Little Cloud Literacy Lessons

This mini-theme is based on the literacy selection “Little Cloud” by Eric Carle and “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” written by Charles Shaw. This lesson plan is part of a nine-week Little Cloud Literacyprogram (or longer) to meet the majority of the kindergarten and pre-kindergarten curriculum outcomes.  A balanced literacy approach is used within the Kinderplans teaching resources.  This approach has proven to be the most effective model used in teaching today.

 

Modeled Reading

All alphabet letters/sounds and sight words begin with using  popular literature selections for modeled reading.  In this set of lesson plans, the teacher would use “Little Cloud” by Eric Carle and “It Looked Like Spilt Milk” written by Charles Shaw.

 

Shared Reading Follow-Up

The companion emergent reader “Cool Clouds” would be used as a follow-up to model the reading process and to introduce the following:

Little Cloud Reader BWLittle Cloud Reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabet Letters:  Cc for “cloud” and Kk for “kangaroo”

 

Pre Primer Sight Words:  look, up, and, find

 

Alphabet and Rhyming Literacy Center Games and Activities

The games outlined below are follow-up activities that are used to reinforce what has been taught using the emergent reader as an introduction to the focus skills.  A collage of the activities/games are provided in the photograph below.

 

Spin and Print

Playing partners spin and print the letter of the focus initial letter sound represented in the picture they landed on.

 

Draw and Print

Students draw a picture card and print the letter of the focus initial letter sound displayed in the picture collage below.

 

Picture Mnemonic Printing Activity

Students will be involved with focus letter picture mnemonic printing activities as displayed in the photograph below.

 

Phonemic Awareness, Phonological Awareness and Rhyming Activities

Rhyming, phonemic and phonological awareness activities are always addressed within the units.  These lesson plans include suggestions and activities in relation to developing these skills.

Little Cloud Alphabet

 

Sight Word Literacy Center Games and Activities for 

Spin and Print

Playing partners spin and print the focus sight words (look, up, and, find).

 

Roll and Print

In this game focus sight words are printed on a blank die.  Students roll the die and print the focus sight word on the templates provided.

 

Roll, Move and Say

Playing partners take turns rolling a die and moving their game players accordingly on the game board provided.  They must say the sight word that they landed on.

 

Draw and Say

Playing partners take turns drawing a word card and saying the word displayed.  They get to keep the card if it is read correctly.

 

Sight Word Activities

Writing Activity

All lesson plan themes include a follow-up writing and craft activity. The students would complete the craft/writing activity displayed below. The templates to complete this activity is found within the unit.

Little Cloud Art Work

 

Where Can I Access These Resources?

You can access the resources from the link below

 

Little Cloud and It Looked Like Spilt Milk Lesson Plans and Activities

 

 

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Reading Readiness for Pre-Kindergarten

Research has shown that students who become readers are able to complete assessments successfully that include the skills outlined below.  It is important that students be systematically taught these skills within daily instructional time.

The Kinderplans program includes activities that focus on developing these skills.

Letter/Sound Isolation

Letter/Sound Isolation

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

Phonological awareness is a broad term used where students exhibit the ability to hear and manipulate sounds. There is no connection in identifying specific letters but is exclusively based on the auditory component.  These skills are outlined below:

a)  Word detection is the ability to hear words within a sentence.  Dictate a simple sentence and have students identify each word.

Word Detection/Print Awareness

Word Detection/Print Awareness

b)  Syllable detection is the ability to clap or tap syllables within words.  This can also include compound words.

c)  Phoneme detection is the ability to hear sounds within words, for example, the word mat /m/a/t /has three phonemes.  In Kindergarten or Preschool the focus would be on hearing the initial sound first.  This would be followed by hearing ending and middle sounds.

Phoneme Detection Using A Puppet

Phoneme Detection
Using A Puppet

d)  Rhyme detection is the ability to identify rhyming pairs and also able to generate rhyming pairs.

Rhyming Picture Cards

Rhyming Picture Cards

e)  Syllable and phoneme blending is the ability to hear individual sounds and syllables and blend these back together to identify the related word.

Initial Sound Sorting Cards

Initial Sound Sorting Cards

 

Phonics

Is the ability to name letters and identify their related sounds.  If a child has developed good phonological awareness skills and is able to identify the letters of the alphabet and their related sound, they should be able to begin printing and reading simple CVC words by the end of Kindergarten.  There are 44 English phonemes but the Kinderplans program only focuses on 26 of them.  I teach the other phonemes in grade one.

 

44 phonemes

 

Print Awareness

The student is able to track words, move from left to right and top to bottom when reading.

Initial Sounds Sorting Workbook Page

Initial Sounds Sorting Workbook Page
Students cut a paste pictures representing
the initial focus sound.

 

Vocabulary Development

a)  The student has the ability to name objects, express feelings and actions.

b)  The student is able to complete an oral cloze activity (word deleted and able to generate one that makes sense).

 

All the examples displayed are

taken from the Pre-K curriculum.

 

More Information About the Program

 

 

Vocabulary -Feelings

Vocabulary -Feelings

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Pre-K Guided Writing

Fairy Tale Theme for April-May

Fairy Tale Theme for April-May

Importance of Guided Writing Within Your Classroom

During the later part of the Kindergarten school year (February-June) I started pulling small groups of students to work with me on writing short sentences that  follow a pattern.  This writing is so important as it allows them practice what they have learned about letters and sounds and use of basic sight words.   I offer assistance in helping break down the words so they can hear the sounds.  I am now teaching grade one and I really noticed a difference with students that came into my classroom with this foundation.  I have outlined some writing samples from the Fairy Tale theme I used during the months of April-May.

 

Story Writing

It is such an exciting time of year when the majority of the students can apply what they have learned about letters and sounds through their story writing.  For their first story writing experience,  I have them follow a patterned story so all the students can experience success.  They choose their own setting, ending and different characters that would follow the patterned series of events as outlined in the emergent reader “Gingerbread Man Perseveres” from the Fairy Tale theme.

 

Alphabet-Printing-Formation-Picture-Guide

Setting the Stage for Success

My students always have an alphabet chart handy that they can refer to.  It is not uncommon for them to forget proper letter formation and what the letter looks like that is related to a specific sound.  My students use the chart and alphabet wall pictures regularly. The pictures on the chart are related to the alphabet sight word readers and songs that were used to teach the the alphabet.  The students have taught me the importance of using strong visuals; it results in greater retention and more meaningful learning.

 

 If you are a member of the site, login to your account and go to “Alphabet Program – Alphabet Pictures” to access this chart.

Writing story starter found within the theme unit.

 

Illustrating – Simple How to Draw Resources

Illustrating the story can be challenging for some students.   The best “How to Draw” sites I have found are in the links below.

 

Great How to Draw Site

 

Another Great How to Draw Site

 

settingWriting and Differentiated Instruction

Choosing a Setting

The students first task was to choose a setting.  I tried to encourage them to choose a setting that was related to their level of interest.  An example of a setting can be found in the photograph on the left (this girl chose a castle because the was really into princesses).  I provided a patterned story starter that allowed for differentiation.

 

Series of Events

The page on the right was taken from the setting displayed.  All her characters will be related to a castle setting (a fairy helper with a pretty princess).  The students were to complete a series of events using the story starter below:Story One

 

Run, run, as fast as you can

You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man.

I had to run away from…..

 

Series of Events TwoWriting 1

In the photograph on the left, this author chose “Cat Land” to be her setting.  All her characters will be different types of cats.  In this picture it is a “baby rainbow cat”.

 

Series of Events ThreeWriting 3

The story on the right is (a powerful unicorn).  The setting chosen for this story is “Unicorn Land”.

 

Series of Events Four 

Story 4The author in this story is really into bobcats (Bobcat Land) so all his characters will be bobcats with different features.

 

Ending the Stories

Each story will provide a similar ending to the emergent reader “Gingerbread Man Perseveres”.  The author will provide an ending that shows what happens to Gingerbread Man when he perseveres and escapes from all the characters that chased him in the story.

 

Parent Day

At the end of May we had a parent day.  I had my students pick their favourite page from their story. I scanned the page and displayed it on the Smart Board for them to read to their parents.  I also incorporated drama into this theme where the students reenacted the emergent readers related to this theme.  What a great way to show off all they have learned!

 

In Conclusion

I have taught many different grades;  kindergarten and grade one are one of the most exciting in terms of witnessing growth.  In Kindergarten I was working with the students in hearing beginning sounds and  by the end many of them could hear the beginning, middle and end of a word and print the letter that represents these sounds.  Their printing was initially scribbling and at the end their thoughts were expressed by using letters.  Initially, they did not know the difference between a word and letter but now they can track and read words.  This is why I love teaching!!!

 

More Ideas Related to the Fairy Tale Theme

 

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Pre-Kindergarten Math Freebies

Spill the Beans Addition Game

Spill the Beans Addition Game

 

How the Game is Played

One of the outcomes for Kindergarten is for the students make numbers 1-10 in different ways (adding).  The game “Spill the Beans” is a fun way to have your students meet these outcomes.  The photograph on the left displays how the game is played. I purchased lima beans and spray painted them white on one side.  The students count the required beans that are the focus number.  These are placed in a small cup and “spilled” to show different ways this number would be represented.  They would color the beans according to what was “spilled” in the booklet found in the link below and print the addition sentence that matches.

 

How I Introduced the Game

We played the game with numbers 3-5 together as a class and the students completed the pages in the booklet found in the link below that were applicable to these numbers.  After, each student was given a a small cup with ten beans in each.  They worked through the booklet; focusing on how to make each number in a variety of ways (4) by “spilling the beans”.   They printed the sentence on the sheet provided. They were only allowed to print that sentence once.  We worked through this booklet over a period of several days.

 

These sheets will only be available until the end of May and after that period of time only paid members will have access to them.

Spill the Beans Subtraction

Spill the Beans Subtraction

 

Spill the Beans Game Addition Sheets

 

Number Line Strips

My students are still experiencing problems with printing number reversals so I also provided them each with a number line strip from the link below.  I stressed the importance of printing the numbers correctly using the number line to assist them.

 

Printing Number Line Strips

 

Focus on Subtraction

A similar game can be played using subtraction.

 

Spill the Beans Game Subtraction Sheets

 

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Classroom Challenges

This blog post focuses on one of the biggest challenges I have found this year.  I would like to hear about challenges that you are encountering.  We might be able to help each other out.  If it is related to lack of resources; this is something I would certainly like to hear about because I am always looking to add new resources that will better assist educators.

 

MY CHALLENGES

This year my school division has decided to offer both a half-day and full-day Kindergarten program for parents.  The full-day program has become a very popular choice.  This is the program that I am teaching.  The problem with the program is that I only see the students on an average of nine days in a month.  This makes it difficult to offer the continuous review that is necessary for students to master the skills to prepare them to be successful in grade one.

 

HOW HAS THIS CHALLENGE BEEN ADDRESSED?

In order for the program to be successful it is necessary for parents to provide additional support at home to assist with this continuous review.  Guided reading books are sent home and parents have access to the games and activities offered in class.  The problem I am facing, is that not all parents are actively involved in their child’s learning.  I only suggest fifteen minutes a day (including reading to their child) and this is still not manageable for some families.  Unfortunately, their child suffers as a consequence.

 

COMPETITIVE GAMES

I was never been fond of using competitive games and rewards but I am finding this is necessary for some students.  I usually pair a stronger student with a weaker student when playing games and this pushes the weaker student to practice more.

Example

In playing the alphabet partner card game, the student must identify the letter name and related sound that they drew.  If they can identify both, they place the card on a ring.  The object of the game is to see who can collect the most cards on their ring.  This has pushed some of my weaker students to get their parents to use the cards at home so they can get better at playing the game.  In most cases, it is a matter of practice and exposure.

 

I find it frustrating that parents do not understand the importance of their involvement in their child’s education.

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