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After posting on my instagram story about using karaoke in my classroom, I had several messages asking for a post on the hows and whys of this activity.  So here it goes.

WHY KARAOKE?:

As you may know, the last three years before becoming a second grade teacher, I was the reading specialist for K-4.  The little ones are a piece of cake. I can make reading, learning letter sounds, sight words, decoding and becoming more fluent fun.  When I would get my third and fourth graders that were lacking fluency it was a bit harder. Yes, I could teach them fluency strategies, we could do reader's theaters and repeated reading, but I needed something else that would pique their interest.  My kids loved music and what is better for them to practice than song lyrics that they love to help them with reading fluency?  So karaoke it is.  

When I moved into the second grade classroom full of readers who could decode, but still weren't fluent I decided to continue using this practice.  

HOW TO SET IT UP: 

The first thing you need to do is set up a SafeShare.tv account. I love SafeShare because it removes adds and it keeps all my videos in one easy playlist. As you can see, I set up a playlist called karaoke. now I can simple click on it and all the video for students to choose from, are in one place. They can see all the choices easily and pick. 


To add a video to the playlists you create, you add the video, then go to the bottom and select the playlist you want the video added to. After I check karaoke I simply hit the green checkmark and it will appear in the playlist. 


If you want to see more step by step set up, check my instagram stories.  You can go to the Teacher Tools story link and I talk you through this a bit. 


WHERE DO YOU FIND VIDEOS?:

I find all of my videos on Youtube.  Here are some suggestions of what to search to find school appropriate videos that include the lyrics:   "Kidz Bops Read Along"   "Kidz Bops Songs with Lyrics" "Dreamworks Songs with Lyrics"   The searches alone, will give you a pretty good list of songs.  I will say the most popular songs among my class are Lost Boy, Fight Song and I'm Still Standing. 

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED?: 

The only other thing you really need is a wireless microphone.  These are both very similar to the one I purchased for my classroom. 





So there it is. Everything you need to set up karaoke in your classroom. It's a pretty simple way to make fluency fun for your sweet little friends.


This post contains affiliate links for the convenience of  the reader. Should you choose to make a purchase after clicking through a link, I will earn a commission.  This will not affect your purchase or purchase price. 

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Going back into the classroom meant finding a way to display and celebrate student birthdays. Years ago I put practically everything in frames, not only because love the homey look, but also because I love the ease of using a dry erase marker on my displays and it still looking brand new the next year. This is my birthday display. I love being able to quickly write up student birthdays and on this 16 x 20 frame. 

You can grab several versions of this chart by clicking the picture below.

In addition, I recently posted my birthday gift to my students on Insta and had lots of requests for the printable. My kiddos are seriously over the moon when they receive this gift. 

You can grab the tags HERE

The pens are from Amazon. 
Click the image to purchase. 

This post contains affiliate links for the convenience of  the reader. Should you choose to make a purchase after clicking through a link, I will earn a commission.  This will not affect your purchase or purchase price. 
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**In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links from Jane.com and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).**
I have always been a sucker for a great deal and I always find myself going back to Jane to find all sorts of adorable clothes, teacher tees, accessories and more.  Right now, Jane has so many deals that are great for back to school, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite finds for back to school.  
1. Solid Midi Dress: This dress is cozy, a great length and flows which makes it perfect for the classroom.  
2. This Boho Tunic Dress is so precious. I love everything about it. 
3. Kadence Floral Midi Dress:  I love this super soft dress. It's perfect for summer back to school.
4. Floral Boho Dress: This adorable maxi would be perfect with a cardigan for classroom. 
5. This Santorini Skirt: is perfection for the classroom.  You can wear a cute tee and still look good while hanging on the carpet with your kids. 
6. Scalloped Tunic: This scalloped shirt would be perfect with a pair of dress pants or capris. 
7. Summer Ruffle Sleeve Top: I love a pretty ruffle sleeve. In fact I have a hard time not buying them all. 
8. Nova Peplum: How adorable is this with the bell sleeve? It's one of my favorites on Jane right now.
9. Piper Baby Doll Tunic: I think this top is precious and would be perfect with leggings and booties. 
10. Crazy for You Top: This top is a bit more dressy but perfect for the classroom. 
11. Teaching is Heart Work: I love a good teacher tee and Jane never lets me down. I have this tee, as well as a million others for casual Fridays.
12. Teacher Tee: These adorable tees come in 17 colors. 
13. Trendy Teacher Tees: These tees come in four different designs and 12 colors.
1. Tassel Earrings: I'm pretty sure I have every pair of these tassel earrings because they are just so adorable on. I paid big bucks for some of these when they first made their way out and now they are here for only 7.99!
2. Everyday Long Necklaces: These are also so trendy and fun.  You can grab some beautiful necklaces for less than 10 dollars. 
3. Leather Earrings: I've never met a leather earring, I didn't love.  They make a statement while being lightweight. 
4. Flower Tassel Earrings: These are so unique and only 4.99! 
5. Triple Drop Fashion Earrings: I just got my first pair of these and they are so fun! 
6. Designer Inspired Tote: This teacher tote is stylish and so affordable. 
7. Take It Everywhere Backpack: I've been eying this backpack every time it's on Jane. I think this might be the time when I pull the trigger. Now to decide on a color. 

1. Back to School Tees: These are precious and can't decide which saying I love the most.
2.  Sugar Sweet Short Sets: It's a good thing I don't have girls, because I'm pretty sure they'd have all of these personalized tees for every occasion. 
3. Back to School Tees (Grades): You have to check these out. One design is cuter than the next.
4. 3 Piece Insulated Lunch Set: These are so stinky clever and adorable. They include the water bottle/koozie and go-gurt insulated pouch.  
5. Personalized Lunch Totes: You had me at monogramed.
6. Personalized Pencil Box. These fun boxes are great additions for back to school.
1. Personalized Organizer: This organizer comes in 12 different designs. 
2. Stamps: This set of two teacher stamps is an easy way to provide feedback to your students. 
3.  Pencil Cases: These come in 10 different styles but I absolutely love a good cactus item.  Throw these in your teacher bag with all the essentials. 
4. Pillow Covers: I am so ordering a few of these pillow covers for my classroom library.  Making cozy spots in the classroom is a goal of mine. 
5. Personalized Teacher Stickers: These are great to put on items you want to make sure come back to you when your teacher friends borrow. :) 
6. Felt Letter Board: Love these felt letter boards. They can be used in so many different ways in the classroom, from photos, to quotes and more. 
7. Back to School Banner: This banner would be adorable for a first day picture or meet the teacher night. 




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     As a school we've mastered lots of literacy.  Our teachers have been using guided reading for almost 20 years.  They do a nice job of teaching comprehension skills as well, but we found we fell short in the area of phonics.   All of our teachers were teaching phonics in whatever way they chose. Some used F and P phonics and some used word families and really focused on phonics during spelling. As the reading specialist I notice that about 80-85 percent of our kiddos have reading strategies and pick up the phonics through the spelling and do just fine.  There is the other percentage of students who struggle and really lack the phonics they need to decode unknown words where other strategies don't work.  You can't chunk up a word when you don't know what the chunks say.  Because we saw this deficiency amongst the grades, we knew that ramping up our tier one phonics instruction was the way to go.

   Several of our teachers attended Orton-Gillingham training over the past year.  If you don't know what Orton is, it's a multi-sensory approach to teaching reading, particularly phonics.  We knew that if all of our children were taught with the Orton-Gillingham method, there would be more fidelity of instruction, especially for those who receive small group intervention.  These kids would be able to go into intervention rooms and be familiar with the process. Orton used to be thought of as just a one-on-one or small group intervention, but IMSE, a training facility for Orton, has really focused their training for whole class instruction.  In an effort to make this process as painless as possible teachers were trained and given all of the materials needed to use Orton in their classrooms.  My friend and I created phonics curriculum map, hearing sounds in words test, dictated sentences and other materials for each grade level.  This year is our first year with grades K-3 using these methods and we are already seeing such wonderful results with children's ability to decode and encode. 

  So what does phonics at our school look like? A kindergarten teacher let me come crash her phonics party so you could take a peek. 
  One of the main parts to Orton is the three part drill. These repetitive drills help students to review all previously learned phonics instruction. Just as the name suggests, there are three parts to this phonics review.  Part one is the Visual Drill.   Students are shown a grapheme and they are suppose to make the sound. 



  The next part of the drill is the Auditory Drill. Students are given a previously learned sound and they are to make the sound, as well as write the letter/letters.  This often done is sand, part of the multi-sensory piece, but can be written on white boards, or done in some other medium.   
  The final part of the three part drill is the blending drill.  Students look at the graphemes, previously practiced and blend them together to decode a word.
In my small groups I use plates, as they are cheap, easy and I can pass them out quickly.  See below.

    The final part of the drill is the blending drill. It's easiest to sort the cards on the blending board, as the teacher about did during the visual drill so the cards are ready to go and blend.  Blending is always a struggle for some kids so regular practice with this is an exceptionally important activity. 

In addition to these activities that review previously learned phonics, there are several activities that can be done to introduce new sounds, as well just any fun activities you can think of to reinforce a grapheme/phoneme combo.  As students progress through the grades, they also learn to about syllable types, how to syllable divide, etc.  These are all skills that help kids decode as text gets harder.  

We also use a multi-sensory approaches for teaching sight words.  These are called red words. 
Students get out red word books and red crayons
The teacher presents the first red word on the board. Say the word. Say each letter. 
Then students copy the word into their book with a bumpy screen underneath and they will show the teacher their word.
Students and teachers stand up, place right hand on the left shoulder. (If left handed, you’d place your left hand on your right shoulder).
Then the teacher models how to arm tap a red word. 
The student and teachers tap the word three times.
 Students and teachers use their pointer finger to trace over each letter of the bumpy word they wrote. Say each letter out loud while tracing. Underline and name word. Repeat 3 times!
Then the student and teacher place the screen over the page. Use pointer finger to trace over each letter of the word. Say each letter out loud while tracing. Underline and name word. Repeat 3 times!
Finally students will turn their page over and write the word without the screen one time. Once the teacher checks they can write it three more times. They then write a sentence and underline the word in red. 

   If you would like to see some other phonics activities we do to reinforce sounds and hearing sounds in words, you can read this post


I also promised a little phonics freebie. Because students need lots of practice with phonics, we often created games for them to play and practice.  Our second graders have been introduced to most long vowel sounds, so I've created a game similar to uno to help them practice these words.   If you would like to, you can grab the game below.  


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