Thursday, March 26, 2015

B or D? That is the question!

Where have we been???? That's a good now you've probably moved on and forgotten about us over here at TwoCanDoIt. (And well, we can't blame you!) 

Teaching lowercase "b" and "d" this year has been a challenge to say the least...Once I think they got it, they are back to using the guessing strategy! Back in the day I taught these two letters with my handy old "bed" chart, but later realized this technique was not appropriate for many struggling readers. I don't have them use the "give yourself two thumbs up trick" because that sometimes can get tricky if they are writing and have a pencil in one hand!

Because kids tend not to confuse the uppercase versions of the letters "B" and "D," using them to learn the lowercase "b" and "d" can be helpful. Here's how! When a child is unsure about whether the letter they are looking at is a "b" or a "d" have them write an uppercase "B". If you erase the top bubble off, you are left with a lowercase "b".

I keep a poster in my room as a visual if they need a shown below.

When kids are reading and get stuck trying to determine which is which, I give them a little scrap of lamination that I have left over to place on top of the word. If they can draw a bubble on top of the letter, and it makes an uppercase "B"...Then they know they are dealing with a lowercase "b".

Over spring break I stumbled upon a new trick that I found on, none other than Pinterest! Common Core Connection has taken Matchbox bulldozers to show kids how you can only bulldoze the letter "b". If you try to bulldoze the letter "d" it won't stay in a straight line. So naturally, I went to the dollar store and snagged a few bulldozers to keep in my classroom! I made a quick poster (nothing fancy) that you can download here!

Keeping my fingers crossed that this does the trick! What ways do you have to teach these letter reversals?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Finally…A New Font

It's been a while since we've added a new font in the mix…but here you are blogger friends!

You can head over to 2ttf to snag a free download of "Father Griffin".

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tricky Words

I am pretty excited to report that my first grade reading groups are making tremendous progress this year. We've spent the past month learning how to say the sounds in words and being able to put those sounds back together! A few days ago they started to realize that some words are trying to "trick" us! We stumbled across the word "away" and it didn't sound right! 

I created two posters (below) in which we've been adding, "Words We Can Sound Out" and "Words We Know by Sight". (Please excuse the font selection on these posters, as I was in a hurry and don't have much to select from on my computer at school!) I spent some time talking to them about how those "tricky" words are going to be the focus of the rest of first grade and that I'd teach them tricks to figure out those words. Every time we come across a new word, they get pretty excited to write it on a Post-It...

Today I wanted to see how they did when we talked about these tricky words a little bit further. I read aloud to them, "The Two Greedy Bears" by Mirra Ginsburg...Which happens to be one of my favorites! I told them there was a "fancy" word in the story that we were going to figure out the meaning. (The word was 'sly').

If you haven't read this story before, two bears argue over how to divide their food into equal parts. A fox comes along and purposely divides the food so that one piece is bigger than the other. In order to make the pieces equal, she takes an unequal bite...until two small tiny pieces are left.

The kids realize that the fox was trying to trick the two bears...she was being sly!

I told my kiddos that many times words we come across are sly. We can't always say each sound in a word...someone decided to make reading tricky!

We took a Post-It off of one of our charts and tried to determine if each letter was saying their sound. If they did say their correct sounds (like in frog /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/) then it is NOT a sly word. If they didn't say their correct sounds like in my, then the word is sly and we determined the letter or letters that were making it tricky.

Next week we will be generating a list of words that contain the sound /oe/ as in home. My goal for them next week is to see that there are many different ways to represent that sound. (If you'd like to see more on how I teach this, head on over to!) I will be posting our progress over the next few months!

The first quarter is almost complete and I couldn't be more proud of my first grade groups!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Post About 40 Days Late

Well, because of this…

I've decided that it was the perfect time to write a blog post! (Plus it's been a ba-zillion years!) And it doesn't hurt that I'm binge watching Season 3 of this…

A lot has happened since the last post. I currently took a job teaching in a new district. It's been the best decision I've ever made, but it took me a while to get all of my school junk into a small space. Well, it's more like a closet. And no, I don't have a window…but I do have an exposed brick wall, which I've always wanted in my home. So I guess I will settle for having it in my classroom!

This is what I started with:

This is what I've done so far…

Here in a few days I will show you the reading strategies and posters that are hanging in my room. I promise. 

Stay warm, friends!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Still Alive!

It's been a few months since I've posted…Nothing but the typical "school has been keeping me busy" excuse! And again, I'm sorry. Now that school is out, I plan on posting some of the things I've created over the past few months and hopefully you will forgive me!

About a month ago, I went to a baby shower for one of my bestest friends (who happens to also be a teacher). In lieu of baby cards, we were asked to help jump-start Baby P's Library with a book. Well, I wasn't ok with just "a book". I decided that I needed to make a "Complete Reading Kit"…making sure that I had a book for each big idea in reading (phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension). 

I wrapped each book with a ribbon and used a clip to hold the little card for each book…with a few inside jokes that will make no sense to you! 

Phonemic Awareness

Alphabetic Principle




And the finished product...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Free Fonts!

Check out our free fonts that have been added to! Katie will be updating them frequently, so be sure to keep checking it out! 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hump-Day Freebies!

A few days ago I was preparing for a presentation with all of my pocket chart word sorts spread all over the place...In the midst of sorting through baggies and baggies of words, I wondered why I never have created a "Word Wall" around the sounds that I'm teaching my kiddos? Why do I display words by their beginning letter? (It's definitely not how I teach…)

And...Because I've been stuck in my apartment because of this…

I created a 'lil freebie. No more "Word Walls" for this girl. Say hello to "Sound Stations".  In this download, you'll have the 16 vowel headers that look something like this:

…And over 300 word cards that look something like this:

Just head on over to Katie's TpT Store to download "Sound Station: Headers and Word Cards" for FREE! 

I also have been looking for just the right vocabulary tools for my 3rd Graders…after looking and looking and finding nothing, I decided to create a special dictionary of my own! I purchased one-inch binders for each student and printed all of the pages in this download. The first few pages are "tools" that can help them (Synonyms, Antonyms, Tier Words, Parts of Speech). I'm working with the lowest 3rd Graders in my building and they NEED as many visuals as they can get...


I wish I had a better pic of a student binder, but again, I'm stuck in my apartment. This is a rough sketch of what a sample page might look like. Please excuse my attempt to draw a fox! 

When it's completed, it would be filed behind the "P" tab! 

I hope you find this as helpful as I have…be sure to head on over to my TpT Store to download it for free.

Stay warm, friends!