Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Crafts

Father's Day Craft Project

Father’s Day Craft Project

Treasured Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Crafts/Gifts

I have always been perplexed about what my students could create that woud be a treasured Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas gift.   A couple of years ago our Kindergarten classes decided to have the “Clay Teacher” come into our classrooms and direct a pottery lesson for making a Father’s Day gift.  I have to say, the end result was that special gift that would be treasured by parents for many years down the road.  It was also a rewarding lesson for our students.  Since their visit, the owner decided to retire but has blessed us with online tutorials of how we can repeat the lesson.  I wanted to share these with you as you can also start directing your own clay projects after watching these videos and do these inexpensively.

Mother's Day Picture Frame

Mother’s Day Picture Frame

 

Important Tips About Working With Clay

The video posted by the “Clay Teacher”  outlines very important tips about working with clay.  It answers where to get cheap clay and what type is best.

 

Very Important Tips About Working With Clay Video

 

Step By Step Tutorial For Doing a Clay Picture Frame

The link below outlines a step-by-step process in making a clay picture frame.

 

 

Tea Light Holder

Tea Light Holder

Step By Step Tutorial On How To Make a Clay Picture Frame 

 

 

Mother's Day Plaque

Mother’s Day Plaque

 

Mother’s Day Clay Projects

I will likely make the picture frame she demonstrated in the video above.  I will play the video a number of times on my Smart Board prior to beginning the project.  This will give my students a foundation as to what to expect prior to tackling the project.  I haven’t decided if I am going to do this as a whole group yet or have my assistant pull a small group. Since this is a Mother’s Day surprise I can’t really ask for parent volunteers.  I have posted pictures of other projects that would be fun to tackle in the future.

 

In the video, she demonstrated using a toothpick to make the hole in the middle, I would use the a circular object instead (top of a cup).

 

More Mother’s Day Craft/Gift Ideas

In the link below you will find more Mother’s Day craft/gift ideas.

 

Mother Day Craft/Gift Ideas

 

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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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St. Patrick’s Day Free Resources

PowerPoint Presentation from Teacher’s Conventions

I  spoke at two teacher’s conventions last month.  It was a huge hurdle for me but with the encouragement from co-workers and family, it was less daunting.  The session focused on how I use a balanced literacy model successfully within both my Kindergarten and grade one classes.  This approach to teaching was the most positive and profound change in my teaching career.  A number of teachers have requested that they have access to the PowerPoint presentation that was used in this session.  You can access the presentation from the link below:

 

 PowerPoint Presentation

 

St. Patrick’s Day Fun – Four Day Event

Science and Shared Reading

Day One – Monday

This year I decided to make St. Patrick’s Day a four day event.  On Monday I am going to integrate our Science unit “Building Things” by having the children build leprechaun traps with boxes.  For shared reading, you can use the reader “The Leprechaun Wish” found in the link below.

Leprechaun Writing

Leprechaun Writing

The Leprechaun Wish

 

Day Two – Tuesday – Focus on Writing

I am going to pretend a leprechaun visited the classroom the night before and left the message displayed on the right.  We will discuss how he may have escaped the traps, what his name is and how he looks (describing words).  In the link below you can access the message and writing booklet I am going to use.  Since I teach grade one this year, I will expect my students to give the leprechaun a name, describe how the leprechaun looks (from the picture) and write about what they think the surprise will be tomorrow (story beginning).  With kindergarten students, I would only expect them to write about what surprise the leprechaun will leave.

 

The Leprechaun Message


The Leprechaun Writing Booklet – Easy Version

 

The Leprechaun Writing Booklet – Hard Version

 

Leprechaun Template

Leprechaun Template

Day Three – Wednesday

The students will walk into the classroom and there will be some changes (desks and books scattered are just a few changes).  The leprechaun will have also left some gold nugget chocolates and badges (bought at the dollar store) for each of them.  They will write in their booklet as to what surprises the leprechaun left (middle of story).

 

Day Four – Thursday

There will be no signs of the leprechaun and the students will write about what they think happened to him (story ending).

 

Possible Craft Suggestion

The children can color and cut the leprechaun template found in the link below. It can be attached together by fasteners so the head can move.

 

Leprechaun Template

shamrocktemplate

 

More Possible Craft Suggestions

In the link below you can find more possible craft suggestions.

 

More Possible Craft Suggestions

 

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Pre-Kindergarten Christmas Activities

INCORPORATING FIVE SENSES WITHIN YOUR CHRISTMAS THEME

Christmas and Five Senses

Christmas and Five Senses

During the month of December (when I was teaching Kindergarten) I incorporated the “Five Senses” theme in relation to Christmas.  The spirit of the season allowed for so many opportunities to incorporate this theme.  On my website and within the Christmas theme unit you will find ideas on how to incorporate the “Five Senses Theme”.

 

Incorporating Five Sense Into Your Christmas Theme

 

NEW CHRISTMAS SYMBOLS READER

Christmas SymbolsIf you have followed my newsletters and blog, you would have discovered that I use and create many reproducible readers to offer my students an engaging and balanced literacy approach to reading in the early years.  Now that I teach grade one, this has not changed. Even though I have access to a variety of reading series, I still find myself creating little books that address the needs of my students better.  There is not one Christmas story within our reading series, so I created two.  In our Social Studies curriculum we are to introduce symbols that represent our community.  I thought I would introduce this concept by looking at symbols that are representative of Christmas.  I will use the reader below as a base to introduce this concept.  The students are to read, color and complete the interactive components of the reader.  Feel free to use these!

 

Christmas Symbols Reader – Easy Version

Christmas Symbols Reader – Harder Version

 

Christmas Traditions  Reader

Christmas Traditions Reader

New Christmas Traditions Reader and Follow-up Writing Activities

Another Social Studies outcome is for my students to identify different traditions practiced within their community.  I thought discussing Christmas traditions within our classroom would be a great platform to introduce this concept.  The reader “Our Christmas Traditions” is meant to help my students understand what a tradition is and lead to a discussion on different ones practiced within our classroom.  After, they will write about this, using one of the templates found in the links below.  Feel free to use these writing templates!  The reader is only available to paid members or individuals accessing the Christmas theme unit as it has been professionally illustrated.

 

Christmas Traditions Writing Template 1

Christmas Traditions Writing Template 2

Christmas Traditions Writing Template 3

Craft and Writing Activity

Craft and Writing Activity

 

WRITING AND CRAFT ACTIVITY – CONVINCING SANTA

I can’t wait to do this activity.  I did a similar activity when I was teaching Kindergarten but now my students are more capable (now teaching grade one).  My students are to convince Santa that they are deserving of his visit.  Within my school we focus on different positive character virtues.  We will reflect back on those virtues and discuss how they have practiced these and they must relay this to Santa.  I wanted to make this activity different from the traditional “Dear Santa” letter, where the students list what they want.  In this activity the students must convince Santa that they are worthy of his visit.  Template to complete this activity is found in the Christmas theme unit.

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Pete the Cat Activities

If you have read my previous blog posts, you will know that I love “Pete the Cat” and so do my students.  In my school we are required to always have an emergency lesson plan ready, which also takes stress off us in time of need.  I have created a plan based on the literature selection “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” written by Eric Litwin.  I have outlined my plan below.  The mini unit is Pete-Cat-Buttons-Unitfound in the link.

 

Pete The Cat And His Groovy Button Mini Unit

 

8:34 – 9:15   Morning Routine

-Put on shoes, get book bin and whisper read to self using the whisper phones (previous readers they have worked on).
-After everyone is  settled, they choose a partner to read to.

 

Read Aloud in Circle Corner

Read book “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin to the students.

 

Book Reading from (project on Smart Board)

 

Video of the Book

 

Shared Reading 
Project emergent reader “My Groovy Buttons” on the Smart Board.

-Read the title of the selection.  Do a picture walk of the selection and discuss what might be happening on each page and how it might relate to the story you just read to them, “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin.  Discuss what the interactive component could be (add facial features and buttons)

-Read the selection to the children modeling the reading process completing the interactive component as you read (add buttons and facial features to each picture).

-Read again, choosing different students to be the word pointer.

 

9:15 – 10:00  Developmental Centers and Guided Reading

Half the class goes to play (development) centers,  5- 6 students do guided reading with me and 5-6 students go to craft with the assistant (working on guided drawing activities).

 

Interactive Component

Interactive Component

Guided Reading

-students add correct amount of buttons on the shirt and complete drawing their facial features on the emergent reader “My Groovy Buttons” reader.

-practice reading the book to themselves, then read to teacher

-After, partner reads the book to another student.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

10:00 – 10:15  Bathroom Break, Snack and Get Ready for Recess


10:15 – 10:30      Recess


10:45 – 11:15   Literacy Centers

I use activities posted on the link below:

 

Literacy Center Ideas


11:15 – 12:00  Writer’s Workshop
-Students write what they think of “Pete the Cat”.  Complete the pattern: Pete the cat is ____________.
-Share what they wrote

12:00 – 12:55     Lunch

12:55 – 1:55  MathColor-Number-Buttons
Review Numeral Identification

-Distribute small math manipulatives.  Display numbers found on page  7 and the children display that many.  After, can complete sheet found on page 8.

Introducing Subtraction
-Put the following subtraction sentences on the board.  After, each sentence have the students use their manipulatives to act out the sentence (start with first number and take away the other number).  Explain how this is related to the story you read this morning “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin

5- 3 =___,   4 – 2 = ___,   3 – 1= ___,  5 – 0=____, 5 – 2 =______,  4 – 3 =_____
Button-SubtractionAssigned Related Seat Work-  Complete the subtraction sheet.  The students cross out the buttons that need to be subtracted in order to find the answer.  May need to do this sheet together using the Smart Board.

1:55  -2:10  Recess

2:10 – 2:50  Switch Developmental Centers, Guided Reading and Craft Groups

Students who did not have an opportunity to visit play (developmental) centers this morning now have an opportunity to do so.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3:00 End of Day

 

 

 

 

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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Curriculum Based Lesson Planning

I have witnessed many curriculum changes over my 33 years of teaching.  I don’t stress about meeting each outcome but rather on developing exciting learning opportunties around a specific concept or theme that I wish to focus on.  In the video below I briefly discuss how I planned my lesson for the Pumpkin Theme that I will use during the week of Halloween.

 

Brief Video on How I Plan My Lessons

Common-Core-Planning-Lesson

View Pumpkin Lesson Plan on You Tube

 

Meeting the Outcomes

After, I have completed my planning, I check off the outcomes that have been addressed.  I am always amazed at how many outcomes have been addressed in a single lesson.  If you are following the common core curriculum, you will find a checklist that can be used in the link below:

 

Common Core Checklist for Kindergarten

Down At The Pumpkin Patch

Down At The Pumpkin Patch

 

Importance of Incidental Learning

Introducing alphabet letters, sounds and sight words within a meaningful context offers many opportunities to introduce other skills that might crop up during instructional time.    While reading the emergent reader “Down at the Pumpkin Patch”, the students are being exposed to a number of sight words, the CVC pattern in the word “big” could be discussed, allowing students who are ready for blending sounds together to move forward. This allows for multilevel instruction.

 

Pumpkin Counting Emergent Reader

Pumpkin Counting Emergent Reader

Restructuring My Lessons to Meet the Needs of My Students

After, completing my Apples Theme lessons, I realized that my students still needed more practice in identifying and working with numbers 1-10.  I incorporated that into my Pumpkin Theme.  I created another version of the reader “Down At the Pumpkin Patch”.

 

Interactive Activities and Subject Integration

Interactive Component of Black and White Version of Reader

Interactive Component of Black and White Version of Reader

I always use the interactive versions of the readers.  In this version of “Down At the Pumpkin Patch”, the students are required to draw and color the correct amount of pumpkins as indicated in the text (numeral or word version).   This adds a comprehension element and also allows the students to be far more engaged in their learning.  I also try to integrate other subject areas as much as possible.  In this case, language arts and math were integrated.

 

My Final Thoughts

Remember to be flexible and praise your students regularly for the progress that has been made.  I have learned to not be obsessed about curriculum standards because I know all my students are progressing and that is exciting.  They amaze me each and every day at how far they have come.  The funny thing is, that most of them do meet the outcomes without me being so focused on accomplishing them and we have had fun along the way.

 

Halloween Related Activities

In the link below you will find more Halloween related activties.

 

Halloween Related Activities

 

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Free Worksheets and Resources

Math Resource Freebies

Follow-up Math Worksheet

Follow-up Math Worksheet

The Kinderplans site has many free resources that are available to the public.  I just wanted to make you aware of ones that would be applicable for this time of year.  If you are working with numbers, the link below you will lead to the page that has an animated number video with follow-up activities that can be used effectively to help students learn the numbers 1-20.

Enjoy!

 

Animated Songs Number Video and Follow-Up Worksheets

 

Alphabet Activities Free Resources

Alphabet Picture Sorting Cards

Alphabet Picture Sorting Cards

In the links below you will find an animated alphabet video that is related to the “Alphabet Sight Word Readers” but it also contains other follow-up worksheets that can be used.

 

Animated Alphabet Video and Follow-up Worksheets

 

More Free Alphabet Activities and Worksheets

 

Free Emergent Readers

In the link below you will find free emergent readers which includes a reader about the changes that occur during the Fall or Autumn season.

 

Free Emergent Readers

Center Signs

In the link below you will find signs that can be used to identify your “Centers”.

 

Center Signs

 

Common Core Poster

Common Core Poster

Common Core Check List and Posters

Last year I condensed and modified the resources to help teachers meet the new common core standards that have become mandatory in many States.  On occasion, I receive an e-mail stating they want nothing to do with resources that relate to the “Common Core”.  Unfortunately many educators do not have an option.  The resources are designed to meet any curriculum outcomes.  Like any resource, it is up to the educator to adjust them according to the needs of their students and required curriculum outcomes.  They are generic enough to allow for this flexibility.

If you haven’t already accessed the common core checklist and posters, you can find them on the home page of the Kinderplans site.  You will need to logout of the member site in order to access the public site.  

 

Common Core Posters and CheckList

 

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Phonological Awareness

Important Skills for Beginning of Kindergarten or PreK

Training my students to hear beginning sounds in a fun and effective way can be a challenge.  I begin each year focusing on this skill as many of my students arrive lacking the ability to discriminate sounds heard within words.

Research has proven that phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and phonics plays a crucial role in children learning to read but the terms can be confusing.   The video below is an excellent source of information in explaining the differences.

 

Pre-Reading Skills Video

 

In this blog post I wanted to address a few mini-lessons that I have implemented that have helped my students to hear beginning sounds and apply this to the corresponding letter.

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness Warmup

One of the learning outcomes in many Pre-K programs is for students to print letters they hear at the beginning of words.  However, many of my students arrive not being able to  distinguish the difference in hearing these sounds. Many do not understand the concept of what a beginning sound is.  During the first weeks of school,  I focus on phonemic awareness activities that will assist them in hearing sounds within words prior to introducing any alphabet letters representing these sounds.  I focus on the initial sound first.

1)  I have a puppet that I named “Slow Speaking Sam”.  Sam says the sounds within words (usually one syllable words) very slowly and the students must guess the word said.  If they can’t guess the word, it is said faster.

2)  I have three students come forward and assign each of them a phoneme sound they are to represent.  We blend the sounds together to say the word that represents these sounds.  We clap or stretch the sounds using an elastic band.   We also discuss the first, middle and last sound heard.  This activity has been invaluable in terms of my students understanding the concept of what a beginning sound is.  When the majority of my students are able to hear beginning sounds; I begin introducing the letters of the alphabet that represent these sounds (phonics).  We extend this activity to deleting and adding sounds.  Using the students to represent sounds assists visual learners with this skill devleopment.

Integrating Use of the Smart Board

 

Smart Board Sorting Activities
As a group instructional activity, we sort pictures according to what inital sounds are heard.

 

Phonics Component

Use of Paddle Boards

Dry Erase Boards

Dry Erase Boards

After the students have an understanding of hearing initial sounds in words, the phonics component is integrated.  I was fortunate to have a class set of dry erase paddle boards.  I use these contstantly in my “Literacy Centers” and class activities.  I dictate  words that begin with the focus initial letter sounds and the students must print the letter that represents the initial sound heard in the word.  This helps me evaluate each child’s understanding. This has proven to be an invaluable activity  but my only complaint is that I seem to be having to replace the markers frequently.  I haven’t found a solution to this problem yet.

 

 Use of Shared and Guided Reading and Literacy Centers

Rainbow-Fish-Cover

Connection to Literature

Many of the emergent readers are a simple retelling of a literature selection.  The focus literature selection for the upcoming week will be “Rainbow Fish”.  This is a great book to use to address the concept of sharing and to introduce the related emergent reader.

 

Shared Reading –  Rainbow Fish RetellingRainbow-Fish-Emergent-Reader

I project the color version of the emergent reader on my Smart Board.  First we do a picture walk and predict what the story might be about.  I read the book to them and after we circle and read the words together, reinforcing the use of pictures to give us clues as to what the text reads.

 

Focus Skills

The reader is not only meant to introduce the reading process but also key learning concepts.  The following concepts will be introduced during shared reading time: what a word is,  letters “r” and “f” and their related sounds, sight word “a”, colors and color words.

 

Rainbow-Fish-Reader

Guided Reading

I don’t exceed six students during my guided reading group time.  Since we have read the selection over several times during shared reading, many of my students are able to pretend read the majority of the book.  During guided reading they circle the words and color the pictures according to the text.  This not only adds a comprehension and fine-motor component but most students complete this task at varying times, allowing me to focus on one student at a time.  They read the book to me (tracking the words they circled) and after read it to a friend and take it home to read to their parents.

 

Printing Book – Group 1

Complete printing book “r and f” and stamp pictures beginning with that sound.  Printing book found in link below:

Printing Book

Sound-Soring-GameObject or Picture Sorting – Group 2

My students will be digging into the rice or soy bean tactile tubs for objects to determine if they begin with “Ll,  Hh,  Rr or Ff” sounds.  If I do not have enough objects representing a sound, I use picture cards laminated on cardstock instead (found in the “All About Me” theme).

I recently purchased soy beans from the “Bulk Barn”.  It was the cheapest I could find for creating another tactile tub.  My students really enjoy this experience.

 

Spin and Print – Group 3

Spin and Print

Students take turns spinning a top and printing the letters “r and f” depending on what picture the top lands on.

 

Alphabet Ordering and Matching – Group 4

I have all the alphabet letters in the correct order in pocket charts.  The lower-case letters are printed on poker chips.  The students must match the poker chips to the correct letter found within the pocket charts.  I have three pocket charts (2 students working at each chart). They are encouraged to say the name of the letter, if they know it).  Later in the year, I will have them put the alphabet letters in the correct order.

 

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Pre K Phonics Program

 

Printing Sequence

What Order Is The Most Effective In Teaching Beginning Letter Sounds?

This is a question I often get asked, “What order is the most effective in teaching beginning letter sounds?”  Since I introduce the 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.

After experimenting with different letter sequences, this is the one in which I found to be the most effective in terms of learning to print and hear sounds more readily.  The first letters I chose were ones that we will use the most frequently in our daily writing.  The order I suggest is as follows:  l, b, h, r, f, m, n, a, t, p, s, e d, c, k, u, v, i, o, j, w, g, z, y, x and q.  The “Alphabet Program” which is included in the Kinderplans membership, was specifically developed to teach the alphabet and their related sounds effectively within a balanced literacy classroom.  More information on the “Alphabet Program” can be found in the link below:

Information About the Alphabet Program

 

Steps to Teaching the Alphabet and Related SoundsLibrary-Lion

Step One – Read Aloud

I start with reading the suggested literature selection which is associated with the emergent reader that will be used to introduce the focus letter(s).  If you do not have the literature selection readily available in your library, sometimes you will find an online version by doing a search.  For example, I will start the year reading “Library Lion” by Michelle Knudson that is associated with the emergent reader “Lion Likes to Read”.   You can also choose another literature selection related lions.

 

Library Lion Video

 

Emergent Reader Lion Likes to ReadStep Two – Shared Reading

I project the color version of the reader “Lion Like to Read” on the Smart Board and model the reading process (reader associated with the literature selection).  We do a activities related to the reader for a number of days.  I will introduce the names and and sounds of letters “l and b” within context of using the reader.

 

Step Three – Word Study, Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

We do a number activities related to the focus letters and sounds such as:

Alphabet Action Songs

Alphabet Action Songs

1.  Discuss names within the classroom and other words that begin with these letters and sounds.

2.  Discuss possible actions that could go with these letters and sounds.

3.  Sing the songs related to the readers that are found on the “Alpha Tunes” CD which is included in the membership.  I also sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” but change the words to begin with the focus sound.

4.  Sort picture cards according to which ones relate to the focus sounds (alphabet picture cards included in your membership).

5.  We sort pictures on the Smart Board.  You will find a Smart Board sorting activity for letters “Ll and Bb” in the link below.

 

 

Smart Board Sorting ActivitiesAs a group instructional activity, we sort pictures according to if they begin with an “Ll and Bb” sounds on the Smart Board.  You would need access to Notebook software in order to download this activity.

 

 

Guided Reading and Independent Reading

"Ll and Bb" emergent reader

“Ll and Bb” Emergent Reader

During guided reading the students will be circling words and completing the interactive component which requires them to cut and paste the correct “b” picture that matches the text.  This adds a comprehension component to their reading.  After reading the selection a number of times during shared and guided reading, they should now be able to read it independently (pretend reading at this stage).

 

Literacy Center Follow-up Activities

The “Literacy Center” activities are an important component of the program as this is when the students practice what they have learned during instructional time.  In the link below you will find information on these Centers.

 

Ideas for Literacy Centers

 

Alphabet Bulletin Board

Alphabet Bulletin Board

NEWSLETTER FABULOUS FREEBIE

The fabulous freebie for this newsletter is the “Alphabet Bulletin Board Picture Cards”.  These picture cards are related to the alphabet animated action video and the emergent readers.  As a member, you will have access to three different sizes of these picture cards. These picture cards are the medium sized version.  I place these in front of the room and refer to these regularly when reviewing the letters and their related sounds.  Removed on September 12th.

 

 

 Animated Alphabet Video

 

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