I have always loved words and am a self-proclaimed word nerd. I actually read the book Word Nerds, met the authors at a conference a few years ago, and got to lead a PLC in my school all about it! Research shows that a child’s vocabulary is a key component to their success in school, on standardized tests, and in life in general! Those three reasons alone should be proof enough to any educator that VOCABULARY INSTRUCTION IS IMPORTANT!
What I love about vocabulary instruction is that it’s cross-curricular. The words found in children’s literature are just as important as those found in content areas, like science and social studies, which, in my opinion, makes it almost effortless to incorporate into your instruction. However, the hard part of vocabulary instruction is making it interesting and engaging to students. Merely writing definitions can only go so far.
One way to make vocabulary instruction more engaging is to provide your students a variety of ways for them to engage with a vocabulary and then allowing them to choose what type of activity will help them best learn the word and internalize its meaning. A vocabulary menu can accomplish this.
Students are instructed to choose from the menu and engage with the vocabulary word using the given activities. This menu includes twenty activities – everything from the generic define and draw to including the word in a conversation and recording the dialogue to drawing pictures that would use the word as a hashtag! (This particular menu is found HERE and will fit on a standard sized poster board.)
If you wanted to make a bulletin board or even introduce the activities during whole group instruction, these 8.5x11in posters will help you do just that!
If you don’t have the wall space for a poster or bulletin board, another option is to add the activity strips or the smaller posters to a metal ring. Students could either maintain their own set or you could print several copies for a literacy station or writing center.
Once students are familiar with the instructions for each activity, provide them with a bookmark that they can take home or keep in their desk for easy access. The activities are numbered so that students can easily reference which activities they complete on their work mats! Alternatively, the non-numbered bookmarks can be laminated and students can simply check them off with a dry erase marker and paperclip them to their vocabulary notebooks or work mats when they turn them into you.
Lastly, for those of you who use a vocabulary notebook, you can either use the print-and-cut activity strips or the printable sticky notes for students to use! This is a great way for students to show their work on a regular basis no matter the content area.
This complete resource can be found HERE so that you can create your own vocabulary choice menu for your students. You can also download a FREE sample using the form at the end of this blog post.
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Check out this great list of activities for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade!
Read all about this fun Meet the Teacher activity, along with several back to school anchor charts and class posters that are perfect for the start of the new school year
I LOVE this letter recognition resource for guided reading, one-to-on instruction and intervention! It fits into a binder and is SO versatile! It’s a must have if you teach pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, or ESL students!
Teaching adjectives and verbs with popcorn?! Sign. Me. Up. This activity is teacher and student-approved. I promise, your kiddos will love it and will be talking about it all school year long. Plus, they’ll have a great foundation for these concepts afterward!
If you teach little guys, then the start of the year is all about teaching them foundational skills in everything. Which is why I love math crafts! They’re a fun way to reinforce foundational numeracy skills, such as subitizing and making ten, along with fine motor work and following directions! #winning
And, if you want to get your kiddos pumped up about a school year full of reading, while teaching them to LOVE books, then you have to check out these activities that help celebrate reading! They will share out their thoughts on their favorite books – and work on their reading reading comprehension skills as an added bonus!
Another great must-have for teaching foundational math skills is this math binder that’s great for small group instruction, math stations, and intervention. Teachers will appreciate the simplicity of the format and students benefit from the engaging activities!
Lastly, is this resource that includes FIFTY SETS of flashcards based off of kindergarten and first grade standards. They are extremely versatile and can be added to a number of activities that you already do in your classroom – from centers to small group to guided reading – the possibilities are endless!
This is the *best* science curriculum for the start of the school year! Your students will familiarize themselves with introductory science vocabulary, concepts, and skills – including safety!
And, don’t forget, there’s a MEGA SALE going on on Teachers Pay Teachers right now where you can save 25% right now! Al of the resources mentioned above have a ‘Shop this Resource’ link underneath the image. Or, you can hop over to shop all of my resources at Babbling Abby on TpT.
PS. I would LOVE to have you as a part of The Inspired Apple. You can join using the sign up form posted below and grab some super fun free stuff just for signing up!
By popular request, you can snag this set of task cards separate from the purchase of the Handwriting Makes Me Happy series. This set of 20 task cards can be used with handwriting, sight word, or spelling word practice.
Each colorful task card provides students with a task to complete to reinforce proficiency in reading and writing the words they are practicing. They are perfect for students in pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade to practice individually or at a literacy center. They’re a great resource to add to your ELA curriculum! Grab a set HERE.
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Can you believe it’s time to prepare for the school year?! Seriously, where does the summer even go?! If you’re looking for activities that are GREAT for back to school, check out some of my absolute FAVORITES!
Each of these resources has TEN ACTIVITIES to use during the first week of school!
And, of course, I love a good anchor chart! This set of anchor chart templates is perfect for making posters for Meet the Teacher, Rules (school, bus, classroom, lunchroom, hallway, and recess), School Shots (getting to know school helpers and faces), and How to Be a Friend! You can by this set individually or snag it as part of a year long bundle!
If you teach kindergarten and first grade, then you’ll probably spend much of the first few months of school working on letters and the alphabet. Even though this *amazing* binder of activities was created with intervention in mind, you will LOVE it for small group work and guided reading! It’s one of my faves!
Sight word and handwriting practice are a cinch with this 2-in-1 Handwriting Makes Me Happy set. Plus, it includes task cards to use with any word!
And, if you want to get your kiddos excited about reading this year, you should totally check out Celebrate Reading! There are fun activities for getting your kiddos in grades K-5 excited about reading and it can totally be used any time of year!
And, let’s not forget math! This is a great curriculum for small group instruction at the beginning of the year and also great for intervention later on!
Math crafts are a super fun way to engage your little learners, work on skills in number development, and have fun! They will LOVE them!
Oh, one more literacy resource that might interest you! These are sets of flashcards that you can use for or with anything! Each bundle is growing, which means you can grab it for a steal before the price increases 🙂
Happy Back to School!
Grab a FREE set of Manuscript and D’Nealian letter practice worksheets that can be used in preschool, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms for students who are learning the alphabet. Each page includes a corresponding picture and lined spaces for practicing letter formation.
Click the corresponding graphic to download your set!
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I’ve just released my latest teacher tool that is ideal for accompanying your kindergarten or first grade ELA curriculum. It’s basic in principle, simple to prep, and will help support the ELA activities you’re doing in your classroom. Each resource will contain 50 sets of flashcards that you can use to for a variety of purposes – from guided reading to intervention to differentiated student practice and more.
These sets weren’t designed to be stand-alone activities, but to assist in your instruction of basic ELA principals in kindergarten and first grade.
Let’s take a closer look…
Each set comes nine cards per page. Some have the option to print in color along with black and white, but printing on your favorite Astrobrights paper is always a good option 😉
To keep it simple, there are only straight line cuts. It takes only minutes – if not seconds – to prep an entire set.
Each set of cards also contains a unique marker so that you can easily see which cards go together. This is great for teacher and students!
Organization is SUPER easy, especially if you can snag some of these great containers from The Dollar Tree! However, you can easily pop them into a plastic baggie, an envelope, or on a ring, too!
Here’s some suggestions for how these can be used in your classroom!
Because this is a GROWING MEGA BUNDLE, you can grab it right now at an incredibly discounted price. However, as I add more to each set the price will increase. So, don’t delay! Click the graphics below to learn more!
PS. You can totally snag a FREE SAMPLE using the subscribe form found at the bottom of this post! I’d love to have you join The Inspired Apple so you can stay up to date on activities, ideas, new resources, and special sales in my TpT Shop.
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Back to School season is close…ish! And, it’s never too early to start preparing for the activities you’ll do those first few days when you’re getting to know your kiddos and they’re getting to know you. This set of anchor charts and class posters is perfect for helping you do just that!
First up is an All About Our Teacher activity that includes a variety of information cards so that you can choose what you want to share with your students! You can also laminate an incomplete poster to share student information, too!
This activity will help your students get to know the different roles of the people in their school community. From the principals to the art teacher to classroom volunteers, your students will have a working knowledge of everyone! You can also customize these ‘snapshots’ with digital images of actual school employees or provide your students with blank copies to write and illustrate.
Whether you’re teaching incoming kindergartners or giving a rules refresher to your second graders, teaching rules is A MUST. Lots of options to choose form here!
Lastly is this activity for teaching kindness to your little ones! Simply provide each student with a printable heart and have them write or draw about one way to be a friend. ALL kiddos need this lesson!
If you’re interested in learning more about this resource, click the image below or go HERE.
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As I’m sure many of you know, I absolutely LOVE fun fonts. So much so that I decided to make my own last year to share with the teaching community. But, before I became a digital font designer, I used to LOVE to doodle and play around with handwriting ALL. THE. TIME. In fact, handwriting was one of my favorite subjects in elementary school. The day we started learning cursive might as well have been a holiday in second grade.
Sadly, handwriting is rarely considered a subject these days as penmanship simply cannot compete with content-driven instruction and digital writing pieces. Instead, students must passively pick up handwriting – often with incorrect formation, strokes, and writing utensil grip. Sigh. But there is SUCH good research for the many benefits of handwriting instruction that we shouldn’t just write it off (pun completely intended). If you need more convincing, read HERE or HERE or HERE!
So what can you do? How can you easily incorporate handwriting into your school day when every single stinkin’ second is already spent? My suggestion would be to combine it with something else you’re already teaching or incorporating into you school day. Like, for instance, sight words!
Sight words are often a focus during guided reading, literacy centers, and intervention. This can give the teacher an opportunity to explicitly teach the word, along with proper letter formation and pencil grip.
By teaching sight words and handwriting simultaneously, you’re really getting the most bang for your educational buck! The resource pictured in this post not only includes a set of Dolch sight words for each list, but also includes a handwriting sheet and twenty task cards to use for additional practice within a small group or literacy center.
You can easily incorporate handwriting and sight word practice into the curriculum and schedule you currently use. They also make excellent resources for review, intervention, morning work, or even additional practice for home. The possibilities are endless!
Each image below is clickable if you’d like to learn more!
The BUNDLE is a great deal, especially for use when differentiating instruction!
And, guess what?! I’m offering a FREE sample from each pack so you can check it out and even try it if you want! Just subscribe to The Inspired Apple using the form at the bottom of this post and it will be sent to you instantly!
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If you’ve visited before, you know I feel pretty strongly about incorporating crafts into the elementary classroom. They have SO many benefits! Here are some of my favorite math crafts that are perfect for using with kindergarten and first grade students. They’re great for back to school or any time of year you want to reinforce skills in early numeracy and have a little fun!
Click on any of the pictures below!
You can learn more HERE or by clicking the graphic below!
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PS. Want to try a math craft for FREE? Simply sign up for The Inspired Apple below and it will be sent to your inbox!