Friday, January 20, 2017
Winter Mega Unit. For this weekend only, this mega bundle will be nearly 50% off. The regular price for this bundle would be $42. You can grab it up for $25. This special price lasts until midnight Sunday.
As we are teaching all of those fabulous activities don't you find yourself sitting on the floor, crawling around, etc. Are you doing things that you would not want to do in your Sunday best? Yet, we want to look professional! I have found the answer...LuLaRoe! Are you addicted yet? Have you heard of their "to die for" leggings? Megan has fueled her obsession, which she has now passed onto me, by opening her own LulaRoe Boutique. This is Ginny, Megan and me all sporting our LuLaRoe!
Winter Mega Bundle. We will pick 5 different winners on Monday!
Here's all you have to do to be entered win:
Follow Kindergals on Facebook!
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Posted by Kim and Megan at 10:28 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
While we do teach a unit on Nonfiction Features during our Reader's Workshop, we found that our kids needed more consistent practice to truly apply and use the features as readers and writers. This post shares how we use guided reading to teach the nonfiction features in a systematic approach.
Guided ReadingMost of the time during guided reading lessons we are using our running records to group kids by their reading level to deliver instruction at their instructional level. But, about once a week we do things a little differently. Here's what we wanted:
- We wanted to give our kids a very systematic approach to learning the nonfiction features and to explore how readers use them to collect information thus improving comprehension of nonfiction text.
- We wanted our kids to be able to apply the nonfiction features in their own writing.
- We wanted to make a connection between our science and social studies content and reading and writing.
- We wanted of our kids to have exposure to the same nonfiction features and to the same content.
A Guided Reading LessonHere's a sample of a lesson.
Familiar Read Warm Up
First thing we do is a warm up. I give them whatever nonfiction book we used last week. The kids ready independently as I listen in or do running records. You might be wondering if all of the kids are reading the SAME book? I did say that I wanted them to read about the same topics and practice the same nonfiction features. Since I wrote these books myself, here's what I did.
First, I picked 5 titles for each month. These are the titles from the February Unit.
Then, I used the same photographs and the same nonfiction features, I just changed the level of the text. My goal here wasn't for a perfect instructional fit. This is more of a strategy lesson--how to use nonfiction features to comprehend the piece. When choosing a book for each group, I picked a book that they would not struggle with the text. It is better in this case for the text to be BELOW their instructional level than ABOVE it! While the most challenging text might be too hard for any of your kids, I print this book to use for myself! It has all of the factual information and I can use it to help guide the discussion for their books with limited text.
The next thing we do is to visit some of the high frequency words that they will encounter in their new read. I select 2-3 words that the kids read, make, and write. Each group will have different words to match the different levels of text.
You can snag up a free copy of this form by clicking on the image below.
The next thing we do is a feature walk in our new book. Together we look through the pages to find nonfiction features that we have already seen in our previous text. Then, I call attention to the new nonfiction text feature. We talk about how to use that as a reader to help us gather more information. We talk about why an author would use that feature.
The kids now read the book independently. As the kids are reading, I can listen in as individual children read aloud. Remember the focus here is on how readers use nonfiction text. While I will make note of children who are experiencing difficulty in areas such as applying word attack skills, I will not address these at this time. These will be addressed on another day. My focus for this lesson is on using the nonfiction features. This is hard. I tend to want to chase the rabbit and get off of my intended objective. I have to keep reminding myself that I am focusing on how readers use nonfiction features.
After reading a book about Thanksgiving, this little guy is sorting pictures by long i or long e. For each lesson, I made several phonics practice pages. That way, I can select the one for each group that I think will work best.
Practicing Nonfiction FeaturesNow it's time to practice the features. The kids use the content from the book to practice the nonfiction feature. We make the book available to the children so that they can go back go the text to check for understanding.
Writing with Nonfiction FeaturesNow it's time to apply that feature to our own writing. In this book about apples, we were learning about a cut-a-way, a feature used by authors/illustrators/photographers to show us a close up of something in the larger picture. The kids had to match up the close ups for the nonfiction feature practice. Then, they used that to help them write text about apples using a cut-a-way.
Now, you might be saying, HOLY MOLY how do you fit all of that in and get done in 20 minutes? To tell the truth, sometimes I don't! I lose track of time. I started setting a timer for 20 minutes when I start a group. This helps me keep a handle on how much time I am requiring of them.
Sometimes I skip the phonics practice and put that as a center instead.
Depending on the group and the time of year, I can often send kids back to their area with the book and the nonfiction feature practice and/or the writing portion. This works well for your higher achieving kids. They are usually able to complete these with little support. Encourage them to help each other when they have questions!
Since February is fast approaching, here is a link to the February Unit.
There is also a bundle that has each of the months included.
Posted by Kim and Megan at 11:15 AM
Friday, January 13, 2017
4 Seasons Tree Map
It takes us 4 days to complete this chart. When teaching kids each of the 4 seasons, it is helpful to show them the differences between each. Each day we learn about one of the 4 seasons. We use interactive writing to record the things that we learn. On Friday, we compare the items for each season on our tree map.
4 Seasons Flap Book
On Friday, the children make their own 4 seasons flap book. Here's how:
- Fold a piece of 12 x 18 paper in half. Cut the top flap into 4 sections.
- Use rectangles to make the tree trunks for each season.
- For the fall and winter trees, cut smaller rectangles to make the branches.
- Round the corners from squares to make the spring and summer trees and to make the leaves for the fall tree.
- Add pink tissue paper flower to the spring tree.
- Glue a text box under each of the 4 flaps. On each text box, the children record information about the four seasons.
Snow on Me Poetry Book
To make this poetry book:
- Cut off the first sentence. Put the words in the correct order.
- I teach the kids to put the capital letter first and the word with the punctuation last.
- Manipulate the remaining words by placing them between the first and last word.
- Read the sentence and ask yourself, "Does it make sense?"
- If not, switch the order of the two middle words.
- Find the picture to match the sentence.
- Here's how we do that: Look at the word at the end of the sentence. What letter does it begin with? Look at your pictures and find a word that begins with that letter.
- Repeat with the remaining sentences.
- Invite the kids to add this book to their bag of books for repeated practice.
Building SentencesHere's what we did to make these winter clothing sentences:
- Match the pictures to the words. (We look at the beginning letter.)
- Look at the 4 other words and ask, "Which words do I already know?" (We know some words fast.)
- Using the idea that we are building sentence about clothing that we wear, ask yourself what could this other word be?" (We use our schema.)
- Build the sentence. (We know the difference between words and sentences.)
- Record in your book. (We can write a sentence.)
- Circle the noun that names the pictures. Draw a line to the picture. (We look at pictures.)
Making Snowflake -ake Words
Here's how we made our snowflake books.
- Display the color pictures in a pocket chart.
- Find the beginning sound for each of the pictures. (Yellow letters).
- Add the word ending ake to each.
- Cut apart the black and white pictures.
- Glue one on the first page.
- Find the word in the pocket chart and record it in your book.
Snowman Buttons Patterns
This activity can be played as a game, or made into a simple book.
To play as a game:
- Make the snowman.
- Collect buttons or use button clip art.
- Invite the children to make a pattern on the snowman.
OR To make as a book:
- Reproduce the book.
- Invite the children to color the buttons to match the core at the beginning of the button pattern.
This is a fun math activity to practice number combinations or addition.
- Invite the children to record a number sentence on their recording page.
- Add marshmallows to the mugs to match the number sentence.
- Write an addition story on the recording page.
Number Line Mystery GameThis is a class favorite. We play the Number Line Mystery Game All.The.Time.! Here's how to play:
- Make a deck of cards, with 4 different symbols.
- Make cards 1-10, and a blank card for each symbol.
- Place the four symbol cards without the numeral in a column.
- Arrange the remaining 40 cards in an array.
- Invite a child to turn over any card.
- They need to determine where that card goes on the number line.
- In this case, they take the number 10 snowflake and place it on the snowflake row in the 10th position.
- Move the facedown card in that position and replace it with the 10 snowflake.
- Now, look at the new card and determine where it goes on the number lines.
- The game is over when all 40 cards are face up in the correct order.
Winter Clothing RElayBy the end of winter do you have enough winter clothing items to dress an entire class for recess? It always amazes me in April when our principal places all of the winter clothing on tables in the hall. There are coats for days! How can you not know that your child has lost their expensive coat!!!!??? But, that surplus of clothing items, helps me with this fun activity!
- Collect a variety of winter clothing items and place them into two buckets.
- Collect clip art images of the different clothing items.
- Invite two children to select a clothing card from the deck.
- Ask the class, "Do you think it will take more time to put on the ___ or the ___?"
- Say, "Ready, set, go."
- The two children, dress for winter.
- Who finished first? Did it take him more time or less time?
Winter Wonderland unit. It has been completely revised with new clip art, frames and fonts. Easy to use patterns and an editable page have been added. The snowman's buttons game has also been added. If you already have this unit, go to your my purchases section on tpt and download the updated version.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Comparing SnowmenIn this fun comparing activity follow these directions.
- The children play with a partner.
- Each partner gets 10 cubes and snaps them together.
- Say "1,2,3 break." Each child breaks their cubes in half.
- Each child puts one part of their break onto the snowman game board.
- Compare for more and less cubes.
- The child with less cubes spins the spinner.
- If it lands on less, he gets all of the cubes on the game board.
- If it lands on more, the child who had more gets all of the cubes on the game board.
- Color the cubes on the recording page.
- Record how many cubes each child had.
- Circle more or less to indicate who won.
Snowman PhonemesIn this fun activity, the children will segment the phonemes in a word. Here's the questions, what is the difference between phonemic awareness and phonics? A long time ago, a smart teacher told me, "Phonemic Awareness can be done in the dark." Makes sense, right? For phonemic awareness we are only dealing with the sounds, not the letters. In the picture above, coat only has 3 phonemes, even though it has 4 letters. To play this game the children name the picture. Then, they slide a snowball onto the snowman as they segment each of the phonemes.
Snowman PhonemesThis snowman activity is a PHONICS activity because we are using the letters. In this activity I used only 3 letter words. As the children say they word, they record each letter to represent the sounds they hear.
How to Make a Snowman Step BookIn this fun activity, the children will use this step book to sequence the steps for making a snowman. First, I made a snowman book for each child. To make the book:
- Stagger 3 pieces of paper by overlapping them about one inch. (It looks like steps). Fold the paper in half.
- Using a pattern, cut the snowman shape from the folded paper.
- Add an additional circle to the top to make a head.
The children follow these steps to make their snowman books.
- Cut apart the pictures. Sequence the pictures to make the snowman.
- Glue one picture under each flap.
- Cut off one of the sentences. Cut between the words.
- Put the words in the correct order to make the sentence.
- Add a face and a hat!
Snowman Tree MapI made this tree map to use during the week. Here's how we are going to use it.
- Each day we filled out one of the 3 columns.
- First, we thought of possible ways to finish our sentence.
- Then, we used interactive writing to record three of the suggestions.
- As I was writing on the large chart, each child has their own chart to complete.
Making SnowDuring January and February we are working hard on learning to write nonfiction text. One thing we know is that we can only ask kids to write on schema they already have, or schema that is developed through the experiences that we provide. This is a super fun activity for making snow! (Especially for us southerners!)
- Use powdered laundry detergent (instant snow) and water. Mix together with a mixer. NOW---it doesn't look like real snow! I know, but my kids have a great imagination and most of them have not seen real snow! ;)
- Drop three blobs of snow mixture onto their paper.
- Invite the children to swirl their fingers to make the 3 snowballs.
- Once dry, use paint to add details.
- NOW we are ready to write our procedural piece. The children can write the steps for How to Make Snow or How to Make a Snowman.
Five Little Snowmen FatI made this tree map to use during the week. This is a fun song to teach number combinations. We used the song during literacy to work on things such as print concepts, sight words, beginning sounds, what makes sense, etc. We also used the song as a transition activity while moving from student focused work back to our class meeting area.
Here's what we did:
- I used the color game board and made a black and white board for each child.
- The children cut the snowmen off of their recording page.
- As we sing the song, we move the snowmen from standing in the snow to melting in the sun.
- After singing each verse we record the combination on our recording page.
- Select which recording sheet your child are ready for!