Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Gingerbread-filled week

 Picture this: I leave work at 4:20 today. Get stuck in major traffic. Still stuck in traffic at 5:45. I decide to get off at an exit that isn't my exit because I HAVE TO get out of my car. I find the nearest Starbucks and here I am 6:30, having dinner and a late night cup of coffee. The bright side (there is always a bright side) is that my kids are at my dad's house tonight. If they were in the car with me, it would have been so much worse, and I wouldn't be having a leisurely cup of Joe right now to calm down. I would in the car still with crying kids (can't blame them at all) or running around Starbucks chasing my little man. I decided to make the best of it (as steam was coming out of my ears) and get some work done. I have my laptop with me (another bright side) so here I am doing a little post about my week. Lemons to lemonade? Enough of my rant, I'll move on now. :)

Aside from my horrible commute today, my week has been so fun! The kids are loving all the gingerbread, Christmas, and Polar Express-themed stuff! 

With my first grade students, I did this phoneme activity. They read the word card, then counted the phonemes. 

Here they are, carefully counting. They really liked this! When they decided on a number, they double checked using the little gingerbread circles (like the picture above).  They said the word again and pointed to a gingerbread cookie for each sound. It was a great activity! 

You can find this in my Gingerbread Unit.

We are still working on ending consonant blends and those -nk blends can be tricky! We practiced making and reading words ending in -nk:

clip art by Whimsy Clips; font by Kimberly Geswein

Some of my first graders are mixing up the short e sound, so we reviewed the short e sound using our little gingerbread friend. I made up some simple sentences with short e words. This way, they are practicing fluency at the same time. They really liked this activity too. Anything with a prop, right?!

Since this poem was a little long, we spent some extra time on it. (This is an original poem from my Gingerbread unit.) First, we used those little highlighter strips to highlight some sight words. Each day, we reread those highlighted sight words first. We practiced reading the poem several times and talked about what was happening in the poem.

On another day, we practiced rebuilding the poem. Each student was in charge of a few different lines. 

We did a few sentence scramblers on other days:


And worked on this gingerbread reading passages.  I wrote this one after I already finished and posted the unit. I realized I wanted more practice with some easier reading passages with repetitive sight words. Since the idea of uploading the entire pack all over all just to add one little thing doesn't sound very appealing, I decided to make this (and another one) a freebie. You can get it here.

My second grade students read my version of the Gingerbread Man. Then we compared it to the original version. 

We also practiced making words with suffixes. 

My sweet little kinders are starting to blend CVC words! They love using the gingerbread man to help them out. :) They put the gingerbread man under the first letter and make the sound, then under the second sound and then the third. They repeat until they are ready to blend it. Before reading the word we chant, 
"Read, read, as best as you can. You can read this with our gingerbread man!" 

Cheesy? Yes! Does it work? YES!  


  1. Thanks for the freebie. My kids are having a difficult time with -ank, -ink, etc....

  2. Hi, Sarah! Your gingerbread unit looks super cute. I love the read, read chant! :) Sorry to hear about your commute. Yuck! I live in a pretty small community now and get frustrated with just tiny traffic hiccups and remind myself of the traffic nightmares when I lived on the East Coast. Not fun! Congratulations on being featured in the TPT newsletter today!! :)
    Teacher Treasure Hunter

  3. That rhyme is precious! Love it and stealing it. :)
    Ms. K/1 ELL
    A Teacher's Plan