Monday, July 20, 2015

Teaching PHONICS and READING Comprehension

As I look forward to this coming school year, I know that working on phonics skills and reading comprehension will be key components to our reading success.

Since my youngest little Moffatt Girl is entering 1st Grade, I wanted to create some hands-on, engaging and FUN resources for word work, reading comprehension and fluency!  I have created two new packets that will target phonics skills, help build confidence, and work on fluency throughout the year.

Since I started putting "Reading Comprehension Checks" in my 1st Grade monthly packets, I had many requests for entire packets of Reading Comprehension Checks! I finally got busy and made our first Reading Comprehension Checks for September and I am SO glad I did!  I know that these are going to benefit us tremendously!  These monthly Reading Comprehension Checks with help build FLUENCY and COMPREHENSION!

This NO PREP Reading Comprehension packet includes 20 simple stories to help build fluency, comprehension and confidence. Each story provides early readers with a genuine opportunity to practice reading short stories they can decode with early phonics skills and sight word recognition. As the months progress, the Comprehension Checks with slightly increase in difficulty. 

There are 3 Accountability Stars at the top of the page. Students can color the star each time they read the story. This ensures that they are reading the story at least 3 times to encourage fluency.

The monthly packets will also include a Reading Comprehension Fluency Tracker. After reading the story and answering the 5 comprehension questions, students can color a star.

The comprehension questions with help with the following skills:
*Making Inferences 
*On the surface questions
*Under the surface questions
*Text Evidence
*Building Vocabulary
*Making Connections
*Monitoring Understanding 
and MORE!

Although we won't be starting these packets until September, I already spiral bound them so they are ready to go!I am slightly obsessed with my new coil binding machine!  This was a big investment for us, but I knew that it would be something that I would use for years to come!  

It was costing me about $4 to have my packets spiral bound at Staples.  This was too much, especially with two Moffatt Girls! This led me on the search for the best and most reasonably priced coil binding matchine.  After a lot of research, I finally took the plunge and purchased this one from   I like the Alilies AlphaCoilE Electric Coiling Binding System because it is easy to use and electric. My only complaint is that it is VERY heavy, but since I am not lugging it around everywhere, I am okay with that. 

This machine has a 20 sheet punching capacity and foot petal operation. There are MANY different binding machines at different prices!  If you are considering a binding machine, be sure to do your research for a machine that best fits your budget and needs.  Shop around, look for coupon codes and find the best deal! 

For some FUN word work and reading comprehension, we have our NEW 
Word Work and Reading Comprehension with Nursery Rhymes!
I am EXTREMELY excited to take simple nursery rhymes to a whole NEW level!
Kids love nursery rhymes and this is a GREAT way to practice core phonics skills and comprehension with something that is familiar to them.
Familiarity with help build confidence!

Our very first set:
 This Word Work and Comprehension Packet includes:
*Humpty Dumpty Poster in color and black and white
*Humpty Dumpty Traceable page with nursery rhyme (penmanship and letter formation)
*Foldable Mini-book with traceable words
*Fill in the Missing Words (cut and paste)
*Box up the Nursery Rhyme
*Roll and Dab a Word Family (-at, -all and -en)
*Spin and Write (graph) sat, wall, put, men and fall
*Spin a Word I - Spin two spinners and make a word (real or silly words?)
*Spin one spinner and write the ending of a word (real or silly words?)
*Color by Word Family (short a)
*Color by Rhyming Words (sad, wall and men)
*Read and Glue (Real and Silly Word Sort)
*Build a Nursery Rhyme: Cut and paste the order
*Labeling Humpty Dumpty
*Seek and Find Rhyming Words
*Reading Comprehension (true or false)
*Reading Comprehension Check 
*Roll and Read for Fluency
*Humpty Dumpty Word Search
*Humpty Dumpy Word Wall Strips

I am BEYOND excited about these two packets and hope that you find them helpful as well!
I will have a blog post up soon showing these packets "in action!"

Be sure to follow us in Instagram to see MORE pictures of Moffatt Girl resources in action
and my new obsession with horses! :)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Clear the Paper Clutter: Monthly Organization

I have a confession...piles of paperwork drive me CRAZY!
Our simple filing system saved my sanity!
One of the things that can overwhelm me and cause me lots of stress, is piles of paperwork!  Papers seems to pile up so quickly, and get out of control in no time at all! As a former teacher and now a homeschooling mom,  I knew that organizing our paperwork was top priority.  I couldn't let piles of papers overtake our classroom and clutter our life.  I feel yucky when there is a ton of paperwork just sitting there, begging me to put it away! I walk by the paperwork and we pretend not to see each other.  It is a mutual agreement...until I break down and deal with it.

Then there's the burning question...What do I do with all of their schoolwork?   Do I keep every single thing or do I toss some of it into the "round" file?   Last year, I implemented a very simple system that saved my sanity and worked for me.  In fact, it worked so well that I decided to do it again!

I set myself up for success by getting my monthly file box ready to go before the school year starts.  I have 12 files for each girl, one for each month.  The tabs have their name on them and a specific month.  In our schoolroom, we have a box for completed work. When the girls finish a page or project, it goes into their finished box. At the end of the month, I grab all of those papers and file them in their file folder.  Easy! I will let the girls decided what they want to keep or toss when they are older.  For now, 80% of their work is filed away. The other 20% made it into the trash  "round" file.

I purchased this file box and hanging file folders from The Container Store
Aren't they cute!?! I have a slight obsession with The Container Store!
 Next, I labeled all of the files...
I added our Editable Polka Dot Label to the tub.  
It was much easier to use a hot glue gun than tape.
It lasts longer and you can easily pull it off.
 The file box sits in the corner of our room for the entire school year, 
which is why it needs to look CUTE! 

 Here is a look at last year's file box.  
The one on the right is jammed packed with schoolwork and projects.  
I seal up the box and put it in the garage. 
The file box on the left is for this coming school year.

That's it!  It's not complicated, and it is SUPER effective!

Another way you can use this filing system is to file away activities and worksheets by month.  For example, if you found a really great Valentine's Day activity online, you could print it and file it in February's file.  It is a great way to keep your "awesome" finds all in one place.

Be sure to check out lasts years post here.
I hope this helps a little!  
Happy Organzing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Editable Polka Dot Labels!

Hi! My name is Annie Moffatt and I LOVE Polka Dots and labeling things!  
It is quite an obsession with me :)

I have had a few requests for the labels that I use in my classroom, so I thought I decided to make an EDITABLE file! This would allow you to EDIT the labels in a way that best fits YOUR needs! The possibilities are endless! If you have never used an Editable file before, lay aside your worries because it is SUPER simple!  The only thing you need to get started is Powerpoint
The instructions in the packet are clear and easy to use.
Available HERE
I used these labels in my classroom last year, but will be adding some fresh ideas for this coming year. 

This is our very small but functional classroom...

 The storage containers came from The Container store (my other obsession!)
This is the left side of our built in store unit (made by my AWESOME husband!)

Here is the right side of our built in storage unit...
As you can see, some of the containers are empty. 
This allows grow into the room as needed.  

We also have storage on the bottom...

The top containers are empty as well.

The bins make the resources accessible and functional.
Our Polka Dot Labels gave the room the extra pop of color needed to create the organization I wanted for our classroom.

There is a specific place for each resource in our classroom. This helps me stay organized and helps the girls know exactly where to put things when it is time to clean up.  Let me be the first to say, this small little classroom can get messy pretty quickly.  I don't mind the typical chaos of a learning environment as long as it gets cleaned up at the end of the day :)

Here are some samples of how our Editable Polka Dot Labels and ways to use them...
Binder Covers
You can customize (EDIT) the covers in any of the different colors to fit your curriculum.

I used the smaller labels for my bins in the pictures above.
The possibilities for labeling things are ENDLESS!
You can add text and change fonts!
These larger labels are used for my large clear storage bins.

These smaller labels are new to my file so I will be using them to create our Sight Word Word Wall for my upcoming 1st Grader. 
I also added these note sheets. I will print one for each day of the week (in a different color), laminate them and use them with post it notes :) 

I hope these Editable Polka Dot Labels helps keep your classroom beautiful, stylish and well organized!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Capture Summer Memories GIVEAWAY!

I don't think I have ever been so EXCITED about a giveaway before!  I am teaming up with some AMAZING teacher bloggers to bring you an incredible SUMMER GIVEAWAY!
It is a chance to capture Summer and beyond!

Are you READY?
 This giveaway will include a Canon DSLR T5!
I use my camera daily and it is my favorite tool!  My camera is always handy in hopes of capturing the days, weeks and years that go by way too quickly!  
I remember when Sophia started to read with our Ready2Read program.  We working on the first unit and she looked up at me with a surprised smile.  I said, "Sophia!!! You're reading!" 
I had my camera ready and this was the picture that I got…
I will always treasure this memory and this picture!

This 50 mm 1.4 Lens is also part of the giveaway!  If you love that bokeh background, which gives you a blurry effect, then this is the lens for YOU!
Here is an example of that blurry background with our sweet Moppy…

Not only could you win the camera and the lens….
This ADORABLE Missy Mint bag from Jo-Totes!
I LOVE my Jo-Tote bag!

It is the PERFECT camera bag for all your goodies and more!
Capture the Summer with STYLE!
Enter to WIN the fancy camera, a bonus lens and an adorable Jo-Tote to house your goodies!
The entries are EASY!
The reward is HUGE!

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter:

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