Beginning of School Year Organizational Ideas

What is a name wall?  A name wall is similar to a word wall but only the names in the classroom are posted.  This a great way to display your word wall for the beginning of the school year.  On pages 25-29 in your free Friendship theme unit you will find the letters that can be used as headings for your name and later word wall. The activities outlined below can be used in conjunction with using the name wall.

Name Plate

Name Plate Under Letter “Aa”

 

More name activities can be found on pages 21-24 in the Friendship theme.

 

HOW TO USE THE NAME WALL

1.  Students place their name under the correct alphabet letter.  This can be used as a quick introduction to the alphabet.

Name Matching

Name Matching

2.  I placed the letters of their names in a chart format as seen in the photograph above so the number of letters within the names can be easily counted. The students can also visually see who has the longest and shortest names in the classroom. These can also be cut and used for a center activity where the children can make each other’s names using a model (photograph on the right). A picture on the name card allows the students to connect the name to a face.

3.  The number of students under each alphabet letter can be counted to see what letter has the most and least amount of students.

4.  The names can be used for phonemic awareness activities (say each phoneme within the name very slowly and the class must guess what name you are saying).

5.  Break the names down into syllables by clapping them.

 

PRINTING THEIR NAMES – FREE FONT TO USE

Name Printing Sheet

Name Printing Sheet

I had a significant amount of students who arrived in my classroom unable to print their name.  The few that could, printed it in all upper-case letters.  By the end of September, I expected them to be able to print their name using an upper-case at the beginning and the rest in lower-case.  Each morning when they arrived, they practiced printing their name and I also sent a practice sheet home.  The sheet on the right displays a copy of the sheet I used.  I had the sheet laminated and they used erasable markers to practice with.  They practiced on the dotted lines and the bottom half was for practicing without the dots.  Students with weak fine-motor control have difficulty with the dotted printing format so the bottom half allows them to be more successful.

 

I have purchased fonts to use for dotted printing but the one below is free and I felt is even better than the paid version.

 

Best Dotted Printing Font

 

HOW ARE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS COPING WITH COMMON CORE STANDARDS?

I have finished revising all the themes (except for Colors or Colours and Valentines) to align with the Common Core standards. This was a huge undertaking as curriculums vary significantly.  I tried to make each theme flexible and varied in difficulty to meet the demand of these different curriculums.

 

In Canada the Kindergarten curriculum is still play-based with focus on developing early literacy and numeracy.  The new “Common Core” curriculum in the U.S. aligns more with what I am teaching in grade one (in Canada).  I can’t help but wonder how the little ones are coping with this demand???  I would certainly appreciate any feedback on this (below)………

 

50% OFF ON THE FULL YEAR MATH PROGRAM

The “Math Focus” program is now offered for 50% off.  This is an incredible special deal!

  •  416 pages of content to browse for ideas.
  • Designed to meet the majority of curriculum outcomes in the three different strands.
  •  Fun and interactive activities that keep the students engaged in learning math!
  •  37 page math workbook.
  • 15 emergent readers included that can be used to teach the math outcomes and reading at the same time.
  •  BONUS nursery rhymes theme used to teach numeracy, early reading, word play and rhyme.  This could be used on its own.
  •  Video tutorials to help understand how the concepts can be introduced.
  •  Offers flexibility in terms of programming.

 

THIS DEAL IS ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 11TH!

 

More Information On This Incredible Deal

 

PLEASE POST COMMENTS!!!  HOW ARE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS COPING WITH CURRICULUM OUTCOMES?

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook” or Adding to Google Plus

Teaching Ideas for the New School Year

 

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness

Phonemic and Phonological Awareness

Many of you will be entering the new school year and the excitement of meeting your little learners is mounting.  They will all enter with a wide range of skills and abilities.  With the curriculum expectations becoming more rigorous, we tend to omit the basics. When I started teaching kindergarten, I was so eager on getting these little ones learning the alphabet and start the process of writing and reading early.  I learned very quickly that the majority of my students didn’t understand the concept of what a beginning sound was nor could they hear it.  I had to take a step back and start with the basics.  This is where phonemic instruction comes into play.  The video in the link below does a fantastic job of explaining phonemic and phonological awareness.

 

Important Pre-Reading Skills

 

The graphic organizer displayed above was from the URL below.  Great Job!!!

 

Graphic Organizer and More Information on Phonemic Awareness

 

Importance of Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and segment sounds.  We know that a student’s skills in phonemic awareness is a good predictor of later reading success or difficulty.  Since research has proven this time and time again, as a Pre-K or kindergarten teacher, this is a great place to start your literacy instruction.  I have outlined some fun and engaging activities below that can be used for segmentation and blending.

 

Slow Speaking Sam

Guessing the Word

Slow Speaking Sam Puppet

I have a puppet called “Slow Speaking Sam”.  He says sounds of words very, very slowly. My little ones have fun trying to figure out the word he is saying.  Together we blend the sounds to say the entire word.

 

Assigning Each Child A Sound

Sound Segmenting

Sound Segmenting

I have three students (to begin with) and assign them each a sound.  They each say their sound and the rest of the students must guess what the word is when you put all the sounds together (blending).

 

Money in the Bank and Taken Out

Move the Sound

Move the Sound

I show a CVC picture card (45 pictures on the Kinderplans site). Each child is given a cupful of pennies or whatever you have available.  The students move the pennies into the bank representing each sound heard.  After, they blend the sounds together to say the entire word while removing the pennies.  After the game, the students can count how many pennies they collected.

 

Money in the Bank Templates

 

Squeeze the Sound

Squeeze the Sound

Squeeze the Sound

Again, I show a CVC picture card.  The students must squeeze the ball each time a sound is heard. They blend the sounds together to say the entire word, while dropping the ball to the ground (do not want a ball that bounces). This is also great for developing fine-motor strength too!

 

Stretch the Sound

Stretching Sounds

Stretching Sounds

The students stretch each sound using a slinky or elastic band. These can bought at a Dollar store (love those stores).

 

Using Your Imagination

These are just a few examples but you get the idea of the possibilities.  The activities should involve some sort of movement in order to be effective.

 

When Do I Start Introducing the Alphabet Letters?

I only concentrate on phonemic awareness activities for the first week or so of the school year.  I still continue to do these throughout the year but I introduce the relationship to a letter.

 

Meeting Your Curriculum Outcomes

If the Kinderplans Alphabet program were to be followed the majority of your curriculum outcomes would be met.  The only area that is not covered is poetry.  I am working towards adding these to the collection of resources found on the site.

Alphabet Program

Alphabet Program

 

If you have poems that you use in your class to share, I would really appreciate them sent to me or post a comment below.

 

Alphabet Program Explained

I just recently posted a video on the site that explains the program.  Hop over to view it.

 

Alphabet Program Explained

 

PLEASE POST COMMENTS!!!  IDEAS FOR POEMS APPRECIATED!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook” or Adding to Google Plus

Plant and Seed Experiments

Can Seeds Grow Under Different Conditions?

Environmental Experiment

Environmental Experiment

Environmental Experiment One

In the last week my students have been planting lima bean seeds (they grow the fastest).  The students are experimenting to see if the seeds can grow under different conditions. The seeds are planted under the different conditions as described in the book “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle (placed into a cold refrigerator or freezer, water, sand with no water and in a garden like setting).  Observation booklet and explanation of the experiment is found in the link below:

 

Environmental Seed Experiment Observation Booklet One

 

Germination Experiment 

Experiment Two

This is another experiment I found to be really interesting.  The students placed a bean seed in a CD case and then watched it grow and labeled the plant parts.  This project is outlined in the link below:

 

Seed Planted In CD Case Steps

 

Follow-up Activities  - Observation Booklets

Seed Planted In CD Case

Seed Planted In CD Case

In the links below you will find a simple observation booklet where the children just draw picture of what they observed or draw and describe.

 

Observation Sheet – Students Draw Pictures of Their Observation

 

Observation Sheet – Students Draw Pictures and Describe Their Observation

 

Life Cycle of A Bean Plant Booklet – Cut and Assemble in Order

In the links below you will find two booklets that children can make where they cut and order the pages according to the life cycle of a bean plant.  After the booklet would be stapled together.

 

Life Cycle of Bean Plant (Cut, Assemble and Staple) Booklet

Life Cycle of Bean Plant (Cut, Assemble and Staple) Booklet

Cut and Order Pages Booklet According to Life Cycle of a Bean Plant- Pictures Labeled

 

Cut and Order Pages Booklet According to Life Cycle of a Bean Plant – Students Label Pictures

 

Tiny Seed Literacy Unit

Tiny Seed Literacy Unit

More Plant Theme Ideas – Literacy and Math Connections

More related plant theme ideas can be found in the link below:

 

More Plant Theme Ideas

 

PLEASE POST COMMENTS!!!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook” or Adding to Google Plus

 

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

 

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.

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

 

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.

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

 

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Add to Google Plus”.

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.

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.

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

 

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.

 

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

 

Always Enjoy Reading Your Comments!

Receive Updates by “Liking Us on Facebook or Adding to Google Plus”.