Making Friends

In our school we have Personal Development for an hour a week. I have begun my preparation and will be sharing these with my

Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend

Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend

subscribers.  Here are my first month’s plans.  The focus for the first month is “Making New Friends”.  I hope you find these ideas helpful!


Lesson Plan One 

Read the book “Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend” or watch the video below:


Scaredy Squirrel Makes A Friend


Discuss the book “Scaredy Squirrel Makes a New Friend” and how they can make friends by just giving others a chance as shown in theOutdoor Activities Pictures book. Discuss how enjoying common activities is a way in making new friends. Display the pictures found in the link below. Each child chooses one of their preferred outdoor activities. Children with the same choice activities gather in a group. The group goes outside together partaking in the chosen activity. After, they must report their findings. Focus on the concept that making new friends often involves meeting somebody who enjoys similar activities and giving others a chance to be a friend.


Outdoor Activity Pictures


Lesson Plan Two

Students watch online audio book “Franklin’s New Friend” found in the link below:


Franklin’s New Friend Franklin's New Friend


Again, reiterate the importance of being open to meeting new friends and giving them chances as stressed in the book. Review how finding people with similar interests allows them an opportunity to meet a new friend. Have them brainstorm for words or phrases that complete the following, “I like to…..” and scribe these onto chart paper. Have the students complete the sheet below by continuing the sentence as was done in the classroom. The students could use the chart as a guide.  After, have the students share these to learn who enjoys similar activities. These can be viewed as possible new friends. 


Writing Template 1


Lesson Plan ThreeWriting Template 2

The focus will be on “What Makes A Good Friend”?  This will be followed-up by discussion.  View the videos below and discuss.

Video 1


Video 2



Read book “I’m A Good Friend”  by David Parker. Brainstorm for words or phrases that complete the sentence “A Good Friend…..”  and scribe the phrases on chart paper.


Lesson Plan FourWriting Template 2

Students draw a name from a container to partner with and choose a free time activity (puzzles, blocks, etc.) to do together.  Allow about 15 minutes of free time partaking in the chosen activity. Discuss their experience.


After, add more ideas to the chart “A Good Friend……”


Students complete written page below.


Writing Template 2


What Do You Think???  Post a Comment Below!

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

Pre-Kindergarten Computational Thinking Activities

I just attended a Personal Development session which addressed the importance of students acquiring computational thinking and coding skills.  We discussed how 40% of the current jobs will become automated within the next 10 – 20 years.  Fortunately, the role of a teacher is at a low risk of being replaced by robots.  You can breath a sigh of relief in that regard. However, we do need to become accountable in preparing our students for the future.

Kodable Game

Kodable Game


How Can We Help Pre-Kindergarten Students Acquire Computational Thinking?

I have outlined activities I plan to implement within the next few weeks.  These activities do not require your students to be readers.



Kodable can be downloaded as an App placed on your iPads.  My school doesn’t have iPads but instead we have netbooks.   The video below is the best I have found in explaining how to use Kodable.


Quick Tutorial On How to Use Kodable 


Where to Begin?

Day 1 – Physical Movements

Prior to moving to the computer, I intend to have the students practice following commands using the terms “right and left”.  I will give the following commands and the students are to follow these.  This would be great to do during Physical Education:


Command One:  Give students practice using their right and left hands and feet.


Command Two:  Give oral directions such as outlined below:

Take two steps right, two steps left, two steps right and two steps leftComputational Paper Game


Explain that later on they will be using a computer and they will have to make similar commands, which is called coding.


Transferring Commands to Paper

I am going to display the different paths in the links below on my Smart Board.  We will discuss verbally how we are going to form commands to direct the girl to her house.  After we will use visual arrows to show her the way.  These activities and paths are similar to ones they will find in “kodable”.


Command Path One

Command Path Two

Command Path Three


Transferring Commands to iPad or Computer

The link directly takes you the beginners game which begins with Smeeborg.  I placed this link on my Google classroom set on each student’s netbook.  This allows them quick access.


Kodable Link


Indicate What Literature Mini-Units You Would Like to See Developed?????

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

Bear Snores On Literacy Math Unit

My goal for this coming year is to create more literature based mini-units based on specific literature selections.  The one I created over the December break was based on the

Color Version

Color Version

literature selection “Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson.  I felt this would really correlate with the concept of hibernation and what animals do in the winter.


Shared Reading

This mini-unit includes an emergent reader that is a simple retelling of the literature selection.  It is offered in both color and black and white.  I use these readers for both shared and guided reading.  I project the color version on my Smart Board, enabling all the students to view the print.  I model the reading process on specific skills as outlined in the unit.  A page from the color version of the reader is displayed on the right.


Guided Reading

I would generally have five students within a group completing the guided reading activities outlined below.

There is a black and white version of the reader that I use for guided reading.  I always like to include an interactive component in each reader. The interactive component in this reader has the students cutting and pasting the correct animal that joined bear in his cave. The students are required to match the words found within the reader to those displayed on the picture.  It also requires them to apply what they know about beginning letters and sounds.

Black and White Version

Black and White Version

I like doing this during guided reading because each student finishes the interactive component at different times.  This allows me to have an individual student read the selection to me, once they have finished cutting and pasting the correct pictures.  During this time, I can assess what skills they have acquired.


Literacy Centers

I have four Literacy Centers with duplicate games. There are two to three playing partners at each center playing the same game.  The students would rotate to each center. The entire process takes around 30 to 40 minutes.


Literacy Center One – Letter and Sound Identification

The playing partners would take turns rolling a die.  They would move around the game board accordingly and print the initial letter sound represented on the picture that they landed on. They could use the dotted printing sheet provided. There are also picture playing cards that can be used.  The playing partners would take turns drawing a picture card and print the letter sound represented.  Again, the dotted printing sheet could be used.

Alphabet Game Board

Picture Cards

Dotted Printing Sheet










Literacy Center Two – Rhyming Game

In this Center student partners take a turn spinning a top.  They will place a bingo chip or another object on the picture that rhymes on their game card.  Once their game card has been completed, the game is over.

Rhyming Game

Rhyming Game


Literacy Center Three – Letter Naming

The playing partners take a turn rolling a die and moving their game player accordingly.  The partners must name the letter they landed on and print this letter on the printing sheet provided.

Letter Identification Game

Letter Identification Game

 Sight Words








Literacy Center Four –  Sight Word Identification 

Math Ten Frames Worksheet

Math Ten Frames Worksheet

The teacher would print the focus sight word(s) on the game board provided. Again, the students would roll a die, move their game player accordingly and say the name of the sight word they landed on.



The students would cut and paste or print the correct number that correlates to the ten frames displayed on the sheet.


Location of New Mini-Theme 

The new mini-theme is found within the Winter theme unit.


Bear Snores on Mini-Theme


Indicate What Other Literature Mini-Units You Would Like to See Developed?????

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


Kindergarten Word Wall

The list below displays the high frequency words I use.  Your list may be different, but I thought you would be interested in the ones I use.  I also thought I would share the dictionary I use that students can refer to when they are writing.  I have included different versions of the dictionary.

Word Wall Words

Word Wall Words

Word Wall Words and Dictionary Booklets

Below are links to the versions of the dictionaries your students could use as a reference for writing.


Version 1:  Is meant to be copied as a full-page book format.  It has lines where you can print your own words


Version 2:  Is meant to be copied as a half-page book format.  It also has lines where you can print your own words.


Version 3:  Is meant to be copied as a full-page book format.  It includes the words displayed above.

Spelling Dictionary

Spelling Dictionary


Version 4:  Is meant to be copied as a half-page book format.  It includes the words displayed above.  This is the one I use.


 Word Wall Dictionary – Blank Page – Booklet Cut in Half

Word Wall Dictionary – Blank Page – Full Page Booklet


Word Wall Dictionary – Word Wall Words Included – Half Page


Word Wall Dictionary – Word Wall Words Included – Full Page


Hope You Find This Helpful.  Let Me Know Below!

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


Common Core Planning

After so many years of experience, I rarely create a lesson solely based on meeting curriculum outcomes. I found this often led to rather stilted lessons.  I prefer to create engaging lessons related to a specific topic or theme with related reading selections and follow-up activities.  From there, I would evaluate all the core outcomes that would be met from the lessons I developed.


Choosing A Topic or Theme

During the later part of October I like to focus on the theme of Pumpkins, which is used in conjunction to the Fall and Halloween themes.  The video below outlines how I employ integrated activities that meet many core outcomes related to this topic or theme.

Common Core Planning

Common Core Planning



Meeting Core Outcomes Planning


Read Alouddownload

One of the reading selections chosen for this topic is How Many Seeds In A Pumpkin? written by Margaret McNamara.   This specific book is great to use for integrating math and literacy.  It addresses the math outcomes outlined below:


1.  size comparisons

2.  estimation

3.  one-to-one number counting correspondence

Pumpkin Counting Emergent Reader

Pumpkin Counting Emergent Reader

4.  skip counting


The students can engage in the activities found in the book.


Shared and Guided Reading

There are a number of emergent readers found within the Fall/Halloween theme unit but the one I chose integrates math. In the black and white version of the reader “Down At the Pumpkin Patch”, the students were to draw the correct amount of pumpkins as identified in the text.  Both the number word and written as a numeral versions are available.

Interactive Component of Black and White Version of Reader

Interactive Component of Black and White Version of Reader

I display the color version of the reader on the Smart Board, which is used for shared reading.  During this time we count words, identify sight words and work on other related beginning reading skills.  During guided reading time the students work in a small group to complete the interactive component where they are required to draw and color the correct amount of pumpkins according to the text.  After they complete the interactive component, they read to me and a partner.


 Related Art/Craft Project

The students drew and colored with wax crayons their own pumpkin patch as displayed below. After, I washed over their picture using thin black paint.  The wax crayons resisted absorbing the paint.


pumpkin patch art

pumpkin patch art

pumpkin patch art

pumpkin patch art


Common Core PostersCommon-Core-Retelling 2

On the Kinderplans site you will find posters that can be displayed in the classroom as a reference to what standards you are working towards meeting.


Common Core Posters


More Ideas

More Fall/Pumpkin theme ideas can be found in the link below:


More Fall/Pumpkin Theme Ideas


Love Hearing Your Suggestions and Comments!!

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

Reading Readiness for Pre-Kindergarten

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

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

Letter/Sound Isolation

Letter/Sound Isolation

Phonological and Phonemic Awareness

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

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

Word Detection/Print Awareness

Word Detection/Print Awareness

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

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

Phoneme Detection Using A Puppet

Phoneme Detection
Using A Puppet

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

Rhyming Picture Cards

Rhyming Picture Cards

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

Initial Sound Sorting Cards

Initial Sound Sorting Cards



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


44 phonemes


Print Awareness

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

Initial Sounds Sorting Workbook Page

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


Vocabulary Development

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

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


All the examples displayed are

taken from the Pre-K curriculum.


More Information About the Program



Vocabulary -Feelings

Vocabulary -Feelings

Love Hearing Your Suggestions and Comments!!

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

Substitute Plans

My students really enjoy hearing all the “Pete the Cat” stories.  I decided to create an emergency substitute lesson plan based on the story “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” written by Eric Litwin.  The emergency lesson plan is found in the link below:Pete the Cat Activities


Pete The Cat And His Groovy Button Mini Unit


Importance of Read-Alouds

The purpose of read-alouds is for students to be exposed to rich literature, to develop comprehension strategies through teacher reading, questioning and vocabulary development.  The selection can be read numerous times with focus on different comprehension strategies and vocabulary development.  The success of read-alouds depends on how the teacher structures carefully crafted questions.
I always begin a lesson with a read-aloud.  In this lesson the book is “Pete the Cat and His Groovy Buttons”.
The video of the book can also displayed on your interactive board.


Video of the Book


Pre-Reading Activities

-Discuss with the students a problem they may have experienced.  Discuss how they solved the problem.

-Do a picture walk of the literature selection and predict what the problem might be by viewing the pictures.  How might the problem be resolved?

-Read each page and predict how Pete will react to his problem.  Discuss how he reacted to his problem.

-Discuss the lesson that the author wishes to convey in this story.


Interactive Component

Interactive Component

What Is Shared Reading?

The purpose of shared reading is for the teacher to model the reading process. She/he points to words and demonstrates how text moves from left to right and top to bottom. The text should be large enough so all the students can see the words. Shared reading selections should also be repetitive so that young learners can participate. In the initial stages of learning to read the students will be reading from memory rather than using decoding strategies. This is the reason the text is kept repetitive and simplistic. All emergent readers found on the Kinderplans site have been designed to be used for Pre-Kindergarten to develop early reading skills.


Shared Reading the Interactive Reader “My Groovy Buttons”

Many of the Kinderplans lessons use an emergent reader that is related to the “Read Aloud” selection as a means to teach many of the curriculum outcomes.  The emergent reader found within the mini-lesson was created for the purpose of shared and guided reading activities related to the read-aloud.

-Project emergent reader “My Groovy Buttons” on the Smart Board or in a pocket chart with the words enlarged.

-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 Color-Number-Buttonsthem, “Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin.  Discuss the interactive component, which is to color, add facial features and the correct amount of buttons.  The photograph above displays a completed page.

-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.


Guided Reading

I meet with small groups of students working through the following activities:

-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 when ready can read it to the teacher.

-After, can read the book to another student.


Writer’s Workshop
-Students write what they think of “Pete the Cat”.  Complete the pattern: Pete the cat is ____________.Button-Subtraction
-Share what they wrote



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

-Print 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


Independent Seat Work
The students could complete the subtraction sheet.  They would cross out the buttons that need to be subtracted in order to find the answer.  The teacher may need to do this work together as a class.

Love Hearing Your Suggestions and Comments!!

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


First Week Pre-Kindergarten

Ideas for First Week

In this blog post I have outlined ideas that you can incorporate for your first week of school.


Play Centers

Kissing Hand Emergent Reader

Kissing Hand Emergent Reader

When the students first arrive they must locate their name tag placed on a table.  They are assisted with putting their name tag on. They are directed to a play center of their choice prior to meeting for circle time. The “Play Centers” could include playdough, different construction toys, craft materials, puzzles, computer, math manipulatives,  etc.


Name Game During Circle Time

We get in a circle and each child rolls the ball to a different student.  Each student introduces themselves when the ball is rolled to them.


Exploring the School – Treasure Hunt

I explain to the children that I found a mystery letter.  I read it to them.  We explore the school looking for the treasure.  At each location there is a heart-shaped letter directing us to where we should look next.  This is a fun way to have the students become familiar with the school.   I have a treasure box that was packed with stickers from Scholastic that is placed at our final destination.  I put decorative rocks in it (one for each student).  I explain that it is their lucky rock to hold when they feel a little scared or miss their parents.

Name Activities

Name Activities


Read Aloud

I always use the book “The Kissing Hand” by Audrey Penn for the first day because it relates well to how some of the children might feel.


Shared Reading

I project the simple retelling emergent reader of the story on the Smart Board (found in your Free Sample Friendship theme).  We read this together as I model the reading process.  I will do this for a few days before sending it home with the students.  Sign-up form on page link below:


Sign-up Form


Name Activities

The first week of the school year the focus is on learning and recognizing names within the classroom.  In the new Pre-K Curriculum you will find name activities that would be incorporated in the first day and week of school.  In the link below you will find the first few pages of the teacher’s guide that outline these activities.  You will also find more activities in your free “Friendship” theme unit that you should have received when you signed-up for the bi-weekly newsletter.


First Few Pages of Pre-K Teachers Guide


Love Hearing Your Suggestions and Comments!!

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

Math Resources

Learning the teen numbers is the most difficult for young learners, as they do not follow a pattern.  I wanted to display the numbers to 20 on one of my bulletin boards as a point of reference, however, I also wanted to display the ten frames as a quick visual.  I went to the educational store in my area, but couldn’t find what I was looking for.   I decided to make my own, which is displayed below.  I am sharing these templates with you.  I specifically had these designed to copy on colored cardstock paper to use on our black and white photocopier.  They looked great, until I put them up.  The red cardstock I used did not make the numbers clearly visible from the distance. Back to the drawing board, I made circles to put in the middle to appear like a flower and copied these off on white paper. This did the trick, the numbers are now clearly visible. If you are going to copy these off on colored paper, I would experiment with this first to ensure the numbers are clearly visible.


Bulletin Board Display to 20

Bulletin Board Display to 20


Numbers to 20 Bulletin Board Display


Circles for the Middle (if needed)


Learning Numbers to 20

Addition Subtraction Mini-Workbook

Addition Subtraction Mini-Workbook

In the link below you will find a song videos and other resources that will help assist in learning the numbers to 20.


Numbers to 20 Song Videos and  Free Resources


New Resources

In the “Math Focus” curriculum you will find a newly added adding and subtracting mini-workbook.  More information on the “Math Focus” curriculum can be found in the link below:


Math Focus Curriculum


What Are Your Thoughts?  Please Provide Feedback Below!!

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



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.




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.




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



2.  pattern blocks

3.  playdough

4.  how to draw sheets and books

5.  colouring sheets

6.  squizs

7.  magformers


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.


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