Annual Review Toolkit

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The Annual Review Toolkit contains 27 printable tools in a 30 page pdf to create a binder with everything you need to stay on top of regular reviews and on target with goals that align with your values. It includes Productivity Tools for a System & Routine, Goal Tools for Review, Brand & Purpose Tools for Focus. It gathers many of my best resources in one place together with the steps for an annual review.

An Annual Review Binder includes:

See the full contents of what is included. Available free for a limited time, grab yours now before this offer goes away!

DOWNLOAD The Annual Review Toolkit pdf

Posted in goals, productivity

Review of Books Read in 2017

2017Books

I recently read “Mind Hacking” by Sir John Hargrave. I enjoyed this look at changing the mind from the viewpoint of a computer programmer with proven “geek” cred. Throughout the book there are mind experiments that virtually gamify mental change. In the spirit of open source and collaboration, the author provides the book free online as well as for purchase. There are links to both at www.gitbook.com/book/jhargrave/mind-hacking/details, plus a free app.

The hacking process includes:

Analyzing – We can change our mental loops. This section of the book is about becoming more aware of where the attention is, eliminating distractions, and retraining attention with meditation.

Imagining – This section talks about thought experiments and exploring the mind to expand what is possible. “Imagination is hard mental work” but everything that is created is imagined first.

Reprogramming – The author talks about the power of writing things down (“Until it’s on paper, it’s vapor”), and how mental simulations (aka vizualizations) can help athletes improve performance. He describes agile development, where a minimum viable product is released and then improved upon. He suggests using LASER subgoals that are: Limited, Achievable, Specific, Evaluated, and Repeatable for improved focus.

Many of the books that I read in the past year were Screen & Page Reads. I wrote one post referring to “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind,” by Vishen Lakhiani: End Goals Lead to a Meaningful Journey.

My favorite fiction book this year was by far “Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore. Set in the days of the discovery of electricity, and based on fact, this is the story of the competition between Westinghouse and Edison to be the dominant force. I found it fascinating!

 

Posted in Books

Letters With More Than One Sound

When the same letters make more than one sound, you really know that English is Weird.

CONSONANTS

The letters C and G can make hard or soft sounds.

C is hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft C will do.

HardSoftC2

G is often hard before A, O & U. With the others, a soft G will often do.

HardSoftG

(But this is not always true, which you know if you get a gift given to you!)

When the K sound is heard at the beginning of a word:

K takes i & e, C takes the other three.

K&C2

When the K sound is heard at the end of a word:

A CK is often needed after a vowel that is short. The K needs help to make it work.

KorCK

Artwork copyrighted by Mark A. Hicks, illustrator, www.MARKiX.net. Used with permission.

With a consonant between it is a new task, it takes just a k so remember to ask. Drink milk, dunk a basket, or honk at an elk: the consonant means there is only a k.

Don’t panic, but there’s one more thing to see. Some two syllable words with a short I only need c. (like a picnic in the attic, it’s a little like magic.)

The rest of the time, a k is just fine. For words with bossy r, and vowel teams that are long or diphthongs, a k on it’s own will park. (The beak of a hawk, a look at a book, a weak croak from a throat, a stork with a fork, a dog that will bark.)

A set of anchor charts, and worksheets and word sorts for the /k/ sound at the beginning and end of words is available at TeachersPayTeachers. Learn more about spelling the K sound from thisreadingmama, and WATCH ck at Kids vs Phonics.

Note that many online games require flash and may not work well on mobile devices. Downloading the Puffin browser can be helpful.

PLAY ONLINE Picture Palace from literactive.

The letter S can also make more than one sound. S can say snake, probably everyone knows. It can also say /z/ when a nose smells a rose.

VOWELS

We have met OO/OO, one of the diphthongs. Which might be short, or could be long. More vowels that can vary are OW, EA, IE. The letter Y can be Tricky indeed with the sounds it can make, more than three! (it can say a short i like in gym.)

2Sounds

Y at the end of a one syllable word, often says a long “I” as in fly. Practice Tricky Y with a story and word sort at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

FlyI

R controlled vowels may be trickiest of all…but I forgot to mention that A can say short O like in watch or in ball. The Sounds of A Worksheet/Word Sort is available at TeachersPayTeachers.

AlikeO

AR can sound like ER, as in pillar or dollar. So can OR, when you start your motor. When there is an E before AR all bets are off. It might be ER when you learn, or maybe a long e that you hear. It can even be a polar bear on a chair.

Last, but not least of all, is the amazing schwa. Any vowel can make this lazy “uh” sound, so watch out for schwas all around!

SchwaCard

These guidelines may help you to figure out the many sounds you will discover all about.

Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games,  24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!

 

Posted in phonics

10 Steps to Reading

Explore 10 ways you can develop reading skills. Download the 10 Steps to Reading Handout (pdf) with these tips which include my favorite free online resources. Credits for illustrations: quite a few are from artist Mark A Hicks who contributed to Discovery Education Clipart. Pattern charts from boostforreaders. Sources for others at Pinterest.Reading101

10 Steps to Reading

1. Learn letters & sounds, and practice hearing and manipulating sounds – Phonemic awareness

2. Create a phonics kitBegin with short vowels and CVC words (Consonant-Vowel-Consonant), continue with consonant blends.

3. Learn phonics patterns in sequence as the student is ready. The sequence in different programs can vary, but generally: Silent e, Bossy r, Vowel Teams, Diphthongs, and Digraphs.

4. Practice patterns with picture and word sorts

5. Play games that encourage literacy. Hands on games include traditional games like Boggle and Bananagrams, as well as many free printable games that can be found through the phonics kit post. There are also many free online games at SymbalooUse the Puffin browser for Flash games on mobile devices.

6. Read books to practice the patterns. The books from Progressive Phonics are free, fun, and practice the phonics patterns. They can be printed or read online. 

7. Learn sight wordsThese high frequency words often are not decodable with phonics guidelines.

8. Encourage reading 20 minutes a day. Children who do this from Kindergarten through 6th grade score 90% better than their peers on tests. Check out more Benefits of reading and ideas for incentives.

9. Use your library. Attend storytimes, participate in summer reading programs, check out books & online resources. Choose fun books at the right level.

10. Read “Phonics from A to Z” by Wiley Blevins (online at issuu)

Learn more at Reading Basics from ReadingRockets.org. They have a Get Ready to Read screening tool too.

Posted in phonics

Learning the Alphabet

This is one section of a Phonics Kit that you can create. See the full post for more resources! The main focus of this section is on the consonants.

One page Alphabet to color from colorthealphabet.com

Letters to Color including pictures that start with the letter from sheknows

WATCH Vowels & Consonants from Nessy (1:33), What do the letters say? (3:34), All letters from LogicofEnglish (1:42), Alphabet from Kids vs Phonics (29:02)

Alphabet chart from alphabetimals

Animal alphabet on one page and flashcards (7 pages, 4/page) from kindergartenmom (the flashcards can also be used for a syllable sort)

Alphabet Worksheet letter tracing

B & D reversals from myteachingstation.com, practice with Online Fishing Bowl Game from literactive

Chart of voiced or unvoiced letter sounds from Handy Handouts

PLAY Printables: Alphabet Chutes and Ladders: lowercase & uppercase from Super Simple, Animal Alphabet from filefolderfun.com, Mailbox ABC from Totschooling (6 pages, color), Fishing for Letters from Kindergarten Crayons (7 pages, color), Sammy the Starfish from Fuelthebrain.

Please note that Flash may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

PRACTICE with Online Flash Alphabet from earlylearningactivities.

PLAY Online Games: Alphabet Games at Education.com, Fisher-Price Alphabet Zoo,  Alphabet antics at learnenglishkids, Alphabet games at LearningGamesForKids, ABC Match at Readwritethink. Free on pc: Alphabet games at Turtle Diary & at abcya.

consonants

ABCgamesActive, Board, and Card games at the ABCs of Games For Reading.

For even more resources, check out my reading Pinterest board.

Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games,  24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!

Posted in phonics

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Hearing and manipulating the sounds in language are important skills for learning to read. Phonemic awareness and letter knowledge have been identified in several research studies as the two key indicators of how well children will master beginning reading skills during the first two years in school. (The Threads of Reading by Karen Tankersly at ascd.org)

Understanding Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Both are about the ability to hear & manipulate the sounds in language…

  • Phonological Awareness – in words & syllables
  • Phonemic Awareness – at the phoneme (individual sounds within words) level

A helpful explanation of Phonological Awareness is at Dyslexia Help.

Phonological Interventions for Struggling Readers from Learning at the Primary Pond has this illustration of the progression of skills, and lots of ideas for activities for developing them.

Phonological Awareness at LearningCommotion has more ideas and a helpful graphic.

Printable Charts:

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness Skills from Clever Classroom

Developmental Sequence from Make, Take, Teach

 

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness from The DailyPlanit at the Teachers Pay Teachers Super Tutor store (free)

ACTIVITIES

The following activities are great resources to add to a Phonics Kit.

Rhyming

crayonboxsort

Found these crayon boxes at Walmart!

Syllable Counting: clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop.

Identify initial sounds

Phoneme blending

  • Word Slider Cards from deceptivelyeducational. (put these in an envelope w/end cut off or a pencil box & slide out one sound at a time)

Phoneme segmenting

PLAY Online games: at Readingresource.netWords that Rhyme at Roy the Zebra, Rhyming and initial sounds at literactive,  initial sounds at funfonix (click on Game, then Collect the Stars). Beginning sounds, Nine Squares,  middle soundsfinal sounds and garden leaves at literactive.

Note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games,  24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!

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Posted in phonics

Syllables

This is one section of a Phonics Kit that you can create. Many of the resources are provided by the websites below for personal or classroom use. See the full post for more resources!
Syllable2

Syllables are simple, one for every vowel sound, so there are lots of syllables around. You can clap or tap, or feel your mouth drop! Hearing syllables is a part of phonemic awareness that can be practiced with a syllable sort mat and animal flashcards.

Open and Closed Syllables

WATCH:

Closedsign&doorWhen a vowel is followed by at least one consonant, it is closed in. It often makes a short sound, as in pin. (it stops short)

Opensign&doorA vowel is open with no consonant behind. Open syllables are often long, you will find. (it can go long)

Note that Silent e and Vowel Teams are more powerful. For example, the words cake and  team both have the long sound. WATCH this video from Jessie Ketchum. Bossy R & Diphthongs also follow their own guidelines, so car is not short, but makes a new sound, and so does bound.

WATCH Syllables (5:07) from Scratch Garden, Open/closed (1:38) Open/closed (6:29)

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

PLAY Online Games: word jumbler game at bbc.co.uk. syllable games at learninggamesforkids.com. syllable factory game at skillswise

Examples of words with open and closed syllables at sightwordgames.

Syllable Division

SyllableDivision

WATCH: Syllable division from Nessy

Open & Closed Vowels in Multi-syllable Words

After learning about how to divide syllables, notice that two syllable words with one middle consonant can split at the end of the first vowel. This leaves the first syllable open, which often has the long vowel sound. Examples: pa|per, be|gin, ti|ger, ro|bot, mu|sic. Note that there are exceptions: about 40% of the time the word splits after the middle consonant, making the first syllable closed and short. Examples: hab|it, ped|al, vis|it, rob|in.

Syllable Types

Bookmarks and posters from ThisReadingMama

Poster from MakeTakeTeach:

7 syllables blog pic

Poster from maketaketeach

We’ve learned about: Silent e, Bossy R, Vowel Teams, Diphthongs, and Open & Closed Syllables. Learning the different syllable types helps makes sense of the different vowel sounds in the English language. The final syllable type to learn about is Consonant -le.

Consonant -le is an unaccented final syllable that contains a consonant and -le. The e at the end is silent, and creates a new sound: “ul”

ConsonantLE

WATCH Kids vs Phonics le (1:58), Consonant -le plus review of all syllable types (2:46)

Please note that many online games require Flash and may not work well on some tablets and smartphones. It can be helpful to download the Puffin browser.

PLAY Printable Consonant -le Go Fish from Hattie Knox

At Teachers Pay Teachers: Turtle Trouble Game & Nice Dice practice for the Consonant -le pattern.

Teach reading skills using hands-on, fun activities: memorable introductions to patterns with fun rhymes, 16 games,  24 worksheets, 11 word sorts and more. Learn more about the Phonics Toolkit and get your copy today!

For even more resources, check out my reading Pinterest board.

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Posted in phonics
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