Monthly Archives: October 2012

Effective Printing Programs

There seems to be so many different views on how printing should be taught in Kindergarten.  I recently had a meeting with our district occupational therapist and director of the early learning programs.  I asked what their views were on this matter. They both felt that the lower-case letters should be the focus of teaching beginning printing skills.  Our occupational therapist did not feel that teaching upper-case letters first would not be easier for young children.  She did feel that teaching  letter formation should not begin until about December.  The main focus for the first few months of school should be on having students experiment and allowing them many opportunities to develop their fine motor skills (drawing, playdough  and coloring).

 

What Order Should Printing Letters Be Taught?

It was recommended to start with the lower-case “magic c”.  In the link below you will find the the suggested order to teach printing.  It also includes the order in which upper-case letters should be taught.  I plan to teach upper-case letters when we start sentence writing (likely in March).  I will then introduce how upper-case letters are used begin a sentence.  My students have already started the process of printing words in lower-case letters.

 

Printing Order

 

What is the Challenge?

Trying to incorporate printing and learning letter sounds in an effective sequence is a challenge.  My program incorporates both learning to print the letters in conjunction with learning the sounds.  I have basically used the sequence suggested in the link above with a few changes to integrate with the focus theme.  I have been changing the sequence slightly to my original plan as I am not so theme focused.  I have been finding it easier to have mini themes each week that relate more to my literacy activities.  Literacy and math activities consume the bulk of my day and little time is left for other  areas of the curriculum.  For the most part, the play stations address the other areas of the curriculum.

 

Changes to the Alphabet Program  and Additional Materials

I will be revising the “Alphabet Program” for next year.  I will be including more choices of readers to use for introducing alphabet letters and related sounds.  I have found the readers to be so invaluable to teaching early literacy and phonics that I want to enable members access to numerous choices. The interactive components to the readers has proved to be very successful with my students.  They really enjoy coloring, cutting and drawing in relation to completing the readers.  It gives them a sense of ownership.  This also allows me to incorporate other skills within the interactive components (teaching letter sounds, colors, numbers, matching words and rhyming).  I am in the process of creating more readers that engage the students and that also relate to the “Alpha Tunes” songs and animated video found in the link below:

 

Animated Alphabet Video

 

Literacy Centers

I change my Literacy Centers each week.  Once I have completed a year of activities I will allow members to access these in a more organized fashion.  I post my plans each week on my blog.

 

Use of Technology 

I use my Smart Board all day long.  I realize not all of you have access to a Smart Board and I am still in the process of creating activities that are compatible with all white boards but I have had bad luck at getting developers to complete projects.  I have given my developer until the end of October to finish.  If he does not finish, I will be hiring somebody else.  It is very frustrating!!

Again, over the summer I will be revisiting all the activities that have been created and organize them so they are easier for you to access quickly.  I will also present alternative solutions if you do not have access to a white board.

 

 

What Are Your Thoughts and Experiences?

I really want to hear your opinions on teaching printing, phonics and other areas of the curriculum.

 

Kindergarten Weekly Lesson Plan – October 22 – 25

I post my weekly plans on my blog.  This lesson plan focuses on introducing the letter “Ee” and its corresponding sound, as well as, changes in my literacy centers.

8:28-9:00  Circle Time

Introducing Emergent Reader – Funny Enormous Eggs

Emergent Reader for Shared Reading – Letter “Ee” 

- Read the book “Green Eggs and Ham” by Doctor Seuss.  Focus on rhyming words within the book and the sound heard for the letter “Ee”.

- Introduce the emergent reader “Funny Enormous Eggs” to the students. Read the book together as a shared reading experience.  I display the book on the Smart Board but you can print the sentences on sentence strips or chart paper and place the pictures beside each sentence.  You could also display the story using an overhead projector (which I have done for years).  I also make a copy of the color version for our classroom library.  I copy this on cardstock, laminate and bind.

-Read the sentences together, pointing to the words while you read. Discuss what makes these eggs funny and explain to the students that they will be coloring the eggs in their version of the book (during guided reading time).

 

Sample Page from the Reader

 

Color Sample Page

 

Introducing the Letter Sound

1.  Look at the word enormous and egg.

2.  Introduce the sound  “Ee” makes focussing on the sound heard in “egg”.  Hand out small mirrors (purchased at the dollar store) and have the students observe the following:  where their tongue is placed, what their lips do when making the two sounds of letter “Ee”, feel their throat and vocal chords, do they feel air coming out from their mouth?  How do their lips change?  Review the sounds of c, u, t and a.

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9:00 – 9:40 Play Centers
Craft – Halloween Haunted House With Assistant

6 Students assigned to “Craft Center”.  My assistant works with them.  The students painted the background of the haunted house last week, now they will be cutting the shapes that have been drawn on black construction paper to complete the haunted house.  If you are a member, these shape templates have been posted in the Halloween theme unit.

 

Guided Reading With Emergent Reader “Funny Enormous Eggs”
Students will be reading the black and white emergent reader  “Funny Enormous Eggs” with me.  The focus will be on tracking words and coloring the eggs according to the text.  This integrates a comprehension component into reading.

 

Rest of Class at Play Center with Parent Volunteer

Each month we change the Centers.  I have outlined the changes below:

 

1.  Sand became dirt - Vehicles will be placed in the dirt (dump trucks and other construction vehicles).

 

2.  The “Housekeeping Center” has now become the “Farmers’ Market”.  The students use play money and play food to buy goods at the “Farmers’ Market”.  They print a list of food they would like to purchase using a guide.

 

3.  The “Big Blocks” has now become a “Train Station”.  The students put together the tracks and form a train station.

 

4.  Computers – I have downloaded the “c, e,  t” Smart Board activities on individuals computers and the students can work on this.

 

5.  Water and Paint Easel has stayed the same.

 

6.  Writing Center - The students will be completing sheets “I can draw a cat” and “I can cut.”  They will be required to draw a cat according to the drawing sheet provided or cut a triangle and add features to it.  In each case the will be printing the words “cat” and “cut” because these are letters they have learned to print.  I was surprised that this has become a popular center activity especially since I change it each week.  The students are excited about printing words.  In the link below you will find the sheets I will be introducing in the upcoming weeks.  These sheets all related to letters we have or will be learning.

 

Printing Sheets

 

7. Playdough and Lego

 

8.  Creative Craft Center

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9:40 – 10:15 Get Ready and Go to Gym

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10:15 – 10:30   Bathroom Break and Snack 

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10:30 – 10:45 Literacy Centers

Review the letter “Ee” sound.  On the Smart Board together do the “e, a and t” sorting activity.   If you are a member and do not have access to a “Smart Board” use the alphabet picture cards instead.  Login to your account and under the heading “Alphabet Program” you will find a sub heading “Alphabet Pictures”.  You can access picture cards for each letter of the alphabet.

 

If you are a member, you will have access to the “a, t and e” sorting Smart Board activity.  This will be found in a number of places:  “Colors Theme” , “Smart Board Activities Link” and “My Plans Link”.

 

Center 1 – Alphabet and Print Awareness Center – Parent Volunteer Monitoring

Many of my students do not know all the names of the alphabet letters so this Center will be devoted this.  I am going to start with seven letters to begin with (Aa – Gg).  This is a partner game.  Students take turns drawing a letter card (Aa – Gg).  If they are able to say the name of the letter card; this is placed on their game board.  If they are unable to say the name; this is placed in the “Practice Pile”.  After all the cards have been drawn; they must practice the letters they did not know.  I am assigning a parent volunteer to this center.

Note:  If you are a member you can access the alphabet letter cards and game board.  These are found on the member homepage under the heading “My Plans”.

 


Center 2 – Phonemic Awareness Center – With Teacher

I will be assisting the students to help them determine what sounds they hear at the beginning of each word.  These will be the review sounds “c, a, t and now e”.  Objects have been placed in the mystery bag and rice tub.  There is a total of 6 students in this Center.  Two students will be at the rice tub, mystery bag and Smart Board.  They will take turns pulling out objects from mystery bag and rice tub and determine what sound the objects begin with and placing these on the sorting mats accordingly.  If you are a member, I have placed the “c, a t and e” printables to make the sorting mat in “My Plans” link.

 

Center 3 –  Printing Center

Students will be practicing forming the letter “Ee”.  The students will be practicing printing the letter “e” in the salt trays and then on the white boards.  They can also print the words cat, cut and egg.  The next day, they will be completing their printing book.  The version I use is found in the link below:

 

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11:30 – 11:45   Circle Time 

-Calendar, count days on calendar, count how many days they have been in school, add this many straws to the 10′s cup.

-Sing “Days of the Week” display video on Smart Board.

-Sing and view animated alphabet video and have students pay special attention the the letter “Tt”.

 

Animated Alphabet Song Video

 

-Sing “The Apple Tree” and “Extraordinary Egg” song found in the “Alpha Tunes CD”.
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11:45 – 12:00  Bathroom Break 
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12:00 – 12:25 Eat Lunch
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12:25 – 1:00  Lunch Recess
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1:00 – 1:40 Play Center Time
Groups switch from this morning.
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1:40 – 1:55 Bathroom Break and Get Ready for Recess
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1:55 – 2:45 Math Concepts and Math Tubs 

Concept – Sorting Beads
I have bought different beads at the dollar store for the students to make a patterned necklace; before we do this I wanted to sort them according to different characteristics.
Note:  Math tubs used were mentioned in previous blog post.
Distribute math tubs.  Select a tub to demonstrate a rule of sorting.  Students produce a sorting rule using the tubs.  Once they have a rule they must put up their hand and explain it to you.
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2:45-3:10 Bathroom and Get Ready for Dismissal

3:10  Bus Students Leave

3:15  Walking Students Leave
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Kindergarten Centers

I  have been experimenting with integrating effective Literacy Centers within my classroom.  In this lesson plan you will view my most recent “Literacy Centers and Play Centers“.  We change our “Play Centers” each month and “Literacy Centers” regularly.

8:28-9:00  Circle Time

Introducing Emergent Reader “Trees” 

Emergent Reader for Shared Reading – Letter “Tt” 

- Read the book “The Giving Tree” by Shell Silverstein.  Discuss why the book might be called “The Giving Tree”.  Discuss what the tree gave to the boy.

- Introduce the emergent reader “Trees” to the students.  Explain that this book outlines what trees give us.  Look through all the pictures and have the students predict what the pictures might be about.  I display the book on the Smart Board but you can print the sentences on sentence strips or chart paper and place the pictures beside each sentence.  You could also display the story using an overhead projector (which I have done for years).  I also make a copy of the color version for our classroom library.  I copy this on cardstock, laminate and bind.

-After, read the sentences together, pointing to the words while you read.  Some activities while reading:  circle the words, count the number of letters within the word and circle the letter “t’s” within the story.

 

Trees Reader Sample Page


Trees Reader Sample Page – Black and White

 

Introducing the Letter Sound

1.  Look at the word tree.

2.  Introduce the sound  “Tt” makes.  Hand out small mirrors (purchased at the dollar store) and have the students observe the following:  where their tongue is placed, what their lips do when making the two sounds of letter “Tt”, feel their throat and vocal chords, do they feel air coming out from their mouth?  How do their lips change?  Review the sounds of c, u and a 

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9:00 – 9:40 Play Centers
Craft – Halloween Haunted House With Assistant

Haunted House Craft

6 Students assigned to “Craft Center”.  My assistant works with them.  These students will have an opportunity to play at the other centers in the afternoon.  Students will be painting the background for the “Haunted House” craft displayed in the photograph.  Next week they will be cutting and adding the shapes to complete the house.  For the rest of this week, the students will be cutting vegetables for soup instead of completing this craft.  If you are a member, you can access the shapes for the house in the “Halloween Theme” unit.

 

Guided Reading and Phonemic Awareness Activities With Teacher
Students will be reading the black and white emergent reader  “Trees” with me.  The focus will be on tracking words.  I will be having the students circle words within sentences and counting the letters within the words.  There is still confusion about the difference between a word and letter.

If there is time, I will do phonemic awareness activities.  The students now know the letters sounds of “c, a and t”.  I will show them how these letters sounds can make the word “cat”.  We will clap each sound.  I will also demonstrate how changing the beginning letter can change the word.

 

Rest of Class at Play Center with Parent Volunteer

Each month we change the Centers.  I have outlined the changes below:

 

1.  Sand became dirt – the students now plant real vegetables in the dirt to represent harvest time.  Later vehicles will be placed in the dirt to make roads.

 

2.  The “Housekeeping Center” has now become the “Farmers’ Market”.  The students use play money and play food to buy goods at the “Farmers’ Market”.  They print a list of food they would like to purchase using a guide.

 

3.  The “Big Blocks” has now become a “Train Station”.  The students put together the tracks and form a train station.

 

4.  Computers – I have downloaded the “c, a,  t” Smart Board activities on individuals computers and the students can work on this.

 

5.  Water and Paint Easel has stayed the same.

 

6.  Writing Center –  My students have been anxious to print real “words”.  I have placed a “how to draw a simple cat” sheet in this center.  I have also typed:  I can print the word _________.  The students can draw the cat according to the “how to draw sheet” and complete the sentence by printing the word cat.

 

Printing Sheet

 

7. Playdough and Lego

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9:40 – 10:15 Get Ready and Go to Gym

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10:15 – 10:30   Bathroom Break and Snack 

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10:30 – 10:45 Literacy Centers

Alphabet Guide for Sorting

Review the letter “Tt” sound.  On the Smart Board together do the “c, a and t” sorting activity.   If you are a member and do not have access to a “Smart Board” use the alphabet picture cards instead.  Login to your account and under the heading “Alphabet Program” you will find a sub heading “Alphabet Pictures”.  You can access picture cards for each letter of the alphabet.

 

If you are a member, you will have access to the “c, a, and t” sorting Smart Board activity.  This will be found in a number of places:  “Apples and Numbers Theme” , “Smart Board Activities Link” and “My Plans Link”.

 

Center 1 – Alphabet and Print Awareness Center – Parent Volunteer Monitoring

Many of my students do not know all the names of the alphabet letters so this Center will be devoted this.  I am going to start with seven letters to begin with (Aa – Gg).  They will be placing the letters in the correct order using a guide.  After, they are in order they will point and say what the letters are (can sing them using the well-known “Alphabet Song) to a parent volunteer.  After a few weeks I will be taking the guide away and see if they can place these seven letters in the correct order and say the letter names.  I am combining both upper and lower-case letters.

 

Alphabet Picture Card

Station One – Two students place the mixed-up picture alphabet letter cards in the correct order using a guide (related to the animated song video).  After, one student will close their eyes while the other student takes away a letter picture card; the other student will guess which one is missing.  They can also try placing the letters in correct order without the guide.

 

Station Two –  Two students will put the magnetic letters in the correct order using a guide.  Similar follow-up activities to the above.

 

Station Three – Two students will put the mixed-up letters in the pocket chart in the correct order using a guide.  Similar follow-up activities to the above.

 

Students will be rotating to the different stations.

 

Note:  If you are a member you can access the “Alphabet Letter Picture Cards” and “Letter Cards” used to make these stations.  These are found on the member homepage under the heading “My Plans”.

 

Alphabet Sound Sorting Mat

Center 2 – Phonemic Awareness Center – With Teacher

I will be assisting the students to help them determine what sounds they hear at the beginning of each word.  These will be the review sounds “c, a, t”.  Objects have been placed in the mystery bag and rice tub.  There is a total of 6 students in this Center.  Two students will be at the rice tub, mystery bag and Smart Board.  They will take turns pulling out objects from mystery bag and rice tub and determine what sound the objects begin with and placing these on the sorting mats accordingly.  If you are a member, I have placed the “c, a and t” printables to make the sorting mat in “My Plans” link.

 

Center 3 –  Printing Center

Students will be practicing forming the letter “Tt”.  I have placed magnetic boards, white boards and gel pens in this Center for them to practice.  They can rotate using the different printing tools.  The next day, they will be completing their printing book.  Different versions of this book can be found in the link below.

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11:30 – 11:45   Circle Time 

-Calendar, count days on calendar, count how many days they have been in school, add this many straws to the 10′s cup.

-Sing “Days of the Week” display video on Smart Board.

-Sing and view animated alphabet video and have students pay special attention the the letter “Tt”.

 

Animated Alphabet Song Video

 

-Sing “The Apple Tree” song found in the “Alpha Tunes CD”.
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11:45 – 12:00  Bathroom Break and Get Ready for Recess
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12:00 – 12:25 Lunch Recess
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12:25 – 1:00 Wash Hands and Eat Lunch
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1:00 – 1:40 Play Center Time
Groups switch from this morning.
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1:40 – 1:55 Bathroom Break and Get Ready for Recess
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1:55 – 2:45 Math Concepts and Math Tubs 

Concept – Sorting Vegetables
This week week we will be making vegetable soup to celebrate harvest time.  The students have contributed vegetables to add to the soup.  We will now be identifying these vegetables and sorting them.
Note:  Math tubs used were mentioned in previous blog post.
Distribute math tubs.  Select a tub to demonstrate a rule of sorting.  Students produce a sorting rule using the tubs.  Once they have a rule they must put up their hand and explain it to you.
ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES
Show and Share
Every week we have a “Star Student”.  During this week this student is allowed to bring in a “Show and Share”.  The object is hidden from the class and clues are given as to what it is.  The rest of the class must guess as to what the object is by the clues given.
Q-Bear Home Project
We have a stuffed bear within our classroom that the student also takes home for the week.  The students are to dicate to their parents about adventures they have together (real or imaginary).  This is returned and read to the rest of  the class. I have given the parents the option to allow the student to take home the stuffed bear or a picture of it (due to allergies and other concerns).
Modeled Writing
During the student’s special week the class generates what is unique or special about the student.  I print this on chart paper, modelling the writing process.  After, I type this up along with a picture of the student and place this in their memory scrapbook.  Special projects and crafts are placed in their scrapbooks as a memory of Kindergarten.
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2:45-3:10 Bathroom and Get Ready for Dismissal

3:10  Bus Students Leave

3:15  Walking Students Leave
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