August 2016 - Miss Kindergarten

Fluency Families {reading short vowel words}

One of the most important skills for beginning readers to attain is fluency in reading. Fluency means the ability to read text quickly and accurately. When students gain an understanding of word families, and start to see “chunks” in words, they become better readers. Instead of sounding out each phoneme, or sound, in the word, they are able to transfer what they know about “chunks” and apply it to their reading. Word family fluency is a great way for your students to practice reading accurately and fluently.

I put together some word family fluency practice to help my kiddos with their reading fluency. I grouped all the word family words on a ring for my students to flip through and practice reading.

The word family chunks are color coded to help your students see each chunk!

These cards can also be copied onto colored paper to help differentiate each word family!

I also included some words with blends for your "advanced" readers ;)

The other fluency page is all on one sheet. You can slide the page into sheet protectors and keep them in a binder at your reading table! This would be great quick practice before starting your reading groups!

The students can roll a dice, or you can just tell them which row to read.

In our classroom, we use the large foam dice I found at the Dollar Tree because large dice makes any game fun ;) I introduce this game during guided reading groups. My students took turns rolling the dice, finding the matching number on the paper, and touching each word as they read it. Some of these students, who knew 0 letters and 0 sounds at the beginning of kindergarten were reading like champs!! #happyteacher
We call our reading fluency the "dice game" so that there's less pressure when we're learning how to read. Here's a short video of one of my students demonstrating how to play the game. Since we were just working on the "at" family words, we only used that mat. As we learn more word families, we use more!
You can try the at family fluency for free in my TpT shop by clicking the image below!

You can also find the rest of the short vowel word family words in my store.

After working on our word family fluency, we moved onto reading those words in sentences! Again, I grouped all the word family words on rings for my students to flip through. They are color coded as well.

The strips can also be copied onto colored paper to help differentiate each word family.

The word family words are paired with common sight words to help my students practice reading simple sentences.

The sentences are also included on one sheet of paper so we can play the "dice game" with our sentences too :)

You can also find these Fluency Families Words in Sentences in my TpT store.

If you are looking for long vowel fluency practice, you can find those in my shop as well.

I will be adding Long Vowel Words in Sentences soon!


Sweet Ruby James {one month old}

Well you never believe it when they say it, but man it goes FAST! My sweet Ruby James was born on July 5th and now she is one month old!

I wanted to write down her birth story so I thought I'd share it here too :) 

On July 3rd, my husband and I attended a good friends' outdoor wedding, which included a "standing room only" ceremony and a short hike through the trees afterwards. I'm convinced that's what sent me into labor ;) I captioned this picture on my instagram with "Could this possibly be our last picture together pregnant?!" 
It was...

At 3am, on July 4th, I woke up with some painful contractions. I waited an hour before waking up Tom and then we waited another hour before calling the Dr. At 5am, we packed up the car and headed to the hospital! I really didn't think I would get admitted, as I was still 3 days shy of her due date and I was CONVINCED she'd take after her daddy and come fashionably late ;) 

Well I was hooked up to some machines and monitored for a few hours and eventually was sent back home as my contractions weren't consistent enough to be considered active labor. The nurse gave me an Ambien to help me sleep for "six hours" with directions to call when I woke up if I was still in pain. Umm, I *maybe* was able to sleep for 20 minutes, the Ambien had nothing against my contractions! I took a bath, then a shower, then bounced on my birthing ball...anything to pass the time! My sister came over and straightened my hair for between the most painful contractions I ever felt in my life! Finally, at 3pm I called the Dr again and they told me to come back in.

They checked me when we got there...still no progress!!! What in the world?! I know I'm sensitive, but I swear I am in labor! I cried and told them they can't send me home! They hooked me up to an IV, then came back an hour later to give me an epidural. BEST.THING.IN.THE.WORLD. I've known, even before getting pregnant, that I wanted an epidural as soon as I possibly could get one. The relief after hours of pain is indescribable! My sister joked that she could tell I was feeling better because I was texting her pictures of me with an oxygen mask giving a thumbs up lol! The Dr checked me again and I had made progress! Woohoo! I dilated about a cm each hour and tried to sleep in between the beeping of the machine I was hooked up to. My husband and I watched the fireworks from our hospital window. It was definitely an experience!

At about midnight, my Dr came in to tell me that I was not progressing past 6 cm and my poor baby's heart rate was dropping with every contraction. They gave me a couple doses of Pitocin to see if it would help speed things along but my body was just being stubborn! At 1am, my Dr told me I would need to deliver via c-section. I was surprisingly calm about it {it could've been all the drugs I was on ;)} and I started to cry, not because I was scared but because it meant I was finally going to meet my baby girl!

The surgery was actually really quick and easy. They wheeled me in at 1:45am, my daughter was born at 2:01am, and I was back in my room at 2:45am! I didn't feel ANYTHING. I remember my husband rubbing my shoulder telling me to relax and everything would be okay and my response was "did they start?" bhaha! FINALLY, Ruby James had arrived and it was the BEST feeling in the whole world!

Welcome to the world Ruby James Hartstein! 
July 5th, 2016, 2:01am, 7lbs10oz, 19 inches long!

Although my surgery went really well, my recovery was very rough! This was my first surgery I've ever had, so that was hard! I also developed a tape rash from my bandage and that was no fun! After 5 days in the hospital, we were finally able to go home! Our new family of 3!

These past 4 weeks have been nothing short of magical. Although extremely exhausting, and there are days I flat out don't remember, I wouldn't trade it for the world! 
{swaddle from Mint and Arrows}

Ruby is starting to become a littler person! She is SUCH a good baby!

 She eats like a champ, loves to sleep like her daddy, is now starting to be more alert and checking out her surroundings, and smiles when mommy and daddy talk to her!
{our first night home, one of my all time favorite pictures of her!}

We also got to celebrate lots of firsts with our baby girl!
Our first family walk:

Ruby's first bath:

Ruby's first photoshoot:

{photos by Bachmanville Photography}

Ruby's first trip to Target {and the long nap we all needed after LOL}

Ruby's first trip to her pediatrician!

We just love every little thing about our baby girl and we are so excited to watch her grow.
Ruby James, you are SO loved!
{little miracle onesie from Ella & Eddie}
{Hospital Door Banner from Handcrafted Brunette}