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27 04, 2020

Engaging First Grade Google Classroom Digital Activities for ELA Centers

By |2020-04-28T09:31:07-04:00April 27th, 2020|Google Classroom Use, Grammar, Technology in the Classroom|0 Comments

Grammar plays a role with reading comprehension and writing development, so its important students are getting a firm foundation with grammar early on in elementary. It can be tough to find engaging first grade grammar activities to use in one’s ELA centers. That is why I came up with some digital activities that can be used in Google Classroom. I wanted to make sure students could easily decode the sentences as they practiced these grammar concepts from the standards and worked towards improving their writing. I wanted to make sure they were as hands-on as much as possible, so I added fun twists like sliding magnifying glasses and punctuation marks. Also, I made sure to include activities that used higher-order thinking, so I made sure to have things like fix-it sentences to get them analyzing and fixing the errors.

At the beginning of each digital grammar activity, I include a video that plays at the beginning of each of them that teaches the grammar concept. Now these videos are not meant to replace great teaching instruction, but they are great for review before completing the activity. However, you can also certainly use these activities in your classroom with an interactive whiteboard to teach a mini-lesson and do some guided practice with them.


I also made sure to include kid friendly instructions with each resource if your students will be using these independently as a center activity.


If you have ever looked at the Common Core standards for grammar, you know how much ground there is to cover and how some of the things they want mastered seem to be a bit much for first grade. I worked diligently to make sure to cover these standards while putting a lot of thought into making them developmentally appropriate. At the beginning of the year, you may have students that are still grasping basic reading skills. However, its important to start covering grammar out the gate to make sure to cover everything that year. That is why I made sure to include some grammar activities for first grade that did not involve the need for decoding sentences, but students could still work in developing an understanding for things like adding an -s to make the word plural.

Understanding proper nouns and the use of capital letters was another grammar standard I felt students could start to learn early on in first grade too.


Building up student’s oral language with using things like demonstratives is also a concept that is good for the early part of first grade. Just like the sentences above, these grammar activities do not involve sentence decoding either, yet students are learning proper usage of words like these and those.

When you are ready to combine sentence decoding and grammar to get students to apply these concepts in their writing, its important to start off with some familiar concepts like action verbs. With this activity students decode the simple sentence and mark the action word with a star.


As students begin to gain a firm foundation in recognizing and understanding verbs and plural nouns, they can then move on to subject-verb agreement. These activities can also flow over into their writing activities. You could easily put a focus that week in writing workshop to get students paying attention to their use of nouns and verbs in a sentence to make sure they agree. Application is always important, but sometimes there is definitely a gap between grammar and writing when they do not have some focused, engaging activities to make these concepts more concrete. It is hard for young students to apply grammar when the concept has never been made concrete to them.  These activities play a huge part with grammar use in writing because it provides visuals in their minds to help them recall as they write and gives them some hands-on practice. That makes the concepts more concrete to them. The more concrete, the more they will be able to apply the use of subjects and verbs agreeing in their writing.

Another aspect of verbs to cover in first grade that is important is verb tenses. This is important because often they will come across many past tense verbs as they read. This aids in them being able to decode these words more easily by recognizing that -ed on the end is a change to the tense of the verb. Additionally, the understanding of future tense verb use will also help with reading comprehension as they begin to understand writing that is taking place either in the past, present, or future. This also flows over into their writing as they learn to write narrative pieces.


Conventions are another important area that needs a lot of additional practice for students. Drag and drop activities add a fun and engaging twist to help make this concept more concrete.

Here are some comma activities where students work on adding commas to dates and items in a series.

Teaching about simple and compound sentences is another important area to cover in first grade.  To set a firm foundation with simple sentences, students can complete the sentence by adding the predicate or telling part to the sentence. This particular set also includes some sentences where they have to add the subject instead.

Once students are ready to write more complex sentences, you can show them how they can combine two sentences into one with a conjunction. Since the books students read are becoming more divergent with the sentence structures, it is important they learn to understand how compound sentences are two complete thoughts. Recognizing various sentence structures as we read is all part of improving reading comprehension.


Students can become more familiar with conjunctions with this fun red light activity.

Having students find errors in sentences and fix them involves higher-order thinking, so it is a good way to get them thinking about things like the use of capital letters, punctuation, verb agreements, and more.

Other grammar concepts to teach in first grade include different types of pronouns, adjectives, and more. Here are two adjective activities. The first gets students use to the idea of how some adjectives can describe one of the five senses. The other one has students describing a noun with any adjective they choose.

This pronoun activity has students fish for the pronouns. Then they move onto the other slides and swap out the noun or nouns with a pronoun.


With this activity, students spot the indefinite pronoun in a sentence.


Possessive nouns is another area to cover in first grade. This simple activity has students distinguishing which ones are possessive. The other nouns that are not possessive either are plural or normally end with the letter s. The apostrophe is drag and drop too.

Later on after students understand both pronouns and possessive nouns, they can learn about possessive pronouns with this drag and drop activity.

The proper use of articles is another area that is commonly taught in first grade. These sentences are easy to decode and students decide which article to place in the sentence.

Spelling is another area of grammar, so I created some different spelling activities. This one has students focusing on spelling patterns.

This other activity has students using inventive spelling. The final one is a sight word activity that focuses on the spelling of commonly used sight words. You might not always think grammar activity when you first see the sight word activity, but the Common Core standards actually mention students use conventional spelling with frequently irregular words. The standards also mention that students use phonemic awareness and spelling patterns to spell untaught words too.


With these digital grammar activities for first grade, your students will be engaged as they develop their writing and even reading skills. You can find these all individually or sold as a bundle at a 50% discount in The Candy Class store on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Find the first grade digital grammar activities bundle by clicking here.

Looking for individual resources instead of the bundle? Find the first grade individual grammar resources here. Looking for kindergarten digital grammar activities? Click here. You can also find second grade digital grammar activities here.


Thanks for visiting The Candy Class!

Sharing Teaching Ideas for K-2

Jolene Mathew








30 03, 2020

How to Download and Use Your Google Classroom Resources in Three Easy Steps

By |2020-03-30T21:20:37-04:00March 30th, 2020|Classroom Organization & Management, Google Classroom Use, Technology in the Classroom|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Today, I want to share some video tutorials for using digital resources in Google Classroom in three easy steps.

This past week, I know many of you have been thrown into uncharted waters. I get that it is very overwhelming. After spending all my spare time last week trying to answer questions, I have decided maybe videos might help more. If you have purchased one of my digital resources for Google Classroom use, then those also come with step-by-step instructions in the main pdf that you download with your purchase. If you prefer to read directions over watching a video, I recommend referring to those instead.

#1: Make Your Own Copy of the File

The first video goes over making a copy of my resource, so you have your own copy to assign to your students. One thing, I want to emphasize here is make sure to be logged out of all your Google accounts including any Gmail in your default internet browser before making a copy. Then log into your Google for Education or Google Classroom account, so it is ready to have the files added to its drive.


#2 Assign a Copy of Your File in Google Classroom

This second video covers how to give the assignment in Google Classroom. For primary students, I recommend assigning from your Drive instead of sharing a link of your copy. Please do not assign my link to your students. That will not work properly.


#3 Use it Interactively in Edit Mode

In order for the features to be interactive and for your students’ work to be saved, they will use the files in edit mode. This is when they are exited out of presentation mode.



1. It’s not dragging and dropping.

Make sure to not enter presentation mode. It is meant to be used in edit mode. Also, if you are using a tablet or iPad, download the Google Slides app to use it instead of using it in an internet browser.

2. It says I don’t have access, so please give me access.

Please review over the video from step number one. You will need to first make a copy of your own file and assign your copy of the file to your students. The first two videos will walk you through that.


Would you like to try out a free sample? Check out my free digital guided reading resource here.

I hope that helps make things clear.


Thanks and be blessed!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class


18 09, 2019

Teaching the Alphabet & a Freebie

By |2019-09-18T17:40:58-04:00September 18th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

Many kindergartners come to school each year eager and ready to learn. Many students may come already knowing their alphabet letters and sounds, but many students also start without knowing most letters and sounds. As a former kindergarten teacher, I completely get how it can be challenging to get these students to master their alphabet while also trying to teach them how to read.


Often, many of these children that enter kindergarten without a firm foundation with letter recognition and beginning sounds just need to be taught their letters and sounds. Some students may not be developmentally ready. Others may have special learning needs. Whether the students just need someone to teach them or some of the students have special needs, it’s important to provide a variety of hands-on and engaging activities. Today, I am going to go over 14 ways to teach the alphabet. This will cover letter recognition, handwriting, and beginning sounds. I will also be sharing a nice size freebie with you that includes all these activities that I mention for the letter A.

Letter Recognition Activities

  1. Identifying the letter out of a group of many different letters is an important part of letter recognition. Find it activities are great for helping students to identify and discern between the different letters.

2. It’s important to use a variety of approaches of activities when teaching the alphabet to keep things interesting and engaging for students. Bubble activities are another way for students to discern between different letters.  Students enjoy using bingo daubers, so this makes it extra fun for them.

3.  When it comes to writing a sentence, students will need to know the uppercase version of their letters in order to use an uppercase letter at the beginning of a sentence. Matching up the capital with the lowercase letter helps students to learn pairs like capital A and lowercase a.

4. Sorting uses more higher-level thinking, so it is important to incorporate sorting with letter recognition. That way, students are thinking more deeply as they learn to recognize letters.

5. Children love to stamp, so definitely include stamping as a letter recognition activity. For differentiating, you can include all the alphabet letters for those breezing through letter recognition or just a handful for those who are struggling with mastery more.

6.  Students should also be recognizing how letters are part of words. By having students find the letter in a word, they will be making that connection.

Handwriting Activities

7. Coloring in the letters leads students to pay attention to the form of the letter. This help with recognition, and it helps prepare them for writing the letter.

8. Tracing is something you probably already have students do. It really helps to build up confidence for actually writing the letter and helps them to also pay attention to the form of the letter.

9. Of course, with handwriting practice, there should be actual writing of the letter. Adding a fun element like having their handwriting practice as part of an alphabet book increases engagement.

10. Students enjoy breaking out the crayons and markers. Having the students write the letters in rainbow colors just makes it more fun.

Beginning Sound Activities

11. Simple pictures that represent a beginning sound provide visuals for students, so they can distinguish between words that begin with the letter a and words that do not. Students can find and color pictures that begin with the targeted letter.

12. Like I mentioned before, sorting uses more higher-level thinking. Having students sort between pictures that begin with the targeted letter and those that do not is an important activity to use when teaching letter sounds.

13. Illustrating involves creativity. Creativity is also a higher-level thinking skill. Many students also enjoy drawing. By having students illustrate pictures with the targeted beginning sound, you will be activating their memories more.

#14 Making Alphabet Books

Alphabet books are a great way to reach your students that need to master their alphabet letters. Cutting is a process that takes time and helps develop fine motor skills. By having students cut out alphabet letters, students are processing how that letter is formed in a concrete way. They are learning letter recognition. They are developing their fine motor skills. They can also work on a variety of activities that help them to master letter recognition and sounds by making alphabet books that include these activities. Also, the act of publishing gives purpose to their learning activities. Students enjoy creating alphabet books to show to their family and friends. It’s a win across the board.

It is also very important to let them do the cutting of these, so they are receiving more out of this activity. The objective of making the alphabet books is not for them to have perfectly cut books. It is the process of making them that is important.

Follow the link here or click on the picture to learn more about my alphabet books resource.


You can learn more about how you can try out the Letter A Alphabet Book for free by clicking the picture or here.


Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class


2 09, 2019

Why Go Digital with Guided Reading?

By |2019-09-03T13:55:30-04:00September 2nd, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

If you are a primary teacher, I am sure you will not argue over my belief that guided reading is fundamental for teaching children how to read. It is common practice for primary teachers to mainly focus on having their students reading during this time. It is also common practice for kindergarten and first grade teachers to use brief reading strategy lessons and short word work activities to support reading development during this time too. While most of these activities are either printed materials or with some sort of manipulative like magnetic letters, tablets, iPads, and laptops are other tools that can be used for supporting reading development too. Today, I want to discuss the benefits of using technology during guided reading.

So Why Use Technology During a Guided Reading Lesson?

First off, when I say going digital, I do not mean go digital with everything during guided reading. The primary teacher in me does not feel like going completely digital is appropriate for young learners. What I am talking about here is swapping out parts of your guided reading lesson or activities with the use of tech tools to enhance your guided reading lessons. With the integration of tech during guided reading, you can smooth out some of the transitions with those short word work activities that often can steal from that short period of time that you have with your students. Going digital during guided reading can also save preparation time, so you won’t spend your family time prepping for the next day’s guided reading lesson. Digital guided reading activities are also engaging for students, and that is always a win when it comes to learning how to read.

Additionally, you can easily streamline things like the word work activities to keep things flowing smoothly. These can also still be very much hands-on too! Look how students can slide the digital magnetic letter to blend some CVC words below. It’s very similar to having actual magnetic letters and a word work mat to work on blending words together.

Another thing you can incorporate digitally during guided reading is the teaching of reading strategies. You can pull up digital anchor charts to teach a reading strategy right before students dive into reading or show the digital reading strategy poster to your students as you use a think-aloud activity from your guided reading lesson plans to model the strategy.

Maybe you want an easier way to organize your assessment materials like your performance assessment checklists and running records. That way you have the convenience of reviewing student data from a comfy chair or couch without lugging around a pile of papers and can skip the process of filing papers away in a cabinet somewhere. It makes student data so much more accessible and easy to manage.

Or maybe you need to mix things up in your classroom more to better reach your students. Adding a digital element will help with that! Students enjoy doing digital word work.

Should students be using regular readers and flipping those pages? Absolutely. Is it ok to incorporate some digital readers here and there. Of course. When going digital in guided reading, you get to find your happy medium of using digital and non-digital guided reading materials. Also, there is room to switch things up if you feel you need to make some changes to how you do your guided reading to maximize the time you have with your students and with teaching them how to read.

Integrating tech into your guided reading will enhance your guided reading lessons, no doubt. It also makes it easy for differentiating instruction to meet all your students’ learning needs.

That is why I created a guided reading bundle that is 100% digital and 100% printable. That way, teachers can pick and choose what to use digitally and what not to use to best fit their class. This massive size bundle is packed full with more than you need to teach guided reading for levels AA-D! That way, students don’t have to repeat the same word work activities. You will not run out with this bundle. It includes everything, but the books. That means lesson plans, reading strategy posters and anchor charts, word work activities, phonemic awareness activities, assessments, trackers, and so much more! You will even know when to move your students up with this resource very clearly. You can pick what to use digitally and what to not use digitally.

This resource follows best practices for guided reading too!

Click the picture or here for the Kindergarten Guided Reading Bundle.

Now, I know some of you stumbled on it being just for levels AA-D and are wondering about more levels. I do have plans to release a second bundle for the first grade levels sometime within the 2019-2020 frame. It is going to be a massive size bundle too. When it is released, I will be putting it on sale and will let my newsletter subscribers know. Make sure to subscribe to the free digital sampler below to receive updates when this is released. Plus, you will receive surprise freebies a week later when you sign-up too!

Going digital in guided reading will enhance your guided reading lessons, save you a ton of time in preparing for the lessons, and maximize time with transitioning between the activities.

You can test out a free digital guided reading sampler when you sign-up for my free newsletter. This sampler is packed with some goodies too! It includes a lesson plan,  reading strategy poster and anchor chart, word work activities, assessment, and more! Sign-up here.

Click here or the picture above to go to the landing page where you can sign-up for this digital freebie.

Thanks for visiting The Candy Class blog. Happy teaching!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class

28 05, 2019

Engaging Digital Word Work Activities for Literacy Centers

By |2019-05-28T20:38:01-04:00May 28th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

Today, I want to share some ideas for digital word work activities that you can use in your classroom. Digital activities are great for teachers because they save time and paper, but they still help our students learn all the important skills they need to know. The digital activities in this post will help you teach your students phonics, spelling, and sight words. Many of the activities can be used for either small groups or centers. Some can even be changed to use for whole group instruction.

Digital Word Work Activity #1

As a center, your students can build words with digital magnetic letters. Each student can build words at their appropriate learning level, even when working on the same phonics concept. For example, when working on the L blend, emerging students can choose from options like fl, bl, or gl to complete the word “flower.” Intermediate students can choose from a jumbled assortment of letters like h, k, l, t, and f to create the same word. When students are ready for more of a challenge, they can type a sentence for each new L blend word that they created.

Digital Word Work Activity #2

You can also use digital magnetic letter activities for small group instruction. You can have all the students work on the same blend, but each student can build a different word from that blend. For example, one might be working on the word “crab” while another works on “crow.” As the students create new words for the “cr” blend, you can make a running list on an anchor chart of these words. You can write “cr” in a different color if you’d like to make the blend stick out more for the students. At the end of your small group instruction time, you can have students practice reading the words on the chart aloud.

Digital Activity #3 with Spelling Words

In centers or small groups, students can refer to a list of spelling words and “graph” the words. This means they will type the words in columns based on their number of letters. Emerging students can type in columns for three, four, five, and six-letter words. Intermediate students can use these columns, plus added columns for words with seven and eight letters. Students that are ready for an even greater challenge can graph words with nine or ten letters!

Digital Activity #4 with Spelling Words

Your students can also practice parts of speech with their spelling words. Emerging students can type their spelling words under either the “noun” or “verb” category, while intermediate students can type the words under “noun,” “verb,” adjective,” or “adverb.”

Digital Activity #5 with Sight Words

With this word work activity, students can mix the word up in the soup bowl and fix it back up. Then they can read the word to a partner and move on to the next word.

Digital Activity #6 with Sight Words

Your students can also practice sight words by using the Kids Doodle app to write sight words on their tablets. Students can draw a word and read it to their classmate. Then their classmate writes the word. They could also type the words instead. You can give your students a sight word list or a digital alphabet chart to help them write the words correctly.

I hope my digital activity ideas will make your job easier by saving you time and paper, and I hope they will also help your students have fun while they do word work! All the digital word work activities I mentioned in this post can be found in my store, The Candy Class. My Digital Word Work Bundle includes 121 phonics activities! You can download it here.

I also have separate resources for the spelling and sight word activities in this post. You can find the spelling resource here and the sight word resource here.

If you are looking for more word work activity ideas that you can do in centers, read my article Word Work Activities: Hands-on Ideas for Literacy Centers. It has plenty of ideas!

Also, if you would like a simple system for setting-up technology use in your classroom next year, make sure to sign-up for my free tech course here. You will also gain access to my free resource library when you sign-up! 🙂

Happy teaching, and thanks for stopping by The Candy Class!

17 05, 2019

Help! The File is Not Downloading

By |2019-09-17T22:03:46-04:00May 17th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

When it comes to downloading pdfs and zip files from online, there are various reasons that can cause issues with the download. This post will cover various reasons and fixes, so that you can access your downloadable files.


First off, sometimes glitches happen with the internet or the internet browser. Sometimes the fix is just to refresh the browser or try again later. However, sometimes there are other reasons at play too.


Possible Reason #1: Your internet connection is slow. Files come in different sizes. If your internet is not the fastest internet out there or for some reason is acting sluggish at the moment, it can make the downloading of files slow.

Fix for Reason #1: Give the file time to download. Also, you may want to reach out to your internet provider if that is an ongoing issue with things like sites being sluggish and files downloading very slowly. However, it could be that you need better equipment for the wireless to reach properly in your house too. My office is far from our modem, so we had to buy some wireless adapters to get things up to speed.


Possible Reason #2: You didn’t check your downloads folder.

Fix for Reason #2: Make sure you look in your downloads folder for the file. I know some files like a pdf will automatically open with some browsers, but a zip file will not. If the file you are downloading is a zip file, you will need to go to your downloads folder and properly open the zip file.


Possible Reason #3: Your pop-up blocker blocked it.

Fix for Reason #3: Make sure you don’t have a pop-up blocker that is blocking the downloading. The method for unblocking will vary by internet browser and computer type. I recommend doing a quick search on how to stop a pop-up blocker for whatever browser and computer you are using.


Possible Reason #4: Your school has restrictions on downloads.

Fix for Reason #4: Download it from home and send it to yourself another way.


If none of those things help, it can be do to other factors. If you are having an ongoing issue with downloading files, it could be something to do with your internet browser. A quick fix can be using a different internet browser, but if you want it resolved, here are some resources for the different browsers.



Internet Explorer


I hope that helps!



Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class

13 05, 2019

Access My Free Teacher Resource Library

By |2019-05-13T10:39:56-04:00May 13th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

Did you know I have a free resource library that is full of engaging activities? It’s my way of saying thank you to my customers and loyal followers. My resources save teachers time and energy, and I want to share them with you too! Sign up for my newsletter and get instant access. You’ll find resources in reading, writing, and math, and if you use Google classroom, there are some special digital resources for you as well. Join the fun here and keep reading to learn more about some of my freebies!


Here’s a Fun Way to Learn Multiplication

Can you SEE why students love this math game so much? It’s a great way for students to build conceptual understanding of multiplication by building arrays with googly eyes. Students record their answer as a repeated addition equation and as a multiplication equation.


The Fundamentals of Place Value

Keeping track of the days of school with a Place Value Pocket Chart is a simple, yet effective way to build students’ understanding of place value. Adding a straw for each day, bundling the tens, and then making a big bundle for the 100th day offers your students a concrete model of this essential math concept. And as a printable file, you can even send it home with students to they can create their own place value pocket charts at home.


To further develop place-value understanding, use place-value cards in your math centers. Students can use a variety of manipulatives to represent the number on each card. Check out my blog post here to see what I mean. I have a set of cards for numbers 10-100 and a set for 3- and 4-digit numbers.

Treat yourself to all four of these free math resources by signing up for my newsletter here.


Engage Your Guided Reading

Guided Reading Freebie

Every teacher knows how important guided reading is for improving students’ reading levels. And every teacher also knows how challenging it can be to create engaging guided reading lessons for each reading group every single day. Start your guided reading with a mini-lesson on a reading strategy, such as the Chunky Monkey Strategy, and have students practice it individually in their books. When you have to conduct one-on-one reading assessments, give the other students in your group grammar task card activities to work on (paper or digital) that reinforce Common Core standards. Guided reading is only successful if the rest of your class is actively engaged in literacy activities, allowing you to focus on your group without interruptions.


Reinforce Bossy R

Free Bossy R No Prep Printables

Create a literacy center that focuses on Bossy R to reinforce this tricky spelling pattern. To learn more about how I teach Bossy R, check out this post here.

Scoop Up Spelling Activities

Have students practice independent spelling activities with a customizable spelling list.


Get all of these guided reading activities and more when you sign up for my newsletter. Click here to join.


In addition to gaining access to my free resource library, you’ll also be the first to know about sales, teaching tips, courses, and other sweet deals I have in store for you. Sign up here for access to all these freebies and more.


Thank you for stopping by The Candy Class! Happy Teaching!

10 05, 2019

Improve Students’ Writing with These Grammar Ideas for Primary

By |2019-08-14T21:25:51-04:00May 10th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

Grammar teaches us to look closer at the construction of a sentence. By understanding the frame of a sentence, we become more enabled to construct better sentences. It is like building a house. If someone handed you a hammer, some nails, and wood, you probably could build something, even if you were never taught how. It might be a leaky house with gaps in the walls that wobbles when you cough, but you probably could build something. Now, if someone showed you how to build a house and mentored you, you would be able to build an even better house. To really hone those carpentry skills, additional practice of what you were shown would let you master the art of building houses. The same goes with writing. While grammar and writing are interconnected, taking time to teach grammar helps your students build better sentences and stronger writing pieces. Extra practice helps them master the craft. Having a firm foundation of grammar also helps students write with confidence. I am going to share three grammar ideas that will help you improve students’ writing. I will also be sharing some free teaching resources to help you get started with using some of these ideas too!


Improve Students' Writing with These Grammar Ideas

These activities are meant for grammar practice. I do recommend these grammar concepts be taught via a mini-lesson, mentor sentences, or in some other way that models the grammar rule or concept. These activities will help you to diversify your teaching strategies to reach all learners. Research has long proven that to maximize your chances of reaching all students, a diversification of teaching methods is needed. Definitely, use integration strategies with your writing and reading lessons. But to reach all your students, make sure to include focused activities and grammar mini-lessons too. Through diversification, you will maximize learning in your classroom.

Activity #1 Fix the Sentences

Activities that involve students fixing sentences they did not write allows opportunity for them to move away from focusing on creating content and focus solely on the mechanics of a sentence. Not only are they getting extra grammar practice, but this also helps them to develop those much-needed editing skills.

fix it sentences for grammar activities

I think it is important for these sentence editing activities to be geared towards their grade range, so I will give some examples for different grade levels. The ideas I suggest connect to the Common Core grammar standards for each primary grade level, but you can always pull from these ideas if you follow different standards.

For kindergarten and the beginning part of first grade, editing sentences can include fixing capital letters at the beginning of sentences, the pronoun I, and the ending punctuation.

For first grade and the beginning part of second grade, you still want to reinforce those elements from editing a kindergarten sentence. However, you can also add the following components once they are familiar with these grammar concepts. Some ideas include editing subject-verb agreements, using articles correctly, capitalizing dates and names of people, using commas in a series, and correcting misspelled words with familiar spelling patterns such as cat or lake.



For second grade, you still want to reinforce the elements from editing kindergarten and first grade sentences. As you dive further into grammar, you may want to add more of the following components. These components can include proper use of irregular plural nouns and past tense verbs, adding commas to compound sentences, separating run-on sentences, capitalizing holidays or product names, using commas in a letter, proper use of apostrophes with contractions and possessive nouns, and correcting spelling errors in words with familiar spelling patterns such as crown and coat.

These sentence activities can come in different formats. The one shown below is in a task card format, but you can also have the sentences on a whiteboard, a worksheet, sentence strips, and more.

Activity #2 Grammar Task Cards

Task cards come in handy when teaching grammar. You can cover just about every grammar concept with a set of task cards. They can be used for playing a game of SCOOT with the entire class, you can pair them with a game board for extra fun, you can use them for exit tickets, give them to early finishers, just use as a set of task cards, and more. Sometimes, you can even add manipulatives, such as counters, to give it a hands-on twist. They are very flexible!


Students can play solo games like Splat or do a Space Race with a friend. I have another post that explains nine different games to use with task cards including these two, so I will link that at the bottom of the post.


Let’s look at the formatting of them too. I really think the format can be beneficial to some of your students with special needs. There is one problem on each task card, so the spacing of it makes it easier for students, who might become overwhelmed with too much on a page, to read and comprehend.

close up of reflexive pronoun task cards


Additionally, it is easy to differentiate to meet student needs by providing grammar task cards that focus on concepts they need to work on at that moment.

When using grammar task cards, I also like to consider the reading levels of the students. It’s important that students focus on the grammar concept without the actual reading of the grammar activity interfering. That way, you do not have to wait until the last half of the year to start teaching grammar. There are just too many grammar standards to cover in a year. You will teach them more efficiently by making sure the reading levels do not block the student’s ability to practice the grammar concept. Just because it is the beginning half of kindergarten, does not mean students are unable to learn about nouns and verbs. With the support of pictures, kindergartners can learn all about basic nouns, verbs, and more.

verb task cards for kindergarten


Later in the year, they can work with sentences that contain simple sight words, CVC words, and picture support.

ending punctuation task cards


First graders will be developing their reading skills throughout the year, but grammar can still be taught early in the year by making sure the sentences are basic enough for them to decode easily. Start with sentences with pre-primer and primer sight words, CVC words, CCVC words, and picture support to help students focus on learning the grammar concept. Later in the year, you can move up to using grammar activities with vowel teams, diphthongs, and higher-level sight words. The example below illustrates students finding indefinite pronouns in sentences geared just for first grade.

When it comes to teaching grammar, task cards make it easier to incorporate a variety of engaging activities by including rich content from the task cards, meeting the needs of some of your students with special needs, differentiating instruction, and making sure that reading levels are not interfering with the learning of grammar standards. Task cards are also easy to prep, and you can laminate them for reuse each year too.

irregular plural noun task cards

grammar task cards with games

Activity #3 Go Digital

Similar to using grammar task cards, digital resources can be used to reinforce grammar concepts too. Just like the task cards, digital grammar activities can also be used for things like a game of SCOOT, exit tickets, early finisher activities, and more. The only difference is you don’t need to prep the task cards. Instead, students will need to be assigned the file, or you can run them as a presentation and let them use a recording sheet, if you do not have an LMS or another system, to keep assignments organized. If you have Google Classroom, assignments are easy to do with a click of the button. Also, you can set-up folders in Microsoft OneDrive if using PowerPoint instead. Office 365 for education is actually free to those with a valid .edu email address. I will provide the link to that below.

An additional benefit of the digital grammar activities is that an anchor chart can be placed at the beginning to reteach the concept to students. For my kindergarten digital grammar activities, I included a video option, since the reading level would be a challenge. When a video is not desired because of a lack of access to headphones, the slide can easily be deleted.

complete sentences digital task cards

For my second grade grammar activities, a presentation plays instead.

adverb digital task cards

Digital grammar activities are easy to use in a literacy center or station, so you can squeeze in extra grammar practice. That way, your students can hone their writing skills and write with confidence!

ending punctuation digital task cards

You can always make these types of resources for your personal classroom use, but if you would like to save time, I do have all these grammar activities for sale too. I sell them individually and in bundles.

Here is the link for all my grammar activities. You can also click the picture below too.

grammar activities for primary grades


If you would like to filter by grade, you can check out my kindergarten grammar resources here, my first grade grammar resources here, and my second grade grammar resources here.

Here is the link for the grammar and language arts bundles here. It will filter out my other resources. You can also click the picture below.

grammar bundles for primary grades

If you are new to using these types of digital grammar activities, I have a free tech course that will help you get a simple three-step system in place. You can get more information and sign-up for that here.

Using technology in the primary classroom to reach more students a free course

If you are interested in Office 365 for Education and have a valid .edu email address, you can find information on that here. Please note, I am not affiliated, nor does Microsoft endorse anything written here today. I just want to inform you all of this handy resource.

I also have free grammar resources to share with you all today.

free noun task cards for grammar activities

Click here for the free kindergarten task cards. This one covers nouns in context. To keep these on a kindergarten reading level, the sentences include cvc words, common sight words taught in kindergarten, and picture clues.

Click here for the free first grade task cards. These target the CCSS language standard to spell frequently occurring words with irregular spelling patterns. These can easily be used in kindergarten too.

free verb tense task cards

Click here for the free second grade task cards. This one covers verb tenses. These can also be used in first grade with students with stronger reading skills.

Looking for more game ideas to use with the grammar task cards? Find nine game ideas and a free game here. Make sure to check out some of my other grammar posts too. I share many ideas here, here, and here.

I hope my ideas and tips were helpful to you all, and ultimately to your students! Thanks so much for stopping by The Candy Class! Happy teaching!

Sharing Teaching Ideas for K-2

Jolene Mathew


Pin for Improving Students' Writing with These Grammar Ideas


17 04, 2019

Nine Games to Use with Grammar Task Cards

By |2019-05-14T00:37:39-04:00April 17th, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

I’m excited to show you nine different games (including a freebie) that you can use to make your grammar task card activities more hands-on. Let’s face it. It can be a challenge to constantly teach rich content that is also engaging and fun for students. Task card games tap into children’s love and need for PLAY, which is the most powerful learning modality there is! Pairing games with task cards will help students to practice a variety of grammar skills and other content. While I will discuss using these with grammar task cards, these games will work for any task cards in any subject.

game ideas to use with task cards

It’s important for task card games to be simple and easy to remember, so that students can work independently. The game is not meant to overshadow the task cards, but to reward students with a playful action every time they complete one.

Game 1: Walk the Block

For Walk the Block, students complete a task card and move around a game board. The first person to go from start to finish wins. You can repurpose old game boards or make your own using cardstock and dot stickers. Students will eagerly draw task cards as they race to the finish line. In this activity, students can discern between complete and incomplete sentences. Once they complete the task, they can move a space.

Game 2: Splat

Splat is what happens when a bubblegum bubble pops and sticks to your face. In this one-player game, every time students complete a task card, they get to cover up a splat on the game board. You can use pink pencil cap erasers as the game markers to match the bubblegum theme. This activity is great for when a student needs to work solo.

Here students can fix up sentences by marking words that need a capital letter and adding ending punctuation. They then can cover up a splat on the game board.

splat task card game

Game 3: Speed Race

Speed Race is a multi-player game that students love. After completing a task card, students move one space on their race track. The game is over when all students make it to the finish line. Students can enjoy using small toy cars as game markers.

For example, students can complete a preposition task card and move a space.

speed race task card

Game 4: Chunk the Cookie

Chunk the Cookie is a simple but sweet game for one player. When students complete a task card, they add a chocolate chunk to their cookie. The goal is to make the cookie as chunky as possible! You can easily make this game using brown construction paper and black pony beads too.

In this example, students can mark the word that needs a capital letter and then add a piece of “candy” to the cookie.

chunk the cookie task card game

Game 5: Sprinkle the Cupcake

Sprinkle the Cupcake is similar to Chunk the Cookie, and students will be hungry to play this one! After completing a task card, students add a sprinkle to their cupcake. The more sprinkles there are, the more learning is taking place. When students complete all the task cards, they can pretend to eat their cupcake.

For example, students can identify a complete and incomplete sentence. Ten students can add a “sprinkle” to the cupcake.

sprinkle the cupcake task card game

Game 6: Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt is a multi-player game that takes students on a hunt for hidden treasure. When students complete a task card, they move one space on the gameboard. The game is over when all players reach the treasure. Shiny pennies can be used as game markers too.

This example shows how students can mark if the picture is plural or not. After that, they can move forward on their treasure hunt.

pirate task card game

Game 7: Space Race

For Space Race, students play with a partner. Each time students complete a task card, they cross off a number starting at ten and count backwards. Once they reach blast off, they win!

One example is students can sort one of the noun task cards with the appropriate category. Then they can take a turn moving their rocket forward.

space race game


Game 8: Space Launch

Space Launch is similar to Space Race, but this time it’s a one-person game. After completing a task card, students cross off a number on the blast off countdown starting at 20. Once the countdown is complete, their rocket can launch, and they win!

For example, students can add the correct ending punctuation and countdown.

space launch task card game

As you can see, these games are simple yet centered around things students love like race cars, cupcakes, and rocket ships. You can create games with seasonal themes or make games that match your social studies and science units too. You can also add costumes to the games such chef hats and aprons for Chunk the Cookie and Sprinkle the Cupcake and pirate eye patches for Treasure Hunt. With playful elements, students will want to play again and again, and thus develop concept mastery.

If you’d like to try adding games to grammar task cards, you can find my Kindergarten Grammar Task Cards bundle here. It’s Common Core aligned and includes all nine games I’ve shared with you today, plus 15 different grammar task card sets and anchor charts. The task cards can also be purchased separately. Each task card set contains a single player game and a partner game.

grammar task card bundle

Game 9: Tic-Tac-Toe

This is the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game with a task card twist. In this partner game, players take turns choosing task cards. After completing each task, players record an “X” or an “O” on the gameboard. After one player gets three in a row, students can start a new game of Tic-Tac-Toe. The game ends when students use up all the task cards.

If you’d like to try this Tic-Tac-Toe game for free, sign-up for my newsletter here. Please note, the task cards in the picture are not included. However, read on for how you can receive some free task cards too.

tic-tac-toe game

Once you sign-up for the newsletter, you’ll receive many other freebies, teaching ideas, sales announcements, and more. Click on the image or here to sign-up!

If you would like to read about more grammar ideas, make sure to check out my post here. It also gives information on how you can receive a free set of noun task cards for kindergarten, a set of verb task cards for first grade, and a set of verb tense task cards for second grade.

Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class! Happy teaching!

16 04, 2019

Ideas for Teaching with Phonics Posters

By |2019-04-16T17:59:35-04:00April 16th, 2019|Reading|2 Comments

Today I’m going to share with you nine teaching ideas to use with your phonics posters. As you all know, an alphabet, displayed horizontally across a wall, is a standard feature in most elementary school classrooms. But have you ever asked yourself what purpose is it serving? How are my students (and I) using it, if at all? Is it contributing to student success and independence? Let’s remember, wall space is precious real estate in our classrooms.

Ideas for teaching with phonics posters

One way to make your standard alphabet wall more meaningful is to add long vowel sounds, digraphs, and blends. You can even rename it “The Sound Wall.” After all, sounds are the foundation of reading and writing.

Consider this: A preschooler who only knows the 26 letter names, knows just that. But a kindergartener who knows just six letter sounds (s, a, t, i, p, n) and how to blend them can read over 30 words!

As students learn more and more word patterns and phonetic rules, you can reflect their learning on your ever-growing sound wall with phonics posters. This is just one way to make your wall space interactive and meaningful. Keep reading for even more ideas to support your early readers using phonics posters.

Idea #1: Daily Review

Choose the phonics posters you want to focus on for the day and lead the class through a review of the sounds. This is a great morning meeting routine and can help wake up sleepy brains and bodies. Reinforcement can be done with a chant. For example, when I point to a poster, together we can say, “Adventurous anteater a-a-a, busy beaver b-b-b, cut the cake c-c-c.”


Idea #2 Kinesthetic Review

If you want to add a kinesthetic component, you and your class can create a hand motion or body movement to go with each sound. For example, for “Kk” when students chant “kind kangaroo k-k-k,” they can jump up and down three times while saying the /k/ sound.


Turning Phonics Posters into Phonics Cards

Did you know you can easily turn your phonics wall posters into smaller cards that can be used for a variety of literacy activities? There are a few ways to do this depending on the size and format of your posters.

If your posters are in digital format:

You can reduce the size of each poster and print multiple posters to a single page by adjusting the settings in the print dialog box. If you are printing as a PDF, under “Preview” select “Layout.” Then click “Pages per Sheet” and choose between 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 16. When I first learned about this print option, I was so excited and printed in every size possible!

If your posters are store bought:

You can make smaller cards using the copy machine. Simply put the poster on the glass of the machine, reduce the size, and make a copy.

While it takes some extra effort up front, it will be worth it in the long run because consistency is so important when learning phonics. When students can take what they’ve learned in the whole group (through the phonics posters) and reinforce it at a literacy center (through card games), they are engaging in practice that is meaningful and connected.

If you posters are too large:

You can take individual photos of each one, upload them onto your computer, resize them, and print out smaller cards.

No matter which method you use, I highly recommend that you keep a master copy, laminate your cards for longevity, and make a few extras so you can maintain complete sets of cards year after year.


Idea #3: Using them in Guided Reading

Remember when I said I printed my phonics posters in every size possible? Well, here’s what I discovered.

Printing four to a page is a nice size for laminating, hole-punching, and putting on a metal ring for easy whole class review. This size also works great for guided reading when you want to introduce a certain vowel pattern or digraph in the text as a pre-reading activity.


Idea #4 Write the Room Activities

Printing six to a page is a great size for Write the Room activities. To set this up, hang up a selection of phonics cards around the room. You don’t want to hide them, but you also don’t want to tell students where they are. It’s like a scavenger hunt.

For example, you could hang up the long vowel cards for “ai, ee, ie, oa, and ue.” With a record sheet, a pencil, and a clipboard, students walk around the room, find each card, and complete a task such as drawing a picture, writing a word, or writing a sentence that matches the card.


Idea # 5 Use Phonics Posters as Game Cards

Printing nine to a page creates cards that are perfect for games like Go Fish and Memory.


Idea #6 Take-home Flashcards

With the nine-per-a-page size, you can also give students an alphabet set to practice with at home as flashcards. On just three pages, you can print the full alphabet.

I encourage my students to cut them out, and then tape them around their house. I teach them how to play “sound/letter” tag with their families. When a parent calls out a sound or letter, the student has to run to the poster, tag it and say the sound, and run back to the parent for the next one. It’s great exercise and a fun way to practice at home!


Idea # 7 Word Wall Headers

Phonics posters printed as a smaller size can also be used as word wall headers. If you include digraph headers in your word wall, such as “th,” your students will have a much easier time finding those tricky words like “there,” “they,” and “the.”


Idea #8: Matching Puzzles

Another fun use for phonics cards is to create matching puzzles. Simply cut each card in two. One piece is the letter and the other is the image.

I recommend introducing the puzzle as a whole class activity. With a class of 24 students, you can start this game after you’ve introduced 12 sounds. Cut the cards cut apart, mix them up, and put them in a box. Invite each student to draw out a card, no peeking!

On your signal, students mingle and find their correct match. Once students have made the match, go around the room and have each pair of students say the sound for the class.

You can also use this matching game as a literacy center. Just put 8-12 phonics card pairs in a bag and you’re all set. You can rotate cards in and out as you introduce new sounds.


Idea #9: Phonics Poster Collage

You can take a constructivist approach and make phonics posters with your class. Take a large piece of chart paper and either write the sound you are working on in the middle of it or glue on a phonics card. Tell your students their mission is to fill up the chart with pictures and words that have the designated sound.

Provide your students with the weekly advertisements from grocery stores, pharmacies, toy stores, etc. I pick up a few whenever I’m in a store and save them for projects like this. I prefer these over magazines because the store ads are picture heavy and have big and bold fonts, which is perfect for young learners. You can also provide your students with sticky notes, so they can draw and write their own pictures and words to add to the poster.

If you do a phonics college every time you introduce a letter, you will quickly run out of wall space! Therefore, I like to take a picture of each collage and print it out on an 8.5×11 piece of paper. You can laminate it, hole punch it, and bind it with metal rings to create an expandable class phonics book. Students will love looking at this book with each other. It becomes another form of “I Spy” as they try to find the picture or word they add on each page.


Using your phonics posters in interactive ways will engage your students and provide a solid foundation for reading.

You can find my comprehensive set of Phonics Posters and Chants here.

phonics posters with chants


And if you’re looking for more hands-on activities for teaching long vowel teams, check out my post here.

Lastly, I’d like to invite you to sign-up for my free newsletter. Not only will you get a free set of my Blends Phonics Posters once you join, you will also receive many other freebies, teaching ideas, sales announcements, and more. Get the free blend posters here.

I hope you find these teaching ideas helpful. I’d love to hear the creative ways that you use phonics posters in your classroom. Please share and comment below.

Thank you for stopping by The Candy Class!

Written by a Guest Teacher