Letterman to the Rescue!

Children love superheroes so what better way to engage them in writing than with a Friendly Letter Superhero? In this customizable unit, Letterman comes to visit each day, bringing a letter that teaches a specific friendly letter skill. He leaves colorful L’s on the classroom door to signal his visits. Children truly believe in him and even your most reluctant learners will get excited about writing!

This 66 page unit includes:
–Suggestions for use with pictures of letter bulletin boards and work samples
–Common Core standards for grades K-3
–Big ideas and essential questions
–11 detailed lesson plans to teach unit
–Accompanying letters and activities for each lesson plan (Letters can be modified according to date unit is taught, teacher’s name, children’s interests, etc.)
–Pre-and post-assessment
–2 different Letterman templates
–Colorful L’s to leave around room
–Letterman awards

This is a great Back to School unit; through letter writing, children will learn about each other and build classroom community.

Visual Schedule


Are your mornings hectic, frazzled, or full of frustration? Try making a visual¬†schedule to break down all of the steps. Use photos or clip art as a visual cue. Kids can refer to the chart to see what they need to do. No more nagging needed! ūüôā Our mornings are so much smoother using this simple tool. ¬†I also made a “Bedtime Routine” visual schedule.

Syllable Division

Here is a multi-sensory syllable division bulletin board I made in my classroom. ¬†Chunking Chipmunk from our Hazel Learns to Read unit helps students follow the syllabication rules to chunk words into smaller parts for decoding. ¬†I used pipe cleaners to show how to “scoop” the words. ¬†Students can walk up to the bulletin board and trace the scoops with their fingers while reading the words. ¬†Using visual, auditory, and tactile senses really helps the students internalize this important reading strategy.

Hoo is Ready for School? SALE

Do you have preschoolers getting reading for kindergarten? Did you know that children not only need to know how to name their letters, but also name the sounds, blend sounds together to form words, segment the individual sounds in words, and rhyme words together in kindergarten? Our “Hoo is Ready for School?’ flashcards will prepare your child for school and reading success! Our research-based, teacher created, flashcards are currently on sale for $5.99 on our website.

Test Prep Center

Motivate students to prepare for upcoming standardized tests with the creation of a fun, engaging test prep center. I created “The Standardized Testing Swamp” in my classroom. Both Tina Turtle, Troubled Test Taker and Frankie, Fumbling Fox, are posted at the center, along with test-taking tips and strategies. Test prep centers, games and activities are also housed in this special center. For even more ideas, check out Astute Hoot’s comprehensive motivational test prep unit at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/search?keyword=astute+hoot+test+prep&subjectarea=0&startsearch=1

Easter Egg Fun

Super fun way to practice basic skills; fill plastic eggs with letters, sight words, math facts, etc. and have your kiddos choose eggs from a bucket or find them around the house. When they open them up, they can practice the skill inside. You can even have them turn in the eggs for candy or pennies or other rewards.

Games That Teach: Part 2

Use a Sharpie or sticker to put letters or numbers on the hoods of matchbox cars. Children can practice letter, sound and/or number recognition as they play. They can also practice lining them up in alphabetical or numerical order. This a great way to “trick” them into playing learning games. It worked for my boys! ūüôā


Games That Teach: Part 1

  1. Turn Hopscotch into a fun learning game!  Use chalk to draw a hopscotch and fill in the squares with a specific concept (numbers, shapes, letters, sight words, etc.).  Kids will have so much fun jumping and moving while learning basic academic skills.


Reading with your kiddos at home…

Parents, does this sound familiar: ¬†“I’m too tired to read,” “You read it to me mommy,” ¬†“I already read at school today.” ¬†Sometimes having kids practice their reading at home can turn into a chore or a fight, even when children are capable readers. ¬†I was experiencing this at home with my own son, and my students at school. ¬†This inspired me to collaborate with my partners and develop the “Hoo Can Read?” flashcards. ¬†This learning game makes reading time fun and eliminates all the anxieties and frustrations children have with reading. ¬†By providing choices, support, and taking turns reading, children begin to experience success, increase their confidence, and become motivated to read. ¬†It is truly amazing to me that now my son and my students who used to avoid reading, now BEG me to get the “owl” cards and read with them!

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