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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

How I Teach Phonics and Giveaways

There are probably as many ways to teach phonics as there are colors in the world!  Each teacher has his/her own philosophy, style, background and county mandates that mold how he/she teaches phonics.  No way is the best way and I have learned that  VARIETY in my instruction is what is best for my students and I.  So I am joining Melissa over at First Grade Smiles with her How to Teach Phonics Linky!


I have to say that I am NOT a worksheet teacher.  I structure my teaching with the gradual release model of I do- we do- you do.  There is whole group instruction, small group instruction and lots of independent practice.  Children learn by doing.  However, this said, there is a time for worksheets.  Some of my students have said they LOVE worksheets!  This is a huge reminder to me that all children learn differently and have different likes and dislikes.  My job is to make it all come together:)

Here are some pictures from my Daily 5 Word Work Centers that include skills and activities that have been introduced whole group, practiced in small group and then added to the Word Work Center for independent practice.

Word Sorts- introduce and distinguish different Phonics rules.  
Digraph Sort Qu and Wh is a FREEBIE in my TpT store:)

Phonics Games with a "Bang".  Play like you would play Bang where students read the word on the card and if they get it correct they keep it.  There are bonus cards in the mix like "Pop" Lose your cards. Syllable -le Bubble Reading is a must play in my room!

Read and Nonsense Word Sort- Students read words that follow a specific phonics skill and decide if this is a real or nonsense word.  It takes decoding to the next level- does it make sense?
Boat Race is a fun race of words to read your cards, sort them correctly and be the first one to have no cards left!  Sorry about the blurry picture!  

One of my go to's this year for our new reading series is Wonders:  A Supplemental Unit {Grade One-Unit 1.  It includes 5 games like the ones above for each week.  Short vowels a, i and o and well as blends with l, r and s are included.  I love that I will be ready to go for the first month.  Even if you are not using wonders- the unit is worth the purchase for the five phonics games.


Lisa from Learning is Something to Treasure is having a giveaway for her newest set!  Making Words is a favorite activity during small group time, but my resources pale in comparison to this fabulous unit!  Everything you could possibly need:)  Two people will win this unit!

I am also giving away 2 of my Wonders Supplemental Units {Grade 1-Unit 1} to the first 2 people who leave a comment that they would like it AND include an email! 

Don't forget that my Birthday Giveaway ends today!  I hope you have had a chance to join in.
You have until midnight tonight!

Heading off to scrapbook tonight with dear friends who are coming up from Miami to visit!
Mrs. Wathen
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  1. I'd love the resource! Love your freebie too cant wait to use it this year!

    1. Forgot my email.

  2. I would love to have a copy of the resource. I believe teaching Phonics is an important foundational skill. I am looking forward to using your resource in my classroom.

    Thank you so much.

  3. Great phonics ideas! I love your games. You're right everyone learns differently. I love all the ways you teach phonics!
    The Hive

  4. We are piloting Wonders this year and would LOVE a copy of your Wonders Supplemental Unit!

  5. Discover a Surefire Method to Teach Your Child to Read

    There are many different methods and opinions on how to teach a child to read - while all are well-intentioned, some methods could actually lead to reading difficulties in children. Learning to read is a critical step towards future academic success and later on success in life. If you cannot read, you cannot succeed. There is an amazingly simple method - actually, a combination of two methods - that can teach anyone to read, even children as young as 2 and 3 years old.

    The combination of these two methods has been used in the Children Learning Reading program to successfully teach thousands of young children to read. So what are these methods?

    It is the combination of synthetic phonics and phonemic awareness. Most have probably heard of phonics, but phonemic awareness is a concept less well known and ?it's not something you hear about often. Certainly, phonics is absolutely necessary to develop fluent reading skills; however, there are different types of phonics including embedded, analogy, analytical, and synthetic phonics. While using some type of phonics is better than not including any phonics instructions at all, you will achieve FAR BETTER results by employing synthetic phonics, which is by far the most easy and effective method for teaching reading. Multiple studies support this.

    In a 7 year study conducted by the Scottish Education Department, 300 students were taught using either analytic phonics or synthetic phonics. The results found that the synthetic phonics group were reading 7 months ahead and spelling 8 to 9 months ahead of the other phonics groups. At the end of the 7 year study, the children were reading 3.5 years ahead of their chronological age.

    Very impressive!

    Through their amazing reading program, the creators (Jim & Elena - parents of 4 children and reading teachers) have taught all of their children to read phonetically by 3 years old and have helped thousands of parents to successfully teach their children to read as well! Some are small 2 or 3 year old toddlers, others are young 4 or 5 year old preschoolers, and still others at ages 6, 7, 8 or even older.

    >> Click here to watch amazing videos of young children reading, and see the amazing results so many parents are achieving with their children.

    The Children Learning Reading program works so well that many children will achieve reading ages far ahead of their chronological age.

    Take Jim & Elena's children as an example: their oldest child, Raine, was reading phonetically at 2 years 11 months old, and by the time she entered kindergarten at 5 years old, she was reading at a grade 5 level with a reading age of 11.9 years - almost 7 years ahead of her chronological age. Their second child, Ethan, learned to read phonetically by 2 years 9 months, and at age 3, he was reading at a grade 2 level with a reading age of 7.2 years - progressing at a similarly quick pace as his older sister. Find that hard to believe? You can watch the videos posted here.

    There are many different phonics programs out there, but rarely do you ever hear a mention of phonemic awareness (PA), and PA is absolutely an equally critical component to developing reading skills in children. What makes the Children Learning Reading program so unique and amazingly effective at teaching young children is that it seamlessly combines the teaching of synthetic phonics along with phonemic awareness to enable children to develop superb reading skills.

    >>> Click here to learn more about the Children Learning Reading program and teach your child to read today


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