Sunday, January 25, 2015
So this week we are finishing up Unit 5 in Reader’s Workshop. Friday we will have our Reader’s Celebration! The kids are doing great with their non fiction writing. I really think it is the Guided Reading Series that has made the biggest difference. The kids really understand each of the features, how to use them, and are now using them in their own writing!
Most of our activities this week are centered around Fire Safety. In our Sound Off activities we are moving to ending sounds—to be able to just isolate that one sound. We are using lots of organizational strategies to learn all the information about Fire Fighters. The most fun---making the fire truck brace map by making one with cookies! So fun!
I am super excited to start using Katie Mense’s new unit for one of our centers. It’s all about dice! We all have dice, and lots of them. So…you are good to go. Copy the recording page, collect the dice, and you are ready to go! You can download these plans (here).
This is the unit review for Unit 5. I have updated that unit with this new spreadsheet.
Now hop on over to Deedee’s blog to see what other teachers are doing this week!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
February is going to be a great month, with some great conferences and seminars! I can’t wait to get back to Tennessee! Love those teachers! In one of my sessions you will discover new ways to make your story time come to life! I will show you how to use puppets and art to develop those comprehension strategies! Yep! That’s right…in Pre-K!
Then, I’m headed to OK for the Pre-K Conference. In one of the sessions, we will talk about a plethora of ideas for teaching letters, numbers and those beginning standards. All this through games, songs, and other activities!
Going on at the same time will be the OK-K conference. These two conferences will share a facility, but there will be sessions that are just for the pre k teachers or just for the k teachers! At the k conference, interventions is a hot topic. In that session, find ways to make the most of your time while meeting the needs of all of your little learners.
Next, back to GA! I am loving this seminar! I wrote a long post all about it and all that we are doing. You can read more about it (here)! This GA peach is glad to be in her home state!
And finally, I’m headed to New Jersey! Again, the NJ K and NJ Pre-K are sharing the facility, but each conference will have their own unique sessions. At the K conference, one session I’m doing is all about Math Centers. Want to know how to organize and manage centers so that you can pull small groups and keep the kids occupied with meaningful activities? Then, you gotta be there!
At the NJ Pre-K one session will look at activities that will help your children to become phonemically aware! We will share lots of ideas for a variety of phonemic skills!
Add in two days of customized training in TX and one day in GA… and that’s a month! You can click right on each brochure to register! Hope to see you in February!
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Here’s a little peek at the week we are having in Megan’s room. You can download the plans (here). We are going to continue talking about winter and add in our unit of study on MLK.
We can’t wait to get into our Non Fiction Writing Unit. We have focused on non fiction text during our guided reading. We have loved using the the various levels of text---with the same content and the same non fiction features.
We want all kids to see themselves as wrtiers---so what a perfect connection. It doesn’t matter the level of the text they write, if they only use illustrations or if they write full paragraphs, they can still develop the concepts of non fiction text! Wow! That is pretty powerful! So…your children can master the writing standard without writing text? The writing standards require the children to know the features of the genre. Now, don’t get me wrong. They do HAVE to write text to accomplish the foundational standards—stretching words, spacing, letter formation, etc.
We are going to spend Monday reading lots of books about Dr. King. Here are a few of my favorites:
Then, the rest of the week we are going to put that information to work-writing non fiction text, making connections, and learning about cause and effect.
During math we are moving on to Unit 5—Number Combinations 6-10. I have a very smart friend, Catherine Kuhns. When I have a math question, I give her a call. So this past week we were having a discussion and it came up again about number combinations. She said, “According to the NCTM, kids need to see multiple representation for each number. They need to break it apart and put it back together in many different combinations.” So,that said—here’s what I think. SLOW DOWN!!!! If we can have children confident, fluent, and able to draw on mental images for each number---it will pay off big time in the long run. Be sure and check out Catherine’s resources. She is pretty fabulous!
Here are a few ideas from last year when we celebrated Dr. King. Many of these ideas are in our plans this week. These ideas are from Hooray for Dr. King Day.
Be sure and hop over to my friend Deedee’s blog to see what others are doing this week.
Friday, January 9, 2015
We recently posted on our facebook page asking for blog post ideas--alphabet recognition was one of them. So here’s the plan. We are going to post each Friday from that facebook thread. It’s not to late to add your requested. Just head over to the kindergals facebook page and add your comment.
So what about the alphabet?
At one time, we had Reading Recovery, a great program for first graders in our school. (We no longer have the program—$$$$$.) The Reading Recovery teacher often shared ideas with us that she thought might help our kids not need her in first grade. So, this is one of the Reading Recovery ideas, tweaked and changed, but originally a Reading Recovery strategy.
This book is a freebee on my kindergals facebook page! So head on over and snatch it up! You will need to click on the “like” button. Then, you will find this book in the “fan freebee” folder.
At this time of year, I would do this with any kinders who do not know the alphabet!
To get ready:
- 1. First, reproduce the pages to make the abc book.
- 2. Cut and staple the pages together.
- 3. Now, reproduce a page of clip art for each child making the book.
- 4. Invite the children to cut the pictures apart and put them inside a baggie with their name written on the outside.
Here is what it will look like. Each child will need their own book and their own set of pictures!
To use the book:
- 1. Assess alphabet naming knowledge.
- 2. For any letter, capital or lower case, that the child knows, find the picture in the bag that starts with that letter.
- 3. Invite the children to glue the picture on the page with the beginning letter.
- 4. Repeat this with all of the letters, capital or lower case, that the child knows.
- 5. Now add in three more pictures to go with letters that they do not know. Put a post it note flag on these three pages. ****Leave all other pages blank!
- 6. Each and EVERY day, the child should “read” you the book.
- 7. To read the book, they turn the pages one by one. If they do NOT have a picture on that page, they skip it.
- 8. If they do have a picture on the page, they read it like this: “G g goat”.
- 9. When they get to a page with a post it note flag--if they can read the letter to you correctly, remove the flag.
- 10. If they do not know the letter, you read it to them and leave the flag on the page.
- 11. After finishing reading the book, any post it notes in your hand now can now be used to add more pictures.
I use this abc book for teaching letter recognition, not letter sounds. I teach letter sounds mostly through writing and songs. I love Shari Sloane! She has great songs for both abc recognition and letter sounds! I made a lot of her songs into music books that we use as we sing along.You can get her music on her website www.kidscount1234.com or on itunes.
So I wanted to print the music books small enough for their little hands…and to save ink, cardstock and laminating! I love the way they turned out.
- I printed them 1/2 page.
- Then, after binding the books, I put a sticky cd holder on the back of the books.
- Finally, I burned the song on a CD.
- I put the CD inside the sticky CD holder.
To print the books1/2 page size, follow these steps:
- Open the print menu.
- Click on “multiple” and on “2” for pages per sheet.
- Be sure you click on “landscape” under orientation so that the pages fit nicely on the paper.
Here are the abc books that I remade--with new clip art! If you already have them, you can get the updates in your “my purchases” section on tpt. Also, for “The Letters on the Bus”, I added the rest of the alphabet so that you can use the book with the open version of the song that Shari also included on the CD.
I do use a sound sorting activity each week to differentiate where they are in sound production. You can read more about it here in another blog post.
Here are some other alphabet resources from some smart teachers! .
And here is a blog post from Tammy about how she does it!
And another blog post from Marsha.
Here is a blog post from Faith.
Holy Moly….with all those resources I bet your kids will know those letters!