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2005 January Newsletter
by Dr. Cindy Cupp

Dear Parents and Educators,

We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you a super new year!


This online newsletter features the two classroom teachers that tied for first place in the Jack and Jilly Gold Star Classroom Award Contest.   Ms. Kendra Knauer of Daughtry Elementary School, Butts County and Ms. Nina Pritchard of Seminole County Elementary, Seminole County are the winning teachers.  Each teacher received a $300 cash prize. In this newsletter, Ms. Knauer and Ms. Pritchard share their fabulous ideas for making the winter months of reading instruction exciting for you and your students. 


Looking forward to visiting with many of you during the next months.



Cindy Cupp
Currently, President, Cupp Publishers, Inc.
Retired, Director of Curriculum and Reading, Georgia Department of Education
Always, A Reading Teacher






Summary of Sections


Section One       First Place Winner Kendra Knauer and Students

                        Daughtry Elementary School, Butts County, Georgia


Section Two       First Place Winner Nina Pritchard and Students

                        Seminole County Elementary School, Seminole County, Georgia



Jack and Jilly Gold Star Classroom

Section 1:
First Place Winner

Kendra Knauer and Students

Daughtry Elementary School, Butts County, Georgia

Our classroom is the Jack and Jilly Gold Star Classroom because it is full of students who love to learn!  Regardless of our reading level coming into first grade we all wanted to read.  Some of us came to Mrs. Knauer’s first grade classroom already reading, others were ready to read, and some were a bit reluctant.  Dr. Cupp Readers help us all accomplish our reading goals at our own pace.   We love to play the games and read the stories about Jack and Jilly.   The greatest gift given to us by Dr. Cupp Readers is the gift of time!   Each one of us is able to achieve success everyday.  We are so excited when we move to the next reader.   Thank you, Dr. Cupp, for helping all of us to be successful.



Mrs. Knauer’s First Graders


Games and Activities 

Finding Nemo
– The rules are the same as the Race Track Game.  I printed Dory, Marlin and Nemo from the computer.  I just entered “Disney Clipart” into the search engine.  I hot glued Dory and Marlin to linking cubes for markers.  It’s so easy to prepare, yet the kids think they have a brand new game.  You can use any type of cartoon that is popular at the time.







Scooby Doo (The Ruth Game)-I got the basic idea for this game from  The pictures of Scooby Doo and FREE cards are available there.  I took cards from the Phonics Toolbox or Cheer Cards.  I used the cards for the phonics skill or sight words a group was working on.  I taped a picture of Scooby Doo on two of the cards and FREE on two of the cards.


Spread the cards out face down on the floor or table.  The children take turns choosing a card.  If the student can read the card he keeps it. If he cannot read the card he throws it back in the pile.  If the student draws the FREE card he keeps it.  If the Scooby Doo card is drawn everyone says, “Rut Roh!” (like Scooby saying “Uh-Oh”) and the child throws all of his cards back into the pile.  At the end of the game the child with the most cards wins.


Playing Scooby Doo


Beat the Tiger with Ms. Malave


  Rolling the Dice for a turn

Hop ‘n Pop


Read the Room


Peer Tutoring


Using Letter Tiles during Phonics Rotation


Mrs. Knauer and her Shining GOLD STARS!

Turkey, Turkey
-  Use either Cheer Cards or Phonics Toolbox cards.  Tape a picture of a turkey to two cards.  Spread the cards on the floor or table face down.  Go around the group drawing and reading cards.  When the Turkey card is drawn all the students stand up, spin around and say, “Gobble, gobble, gobble!”  The teacher says, “Turkeys Sit!” and everyone sits down.  This is similar to Wiggle and Jiggle and could be used with sound and letter cards as well.  Change the Turkey from month to month for the seasons.  You could use Santa, reindeer, leprechauns, etc.   You can also use different animals and plants to correlate with other subject areas being studied.


Differentiated Instruction

We split into three leveled groups for our daily rotation.  Our wonderful parapros, Ms. Grover and Ms. Malave, have invented some great strategies for determining who takes a turn.  For example, the children will roll dice and add or subtract the numbers to determine the order.  Sometimes they draw “straws”.  The straws are pipe cleaners put into the bottom of a paper cup.  We also use giant foam dice on some days. 

When a child needs extra help in a certain area we often use peer tutoring.  We assign a child with a solid grasp of the sight words or phonics skill to help the struggling child.  This has worked remarkably well considering the age of the children.  I have even let them use an old watch for a timer.  Two of my students came to me this year reading 17 sight words.  With everyday practice using the readers and peer tutoring, both students have improved significantly.  The first student has moved from group 3 to group 2 and is now at the top of the middle group.   The second student is now reading 44 sight words with automaticity.

One of our centers is the “Jack and Jilly” center where the children can read the Thinker Box Books, play with the letter cards or practice Hop ‘n Pop.  They love this center.  They like to switch roles pretending to be the teacher and student.  They have even made up their own games using the letter cards and Hop ‘n Pop cheer cards. 

Those children who need enrichment are able to use their writing skills to write their own Jack and Jilly stories and tutor their peers. 


Section 2:
First Place Winner

Nina Pritchard and Students

Seminole County Elementary School, Seminole County, Georgia


This year I am an EIP Augmented kindergarten teacher, serving three classrooms.  We are implementing the 3-group rotation in these classes, with each lasting for an hour and a half daily.  The only reading material I use in these classes it the Dr. Cupp Program, Jack and Jilly.  Many of the students had no concept of letters.  I used the alpha-motion cards along with the readiness manual.  Once they had mastered the letters for readiness, the other letter names seem to fall in place, although they were still having trouble matching upper and lower case letters.  I printed the upper and lower case letters on heavy paper and cut them out.  I made several copies and had t
he students match them up.  I also went to Jan Brett’s web page where I found very colorful upper and lower case letters on little flags that I printed and glued on craft sticks.  The children liked this because the pictures were colorful and different.  (

My granddaughter is in kindergarten this year and many of the games I use were developed to help her.  She was having trouble with the onset rime, which she doesn’t have to master until Reader
15, but she just couldn’t get the concept.  I printed the onset and rime and the words on flash card paper.  I cut these out and we played a game making as many words as we could out of them.  For example: the rimes at, an, am, ap; the onsets: P,m,n,r,c,p,S; the words: Pam, Sam, can, ran, tan, man, rat, cat, pat, mat, sat, cap, map, nap.  She loved this and it worked for her. 
I made several copies and used it with my groups.  The like
it, can match the onset rime, and say the word.  The students then check to see if the word matches what they have put together.  I now do it with each ten-minute phonics lesson and throw in some of the earlier lessons for review.


One of the students’ favorite games is what we call the “slap down game” (students named this game).  I started with the students’ names.  I have six in most of my groups, so I printed each child’s name six times or however many were in the group.  I gave each child a set with a set for me.  I call out a child’s name and slap the card face town on the table.  Each child slaps the card I call out face down.  On three we turn the cards over to see if we are right.  If a child does not get the right card, they can then find the one that matches the rest of ours.  I started with names of the children so they would be successful and understand that letters make words.  After a few days of this, I introduced the words, Jack, Jilly, can, and play.  We used the
letter cards to match upper and lower case to spell out these words.  We used the cheer cards to see how to spell these words.  They love the cheer cards.  I tell them that when I grow up, I want to be a cheerleader and that I need their help in learning the cheers.  Now we are ready to play the “slap down game” with the new words from Jack and Jilly.  I use this for every reader.  Some groups do not need this so we skip it, while others need it over and over.



When they have mastered the words we make sentences out of the cards.  For example:  Jack can play.  Also, I made a large question mark, period, exclamation mark, and comma.  We talk about these and used them at the end of the sentences we make.



Beat the Tiger is one of my favorites.  I had my granddaughter with me in Wal-Mart one night and we were in the toy section when she screamed, “There’s the Tiger that I can beat”.  My husband thought she had lost her mind until I explained what she was talking about.  Well, that Tiger goes to school with me now.  I introduced the Tiger to the children and told them that the Tiger loves for them to beat him when they read, because it means they are getting smart and will soon be able to real lots of stories to him.  They get to hold the tiger when they beat him until someone else beats him.  The children have no problem with passing him from one to another.









I was having a problem with the children following along when someone else was reading.  I got a $15.00 tape recorder from Wal-Mart (my favorite shopping place) and recorded the lesson.  The next day I played the recording and after all the “that’s you” were over, I could watch and listen and see if they were in the correct place.  They tried it and did an excellent job.  When I played it back, the others followed along trying to find a word the reader had missed.  This has been very successful, because they try so hard to read well and to follow along when it is played back.  This works best in groups A and B.  I have used it in group C when I knew they were going to be successful.  It might just be a sentence or one line of Hop’n Pop.


There is a boy in one of my classes I will call Joe (not his real name).  I knew from day one Joe was going to be a challenge.  Joe was not a discipline problem.  Joe’s mother told his homeroom teacher not to expect much from Joe, because he was really, really slow.  She said she was getting a check for him.  Joe is a big boy for his age, always neat and clean.  He has a lazy eye, so you can’t tell where he is looking.  He is clumsy and very messy, when doing his work or eating.  Joe’s mental age when he was tested for kindergarten in the Spring was 2.0 (Peabody Picture Vocabulary test).  Joe was given the DIBLES (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessment at the beginning of school; he scored 0 on letter naming fluency.  On the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment P-R, GKAP-R, he scored 130.  A score of 140 is ready for kindergarten.  Joe also has a speech problem.  He is in one of my C groups.  He tries but just doesn’t seem to be getting it.  Thursday, October 7th, I was working with a group in this class and the paraprofessional was doing Hop’n Pop with group C.  She screamed and scared us all.  She just kept saying, “He beat the timer!! He beat the timer!!”  The classroom teacher and I stopped the groups to see what she was talking about and it was Joe.  The entire class started clapping and congratulating Joe.  It was a moment none of them or us will forget anytime soon.  Joe was grinning from ear to ear.  Jack and Jilly works!


I can’t pick just one of the three classes that I serve as the one that should receive the Gold Star Award.  I am an EIP augmented teacher this year in kindergarten.  For the past several years I have been a self-contained EIP teacher in kindergarten.  I have always asked for EIP classes; it is such a joy and reward to see these children succeed.  Most of these students have never known success in an academic setting.  This year, and we have only been in school 45 days, my EIP students are reading.  I am only using the Jack and Jilly program.  I am in each of my three classes for one-and-a-half hours a day.  We do the 3-group rotation in each class.  It is amazing what these children can do.  They have come so far and feel so good about themselves; this is why I think my classes should be the Gold Star Class.  This is by far the most successful year I have had teaching EIP students.  I have been teaching kindergarten for 25+ years.  Whether we win or not they will always be my Gold Star Classes.




Pictured here on the left is a child who has a brother in another Kindergarten class. his brother is repeating Kindergarten and is a good student who has gone through several Readers. This is a picture of Rashaad getting his first Reader and homework assignment. He was so excited having homework and his very first Reader.