KinderGals: January 2015

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Peek at My Week-Winter and Dr. King

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!
Common Core Math in Action by Catherine KuhnsBuilding Number Sense Book by Catherine KuhnsNumber Wonders by Catherine Kuhns
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.
peek at my week button
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Friday, January 9, 2015

FREE ABC Book: What do you do if they can’t recognize the letters? we are half way through the year. Do you still have kids who don’t know the alphabet? Then, read on….
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 FREE file, so keep reading to the bottom of the post where you can snag it up!
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.
What about letter sounds?
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 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.
Shari Sloane Letters on the Bus Fun Music Bookoriginal-98691-1[1]
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.

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