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About this site!

I come across many websites of fun, educational activities when I am searching for specifics to use in the classroom. And even more websites are suggested by staff development classes and colleagues. This is my attempt to organize my favorites so they are easily accessible for students to find and enjoy. Reading for pleasure doesn't always have to be a book!

About Mrs. Lopez

Hello! My name is Mrs. Tara Lopez. I am a 2nd grade teacher. I began my teaching career here at Dakota Valley in 2001, and have taught several grades. I received an additional teaching endorsement and Masters Degree emphasizing Reading in 2006. I believe literacy is an essential skill for our 21st century learners, and it should be explored in engaging ways. On a personal note, I am a California girl by birth but love Colorado! My husband and I traded beaches for mountains in 1999. We have two sons both are students here at Dakota Valley. Our family time is spent camping, playing board games, and exploring our beautiful state. If you have any questions' please call me at 720-886-3050 or email Partners in education, Mrs. Tara Lopez

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Click here to design roller coasters!

And try an even tougher one!



Phonemic Awareness

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Hearing Sounds in Words

Professor Garfield Pumpkin Patch.  A great activity that encourages readers to manipulate sounds in words.

Professor Garfield Lanolin's Greenhouse.  Phoneme manipulation, practices rhyme.

Professor Garfield The Hay Loft.  Readers practice phoneme blending from sound-segmented words.

Professor Garfield The Pig Waller.  Readers practice phoneme blending from sound-segmented words.


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Letter identifcation games

This website offers several different games to help your learner recognize letters:

A cute website reinforcing letter i.d. thought the ABC song:

This one works on ABC order and letter identification starting at different places in the alphabet:

Another ABC order and letter ID game starting at different places in the alphabet:

Sounds in words

Fuzzy Lion Ears.  Kids listen and identify the first sound in words:

Read Write Think Picture Match.  Readers sort pictures either beginning sound, short vowel sound in word, or long vowel sound in word.

Word Building

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Blending sounds into words

Both of these activities help kids recognize word families and develop familiarity with common parts of words:
*Click on word wheel 1 for easier, and word wheel 2 for more challenging word patterns.

Blending Bowl demonstrates how onsets/rimes come together to create a word.  Very cute!


Recognizing contractions and the words they represent:

Word Building

Roy the Zebra's Words within Words.  This activity encourages readers to look for 'chunks' in a word they may know to help decode the word. First grade link provided, but other grade level links are on this page.

Read Write Think Construct a Word.  Simple, engaging way for students to generate dozens of different words by choosing an ending then adding a beginning letter or blend.

Word Families

Read Write Think Word Families.  Readers sort words into word families by short vowel sound.  Reinforces vowel sounds and rhyming.

Reading activities

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Reading strategies

Into the book.  An awesome site that does a wonderful job demonstrating and encouraging reading strategies for comprehension.  Main link below, follow the 'kids' path to the activities:

Creating meaning

Roy the Zebra's Doe it make sense? This game helps readers build accuracy using high-frequency words. 


Know your MAP scores?  Use this link to practice various reading skill sets based on your scores!


This website has multiple books being read from members of the Screen Actors Guild.  Follow along and practice your FLUENCY.  Fluent readers read 'like they are talking'.

Reading Tips for Parents

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Reading with my child

This website has a whole page of links to empower parents and gives great ideas to use with your child!

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Here is a link that recommends 100 great picture books.  This is from the New York Public Library system, so don't click to 'reserve this title'.  Check to see if your school or local library offers the title.




Links for teachers

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Comprehension Strategies

This website contains lesson ideas and activities for different reading comprehension strategies: