Writing Workshop

This blog post outlines how I incorporate  “Writing Workshop” and “Review Letter/Sounds”.  These activities are are introduced in context with what we are doing during the day, week or even month.


Writer’s Workshop

I call it “I have something to say” only in written format.  The students initiated this activity so I didn’t have to introduce it.  Some of the girls started writing me messages (a few letters and scribbles) and I had them share it with the rest of the class.  I explained to the class that this is kindergarten writing. The stage has been now set for them to start their own story writing book.  I will also be reading the book “Dog Loves Drawing”  by Louise Yates to introduce the letter “d” sound and the concept of how a story can be created by pictures only. This will serve as a model for my students to understand that they do not always have to print words to make a story.  The pictures they draw also tell a story.  The site below outlines mini-lessons on “Writer’s Workshop”.


Writer’s Workshop Mini-Lessons


Incorporating Modeled Writing

I always model the process first.  For example, on Tuesday  the students will not be experiencing a usual day as we have a number of visitors coming to do presentations.  This will be a great start to begin our “I Have Something to Say” story book.  I will draw a picture and write a sentence or two about what I enjoyed about the presentations.  I will have them help me with some spelling, explain the use of spaces, capital letters and correct usage of stop marks.  After, the students will draw a picture of what they enjoyed and tell about it in kindergarten writing.  They will have the option of having their writing scribed into adult writing.  This will followed by a sharing time.  In the link below you will find the title page I used for “I Have Something to Say” writing books.  I cut plain paper in half and bound about twenty pages to make the book.


I Have Something to Say Title Page


Guided Drawing

On Thursday and part of the following week I will be introducing the letter “Dd” and the corresponding sound.  The day(s) will evolve around the topic of dogs, including the “Writing Workshop”.  I also believe children need to be guided in terms of learning to draw.  The video below is a simple guided drawing lesson on how to draw a dog.


How to Draw a Dog



Since I only teach two days this week and one of those days consist of presentations, these plans will likely extend into next week.  My plans are never permanent as I coincide them with the needs of my students.  If I come across a vocabulary word they are not familiar with, I will search for an image or video related to that word and display this on the Smart Board.  We will spend some time expanding on this new word.


8:28-9:00  Circle Time

Phonemic Awareness Warmup Activity – Mystery Word(s)

This is a great activity to review sounds previously introduced in a meaningful context, as well, it introduces the children to the concept of blending sounds together to read words.  I have small little whiteboards that I print the letters that represent the phoneme. A child is assigned to each phoneme and holds the letter(s) that represents this sound.  We say each phoneme sound (usually review letters) several times as a review of the sound/letter and how it corresponds.  We talk about what makes the beginning, middle and end sound.  After, I place the students closer together and we blend the sounds together.  The students have to guess what the mystery word is.  I do this activity throughout the day as a review of letter sounds.


Phonemic Awareness Review Activity







Connection to Literature and Introducing New Letter Sound

The letter “Dd” sound is introduced through reading the book “Dog Loves to Draw” by Louise Yates.  This book is great for introducing the letter “Dd” sound but also how pictures can tell a story.


Connection to Literature

Introducing Emergent Reader – “Dog Dances” – Rhyming Book

- Introduce the printable emergent reader “Dog Dances” to the students. Prior to reading the emergent reader, discuss how they think a dog would dance and demonstrate this and what they think would make the dog dance.  I display this on the Smart Board. If you do not have an Interactive Whiteboard, you could place the pictures in a pocket chart along with sentence strips.  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 it.

-Read the sentences together, pointing to the words while you read, discussing the rhyming pairs.  In the student’s black and white version of the reader, they will be cutting and gluing the picture that rhymes with word and picture on each page.


Color Version of Dog Dances


Interactive Black and White Version



9:00 – 9:40 Play Centers
4-5 Students assigned to “Craft Center”.  My assistant works with them.

Students will finish matching the words to what they dictated about the snowy owl craft they completed last week.  My assistant will also be doing a guided lesson on drawing a dog.


Guided Reading With Emergent Reader “Dog Dances”
4-5 students will be reading the black and white emergent reader  “Dog Dances” with me.  The focus will be on tracking words, cutting and pasting the rhyming picture that corresponds to the text. This integrates a comprehension component into reading.


Rest of Class at Play Center with Parent Volunteer

Each month we change the Play Centers.  I have outlined the changes below.  The rest of the students will be at the play centers while my assistant and I work with a small group.


1.  Sand remains dirt - Plastic animals have been placed in this center.  The students can dig winter homes for the animals.


2.  The “Housekeeping Center” has now become the “Big Dollhouse Center”.  We have a large dollhouse with furniture, boys and girls dress up dolls to go into the dollhouse.


3.  The “Big Blocks” has now become a “Winter Home Building”.  The students make winter homes for the stuffed animals located at this Center.


4.  Computers – I have downloaded the  Smart Board activities outlined in the Literacy Centers on individuals computers and the students can work on this.


5.  Paint Easel has stayed the same.


6. Playdough and Lego


7.  Creative Craft Center - Paper, cards, tape, scissors, glue, all types of decorations and odds and ends are placed here


8.  Water Table - Plastic animals have also been placed here with a styrofoam blocks used as icebergs


9.  Science Center - The students can feel the furs and other objects related to how animals protect themselves from the cold.



9:40 – 10:15 Get Ready and Go to Gym


10:15 – 10:35   Bathroom Break and Snack 


10:35 – 11:20 Literacy Centers

Circle Time

Review the letter “Dd” sound.  On the Smart Board together we will be sorting pictures according to if it begins with a “Dd, Gg or Qq” sound.  If you are a member you will be able to download this activity.  If you do not have a Smart Board use the alphabet picture cards instead.  Login to your account go to “Alphabet Program” and then “Alphabet Pictures”.  I used many of these pictures to create this activity.

Letter Formation

Introduce the correct letter formation of “d”.  Students practice in the air, on each other’s backs and in the palm of their hand.


Literacy Center Time

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.  The students must place the letter cards in the correct order using a model.  They must say the letters (sing the song if needed).  After, they try to place the letters in the correct order without using the model.


Phonics Sorting Activity

Center 2 – Phonemic Awareness Center – With Teacher

Mystery Bag

Students will be taking turns pulling objects out of the mystery bag and determining what sound it begins with and what sound category it belongs according to the initial sound.  If you do not have objects, copy the alphabet picture cards found in the member’s area on card stock and laminate them.  They can be used to replace the objects.


Rice Tub

Same as above but only pulling objects from the rice tub.


Center 3 –  Printing Center

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



11:20 – 11:55    Writing Workshop


I will write about my experience with my daughter’s dog as a model.  After, the students will do the same.
11:55 – 12:00  Bathroom Break 
12:00 – 12:25 Eat Lunch
12:25 – 1:00  Lunch Recess
1:00 – 1:10 Bathroom Break

1:00 – 1:20 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 “Dd”.


Animated Alphabet Song Video


-Sing “The Apple Tree”, “Extraordinary Egg”, “Cool Clouds” and “Queen’s Feet” and “Groovy Gorilla” “Doggie Dance” action songs found in the “Alpha Tunes CD”.


Rhyming Activity

I place a picture of a dog on the Smart Board.  The students take turns coloring (scribbling out) the rhyming part of the picture I am talking about:

1.  I rhyme with toes, I am the dog’s (nose)

2.  I rhyme with beg, I am the dog’s (leg)

3.  I rhyme with hears, I am the dog’s (ears)

4.  I rhyme with pail,  I am the dog’s (tail)

5.  I rhyme with saw, I am the dog’s (paw)

6.  I rhyme with fly, I am the dog’s (eye)

6.  I rhyme with south, I am the dog’s (mouth)


Rhyming Smart Board Activity



1:20 -2:00  Play Center Time – Switch groups for craft and guided reading from this morning


2:00 – 2:35 Math Mini-Lesson and Practice

I have downloaded different patterning activities from the Smart Exchange.  We will do these together first.


Concept – Patterning

Students will continue to create patterns using two different attributes.  We have different math tubs that are used for this.


Note:  Math tubs used were mentioned in previous blog post.


2:45-3:10 Bathroom Break, Recess and Dismissal


3:10  Bus Students Leave


3:15  Walking Students Leave

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  1. I liked the creative ideas of teaching alphabet to children. Worksheets are very colorful and useful. songs related to concepts will make learning easy for children.

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