Thursday, July 9, 2015

My New Classmates Scoot FREEBIE

Grab this FREEBIE!

Years ago a parent told me that her son was so happy to have some new friends in first grade, but...
he couldn't remember their names.

Ever since then, I have always incorporated a name activity on the first day of school. 

Now, it is available as a FREEBIE and has been downloaded over 21,000 times.

MY NEW CLASSMATES SCOOT Game has printables for many different kinds of classroom settings. Students "SCOOT" around the room to each desk or table and either copy the friend's name themselves for older students, or write their own name at each spot for younger students. 

This way they go home with a class list of names to talk about with their families. 

The second activity is an Interview with 4 friends.
Brainstorm together some great questions to ask a new friend. A guideline or anchor chart is provided.

Students have some time to walk around and talk to classmates. They have a sheet to write or invite a new friend to write their name and something they like.

This is such a wonderful 1st Day or 1st Week activity!

Please grab the freebie and come on back to tell us how you used it! Let us know what modifications you may have made and how it worked for your new class!

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Is COMPREHENSION your biggest



I would like to share with you some strategies that have worked for me. 
I would also love to hear what has worked for you too!
You can find products at Silly Sam Productions to go with each strategy if you are interested. The following are examples and descriptions of programs and strategies to encourage reading and COMPREHENSION.

COMPREHENSION is the toughest reading concept to teach to our youngest readers. This has been my challenge and focus for years. Here is something that has brought great success for my young readers! I am excited about this series that I am currently working on. This will be a set of Beginner, Advanced and Challenge Book Shares all available in seasonal sets. That way, if you teach Main Idea in the Fall, you can choose that set. All will be bundled at the end! Hope you are excited too!


Use these COMPREHENSION BOOK SHARES for engaging 
*Reader's Workshop Sessions
*Small or Whole Group Lessons
*Partner Reading
*Reading Incentive Programs

*Use Book Shares as a weekly Homework (the night before Library Books are due, are a reminder to put the Library Book in the backpack!:)  )

*Put Seasonal Book Shares in the CAUGHT YOU READING pack. (Keep reading to find description of Caught You Reading Incentive Program)

*Use Book Shares as a group lesson.
*Use Book Shares as a Literacy Center.

Each Book Share tackles a specific COMPREHENSION SKILL and is offered in 
Basic: Yellow Name Box
Mid-Level: Green Name Box
Advanced: Blue Name Box

Use the levels to differentiate or to have the class advance through each level. Lots of options and choices.


These RETELL RINGS have been a huge success also! Kiddos LOVE them, especially for Partner Reading. They would read a book together, however they choose, taking turns each page, etc., then flip through the rings to retell the story. 

This set is Just Retell Rings: with the Beginner and Advanced retell prompts. Other sets include the Retell Rings and the Book Share templates for Beginner and Advanced sets.

More to come in this series, including a Challenge set and each set of Book Shares with Seasonal Themes and Monthly-Holiday Themed as well.

Use these RETELL RINGS for engaging 
*Reader's Workshop Sessions
*Small or Whole Group Lessons
*Partner Reading




The main idea of this exciting and motivating program is to get students to...

  1. NOTICE readers and reading at home.
  2. NOTICE their own reading.
  3. MOTIVATE them to engage in reading.
  4. MOTIVATE them to discover and acknowledge the many purposes of reading.
  5. REWARD them for their reading efforts and successes.
  6. HELP them to discover the JOY OF READING!
The set includes templates and directions to put together a CAUGHT YOU READING! packet for students to bring home and back to school.

Suggestions include using a folder, gallon-sized plastic bag and leveled classroom readers.

Other suggestions included if these materials are not available.

Students fill out a ticket for each time they "CATCH" someone reading at home, and each time they are "CAUGHT" reading extra time or days other than their homework minutes.

There are reward incentives to be earned for each set of 20 tickets completed.

Young Readers enjoy the challenges and try to beat the previous records!
For teachers and parents that know how vital voracious reading is to success and improvement, anything that will help motivate them is a WIN!

Parents LOVE this program because it takes the pressure off them, to suggest and encourage their student to read. 

Choose and create your own incentives or use some of the suggestions provided.

  • Buddy Lunches
  • Stuffed Animal Reading Buddies
  • Visiting the Principal
Whatever works for your students.

The competitive spirit has been monumentally successful for me. My little record breakers have been the most motivated of all.

So many students and parents have told me that during the course of the incentive program, students have actually discovered their favorite genres, authors or just a pure love of reading!!!

What more can we ask for?

Comment below and share some ideas and tricks!
Links too! Let'share!