Posts Tagged 'vocabulary'

Words of a Feather!

The summer is a good time to brush up your own vocabulary while your students are on holiday. Therefore, why not play a few rounds of this tricky etymology game on the site Words of a Feather. The site states:

Words of a Feather is a book of doublets: word pairs that trace to a common source. An example is card & chart. Both come from the Latin charta, “leaf of paper.”

What is the doublet of demin–Denis, dense or Nimes?! Play the etymology game to find out!

Thanks to Debbie Shults for recommending this site and other vocabulary instruction tips and resources in her recent article titled, “Vocabulary Instruction: The Non-amorphous Shape of Word Knowledge.”



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I am excited to announce that FreeReading now has over 250 new and FREE K-3 vocabulary, comprehension and morphology activities and printables! In addition, we just added 60 new illustrated beginning readers that focus on advanced phonics (compound words, word families, etc.), fluency and comprehension skills!

Vocabulary lessons target tier 2 vocabulary words from ~150 popular children’s stories including books like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Fancy Nancy. To see all of the Vocabulary graphic organizers and build mastery activities click here. You can also find vocabulary activities by common themes such as family and friends and my world here.

Comprehension lessons focus on important skills and strategies such as identifying a purpose for reading, story elements, prediction and more. For links to all of the comprehension printables click here.

Morphology lessons include activities for the most popular prefixes and suffixes K-3 student encounter in texts and everyday conversations. For links to all of the morphology printables click here.

Finally, you can find links to 60 new illustrated FreeReading beginning readers here. I particularly like A Firefighter’s Thanksgiving and Transportation.

Check the new FreeReading resources out and tell your friends about FreeReading by sending them a link to FreeReading here.



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Another site to bookmark: FREE phonics, comprehension, vocab and fluency printables!

Today, while on a flight to Florida en route to give a FreeReading presentation, I spent some time going through emails and resources I bookmarked over the last few months. While doing so, I came across an email from my friend Cynthia recommending that I look at Steck-Vaughn’s Professional Development Resources. Once I arrived at my hotel this evening, I took a look at the site and was quite impressed by the number of free and high quality research articles and classroom resources in the areas of phonics/phonological awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency.

For example, take a look at:

  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears (Readers Theater, found in the fluency section of the site)
  • The story map chart (found in the comprehension resources)
  • The Frayer Model worksheet (found in the vocabulary section of the site)
  • The Amazing Alliteration worksheet (found in the phonological awareness resources)

This is definitely a resource to bookmark for use during summer school or next fall!

Signing off from Ft. Lauderdale, FL!


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Free ELL Literacy Resources on the Web

While reading the latest issue of T.H.E. journal, I came across a very useful article about online resources for ELL teachers and students. In the article, ELL Spoken Here, I learned about the following resources:

  1. Childtopia-This site has a ton of educational games in multiple languages to help children develop literacy and writing skills. I like the Learn to Draw the Letters Game.
  2. ESL Flashcards-In need of flashcards, but don’t have time to make them or care to buy them? This is a great site to bookmark!
  3. Kindersay-My favorite resource mentioned in the article! This site has a ton of free videos to help develop vocabulary in young children and ELL students! Try it here.

Thanks Neal Starkman for writing ELL Spoken Here!


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And the word on the street is…


I recently had a great conversation with Linda Roberts about the new Sesame Street segment called “What’s the word on the street?” The segment features a character named Murray who is always looking for the new word on the street. Murray learns vocabulary by talking with kids and adults in his neighborhood about words like amazing, predicament and squid.

I love the concept of “What’s the word on the street?” for a number of reasons. First, the clips are absolutely adorable and entertaining! Also, while they are short, they provide just enough background information around a word to make them a useful word-learning and reinforcement tool at home and in the classroom. Each clip not only defines a new vocabulary word, but provides background information, context and visual cues to help children (and adults!) internalize the word. To see more episodes, subscribe to the Sesame Street podcast here.

What’s the next word on the street?!


Worksheets galore!

Yesterday, my colleague Cher introduced me to  ABCTeach. If you are looking for a place to get high quality printables for free, ABCTeach is not a site to be ignored! Below are links to a few things you might find of interest:

1) Sample rebus worksheet: A Picnic is Fun. Find more rebus worksheets here.

2) Henry and Mudge vocabulary worksheet

3) Literature Circle Planner

See you on ABCTeach!


And the word of the day is…


nocebo (no-SEE-bo) noun

A substance producing harmful effects in someone because it is believed to be harmful, but which in reality is harmless.

Want to expand your vocabulary by a word a day? While doing some vocabulary research, I stumbled upon This site has a great email feature called A.Word.A.Day. You can sign up to receive a daily email that teaches you new words like nocebo or prepone.

We all know that learning vocabulary requires multiple exposures to a word within meaningful contents, so click here to learn about activities you and/or your students can do to practice vocabulary. Or, why not create a clarifying table for your new words.

Prepone your next vocabulary lesson and start learning new words today :).


The Resource Room: Vocabulary, Comprehension, Math, Homeschooling and more

While reading through Reading Rockets, I came across a reference to The Resource Room. This site has awesome links to education research and activities for reading, spelling, reading comprehension, math, homeschooling, gifted, LD, and older learners. While doing some research on vocabulary instruction, I found this page on word part instruction and this page titled, “Multisensory Vocabulary: Guidelines and Activities” by Susan Jones.

Surf around this site! It has a lot to take in!


A Vocabulary Resource NOT to Be Ignored!

Recently I’ve been thinking about vocabulary instruction. While browsing through the Sonoma County Office of Education Reading Corner, I found a link to Lexile Power Vocabulary. The site explains:

Lexile Power Vocabulary (formerly PowerV) is a systematic and individualized approach to vocabulary development that enables teachers to assist students in grades 2 through 12 to improve their reading comprehension skills. The right-hand columns provide the links to the instructional applications: student word lists, activities and assessment (S), and teacher answer keys (T).

This is a fantastic resource because it contains vocabulary lists and activities for hundreds of books. For example, look at the following resources for Frog and Toad are Friends:

1) Frog and Toad are Friends Word List

2) Frog and Toad are Friends Word List Definitions and Review Activities

3) Frog and Toad are Friends Review Activity Answers

Thanks Kevin Feldman (Director of Reading & Early Intervention, Sonoma County Office of Education) for sharing this resource on Reading Corner! I just joined his Literacy List Serve by emailing him:


Mr. Lyons’ Kindergarten Class

During my week at the Florida Education Technology Conference, I met two very resource-savvy literacy/technology teachers. I was so excited to chat with them because they had a fantastic running list of literacy resources on the Internet. One of the resources they recommended to me was Mr. Lyons’ Kindergarten Class. I like this site because it is filled with downloadables like these word walls. Since February is coming up, why not print out Mr. Lyons’ February Word Wall for your students so that they can learn about Abraham Lincoln, groundhogs, pennies, quarters and more!

Thanks Mr Lyons.


Using hip hop in your math and reading classrooms!

I am a huge fan of Flocabulary–a hip hop group that writes, produces and performs hip hop music to teach children and teens vocabulary, history, English and math.
Everytime I visit a school district to show teachers FreeReading, teachers go wild when they hear the music Flocabulary contributed to FreeReading. Check out the Chipmunk–a song about a dapper chipmunk named Mr. T that teaches children Tier 2 vocabulary words from books such as Chrysanthemum and Make way for Ducklings.
Recently Flocabulary produced a new song called Know Your Two’s that teaches children their 2 multiplication tables. In addition, they have developed activities that build on the song here. Since this is a new song, Alex and Blake (the founders of Flocabulary) would love to hear your thoughts and feedback! So, over the holidays, why not do a little dancing to the tune of Know Your Two’s, and send Alex and Blake your feedback here. In exchange for your feedback, Blake and Alex will send you a free copy of the completed product to use in your classrooms!
Thanks and happy holidays!

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FreeRice: Brush up your own vocabulary and help feed a hungry person!

As you spend time over the school year preparing vocabulary lessons for your students, why not brush up on a little vocabulary yourself (and feed a hungry person or two)! Or, share this site with high school students prepping for their SATs!

My friend Michael sent me the link to FreeRice last night and all morning I’ve been hooked! The site is a essentially a multiple choice vocabulary quiz. For example, the site will present to you a word like declivitous and then you have to choose the closest definition from four choices, such as, downward-sloping, fussy, harmonious and yearly. For each definition you get correct, the United Nations World Food Program delivers 10 grains of rice to hungry people around the globe!

To learn more about FreeRice and click here.

Doing What Works

Today I received EdWeek’s “Learning the Language” newsletter. From that I learned that yesterday the US Department of Education launched Doing What Works. As the site explains on its FAQ page:

“Doing What Works is a website dedicated to helping educators identify and make use of effective teaching practices. Doing What Works relies primarily on the Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate and recommend practices that are supported by rigorous research. Then, Doing What Works provides examples of possible ways educators might apply those research findings, but these are not necessarily the only ways to carry out these teaching practices.”

Click here for a video tour of the site. The website is still in its early stages, but it does have a nice beginning collection on “Doing What Works” with ELL students. I like the sideshow on Warfield Elementary’s Intervention Program for ELL students. Also, check out the video on ELL Vocabulary Instruction. -Anna

To K-3 Literacy Teachers Around the Globe!

Welcome to our blog! As frugal and creative K-3 reading enthusiasts we are always sharing fun and free reading resources on the web with each other. This blog is our attempt to share useful ideas, activities and downloads with K-3 reading teachers across the globe.

We hope you find our blog posts useful and we welcome you to post your teaching stories and great-teaching-finds-on-the-web as well!


Anna and Melissa

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