Thursday, May 23, 2019

Heggerty Phonemic Awareness

If you haven't heard of Heggerty Phonemic Awarness, you really are missing out on some great phonemic awareness skills for kindergarten students and up. As a substitute teacher, I often had the oppurtunity to teach Heggerty. When I first started, I wasn't really sure if I could do it. But it is really easy, and well laid out for teachers to understand. The most confusing part are the hand gestures. Depending on the teacher, students might use different motions during Heggerty. I usually will quickly ask students, "How do you all chop up word?" Some use whole arm, some chop right into their palms, so it's good to ask to make it easier on the students on consistency.

I found a Facebook group for Heggerty Phonemic Awareness. It is great for support as a teacher. Here is an excellent video on the page to give you an idea. It uses movement and is a great way to get those kiddos to hear the sounds in words.

I hope you find the Facebook page useful! I'm sure if you check YouTube, there are also many great instructional videos to learn from.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Battle of the Books

Since my return to the states, I've learned a lot about the educational system. The Battle of the Books is one of those things that I had never heard of before. The idea is to encourage students to read novels that are picked by a committee to cover different genres and levels of reading ability. They are geared towards upper elementary students, middle and high school students.

Any school participating can decide how they will set up their own Battle of the Books. In one school, I saw March Madness type tournament charts on the walls, with the books at each end of the chart. The school included 4th - 6th graders. Some schools only do 6th grade as a mandatory activity that all have to participate in, and then some schools do it as a voluntary activity in addition to the curriculum. The nice thing about this is that the school library will carry all the titles in several copies, as well as the local libraries, to support many students reading the same titles.

If you google the term Battle of the Books, you're bound to find all sorts of resources. I decided I would read this year's books, since I feel a bit out of touch with these current selection of novels for young readers.

So far I have read Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes, Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by Nora Raleigh Baskin. In order of favorite so far, 1. Nine, Ten, 2. Save Me a Seat, 3. Garvey's Choice

Nine,Ten was a tear jerk-er for me. Just like so many Americans, the events of September 11, 2001, have left huge inconsolable feelings in my heart. I haven't been able to actually watch any of the movies/TV shows or read books based of the real and tragic events in our history. I was anxious reading it, and I had to stop for a few days because I knew what was to come in the end. I'm so glad I did read it. The story is full of great points of views, and I think this is a must read for any young student. It's really about acceptance and compassion for the people in our communities, those we know and don't know, which are great life skills to have. 

I haven't chosen the next book from this school year's list. Anyone else reading these books? Any top picks to read next?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Hey all! Anyone had to complete a dyslexia training for elementary education? This training has been super helpful defining the character traits a dyslexic student may show in the classroom when reading and writing.

Did you know these myths about dyslexia?

1) Dyslexia can be tested through an intelligence test. (Not possible!)
2) Dyslexic students can't read. (Yes they can!)
3) Dyslexic students write backwards. (This can happen, but in a few cases only. Letters can be written in revers though. So this one can be a bit tricky! I think it means students don't write complete sentences and essays backwards.)
4) Students are dyslexic because of bad teaching. (Nope! Dyslexia is hereditary, not the fault of the public education system. Although, if we don't catch it early on, then those students will struggle for sure.)
5) People out grow dyslexia. (Not true!)

There is a great webpage, Classroom Indicators of Dyslexia, to check out if your not sure what characteristics to look for in your own students' learning.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Guess who's back!

Oh boy, has time flown by! So much has happened and I feel I have lots to share. To make a long story short, we moved back to the US. (If anyone wants to know about my acclimation to the US, just let me know!) I've been subbing at two local school districts and I'm currently working on my reading endorsement. Exciting times!

When we moved back, it took me some time to figure out my own plan. Getting the kids situated just seemed more important, if you know what I mean. I have enjoyed my course work, and learning all sorts of new information to put towards teaching reading in the classroom. It's giving me some new ideas and excitement. I have been tutoring students, actually had to complete a practicum (ha, ha) for 25 hours in a 4th grade classroom, and I'm currently working on a dyslexia training (cool).

I've tried to see if there are any linky parties going on to jump into, but I see that Farley isn't doing the monthly linky anymore. Any suggestions would be great, even though I'm not currently in the classroom. I'm excited to join in the fun!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Five for Friday

Hey folks! It's the end of another week and time to share. I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday.


Bat Craft

We finished off the month of October with this cute bat sewing craft. I subscribe to the Crafty Crow and this was one of her super cute crafts posted in October. The students loved making them and they turned out super cute. 


Plant Posters

My class has been working on reading text to find key words for their plant posters, typing up their notes and then making a poster. The plants they researched were all related to the Finnish landscape. I was so impressed with their hard work and dedication to this project. I couldn't have imagined trying this last year in first grade with them!


Brain Breaks
Last week during our teacher meeting, we had a speaker from the organization Finnish Schools on the Move. The idea is to add more exercise throughout the school day. My team's goal was to try to do one brain break movement in each lesson. This week I was able to try it twice only, because I just can't remember EVERYTHING! You know the feeling, right? What did we do? We made a large circle and held hands. I was the leader and gave the directions, and students repeated what I said and then did the action. For example: jump left, right, forward, backward. Then I made if more difficult by telling them to repeat my words but do the opposite action. It was fun and only took a few minutes to add some more movement into the school lesson. 



Here in Finland swimming lessons are arranged for all elementary students and are counted towards PE lessons. The city pays for the lessons and buses for transport to the swimming hall. This week we went twice, last week once, and next week 2 more times for a total of 5 lessons. It's kind of fun to get out and do something different from our everyday routines. 


Knitting for myself

This week I started knitting myself wool socks. I saw this yarn at the store and I'm glad I picked it up, because the colors are lovely!

I'm off to enjoy my weekend. I hope you all have a great weekend too! Thanks for stopping by!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November Currently

I seem to have taken a leave of absence from my blog. I am going to do my darnedest to keep it going for this new year. Last year hit me hard, lots of problems at the work place that dragged me down. Now if I could just get a little peep in my step, I'll be posting regularly.

Thanks to Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade, I'm linking up this month. Please make sure to read the rules carefully when you link up.

I'm happy to tell my hubby does most of the cooking around here. Tonight I was in charge of the roast chicken, and I needed him to give me a few pointers. I know it's a basic meal, I just haven't done one in  a really long time. So I have gotten us a few recipe books recently from the library, and he has been having our daughter pick out some meals for him to make. Brilliant!

Boy, did Halloween just show up, slap me in the face, and then leave as quickly as it came! I'm glad it's over for another year. It seems to be the biggest celebration around for the kids, in my opinion. 

I need some alone time. I feel the week goes by in a flash, and the weekend is filled to the brim with responsibilities. Yes, I do realize I am an adult with a family and this is my life. But a few hours to just myself without anyone needing my help are needed. 

I think I'll stop there, and finish up with a positive note. I'm looking forward to next weekend to celebrate a close friends birthday. Nothing like hanging out with good company. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Made it Monday

I'm proud to tell I have kept my blog going for one year! 56 post in my first year is a good accomplishment. That's more than one a week.

Today I'm linking up with Made it Monday with Tara. Thanks for stopping's what I got:

FIRST  At home we have been practicing multiplication last week. I made a number line on the wall for my daughter, then I made these ice cream groups and quickly wrote up the multiplication facts in Word. Basically I wanted her to get a better idea of counting by three, instead of being just told to memorize the facts. Memorizing has not been a successful strategy for her at all. We will be working on 4's this week, and review the 3's as well.

Everyday she had to randomly pick a multiplication card out of a shoe box, and then figure out where it goes on the line. She also had to find the correct ice cream group picture that went with it. Instead of her counting the amount in the picture, I had her use the number line. I felt that she didn't understand that 3's time tables meant you count by three. When she would easily give up and say I don't know, I would give her some pointers. (My daughter has low self esteem when it comes to math, so she easily gives up. That's a whole other blog post!)

Going on, for the card 8 x 3, I asked her what fact did she know that was closest to it. She said 10 x 3=30. So then I told her she needed to count back. A few times of giving her these pointers, and she started to think on her own. Then when she was done, I told her to just tell me the answers (3, 6, 9, etc). She had to practice 3 times each day.

Here is the link if these would be helpful to you Multiplication 3s.

SECOND On the not so teacher professional side, I crocheted slippers for my self last week. They turned out super cute!! Also, they were really easy to make! If I had two hours of alone time during the day, I could easily make them in that time. But it's summer and I have two lovely girls that keep me busy, so I don't find that alone time. I'm sure some of you know what I mean!

I found the pattern at DROPS Design. If you haven't ever heard of it, there are free patterns for tons of projects, as well as translated into many different languages. You just pick your country of choice, and off you go to find yourself a new pattern. 

Have a happy week!