A Classy Collaboration has had a big ol' make-over! We are now A Spark of Inspiration and we have a fresh new look to go with our new name! I think it suits us well. :) To celebrate, we are giving away a few freebies and gift cards! It sort of reminds me of Christmas when your grandma or parents ask you to make a list of things you want, but really you just want gift cards so you can pick and choose what you really want at your own convenience. Ha! You know you are nodding your head in agreement. Well, here you go! A chance to win a gift card and you can pick up some freebies on the way. We have picked up some fabulous bloggers over the past year +. Come hop along with us today and take a moment to meet our bloggers and see our new look at A Spark of Inspiration. :) Thanks to Learning with Mrs. Leeby for sending you my way!

At the end of this post, make sure you enter to win one of these two fabulous prizes:

Now on to my freebie. My freebie comes from my Fairy Tale pack. It is FILLED with activities to use with several different fairy tales. There are tons of ideas in this pack covering a wide range of comprehension skills. Get your kids really thinking about these stories! 

These are not just worksheets! Don't let the worksheet do the teaching! :) Make this an interactive activities where your students need to find evidence in the text to support their opinions about the character. Turn it into a discussion. This is a comprehension activity and then a writing lesson. Here you are writing a simple sentence or two describing a character with evidence to back it up. You could turn it into a longer writing piece too if you wanted.  

Click below to see my entire fairy tale unit, but make sure you come back to finish the hop!

Your next stop is my friend Jenny over at LuckeyFrog's Lilypad. I was lucky enough to meet her last summer and she is as sweet as can be! I'm excited to see what she has in store for us! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Practicing Vowels

Hi everyone! Today I'm doing a post all about vowels. It's so important to help our students master those first vowel sounds before adding in all the other phonics rules. The first thing I want to recommend is using this free vowel bookmark:

You can find it HERE

I have my students sing a little jingle to help them remember. For example, "Apple, apple, /a/, /a/, /a/." They tap their fingers while they sing it. We sing our vowel jingle for each vowel every day. Then if a student reads a word using the wrong vowel song, then I have them point to the correct sound on the vowel bookmark. For example, if the word is pen and they say pin,  I would have them point to e and sing, "Eddie, Eddie, /e/ /e/ /e/ then read the word again. (Eddie is the name of our elephant.) Below are some other activities that I use to practice vowels.

I posted a video on Instagram a few weeks ago showing my Fill a Word in action. I meant to blog about it sooner, but I got sidetracked. :) Story of my life! This is one of my favorite ways to practice and review vowels. This is simple to prep for, which is always nice!

Here's a little video to show how it works:

Click on the picture above to see the video

I give each student a vowel on a math counter. They all have the same worksheet with the vowel missing. They read each word with the vowel they have. Then they switch to use another vowel. Simple, quick, fun. It's great practice for them and a quick snapshot assessment for me. 

You certainly do NOT have to buy anything to do this though! For one, you could also make your own by just drawing it out on a piece of paper. Just leave a little circle for them to drop the vowel in. 

I also do quickies during guided reading. All you need is a sticky note.

Put up some chart paper like this and use any ol' popsicle stick to fill in the vowels. In this picture we are working on a vowel pair. I have little popsicle sticks with all the vowels. Sometimes I'll have a student come up and read a word with three different vowel sticks. This is a great whole class lesson. 

 Like I said, I love having meaningful activities that are quick and simple!You can use it anytime AND it's a great informal assessment. 

If you would like 50 pages of these "Fill a Word sheets to use throughout the year, check this out in my store:

Here is a one page FREEBIE to try it out. These can all be short a words OR you can throw in some other vowels to make some real and nonsense words. 

I also have this activity below from my Super Reader pack that my students love!

Before they read the word, they use this Free vowel bookmark  to remind themselves of the vowel sound. Many of the cards make several different words.


February Take a Closer Look Freebie Hop

Hi everyone! 

I am teaming up with some great teacher bloggers again to bring you another Take a Closer Look blog hop featuring one of our February products.  We want to give you a closer look and a FREEBIE from the unit to try out with your class.

My freebie comes from my "Ready-to-go" Valentine's Day Literacy Pack. My students love these Read, Visualize, Draw pages! The Fill a Word is a new addition. If you use this as an independent activity, students can color the heart to show which vowel fits. If you are using it in small group, you can put it in a page protector (to use again) and students can use transparent color counters to cover the correct vowel. 

Click here to get your freebies!

Here's a peak at what else is in this pack:

Like it? Love it? Gotta have it?
Grab it in my store for 15% today only! Click here to get to my store.


And now, I am sending you off to the next blog on the blog hop list! 
Check out my friend Jessica's blog, First Grade Nest. You know she has something wonderful waiting for you!

Phonemic Awareness Intervention Pack: Part 2

I'm SO excited about this Phonemic Awareness Intervention Pack! I've been working on it slowly. Last week I posted some ideas for teaching phonemic awareness and a little intervention kit. This is part 2 of the intervention kit. This is the BIG one! I took all the phonemic awareness skills that you would need to teach your little ones and made activities for each one. There are "covers" for each activity to show you how to set it up. This pack is perfect for kindergarten, pre-k, and 1st grade RTI. If you have students who are struggling with sounding out words, they are probably not ready for phonics! They need Phonemic Awareness instruction first. (First though, make sure they can rhyme and hear syllables of words. Those come even before phonemic awareness.)

Here are the skills I covered in this pack:

3 Rhyming Activities

Two initial Sound Identification Activities

Isolating Sounds: Beginning and Ending Sounds 

Isolating Sounds: Medial Phonemes

4 Activities for Blending Phonemes:

4 Activities for Segmenting Phonemes

Isolating Sounds: Which Sound is Different

Manipulating Phonemes: Phoneme Deletion

Manipulating Phonemes: Substituting Phonemes

Manipulating Phonemes: Adding Phonemes

Mixed Skills: Games

Phonemic Awareness Assessment

75 Picture Cards: 
These picture cards can be used for several of the phonemic awareness activities.  

If you just want the phoneme segmenting activities, you can get it HERE:

If you just want the phoneme blending activities, you can get them HERE:

Use this visual below to help you sequence your phonemic awareness instruction:

To see my post about phonemic awareness activities with videos and pictures, click here.

More Phonemic Awareness Resources

To see my Phonemic Awareness Intervention KIT, which is great as an at-home kit, click here.


If you would like a printable, black-and-white option, you might like this:
Click HERE for this resource.