Long Vowels & Place Value

It's been a quiet few weeks here on the blog.  Good reason of course...FAMILY TIME!  And holiday fun.  Lots and LOTS of holiday fun.  I like to "unplug" this time of the year and get back to what's the most important...my family.  No work.  No blogging.  No...well...nuthin'.  Completely and totally necessary.  

We spent Christmas Eve with my sweet family here in Houston....

Then we woke up at 6 on Christmas morning...sang Happy Birthday to Jesus...opened our gifts from Santa...and headed to the airport to spend the remainder of our holiday vacay with our Indiana family.

This happened to my camera....

Praise Jesus it's an easy fix and it's only the lens cover.  The strap on my favorite purse/bag also broke in the airport...causing said camera lens to crack.  Not smart packing on my part.  Lesson learned.  

I also started drinking black coffee for the first time.  I weaned myself off of creamers about 2 years ago.  Then I started on a splash of milk and some truvia.  I kept adding less and less with every cup until.... **FINALLY** I can order a cuppa joe without anything added!!!!  I'm not saying it's my favorite.  The taste is still growing on me.  But I have to say that I'm super excited about this change in my morning habit.

Speaking of changes, there will be a lot of changes coming to this little blog in the new year.  I'm excited about them all.  The look and design will stay.  I LOVE it too much to say goodbye.  But the direction of this blog will take a new turn.  I'll blog more about those changes tomorrow.

If you haven't stopped reading this blog yet, you can be on the lookout for more regular posts :)  Let's see if that's a resolution I can actually keep!  HA!!!!  

In the meantime, let's talk shop, shall we?!

This time of the year...after the holidays...is always a turning point for my kinder kids.  Most of them come back from the holidays and a switch has flipped.  I'm sure this can be said for all ages.  The proverbial light bulb has come on, so to speak.  I love that.  We forge ahead with the babies who need the extra push and we intervene/practice/reinforce with our sweeties who need the gift of more time.  

Things start getting FUN.

I'm super excited about a few "fun" things to add to the mix after the holidays.  Namely, with our long vowel word work.  I absolutely love going full steam ahead teaching long vowels/silent e/ spelling patterns.  This is one of my favorite ideas for teaching the magic e concept.

I'm not sure where I originally learned about this idea, so if you're the original creator, please let me know so I can give you credit!!!!  I found a pack of self adhesive foam stars at WalMart.  I labeled each one with an "e" and then adhered it to a clothespin.  Then you just take the magic e clothespin and "clip" CVC words to create CVCe words!  The kids LOVE this activity!  

There are SO many different ways to differentiate this activity, too.  With my high flyers, I like to include CVC word cards that CAN'T be turned into CVCe words.  Then I'll have those friends make a list of real and nonsense CVC to CVCe words.  

These word cards and clothespins make a great anchor activity. Just keep blank sheets of construction paper in the center...fold it into 4ths/6ths/8ths...whatever your preference...or let the kids choose!  Then they can clip the word cards, create & write the new CVCe words, and illustrate.  Depending on their ability level, they can use those new words in sentences, too!

I created these long vowel flip strips to supplement our learning, too.

What I love about these is the flexibilty they offer. 

And LOTS of opportunity for practice, practice, PRACTICE!!!!!  Something our kids can never get enough of, for sure.

Great for morning work...intervention...small group...center work.  Whatever tickles your long vowel fancy.

There are several different options for independent practice and there's a packet of the same flip strip activities for vowels A, I, O, & U.

You can grab them by the vowel or you can save and grab the whole bundle.

Lots and lots of long vowel practice!!!

If you're interested, just click on the pics to take you to the links.


In other news,  I updated my Place Value Packet of Fun.  More up-to-date graphics and fonts...that should've happened a few years ago :)   If you already own this resource, go back in and download it again.  If you don't, you can check it out HERE.

If you're in the market for an easy to implement place value activity, you can check out my Place Value Mystery Pictures, too!

I'm finishing up a Place Value RTI packet that should be in the shop tomorrow.  It's chock full of printables, journal supplements, center/independent activities for reinforcement, and whole group/small group games.  Just need to finish up all the details before adding it!!!  

In the meantime, here's a little FREEBIE for you!  You might recognize this already...I blogged about it back in 2011.  Things tend to get overlooked and forgotten, so I thought I'd bring it back up to the present in case you're in need of a few more place value resources for the winter.  My kids LOVED this activity!!!!

 Here's to a wonderful last few days of 2014!!!!  


  1. I'm excited to see what direction you are heading with your blog, I've been rethinking, replanning, reinventing, and rehashing the direction of mine as well. So sorry about your camera. Happy New Year!
    First Grade at Storybook Cafe

  2. About the coffee...I haven't acquired a taste for black coffee yet, but I have switched from sweet to unsweet tea and I did the same thing with salad dressing as you did with creamer. I can eat a salad without dressing. I really think you can train yourself to "like" foods. Happy New Year!

  3. I wish I could enjoy black coffee. I gave coffee up completely when I was pregnant and now that I'm not, I'm back to enjoying my creamer with a splash of coffee. Yikes! Maybe someday ;) Can't wait to hear of your big plans for your blog. I'm sure whatever it is, it will be amazing!

  4. Once again Cara, you have inspired me! I love the idea of weaning yourself from creamer! I'm not sure about the sweetner though. :) I can't wait for tomorrow's post about your "direction" it's going to be a great year!

    Oh and I'm loving the family pic, your boys are getting so big!

    MOORE Fun In First
    Best Little Moore House in Texas

  5. How inspirational this post is!
    Love from www.trangscorner.com

  6. Hi Cara! I absolutely love following your instagram and blog to see all the amazing things you do with your students, kids, and house! I was wondering if you would ever do something like a web training seminar on HOW you make all the wonderful teachers pay teachers documents. I would never want to copy your ideas (nor could I ever come up with anything close to what you do), but I'd love to learn how to make all the graphics and pages you create.

    Thank you!!

  7. You are amazing! I am so excited to grab your flip strips. I am going to hop over and download the updated place value packet too! Thank you for helping me be a better teacher and for inspiring me to be a better person. I love you dearly. Happy New Year! :)

    Heather's Heart

  8. Hi Cara, I am a retired teacher from Minnesota. My son and wife just moved to Houston from Dallas. They have a four year old who will be starting kindergarten soon. Was wondering if you could share the name of your school? I would just LOVE it if she could be in your class. They are building a home in Bellaire. Any where near you? I sub at my daughter's small Catholic school here in Minnesota and use lots of your ideas and things from TpT during my long term subbing. Thanks much! Pat

  9. I'm excited for the changes coming up -- and thank you for this wonderful resource!

  10. OH, so curious about the changes coming to your blog. Just have us wondering now, don't you!