How to Celebrate National Doughnut Day: A Little Freebie

Thursday, May 20, 2021
Are you looking for a good excuse to celebrate National Doughnut Day which happens every year on the first Friday in June? 

Here’s a free, easy to prepare donut graphing activity to help you get started. 

It’s a delicious way to focus on sorting, counting, graphing, and data interpretation with preschoolers, kindergarteners, first graders, and beginning second graders.


Start by making a few simple choices.

·       Select color or black/ white.

·       Choose a ready-to-use set with a predetermined number of donuts to graph or create your own unique sets.

·       Decide whether to glue the donut pictures on your graph or color the bar graph to match.


I promise. This donut activity is easy to prepare!

·       Print one copy of the graph and a set of donuts for each participant.

·       Use paper to print the sets of donuts if you are gluing them on the graph.

·       If you are coloring the bar graph to match, consider printing the donuts on card stock for easier handling by younger children.

·       Print copies of the graph questions for more advanced or older children.

·       Consider cutting the sets of donuts for young children. If you do, put each set in a baggie.

·       Provide scissors, glue, and crayons.


Hand out the prepared materials. Then, have your students follow these steps.

·       Cut your set of donuts (or empty your baggie).

·       Sort your donuts by kind.

·       Count how many donuts are in each group.

·       Glue the donuts in the matching bars on your graph or

·       Color the same number in the matching bar.

·       Use your graph to answer the questions.

If you decide to create your own unique sets of donuts for the graph, you can either prepare them in advance or let your students create them. 

The graph questions are specific to the ready-made set of donuts. You can use them as a guide for asking oral questions with younger children. 

Click on the highlighted words to visit my website, Just Ask Judy, where you can download your free copy of the Delicious Donut Graph

What’s your favorite way to celebrate National Doughnut Day?

Free Spanish Interpretive Listening Activity: ¿Qué Tiempo Hace?

Monday, May 10, 2021

In my 12 years of teaching secondary Spanish, I always found it challenging to find authentic yet comprehensible audio resources for my novice learners.  I didn't want my students' only source of input to be me, but I struggled to find resources that I thought my novice students would understand.  Then, one of my colleagues gave me a life-changing piece of advice: "Change the task, not the input."  She explained that students of various proficiency levels can interact with the same source of input, but at different levels.  Mind. Blown!  

With this new mindset, I found it much easier to incorporate authentic materials into my classroom, including articles and audios meant for native Spanish speakers by native Spanish speakers, as long as I kept the tasks appropriate for the proficiency level of my students.  Let's say I have an audio or an article that I want to use with both novices and intermediates.  When creating activities, I would provide my novice students with multiple-choice and true/false questions, whereas I would have my intermediate students answer open-ended questions.  Both groups are able to meaningfully interact with the source in a level-appropriate way!  

If you're interested in using authentic resources in your novice-level class, see this free resource about the weather.  Students listen to two native Spanish speakers talk about the weather where they are and students answer true/false questions to show what they have understood.

If you liked this resource, check out my other listening activities here.  Also, you can follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers to be notified about new resources, freebies, and updates!

One Practical Way to Provide Support for Decoding CVC Words

Monday, May 3, 2021
Do you have students who are constantly searching your classroom walls to find a picture that will help them figure out what sound a letter stands for so they can decode CVC words?

Do you realize how much time and energy they expend just to decode a single three-letter CVC word?

Think about how this disrupts the process of blending sounds to decode that word.

It’s likely you have a set of alphabet cards with letter-sound relationships posted on your wall. Perhaps, you have phonics posters easily viewed from your guided reading table.

I also used key word picture cards to teach, practice, and review letter-sound relationships. I even made folders with key word pictures for common vowel patterns that were handy to pull out during reading instruction. But still, so much work for some of my students.

So, why not give them what they need right at their fingertips? I created Blend to Read CVC Words with Key Word Pictures to do just that!

These word cards are designed to support beginning or struggling readers as they learn to decode CVC words in kindergarten and first grade.

This resource is ideal for those students who still require a key word picture to recall a letter name and/or its corresponding sound. 

It also provides a great springboard for beginning readers to make connections between letters, their corresponding sounds, and how to decode CVC words, with it all at their fingertips.

Use these cards as part of your direct phonics instruction in your small guided, intervention, and resource groups.

Try out a free sample to decide if this resource is a good fit for your students.

Click on the highlighted words to download this free sample, Blend to Read Short A Words with Key Word Pictures, directly from my TpT store or visit my website, Just Ask Judy, to learn more.