Classroom routines are settling a bit,
students are getting into the groove of things,
and we are really starting to dig deeper into our curriculum!  

I use Sound Boxes daily with my students. Sound Boxes help your students build phonological awareness as they blend and segment individual sounds (phonemes), sequence letters in words, match letter sounds to letter symbols, and more! Sound Boxes are perfect for small groups and RTI. Each box represents one phoneme or sound. 

I prefer to introduce sound boxes in small groups.

Here's the process I use:
1) Explain to students you are going to show them a neat way to stretch words. Then display a sample sound box.
2) Discuss how CVC words have 3 sounds or phonemes and display an example picture.
(I use the word "cat.") 

3) Ask students to listen as you say the word “cat.” Have students slowly repeat the word.
4) Place counters or pennies above each sound box. Model how you can use sound boxes to help you write the word “cat.” As you slowly say the word, push a counter into the appropriate box for each sound. Make sure to emphasize the left to right direction. 
5) Then show students how you can “push” an object into each box to help you hear and sequence individual sounds. Students can then write the sounds they hear in each box or place a manipulative letter in each box. 

Here's a look at my kiddos working with sound boxes!

A few pics of my kiddos using the boxes this week.

We use the color boxes, but they also come in black and white.
Sorry about all the shadows...the table really is clean...

The kiddos wanted to "pose" their cards for this one! Ha! 

I have three Sound Box packs that cover short and long vowels!

This shows what you'll see in the pack for EACH vowel.

Happy Day, Friends!!

Comfy and Cute Shoe Search-The List

Hi, friends!
Many of you commented here and on FB about your favorite comfy/cute shoes. 
Many of you are on the search with me! 
 Looking for a casual slip-on?

How about a lace-up?

Are you a boot lover?

 Can't part with your heels?

Why is it so difficult to find a cute shoe that is comfortable enough to teach in
and doesn't cause leg/foot pain at the end of the day??
Seriously, someone could make a mint if they listened and created.

I've been introduced to several new-to-me brands on this search, so...
I thought it might be a good idea to compile a list of Teacher Recommended Shoes complete with links.

A few observations
1) There is a market for cute and comfortable shoes for teachers.
2) You need to be willing to spend a little $$ for quality shoes.
3) There is no One Great Shoe for all teachers.
4) Some of these companies have brand new looks!
5) Several shoe companies have cute bags, as well! 
6) Shopping for shoes is fun! Okay, we already knew that!

Here you go, my teacher friends! Happy Shopping!
Teacher Recommended Brands 
Click on the brand to shop.
Just FYI: no compensation here!
Tieks (sigh...)
Tennis Shoes

Spendco Insoles

UPDATE: Here's my Pinterest board for more choices!

I will add to this list as brands are shared.
Thanks so much for sharing your favorites!
Have a comfy week!!


Happy September, friends! Fall is coming, and I love it!

**This is a serious post. I'm not being compensated in any way by these shoe companies.
I'm not opposed to it though. Wink!

Don't you love these Dr. Scholl's slip-ons??

I've been searching for YEARS (I did say YEARS)
for a cute but comfy shoe to wear to school.
I'm telling you, it is not an easy task!
When I started teaching in 1991, shoes were cute and comfy.
I choose to remember them that way anyway.
I know we didn't wear heels to school and weren't allowed to wear flip flops then.
We were wearing stirrup pants, too, so maybe the shoes weren't as cute as we thought...
but they were comfy. 

Here I am 22 years later and looking for a comfy shoe.
I would really, really love it if it were cute, too.
Tell me it isn't too much to ask!! 

Just FYI: My classroom is not carpeted!

Have you ever googled Teacher Shoe??
It's interesting. Go take a look.

Here are a few pics that popped up on Google.

 Not exactly what I had in mind, but no judgement here.

One of my sweet friends comes to school in her cute shoes.
By 9:00 am, she is wearing her Sock Monkey slippers in her classroom.
She wears her "real shoes" in public places like the cafeteria. 

Back to my problem.  Cute comfy shoes.

I have these and a few others very similar.
They are comfy for about 2 hours, then not so much.

I found these and love them.
They are so light and comfy, but I can't wear them with everything.
By the way, they are Easy Spirits. I'm not ashamed...
They have a whole line of e360 shoes that feel like you are walking on air. Cute, huh??
Recently I came across these and am IN. LOVE.
They make me happy and are super comfy, but not comfy enough to wear to school everyday!

Born has some cute Fall shoes, but we really won't wear them around here until October.
I want something I can wear year round!
I really like this one! it comfy?? It's Born-it should be!

I'm more than smitten with this shoe right here, too! Oh, my!
They are so cute, and they look very comfy! But then, there's the price tag...

 If by some really weird chance, the Tieks folks are reading this,
I'd be more than happy to try out a pair!

A lot of people tell me to try Alegria or Dansko.
Have any of you tried them?? I'm just not sure!

 Love the hearts on this Alegria!

 Love this zebra print Dansko, too!
Okay, friends! It's your turn!
I would love any help I can get!
Remember, I'm looking for CUTE and comfy!
So, what shoes do you wear to school?