March 11, 2018

Sorts for Long and Short Vowels

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!

Sorts for Long and Short Vowels

Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!

Sorts Of All Sorts

It's difficult for busy teachers to have the perfect sorts for students.  There are so many features to cover in a year and many times we grab whatever sort is handy.  The problem is that most sorts for first grade and above drop the picture clues and use words.  That causes problems for students that don't fully understand the feature.  Students start looking for the pattern in the word and don't think about the word, it's meaning, or sound.  This is problematic and we create students that don't ever master each feature.


Teacher Needs

I had a discussion with a first grade teacher the other day and she expressed the need for picture sorts.  We discussed that many sorts for first grade (and above) contain words only.  That led to the creation of these picture linked, long vs. short vowel sorts.  Granted, some of the pictures need to be explained.  If you take the time to discuss the sort with the student this can be a tool that allows students to understand and master the feature.  

Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!
Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!

Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!







Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!




What features are problematic for you to teach?
Let me know what features you need help with?  Do you know why your students are having difficulty?  Do you need resources to help you?  I want to hear from you!

Teachers at my school were in need of sorts for long and short vowels.  They realized that they can't just use words for sorts or the students just look for the letter pattern and nothing more.  This blog contains sorts with picture clues that will help students not only see the pattern of long and short vowels but hear them too!










August 18, 2017

Make EVERY Moment A Teaching Moment

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Studies prove that children develop an image of themselves at an early age.  What does this mean to you as a teacher?  Model good self esteem and make every moment a teaching moment!  Read today so that you can be more insightful and thoughtful in your reactions throughout the school day and all day!

Make Every Moment A Teaching Moment


You Can Make A Difference

It happens every day!  As a teacher, it can happen multiple times daily and catch you off guard.  One of the many stories I have accumulated has to do with my looks.  Let's face it.... I'm no spring chicken but I wasn't expecting the comment that I received one day at recess.  A sweet little first grader came bouncing up to me and exclaimed, "Mrs. Waild, when you smile you have all these lines next to your eyes!" (As seen below!)  I (thankfully) said, "Thank you!"  She looked confused.  I continued my response to her by saying, "Do you know why I have all of those lines?" "It means that I have had a wonderful life!  It means that I have smiled a lot!  You just reminded me how lucky I am!  Thank you so much!"  I think she was still slightly perplexed but she was smiling too.  I gave her something to think about.  Maybe she will see wrinkles in a different way.  Instead of seeing wrinkles as an indicator of years past she may think about how happy a person has been throughout their life.  What I ask of you is to try to make these moments yourself.  Before getting your feelings hurt take a deep breath and flip the script!  Make every moment a teaching moment!

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Studies prove that children develop an image of themselves at an early age.  What does this mean to you as a teacher?  Model good self esteem and make every moment a teaching moment!  Read today so that you can be more insightful and thoughtful in your reactions throughout the school day and all day!

What Stories Do You Have To Share?

This was one of my many stories but I know that you have a TON out there.  If you have any interaction with children you have tales to tell.  Please share with us the moments that you have changed into positive teaching moments.  I can't wait to hear them!















February 14, 2017

True Love In The Classroom (Ticonderoga + X-Acto)


Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day!


Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day!

True Love In The Classroom!

Ticonderoga + X-ACTO Forever

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!  Today I wanted to share something that I love in my classroom.  When I set up my classroom I think about how thrilled I am to have purchased these items.  When students are in need of sharp pencils and (gasp) I have forgotten to sharpen them...... a dreaded task is joyful!  

Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day!


Ticonderoga!

I remember the light bulb moment happened in my first year of teaching.  I didn't even realize that there was a difference between pencils.  Pencil after pencil kept breaking.  The lead would seemingly fall out!  I was so frustrated.  Then.... all of a sudden..... I would come across a pencil that would sharpen quickly and beautifully!  I realized that every time a pencil was sharpened to perfection it was a Ticonderoga by Dixon.  Now, years later, as students bring in their school supplies I hope, wish, and pray that there are Ticonderoga pencils in those backpacks!

Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day!Buy It Because......

  • the lead doesn't break
  • it sharpens easily with any sharpener
  • they write beautifully
  • easy to grip for tiny first grade hands
  • known as "world's best pencil"
  • worth every, single penny 


 

X-ACTO!

I'm sorry to keep bringing up my first year of teaching but it was eye-opening in so many ways.  The teacher that had the room prior to me left a pencil sharpener.  As a new teacher I was excited!  Well.... that pencil sharpener burned out within the first month.  Two others that I purchased quickly followed suit.  That's when I decided to do some research and buy a quality pencil sharpener.  I've had the same X-ACTO ever since.  I love it!  My warning to you:  It is much like owning a pick up truck..... everyone wants to borrow it!  BUT... I don't mind sharing!  That is what teaching is all about.
Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day! 

Buy It Because......

  • mine has lasted for 7 years so far
  • every pencil sharpens quickly
  • it will save you time
  • parent volunteers in your room will want to use it
  • includes a ten year warranty (oh no! I only have 3 years left!)
  • I own the X-ACTO Teacher Pro (approximately $37)






Do you have a love blooming in your classroom?

The Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO sharpener make my day to day life so easy.  Do you use/own either of these?  Do you feel the same way?  Share your experiences here with us!  Maybe you have another "love" in your classroom.  Please let us know what has made teaching easier for you.













Pin For Later:


Yes it is the day to proclaim your love!  Does love have to be captured between people?  I say, "Nay!"  Read this post to find out about a true love story that happens in my classroom on a daily basis.  The relationship between the Ticonderoga pencil and the X-ACTO pencil sharpener is a love like no other.  Without this dynamic duo my days as a teacher would be even longer and more difficult.  If your valentine is a teacher..... you may want to consider this purchase.   Happy Valentine's Day!

















January 1, 2017

I Resolve To Teach Fluency!

The new year also brings many resolutions.  I try to make a professional resolution every year.  What will your resolution be?  Make one of your most important resolutions be to follow Adventures in Literacy Land . Adventures in Literacy Land is an amazing resource that will make you a better teacher.  Originally posted in Adventures in Literacy Land.


Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  No matter how well we teach reading some students still struggle with fluency!  Wouldn't you like to have fluency goals in your room that engage the students in a fun and exciting way?   I have personally researched many ways of implementing fluency in a primary classroom and this one is awesome!  Enjoy this post and then go out and buy yourself that well-deserved teacher gift for fluency!  Happy holidays you wonderful teachers of reading!

No matter how well we teach reading some students still struggle with fluency!  Wouldn't you like to have fluency goals in your room that engage the students in a fun and exciting way?   I have personally researched many ways of implementing fluency in a primary classroom and this one is awesome!



December 5, 2016

Make Reading Fun!

I'm sure you've been as busy as I have been.  While you're waiting for new posts (SOON) enjoy this post from Adventures in Literacy Land (if you haven't checked these amazing bloggers out yet... please do).  Originally posted in Adventures in Literacy Land.

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Can we all agree that students who are motivated and engaged will become better readers?  If we want students to be motivated, we must be too!  If we want students to be engaged in activities linked to reading, we must be too!  I hope that this post renews your love for literacy and puts a little pep in your step!  Happy Fall Ya'll!!!
Can we all agree that students who are motivated and engaged will become better readers?  If we want students to be motivated, we must be too!  If we want students to be engaged in activities linked to reading, we must be too!  I hope that this post renews your love for literacy and puts a little pep in your step!  Happy Fall Ya'll!!!

October 3, 2016

Your Local Reading Council

As seen on Virginia is for Teachers! 



Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


Your Local Reading Council

An Overview

 Certain communities are fortunate enough to have a local reading council.  I am a proud member of the Chesapeake Reading Council (CRC).  The mission of CRC is to "promote literacy throughout our city".  The Virginia State Reading Association (VSRA) is a professional organization that has the same mission for the entire state of Virginia.  Our state association falls under the International Literacy Association (ILA), formerly known as the International Reading Association.  With membership to my local reading council I automatically become a member of the VSRA.  I am also a member of the ILA.  I urge you all to join your city, state, and international association....... read to find out why!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!


A Partnership With Your Public School System

Chesapeake Public Schools has been an amazing supporter of CRC!  Before the official school year starts, our Superintendent, Dr. Roberts meets with our Executive Board.  The Board shares their ideas for the year and shares the new calendar of events.  Dr. Roberts shares his ideas and assists in making CRC a strong partner of Chesapeake Public Schools.  Dr. Roberts is always one of the first official members every year!
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the 2016-17 CRC Executive Board

 Dr. Roberts also invites CRC to the yearly Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  The President of CRC addresses all of the administrators in the city.  The administrators lend their support by becoming members, choosing CRC building representatives, and participating in the CRC activities throughout the school year.
Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Dr. Roberts with the CRC 2014-15 Executive Board at the Administrator's Back-To-School General Conference.  Our first official t-shirts were being revealed that morning "Keep Calm and Read On!" 

 

Fun and Free Literacy-Based Nights For Your Students

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! CRC hosts fun literacy nights every year!  The students that come are treated to swag, literacy based activities, treats, and most important a great book!  For the last few years (including this up and coming year) Cathy Collier (ILA Board Member, a Past President of VSRA and CRC) comes to read one of her favorite books to our local students.  Families can enjoy a fun night out for free!  The parents and children love these nights out together and look forward to them year after year!

 

Activities Through the School...... and More!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year! CRC holds certain city wide school events!  The elementary aged students participate in the Young Writers' Event (top right).  Students become authors of their own book or a class book.  Those books are displayed the night of the event and the authors receive a _______.  The middle and high school students can participate in the Literacy Jam (left).  Students who participate in the Literacy Jam can win awards and be able to read their submissions to the audience.  Every year we also host extra other events that are free to the community.  One year we were fortunate enough to have Steve Somers Amazing Teacher magic show Fizz Boom Read.  Those who came out to the event were treated to a fantastic magic show based around literacy (bottom right)!!!

 

Honoring Those Who Make Epic Strides for Literacy City Wide!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2014-15 was Kim Pinello, Principal from Hickory Elementary School (Left).  James D. Mullins Leadership Award 2015-16 was Sonya Beasley, Principal from Southwestern Elementary School (Center).  Reading Teacher of the Year for Chesapeake and Virginia State, Laurie Lees (Reading Specialist at Hickory Elementary School).
Each year CRC celebrates amazing dedication to literacy through numerous awards.  Each school chooses a Reading Teacher of the Year.  From those teachers a Reading Teacher is chosen to represent the entire city.  This past year Chesapeake's Reading Teacher of the Year went on to become the Reading Teacher for the state of Virginia!  Administrators are also able to win the prestigious James D. Mullins Leadership Award.


Community Outreach

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council has a huge heart!  Every year they participate in community outreach events in their own community and beyond.  CRC participates in the Chesapeake Regional Hospital's Baby Fair.  Books, literacy based toys, and literature on "how to help your child read" have been given away to hundreds of expectant and new mothers over the years (left).  Workshops were led by CRC Board Members at the Chesapeake R U Ready Family night to help students with comprehension skills this past year (top right).  Once a year CRC reaches beyond their local boarders and supports literacy in other countries.  This past year students in Haiti were given books to support their library.  In the 2014-15 school year CRC gave backpacks and books to students in China (bottom right). 

End of the Year Celebrations!

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!
Chesapeake Reading Council also celebrates the great things that happen throughout the year!  Every year the Reading Teachers of the Year (RTOY)  are celebrated.  This year a local author (Jen Milius) and a speaker were invited to the event.  RTOYs also shared their great ideas, were invited to participate in a book exchange, and had yummy food in their honor!  We also have a yearly banquet where RTOYS and Building Representatives (among others) are thanked and celebrated!

 

Chesapeake Reading Council's Great Year Ahead!


Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

Our new shirts are ready!!!  They are inspired by the VSRA theme for the 2016-17 year "Literacy:  The Root Of All Learning".  I'm so excited to be able to wear my shirt proudly!

So much happens due to the hard work and dedication of the CRC Executive Board, Committee Members, and volunteers!  Take a look at the Calendar of Events for this coming year!  I'm so excited to participate in every single event.

 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

In this post I have listed a few things that make CRC great but I couldn't list them all.  Please take a look at the Benefits of Membership (below) to see the extent of what is available to CRC members. 

Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

 

What Will Make YOUR Reading Council Great This Year?

Tell me about your reading council!  Are you already a member?  What activities are your favorite?  What events are up and coming?  Do you have questions?  I know that many of blog followers and post readers are already involved..... so share some ideas or events so that we can all support them!  Thank you!  I can't wait to hear from you all!!!

 

 

 

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Would you like to have personalized assistance with your professional development?  Do you wish that there were community events that were free for families of your students?  Teachers are always looking for ways to expand their own knowledge and help their school/students!  This post will open your eyes to all of the wonderful things that your local reading council offers and give you assistance and excitement for the new school year!

September 5, 2016

Give EVERY Child the Opportunity to Succeed!

As seen on Virginia is for Teachers! 

Hi! This is Heather from Campfire Curriculum with Helpful Heather.  The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!   


The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!


Give EVERY Child the Opportunity to Succeed!

Once Upon A Time..........

I don't know about you but there are many days that I spend reminiscing about being a young student.  The memories that are the most clear in my mind are the ones that I wish that I could erase.  In first grade I remember thinking that my teacher didn't like me and that I was (the "S" word) stupid.  I'm sure that she was just frustrated with me because I was a struggling reader.  When you are six you do not realize that you are not meeting grade level expectations, you just sense that you are less than.  I felt as if I was being buried.  Don't fret friends...... this is a success story!  I am now an educator and a Reading Specialist!  There were also many teachers that would come to support and counsel me into believing that I could rise to any occasion!  There is still one teacher that I correspond with multiple times a year and he still encourages me!

A Daily Reminder 

The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!
This photo collage is taped up inside my classroom so that it is the first thing I see when I walk through the door.  During the school year I teach first grade.  On the left is me in first grade, the center is my daughter in first grade, and the right is my husband in first grade.  I try to treat my students as I would have wanted to be treated, as I would have wanted my family treated.  AND in case you're wondering.... It was not purposeful to put my daughter in a mock turtleneck and overalls like my mother did to me! 



Start the Year With a Positive Attitude!

The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!
Teachers are insanely busy!  Challenging students consume our time.  It doesn't matter if the challenge is student behavior, academics, or medical issues...... it takes extra moments from our day to deal with all of these extra challenges.  Problem solve ahead of time so that you can breeze through those moments.  My advice is to collaborate!  I'm sure that your colleagues have copies of their behavior calendars, intervention paperwork, and notes that they've sent home previously.  Change the electronic document to reflect what you need and move on!  Teachers are naturally creative, helpful, and look out for each other.  BUT we can't help one another if we don't know the need is there!  Ask for help!



Take A Glimpse Into The Future

Here I am reflecting and sharing things that happened to me as a first grader.  What will be said about you?  I want all of your students to come back and tell you that they were a success because of something YOU did or YOU said!  Educators have the ability to empower students.  We can make them believe that they are a super hero writer, a rock star reader, a master mathematician by using positive speak.  We can design lessons that meet the needs of different kinds of learners.  Make sure that you allow your students to sing (yes, even the high school students), move, and play (hands on activities).  Don't be afraid to differentiate!  Maybe certain students can only handle 10 addition problems before they get frustrated but others need 20.  The students will come back and thank you for allowing them to sing a rap to remember fractions, climb around on the floor to remember animal movements, and for caring so much that you gave them classwork that met their needs.  Your actions and words will stay with these children just as they have stayed with me...... so please....... choose them wisely!

What Do You Remember?

Please share!  What do you remember from your childhood?  Who was your favorite teacher?  Why?  What activities do you implement?  How do you address the students in your class to make them feel empowered?  I'm so excited to hear from you!













Pin For Later
The Mexican Proverb "They tried to bury us but they didn't know that we were seeds" stays with me always.  I know you want to give EVERY child in your classroom the opportunity to succeed.  This post will give you insight and propel you into the new year so that success will be possible for every student!