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Letter Fun Videos

 I love using the following videos to teach letters sounds and names. They are great for brain breaks, practice, or to use before reading to get brains ready. We also play fun games! Check out Bubblegum Games to see fun games for beginning reading skills.


This video has the letter and sounds along with the motions.

Fun Motions!

Great way to learn sign language.

Great once the sounds are known for practice. Cool parody!

These are the motions we use! Using motions make the letters stick!  You can see Brain Research for Learning! Check out Jack Hartmann for this great song!

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

Birthday Celebration for School

Birthday are so special to students! So celebrate in a fun way!
Students decorate a birthday crown. I have everyone do this at the beginning of the year. Then I put them in order by birthday so they are ready to go on the special day.
Teach Magically Blog Birthday Ideas Crowns

Then we create a birthday graph that I display for easy reference throughout the year. If you teach primary, you know how many times you are asked when a students has a birthday (usually on someone else's birthday) because the kiddos don't remember!
Teach Magically Blog Birthday Graph

On the special day, the child wears the crown and reads the book. We read it chorally as a class and/or partner read....then a black and white copy is taken home by the birthday child to keep. (I have all of the book copied and placed with the crowns.) 
Teach Magically Blog Birthday Ideas Crowns and Emergent Reader  
I also give a Birthday Certificate
Teach Magically Free Birthday Certificates
Free Birthday Certificates
We also do a fun @GoNoodle Birthday song! 
Before dancing review:
  • How old are you?
  • What's your favorite reptile?
  • What's your favorite food?
  • What's your pet onion's name? (This really makes them laugh!)




Then we do a fun echo poem!
Reminder:Echo poems build short term memory and help ADHD issues! Check out Brain Research to Help Learning for more ideas!


This is such a special, fun time in the classroom.  It also provides a great opportunity to observe the students that can repeat, count, and focus!

If you are interested in these resources, you can find them here: 
Teach Magically Blog Birthday Ideas Graph Emergent Reader      
 You can save over 20% on the bundle: Birthday Bundle Get all these resources for one low price.
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Birthday-Display-Celebration-Bundle-with-Bar-Graph-and-Birthday-Crowns-3960266.

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! You can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

Spring Flower Blending

Spring has arrived and we are so ready for flowers!!! Oh, yes!!  We are practicing reading words, real and nonsense, to help us focus on the way that sounds go together.  
Beautiful tulips to sort into pots is the perfect way to practice reading fun words! Check out this FREE Sort of Short e Words!
 Short e vowel Sorting Teach Magically Blog

How do we practice reading words? Successive blending!

1st-We say each sound in the words. /b/ /e/ /d/
2nd-We make the first two sounds touch /be/   then add the last sound /d/
3rd-We make all the sounds touch /bbeedd/
4th-Say the word fast-bed
5th-We then decide if the word is real or make believe.
6th-We put the word into a sentence or make up a silly sentence (if it's a nonsense word).  
Check out this great resource, Blend Phonics, for teaching blending...it may change what you do with sight words!
We also spend some time working on 1 vowel at a time!  We pull the words from a basket!  Then we read the word following the blending procedure and sort the words into a short vowel pot or nonsense word pot!  
After reading the word, we write it on a recording sheet to take home and share with our families!
The recording sheet tells what we practiced at school and asks the family to practice the words!  This makes a great home/school connection!
We also have so much fun mixing up all the tulips and then sorting them by the vowel sounds! 

How do we make it even more fun?

We hop around the table to sort the middle vowel sounds!
What do you do to make things even more fun?

You can check out CvC BUNDLE to save 20% 

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:

Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

Color the Jelly Bean Game

Math and working with numbers is one of my favorite parts to a day!  The hardest part is that is seems to take a lot of practice to keep numbers and quantities in the mind of a 5/6 year old!  SO how do we do it?!?

Play a lot of games!

Teachers need to remember that playing games is NOT a waste of time! It is an intelligent and purposeful use of class time! We use the game Number Sense and Addition Math Games Jellybeans

Check out this fun game that is so easy!
1. Roll dice
2. Count dots on the dice
3. Find the number to represent the dots.

There are so many skills covered in this one game! Numeration, one to one counting, numeral recognition, fine motor coloring, visual perception of line!
If you make it a game and students need to take turns, you add many other important skills and build confidence through play! Students work on attention skills because they have to watch and understand about taking turns. Inhibitory control and active listening are practiced by waiting for a turn and not just grabbing the dice. Working memory practice happens if you make them color a bean based on the color on the dice.

Students that master numbers 1-6 and understand the numeration, move to adding! Two dice are thrown then must be added together to color the sum.
 Students must also try a number sentence before coloring! So they have to say,   "Six plus four equals ten." 

If we run out of time, the student that colored the most jelly beans wins so we are practicing more/less than!

What fun games can you play in the classroom to make learning magical?!?

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

Best Way to Teach Sight Words

There are many ways to practice high frequency words or the even harder sight words. 
Blog post about best way to teach sight words from Teach Magically

Since these words are essential to fluent reading. Repeated exposure and memorization are crucial for students to read fluently and consistently. Students must be able to read these words quickly or decoding will take too much time and effort.  When reading takes too long, readers become frustrated.

Click here to find the 50 words needed by Kindergarten.  You can cut them apart to make small words cards to help you sort. Or go below and get the sheets I use!

 Recognizing high-frequency words by sight primarily involves memorization; and memorization comes most easily through repetition. Remember:  PRACTICE! PRACTICE!  PRACTICE!  Students need to read and write high-frequency words as often as possible. Remember to read/write as quickly as possible.

We read Sight Word Emergent Readers during guided reading! I love that the kiddos can take these home to show off and practice! They LOVE to color them, too! You can find them, here!
Teach Magically Blog Post about sight words

Check out the picture below. I gave the students 1 minute to write all the words they could spell without looking around the room. I record the number and the goal is to get more the next time! This is fun word work during guided reading or when we have a few extra minutes.
Sort the words into words columns.  One column of words that can be read in 5 seconds and one column of words to work on learning. Be sure to count and discuss the words known. Look for an increase each day.

Play Games

 Make 2 copies of the words and play "Memory" with the cards!  Don't forget to read them as quickly as possible. If a child doesn't know the word in 5 seconds...give them the word. It is really hard to unlearn a word that has been learned wrong. Check out Dinosaur Sight Word Reading. It explains the different clues I give to help students understand sight words and high frequency words.

Make Flash Cards

 REMEMBER: only practice 3 new words mixed up with 7 words you already know.  It can take between 25-55 times before you can remember all of them!  Click on the picture to find the words to make.
https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/#my-drive

From Radford University:

One strategy to consider when teaching and learning discreet skills is “Drill Sandwich” (Browder, D.M., & Roberts, M.L., 1993).  The steps are simple but so worth the effort!

Drill Sandwich:
The drill sandwich strategy is a way learners can practice and learn any information (new sight words, math facts, vocabulary, spelling words) by mixing what they know with what they need to learn. This method is typically more motivating to any learner because the new information is next to something known so it helps alleviate frustration. Only three new pieces of information needs to be the focus, while reviewing  recently learned material to help send it to long term memory. Why? because of the repetition of course!  Learning information in this manner is much more manageable for students, and will help them learn quickly.

How to build a Drill Sandwich!

1.) Make set of flashcards for the information to be learned. (sight words, math facts, letters, numbers)


2.) Go through the complete stack of cards once, separating the list into two piles – knowns and unknowns. (Hint: Cards are marked known only if the information is automatic. If the learner has to think even for a few seconds ( I usually try to count to 5), then the card should be placed in the unknown pile for more repetition of the information.)

3.) Build a “sandwich” using seven knowns and three unknowns. Be sure to follow the pattern below. (K = known; U = unknown)      (KUKKUKKUK)

4.) Have the learner practice identifying all items in the order of knowns and unknowns.

5.) As the unknown items are learned move them into a known section of the sandwich by removing well-known knowns (be sure it is automatic....no guessing!). Add new unknowns and begin the learning process again. Some students need more time that others. Don't move on until the words are really known!

Remember to make it fun! 

Here are a few resources I use to practice sight words. Click on pictures!
Rhyming Posters for Writing Teach Magically
My Favorite
Word Finds to practice Sight Words Teach Magically
All Sight Word Resources
Emergent Readers for Sight Word Practice Teach Magically
All Emergent Readers


 Sight Word Alphabet Poems Teach Magically
Sight Words for Alphabet
Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

How to Help with Handwriting Skills

What?!  Yes, you can build better handwriting skills by coloring on the floor!  I was just reminded of this by the Occupational Therapist at my school!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor
A few of my students keep their hands and wrist off the table when writing which causes poor control of shapes and weak pencil lines.  It seems so difficult to correct for some students!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor

 Can you see the difference between the two wrists in the picture above while pointing?

Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor
 We have to place our hand/wrist on the table for good pencil control, but many students can not do this!

  SO what do you do?

Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor
Lay on the floor, of course!  While working on our number sense "Spill the Bean" activity, we colored on the floor and sat up to spill the beans.  There are so many opportunities to build this muscle strength by changing the position of the worker!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor

 Provide many opportunities for laying on the floor!

Parents can also encourage this position during TV time.  The child only sits up while the show plays  and lays down during commercials or visa versa depending on the child's strength!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor
 If you have students falling off chairs, it may be because of this lack of strength!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor

"Push up and Hold" can build the strength needed to write!

"Push up and Hold" is a fun game that can be used for any skill!  We push up and hold from 1-10 and then rest from 11-20.  Once we can all count, we will practice "Push up and Hold" as we count to 100 by 5"s or 10's.  It's the holding that counts, make a plank for older students!  Think yoga and how much it hurts! :) It builds muscle core strength!
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor

Writing on a Vertical Surface

Use clip boards or small chalk boards and make the students hold them vertically to write.  It should cause the wrist and arm to rest in the correct position.
Blog post Teach Magically Writing for gross motor
I'm so lucky to have a real chalk board in my room!  It is a vertical plane which helps with building strength but it also has a rough surface that provides resistance which helps with memory!

Be sure to build the muscle strength in the chest and arms to help with writing skills!

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically

How to Help Struggling Readers

Do you have struggling readers? It may be lack of phonological awareness skills!

Phonological Awareness is the understanding that oral language can be divided into smaller parts that can be manipulated. Understanding phonological awareness prepares students for later reading instruction which includes phonics, word analysis and spelling.  It is the great umbrella that incorporates many skills.
Blog about phonological awareness Teach Magicallt
Phonological Awareness follows a continuum from easier to harder but the learning doesn't follow it in order.  Each task is difficult in its own way and the learning flows at different rates for each learner! Check out the skills in order from easiest to hardest on my phonological awareness skills page.

The less complex activities of Word Awareness includes tracking words in sentences and enjoying rhyming and alliteration through stories and poems.

The Syllable Awareness  involves tapping, counting, blending, or segmentation a word into syllables.

Onset-rime Awareness is the ability to produce a rhyming word that depends on the understanding that rhyming words have the same rime (ending sound).  Being able to tell if words rhyme or not (thumbs up if cat and hat rhyme or sound the same at the end)  is much easier that producing a rhyme (Tell me other words that rhyme with cat, hat, ________).

The most sophisticated level of Phonological Awareness is Phonemic Awareness, the understanding that words are made up of individual sounds or phonemes. Manipulating these phonemes by blending, segmenting, or changing individual phonemes within words to create new words is extremely difficult. There are many fun activities to help with Phonemic Awareness.

Phonemic Awareness is more highly related to learning to read than are tests of general intelligence, reading readiness, and listening comprehension (Stanovich, 1993).


You can learn more information about the order of these skills and ideas on this PA Page. (click)

Be sure to check these skills if reading seems difficult!
Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically




Build Gross Motor Skills

Do you have students that slump in chairs, fall over nothing, or even fall out of chairs? The problem could be gross motor skills! Say what?!?

teachmagically grossmotor

What are gross Motor Skills?

•Major muscle co-ordination
Body awareness –posture and control
Balance –ability to adjust the body symmetrically
Spatial orientation –awareness of how their body is positioned in space and in relation to other objects or people
Crossing of the midline –opposite from one side of the body to the other


Laterality –awareness of the left and right sides of the body

I do a few fun things during transitions and practice to help build gross motor skills because there is not enough time at recess and physical education classes.
teachmagically grossmotor


We lay on the belly on the floor when watching videos, playing games, working on computers, or hearing books. Check out this post about Brain Research.

It is very difficult for some students.

 Watch to see who sits up first!

teachmagically grossmotor
We crab walk or bear crawl around the room. Just be sure to have small groups go at one time. Everyone at once can be a mess!
teachmagically grossmotor
Any practice that we do we push up and hold, just like planks! Who doesn't love a plank! You can practice counting, spelling words, math facts, names of planets, etc. Give it a try! How long until the burn when you say the ABC's in a plank? I start to shake at about e! Check out the movement we use to say the alphabet. Fun Ways to Teach Letters and Sounds.
teachmagically grossmotor
Write or color in kneeling position. No sitting back on the legs. This really can be difficult because of the stabilization; students think it's fun!

 But don't forget about recess! Climbing, running, and jumping are great ways to build gross motor skills!

teachmagically grossmotor


teachmagically grossmotor

What do you do to build gross motor skills in the classroom?

Make sure to go check out my store, Debora Marines TeachMagically for more resources for  learners! And you can follow Debora Marines TeachMagically for new products, discounts, updates, and freebies. Here’s where you can find me:
Make everyday magical,
Debora from Teach Magically