn’t snap pictures of. I have a parent letter too! You can download the whole Rhyme time kit here:




Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

What is the difference?

The quote below, from the k12reader website explains it perfectly! I couldn’t have said it better myself-so it is a direct quote!


Phonological Awareness is the ability to recognize that words are made up of a variety of sound units. The term encompasses a number of sound related skills necessary for a person to develop as a reader. As a child develops phonological awareness she not only comes to understand that words are made up of small sound units (phonemes). She also learns that words can be segmented into larger sound “chunks” known as syllables and each syllable begin with a sound (onset) and ends with another sound (rime).

Phonological awareness provides the basis for phonics. Phonics, the understanding that sounds and print letters are connected, is the first step towards the act we call reading. 

When measuring a child’s phonological awareness look at his ability to apply several different skills. A child with strong phonological awareness should be able to recognize and use rhyme, break words into syllables, blend phonemes into syllables and words, identify the beginning and ending sounds in a syllable and see smaller words within larger words (ie. “cat” in “catalog”).

Phonemic Awareness  also involves an understanding of the ways that sounds function in words, it deals with only one aspect of sound: the phoneme. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language that holds meaning. Almost all words are made up of a number of phonemes blended together. Consider the word “ball”. It is made up of three phonemes: /b/ /aw/ /l/ . Each of its sounds affects the meaning. Take away the /b/ sound and replace it with /w/ and you have an entirely different word. Change the /aw/ for an /e/ sound and again the meaning changes.

Phonemic awareness is just one aspect of phonological awareness. While phonological awareness encompasses a child’s ability to recognize the many ways sounds function in words, phonemic awareness is only her understanding of the most minute sound units in words. Because phonemic awareness is a sub-skill under the phonological awareness “umbrella” not all of the measures for determining a reader’s skill level are applied when assessing it. A reader with strong phonemic awareness will demonstrate the ability to hear rhyme and alliteration (the repetition of the same consonant sound at the beginning of several different words used in a sentence or paragraph), find the different sound in a set of words (ie. “bat”, “ball”, “wet”) and blend and segment phonemes.”

In order to READ independently and proficiently at a first grade level, a student must have mastery of both phonological and phonemic awareness. 

Next, comes blending phonemes together into more complex one and 2 syllable words. Words with short vowels, then long vowels…next words with th, wh, sl, tr, cl and then end with those sound combinations. 

Finally, students will then learn words ending in silent “e” and words containing specific spelling combinations, such as CVVC (ou, ea, oa).

Mastery of reading at a first grade level is so vital, according to Fountas & Pinnell. Students will then be able to gain the skills needed to move on to reading at a 2nd grade level. 

A Solution to an Everyday Problem with Young Learners


We all have students who have trouble with fine motor skills. Every year, it seems like more and more kids need help opening their snack or milk container, buttoning their coat, and holding a pencil. While some of these students receive services like occupational or physical therapy, there is limited funding to help general education preschool or kindergarteners with these issues. With Common Core Standards shaping the direction of our teaching, something must be done early on to help our students facing these challenges.

The Hands First! Curriculum offers a solution to these problems. Principals, Superintendents, and Directors of Pupil Services support this curriculum as it is a Level 1 Response to Intervention Model and only takes 15 minutes daily for 4 months. Administrators also approve this program because it was written for use with common classroom materials without the need for additional supply purchases.

Created by Professionals, used by teachers and parents alike, “Hands First!” is definitely worth checking out! Even if you have just one student who just can’t seem to grip that pencil correctly or zip up their jacket.
Check out their website and follow their blog: www.handsfirstforlearning.com
Like them on Facebook:

Everything is on sale 25% using WINTER15 code when checking out
Hands First for Learning accepts purchase orders!

hands first logo