Free Theme

Valetnine-Book-Photo 2Valentines and Friendship Writing Project

During the month of February we focused on the importance of friendship and writing about it. I generally started with a patterned sentence where the students were required to add one or two of their own words. A sample of a patterned sentence is outlined below. However, I still encouraged students to write their own if they wished (this varied depending on skill level). If you are a member, the templates to complete this project are provided for you in the Valentines theme unit.

 

___________ is a _______________friend.

 

Alphabet-Printing-Formation-Picture-Guide

Alphabet-Printing-Formation-Picture-Guide

Preparing for Writing Success and Independence

Modeling any activity you wish your students to complete prior to assigning it, is the key to success. Together as a class we would brainstorm for ideas and I would model the writing process.  I would also model how I would plan what to draw.  We would also brainstorm for possible high frequency words that could be used and I would ensure these were readily available for the students as a reference.

 

Letter Formation and Picture Guide

In observing my students I also learned that that some needed a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes.   If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.

 

Working In Small Groups

I preferred to work in small groups to ensure the children were leaving spaces between words, assisting those children that still needed assistance with proper letter formation and sounding out words.  Sometimes I would swap guided reading small group for guided writing small group.

Magformers

Magformers

 

What Do The Other Students Do When Working With Small Groups?

A dilemma that every teacher faces is what to do with the other students when working in a small group setting.  I still see so much value in play activities that encourage fine-motor development and thinking. These activities are still very educational and require very little intervention and the students view them as fun!  I teach grade one currently and my students are allowed to engage in these activities when they have completed their work.  My favourite activities are outlined below:

 

1.  lego, duplo and other blocks

Squizs

Squizs

2.  pattern blocks

3.  playdough

4.  how to draw sheets and books

5.  colouring sheets

6.  squizs

7.  magformers

WIN A FREE THEME BY POSTING YOUR FAVOURITE ACTIVITIES

All individuals that post an activity that they use to engage their remaining students, while working with a small group, will receive a free theme of their choosing.  Just e-mail me that you posted a comment and I will reply with the information that I need from you.

 

webmaster@kinderplans.com

 

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Printing and Literacy Centers

Fine-Motor Skills

Pencil Grasps

Pencil Grasps

It is not uncommon for students to enter our classrooms never having the opportunity to hold a pencil, cut with scissors or unable to print their names.  The first few weeks or even a month is devoted to addressing these concerns and writing expectations must reflect this.  Unfortunately, in the computer age many students are arriving with even more delayed fine-motor abilities than in the past.  This does not make our jobs easier in moving forward faster.

 

When Are Children Ready For Formal Printing Instruction?

According to occupational therapists, children are not ready to learn formal printing until they are between the ages of five and six years old.  This creates a problem in many classrooms today as expectations to write increase.  I think with reasonable expectations, children at the kindergarten level can learn printing but not within a formal setting.  This will vary according the age of entry.

 

What Are Reasonable Expectations?

Some students will arrive in your classroom with proper pencil gasp, while others are still not fully developed. The link below is a great site that outlines the stages in which children develop proper pencil grasp.  I have witnessed all these different grasps.  After learning this information, I was no longer really concerned about the pencil grasps I was witnessing (our Kindergarten children are ages 4-5).

 

Stages in Developing Proper Pencil Grip

 

Does Proper Pencil Grip Guarantee Good Printing?

Proper printing grasp does not necessarily guarantee that a child will be able to print correctly but it is a first step.  There are so many other factors that come into play.

 

Does This Mean We Do Not Teach Printing In Kindergarten?

Practicing on Dry Erase Board Not A Proper Pencil Grasp

Practicing on Dry Erase Board
Not A Proper Pencil Grasp

Given curriculum expectations, this would not be an option for many.  Since there is such strong correlation between writing and learning the letters and sounds, I still taught my students proper letter formation (some of my students were four year olds).   Students who are able to apply what they know about letters and sounds in their writing have a much greater understanding of the alphabetic principle.  The fact that children are not developmentally ready for formal printing instruction until age five, did not deter me from still teaching it, I just lowered my expectations.

We often practiced printing the letters on dry erase boards with large erasable markers. I didn’t expect them to have perfect letter formation and pencil grasp at this point.  The sole purpose was making that physical connection with the letter.  By the end of Kindergarten, the majority of my students had proper pencil grasp and could print the letters correctly.  Many could also print CVC words because they learned about segmenting letters through phonemic awareness activities and printing. They were now ready to enter into grade one where they would receive more formal reading and printing instruction.

 

Literacy Center Games

Free Resources, Fine-Motor and Literacy Center Ideas

I often incorporated fine-motor activities into my Literacy Centers.  In the link below you will find ideas for your Literacy Centers and free resources!

 

Literacy Center and Fine-Motor Activities and Free Resources

 

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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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100th Day Printables

100th Day Reader

100th Day Reader

We are going to be celebrating the 100th day of school in the next two weeks.  I wanted to share the printables that I have put together to celebrate this event.  In the links below you will find different versions of the reader I intend to use for shared reading.  I will be projecting the color version on my Smart Board and reading the print together.  Word work and follow-up activities will be related to the reader.  I like using the interactive version of the reader for the students to complete (cut and paste the picture that corresponds to the text).

 

Easy Version of the 100th Day Reader

 

100 Day Reader Color – Easy  Version

 

100 Day Reader Black and White – Easy  Version

 

100 Day Reader Black and White – Cut and Paste – Easy Version

 

100 Day Reader Harder Version

100 Day Reader Harder Version

Harder Version of the 100th Day Reader

 

100 Day Reader Color VersionHarder Version

 

100 Day Reader Black and White Version - Harder Version

 

 

 

Writing Templates

Writing Template

Writing Template

Each day I plan to have my students complete the patterned writing template provided in the link below.

 

What Would I Do With 100 Things?

 

Another Writing Project

This is another writing project I plan to have my students complete.  They will be writing five sentences on what they have learned since the beginning of the school year.  They will draw three of the activities in the light bulbs provided.

 

What I Learned In 100 Days

 

Fill in the Number Math Worksheet

Math Worksheet

The students would print the 100 sheet found in the link below by printing the correct number that is missing.

 

100 Fill In The Number Worksheet

 

 

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A Balanced Literacy Lesson Plan

Balanced Literacy Model

Balanced Literacy Model

I have always been a big fan of integrating key learning concepts and subject areas in my language arts daily lesson plans.  This allows me to be more efficient in meeting the curriculum outcomes.  All my plans take a balanced literacy approach to teaching these concepts.  More information on a balanced literacy approach can be found in the link below:

 

Balanced Literacy Approach to Teaching Reading

 

Balanced Literacy Lesson Plan for November

The focus theme for November is on Pets and How Animals Prepare for Winter (Science Connection).  Outlined below is how I follow the balanced literacy approach to teaching reading.  Following this model makes my planning so much easier.Wanna Iguana

 

Read Aloud

This year I chose to use the book “I Wanna Iguana” as my read aloud to introduce this theme.  Within the theme unit (Pets Theme)  there are a number of suggestions but this is the one I chose.  This is a great book to use to understand the power of persuasion.  It also introduces the concept of the responsibilities involved in looking after a pet.  In the link below is a video reading of the book.

 

Video Reading of the Book “I Wanna Iguana”

The Best Pet Reader

The Best Pet Reader

 

Follow-up Shared Reading

I will be using the color version of the reader “The Best Pet” as a shared reading experience which is a follow-up to reading the book.  I will project it on the Smart Board for all the students to see.  I will introduce letters and their related sounds within the context of reading it  (Dd for dog, Cc and Kk for cat and Ii for iguana).  Any focus sight words could also be introduced.

 

Word Study

The Literacy Centers outlined in the link below all incorporate the the Word Study Component of the balanced literacy approach.

 

Daily Literacy Centers

 

Interactive Black and White Version of The Best Pet

Interactive Black and White Version of The Best Pet

Interactive Guided Reading

I use the interactive black and white versions of the readers (same one used for shared reading).  At this point, the students are still learning to track words and recognizing few sight words.  They absolutely love completing the interactive component of the readers and this adds a comprehension and fine-motor element to their reading.  The students are to cut and paste the correct pet that is mentioned in the text.  They can match the underlined word with the word printed on the picture.  This is a good visual discrimination activity.

Independent Reading

Once the students have read the reader during shared and guided reading, many of them will be able to read it independently.

 

Research and Vocabulary Development – Would An Iguana Be A Good Pet?

Since many of my students would not be a familiar with what an iguana is, we will need to do more research and add this to their vocabulary background.    I have used the videos below as a base for this research. This will help them to decide if they feel and iguana would be a good pet.

Information Videos About Iguanas

 

Modeled, Shared and Interactive Writing

I will model  writing what pet I would like or have as a pet.  After, I will model what the students dicate on chart paper.  As I am writing we often “share the pen”.  If they know a beginning letter sound of word that I am going to print, I will allow them to come forward and print it.

 

Guided Writing

Guided Writing

Guided Writing

After, the students will complete their own writing with guidance.  Could provide a template for this.

I want a __________ for a pet.

I have a ___________ for a pet.

I would like a ___________.

 

More Ideas for the Pets Theme

This is just a small sample of what activities you can engage your students in within the Pets Theme.  In the link below you will find more ideas.

 

More Ideas for Pets Theme

 

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Writers Workshop

What is Writer’s Workshop?

Writers Workshp in Pre-K

Writers Workshop in Pre-K

It is built on a framework that allows students the opportunity to write each day.  It involves the teacher giving a brief mini-lesson followed by practice on the skill taught.  The slide below outlines in more details what is involved in writer’s workshop.

 

Slide Outlines More About Writier’s Workshop

 

Weekly Plan for Writier’s Workshop

In the link below you will find a comprehensive plan for implementing “Writer’s Workshop” in  your Pre-K or Kindergarten classrooms.  It is one of the best that I have come across. I found the plans to be very realistic in terms of where many of the students are at when they arrive in our classrooms.  You can move through this process as your students become more competent in their writing ability.  I realize this document is a draft and refers to outdated standards but I feel it is still very current and can easily transfer.  I was very impressed on how the plans flow and how they are based on realistic expectations.

 

Implementing Writer’s Workshop

 

Realistic Expectations

Writing-Progression-pre-kIn my last blog post I discussed how teachers must be realistic about student expectations, regardless of curriculum standards.  It is not uncommon for students to enter our classrooms never having the opportunity to hold a pencil, cut with scissors or unable to print their names.  The first few weeks or even a month is devoted to addressing these concerns and writing expectations must reflect this.  Unfortunately, in the computer age many students are arriving with even more delayed fine-motor abilities than in the past.  This does not make our jobs easier in moving forward faster.

In the link below you will find a more detailed description related to the stages of a child’s writing.

 

Child’s Writing Stages

 

 

Hearing Sounds Within Words and Associating to Correct Letter

In lessons 20 and beyond the children learn how to use the alphabet chart and stretch sounds in the link I provided above.  Hearing sounds within words is a very difficult task for young children.  It is a challenge for them to hear beginning sounds in words and then associate this with the correct letter and now we are asking them to go beyond this.  We have to remember that this was an area that use to be reserved for grade one and has filtered down.  The majority of the children can do this task but not independently.  I spend up until the end of January focussing on beginning sounds but also introduce letters and sounds heard in the middle and end of words for those who might be ready.  The majority of my students cannot competently hear initial letter sounds and associate these with the correct letters until the end of January.   I would wait to introduce lessons 20 and beyond in the later half of the year.

In observing my students I also learned that they need a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes because they forget when required to transfer this to a writing situation.  Lesson 20 is devoted to teaching the students how to use this guide (displayed below).  If you are a member, you can login to your account and find this guide under the heading “Alphabet Program” and scroll down to “Alphabet Pictures”.

Alphabet Writing Guide

Alphabet Writing Guide

 

Guided Writing

In the later half of the year when I see my students are ready to apply what they learned about letter and sounds and moving into more conventional writing practices, I often forego guided reading groups and replace these with guided writing.  When they are learning to stretch out words (Lesson 22) it is unrealistic to expect them to do this independently.  Small groups helps relieve frustration and fosters greater individual progress. It also allows me to assess their ability.

 

Writing and the Common Core

I feel the standards outlined in this document cover the “Common Core” except for W.K. 6, 7 and 8.  These common core standards refer to research and informational content.  These can easily met and incorporated during your studies later in the year which might include Dinosaurs, Plants, Ocean Life, Zoo or Bugs.  Once the students have gone through the acitivities outlined within this document, I feel they have a solid foundation for extending what they have learned into other areas of writing.

 

What are your thoughts on this issue?

 

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Pre-K Writing Lesson Plans

Ficitonal Reading Outcomes – RL.K.

The Fairy Tale theme offers an opportunity to meet many of your RL.K. outcomes.  I incorporate plenty of drama into this theme.  My students are busy re-enacting the emergent reader versions of the books “Gingerbread Man Perseveres”, “The Wolf Shows Self-Control” and “Everyone Helps Out”. They will be presenting these to their parents, as well, I will be projecting a page from their story onto the Smart Board to show off their story writing skills.  In the link below you can view more information on these specific readers.

 

More Ideas Related to the Fairy Tale Theme

 Story Writing

It is such an exciting time of year when the majority of my students can now 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”.

 

Alphabet-Printing-Formation-Picture-Guide

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.  I provided a patterned story starter that allows 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.  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.

 

In Conclusion

I have taught many different grades;  kindergarten and grade one are one of the most exciting in terms of witnessing growth.  It was only a few months ago when I was working with the students in hearing beginning sounds and now many of them can hear them at the beginning, middle and end of a word and print the letter that represents these sounds.  Their printing was initially scribbling and now their thoughts are 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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Valentine’s Theme Suggestions

I absolutely love this time of year because many of my students are ready to begin the writing process and implement what they have learned about letters/sounds and a few high frequency words.  This gives me a really good idea Writing-Progression-pre-kas to where each student is at.  Students in the early years develop their writing in stages.  Understsanding this progression helps us understand at what stage our students are at and what to expect from them.  More importantly, to appreciate where they are developmentally and celebrate their efforts and accomplishments.  The picture on the left outlines this progression.


Evolution of A Child’s Writing

In the link below you will find a more detailed description of this process.

 

Child’s Writing Stages

 

Valetnine-Book-Photo 2Valentine Writing Project

During the month of February we focus on the importance of friendship and write about it.  Each day they are at school, my students will be choosing a different friend to write about.  This will be written in their heart-shaped writing book (a sample page displayed on the left).  If you are a member, the templates to complete this project is provided for you in the Valentines theme unit.

 

Preparing for Writing Success and Independence

Modeling any activity you wish your students to complete prior to assigning it, is the key to success.  Together as a class we would brainstorm for ideas and I would model the writing process.  I would also model how I would plan what to draw.  We would also brainstorm for possible high frequency words that could be used and I would ensure these are readily available for the students to use as a reference.

 

Letter Formation and Picture Guide

Alphabet-Formation-Picture-Writing-GuideIn observing my students I also learned that they need a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes because they forget when required to transfer this to a writing situation.  I frequently saw them referring to our wall where the letters are posted alphabetically with the picture that is related to that sound (the characters found in the alphabet readers and animated song video).  I realized they needed something that they could place beside them for a quicker reference.  A photograph of this guide is displayed on the right.  If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.

 

Student Names and Pictures

Writing Center

Writing Center

I also supply each writer with a list of class names with their picture posted beside it.  This allows for greater independence.

 

Another Writing Activity

The templates below could be placed in your “Writing Center” where the students would be writing to each other.

 

Writing Center Valentine Cards

 

Valentine Fabulous Freebies

valentineanimalcraft

Children will enjoy creating heart-shaped animals in relation to the Valentines theme.  This activity will allow the students to let their creativity flow.  Provide them with a heart-shaped template provided for the body and allow them to create a animal shaped face to attach to the body. The photograph to the left is an example of what they can create. If you are a member, you will have access to these templates.

 

Heart Shape Template

 

paintbynumberChildren will enjoy improving their fine-motor skills and extending their learning of number recognition, color and word recognition to complete this activity.  There are two versions of this activity.  The first version requires them to identify colors in order to complete the activity.  The second version requires them to identify the color words in order to complete the activity.

 

Valentine Bear – Color Recognition Activity

 

Valentine Bear – Color Word Recognition Activity

 


Valentine Card for Students
In the link below you will find a card I created for my students.  Copy, fold and sign.

 

Valentine Card for Students

 

Valentine Mouse Maze
After reading the emergent reader “Valentine Mice” as a shared reading experience,  the maze worksheet below would be a great follow-up.  The children will help the mouse find the cheese.

 

Valentine Maze

 

For more ideas click on the link below:

 

Valentine Theme Ideas 

 

YOUR FEEDBACK IS REALLY APPRECIATED

In planning for the future, I would really like to know what forms of technology are you are implementing most within your classroom (Desktop Computers, iPads, other tablets, Smart Board).  You will need to fill in the captcha information first and then I must approve your response.  I do apologize for this but I constantly get spammers writing automated responses and this is the only way I can prevent this.

 

Please Comment About What Forms of Technology You Are Using Within the Classroom!!!  This Helps Me With Future Plans.

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Phonics Lesson


Printing SequenceWhat Order Is The Most Effective In Teaching Beginning Letter Sounds?

This is a question I often get asked.  To be honest, I have found it difficult to follow a specific sequence as this can vary depending on what skills I am working on or theme. Since I introduce correct letter printing formation at the same time as introducing the letter name and its corresponding sound, I try to follow the sequence our occupational therapist suggests.  However, this sequence does not necessarily start with the sounds that the students find the easiest to hear.

This is the letter sequence in which I will be introducing the letters of the alphabet (this year I decided to start with the top to bottom and diver letters first and the ones used most frequently in daily writing):  l, h, r, f, n, a, t, s, p, d, e, m, c, u, i, b, p, o, w, j, g, k, z, q, y and v

 

Printing Sequence

The link below is the suggested printing sequence my occupational therapist suggests.  I Printing-Bookintroduce lower-case letters first and will concentrate more on upper-case when we start writing sentences.    I have found introducing the lower-case first has worked successfully for me.   I don’t spend a great deal of time on printing the upper-case letters because the students have seen both the lower and upper-case letters together during our alphabet and word wall work that it is very easy for them to print the upper-case with very little instruction after practicing the lower-case first.

 

 Printing Sequence

 

Newsletter Freebie – Alphabet Printing Booklet

Each newsletter I offer a freebie.  In this newletter I have included the alphabet printing booklet that I will be using.  My students fill the upper white part of the booklet with letter and picture stamps (representing the letter sound).

 

Printing Booklet I Use

 

Rainbow Fish Retelling Alphabet Sight Word Reader

Rainbow Fish Retelling Alphabet Sight Word Reader

 RESEARCH STRONGLY SUPPORTS INTRODUCING LETTERS AND THEIR CORRESPONDING SOUNDS IN CONTEXT 

Research demonstrates that in classrooms where phonics is taught in the context of rereading favorite stories, songs, and poems, children develop and use phonics knowledge better than in classrooms where skills are taught in isolation. Similarly, phonics knowledge is developed by encouraging and helping emergent writers to spell by writing appropriate letters for the sounds they hear in words (for a summary, see Weaver, 1994b).  It is for this reason I created the “Alphabet Program” where the alphabet letters and related sounds are introduced within the alphabet sight word readers.  In the link below you can preview these readers:

Alphabet Sight Word Readers

Animated Alphabet Song Related to Using the Readers

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, whether you introduce letters and their corresponding sounds in relation to your morning message or use another program similar to the “Alphabet Program” that I developed, I strongly feel that initial letter sounds should be introduced in context to print.

 

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Year End Ideas

Mrs. Wishy WashyMy students will be learning about farm animals and how the farming industry contributes to our well-being.   The boys are really excited because we also have farm equipment (combines, tractors and other farm machinery).  I am not sure where these toys came from but they look like the real thing only in miniature size.  I am fortunate to have a relatively well supplied classroom but it wasn’t always that way.

 

Farm-Theme-Video

Integrated Reading/Writing

Mrs. Wishy-Washy

In the my home reading program we have all the “Mrs. Wishy-Washy” books.  I absolutely love these books so I really wanted to use them as a base to begin my Farm unit.  I have already read the book “Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm” by Joy Cowley to the students.  I have also intergrated this into a follow-up story writing activity.  View the video to see how this has all been integrated.

 

View on YouTube

 

View on School Tube

 

Mrs. Wishy-Washy Videos

In the link below you will find videos of Joy Cowley reading her books.

 

Joy Cowley videos

 

Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Tub

In the link below you will find a slide presentation of the emergent reader “Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Tub”.

 

Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Tub

 

Mrs.Wishy-Washy-Craft

Mrs.Wishy-Washy-Craft

Follow-up Craft

A follow-up craft activity has also been integrated.  The students will learn about creating a background scene in this project.  They will paint the background scene and then add the details (as displayed in the photograph).  In my school, we have the die cut farm designs which has been used for the details.

 

How Farms Contribute to Our Well-Being

The Giving Farm

The Giving Farm

I really wanted my students to understand how the farming industry contributes to their well-being (this is becoming less recognized).  I seached for books that could be used to introduce this concept but I was unsuccessful.  This is why I created the reader “The Giving Farm”.  I grew up on a farm so this was a more personal goal.  I will spend a week using the reader as a base to introduce this concept and expanding on the student’s reading skills.

 

More Farm Theme Ideas

 

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GRADUATION IDEAS???

I am in the process of preparing for my little learners graduation ceremony. We have an informal presentation of certificates and then the students do a short performance for their parents.  I was thinking of having them sing a song (not sure which one yet).  I was also thinking of doing a slide presentation where each student will write and draw a picture of what they learned this year and a special memory.  I would appreciate suggestions as to what you have done that proved to be successful.

 

Post suggestions below (sorry for having to use the captcha code but this helps prevent spam comments).  One or two suggestions will be selected to gain free access to a theme unit of your choice. Send an e-mail to the address below, notifiying me that you have posted a comment and the e-mail address that you would like to use to be informed if you were selected.

 

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