December 8, 2015

Walking in a Winter Wonderland!

One of the best parts of teaching in the Primary Grades during the Holiday season is definitely the awesome books that correlate with the time of year!  I use many different books in my classroom and with my after school Reading club for Kindergarten students.  Some of my favorite books are The Hat and The Mitten by Jan Brett and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  I've created some activities to extend higher level thinking and comprehension strategies with the three stories.  Take a look below!

First, discuss if each story is Fiction or Nonfiction.  Review what characterizes a story as either of the things and then have the students prove it to you!

Then, your students can sort photographs between "The Hat" and "The Mitten".  Students may find these stories very similar because of the text patterns and illustrations, so together you can discuss the differences.

Make retelling "The Mitten" fun by having your students create their own mittens and putting the order of the characters into the mitten they created!

Finally, review character and setting with your students by creating a specific scene from the story "The Hat!"

Here is all about one of my ALL time favorite stories "The Polar Express" and how I extend learning in my classroom!

First, discuss main character and traits that go along with the boy in the story.

Then, the problem the boy faces in the story and what happens to him to fix that problem!

 My favorite part is the strategy we used to retell the story!

If you are able to watch the movie in your classroom, then compare and contrast the movie to the story.  It can be differentiated to students in your classroom using pictures or words!

 Finally, have some fun with a setting focused craftivity!!!

 Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you and your students are enjoying the holiday season as much as we are!!!
Happy Holidays!

November 17, 2015

Weekly Alphabet Routine

I am so excited to have uploaded my weekly alphabet routine to Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have seriously been working on this for two weeks, whenever I have a free moment.  I'm fairly certain my boyfriend was ready to kick me for constantly being on my computer haha! But the good news is that it's done, uploaded and ready and I LOVE it!  My alphabet routine is sold as individual products and a sale bundle pack (an entire week focused on your letter of the week).  
Here is the bundled version.  It includes everything that the individual products provide at a sale price.  That is 8 pages of resources for every letter of the alphabet!

I've used the letter P to show what you will have for every letter with the Alphabet Knowledge Bundle Pack.   I've also included links to those individual products if you choose to have only one part that instead.

Ticket Out The Door
The Ticket Out the Door strategy is hung right outside my door.  I change it once a week to correlate with the letter of the week.  The kids whisper the letter and the sound every time we leave the room as a class.  It is a great reinforcing technique for the students!
Find the individual product for The Ticket Out the Door Strategy here:

Beginning Sounds
The bundle also comes with two beginning sounds papers for every letter.  First, there is one that is identifying pictures that begin with the letter sound and then tracing the letter.  The second is a bit more challenging because the students need to color only the pictures that begin with that letter.  Every page has six pictures that begin with the letter and three that do not.
Find the individual product for the Beginning Sounds Worksheets here:

Beginning Sounds Cards
Here is my favorite part of the alphabet bundle!  I use it every week in my classroom and the kids absolutely love it!!  This product includes 24 beginning sound cards for every letter.  I introduce them to the class whole group and the students figure out the words themselves.  My class sits on the rug and I call the students up one-by-one.  I show the student a card and he/she needs to use the beginning sound and the picture to figure out what the word is.  Luckily this offers differentiation because I choose which card the student figures out by their level (higher leveled students get the more challenging cards).  Once the student figures out what the word is, the whole class claps out the syllables for that word and we stick it in the pocket chart (small sized pocket chart fits these cards perfectly).
I also double these cards as a center for Guided Reading.  I have two small pocket charts near my seat at the carpet that hold the current weeks beginning sound cards and the letter of the week's cards from the week prior.  Students then sort between all of the cards at the pocket chart center.  They love this center because they "play teacher" and complete the same routine we do as a class.  They figure out the words, clap out the syllables and sort them!
 Find the individual product for the Beginning Sounds Cards here:

Handwriting Practice
In the bundle there is handwriting practice for every letter.  Students will trace the capital and lower case letters, write some independently and trace words that begin with that letter.
 Find the individual product for Handwriting Practice here:

Student Assessment Page
This can be used as an assessment or as a whole group reinforcement worksheet.  Students trace the letters, write their own, differentiate between upper and lower case letters, color words that begin with the letter and rainbow write!
Find the individual product for Student Alphabet Assessment Here:

Decorate the letter!
Here is a fun page for the end of your week.  Students can decorate the letter in any way that they choose (with your approval of course).  Some ideas are rainbow writing, patterns (similar to a candy cane), cutting up pieces of construction paper and gluing them on, paining, etc.
Find the individual product for Letter Decorating here:

Thank you so much for stopping by!  I hope the weekly alphabet routine works as well for you as it does for me!!

November 3, 2015

Veteran's Day is right around the corner!!

Hello all!  I'm sure many people are planning for next week, including Veterans Day.  I always thought finding meaningful Veteran's Day book for Kindergarten was a little tricky.  The was until I found the book Hero Dad.  I love this story!  I think that children at five and six years of age can relate to the story easily by recognizing why their own Dad is a Superhero to them.  Since I love the story so much, I decided to make some Hero Dad Extension Activities to highlight various parts of the book!
 Teachers can begin by discussing various branches of the military:

 Throughout the story, the child compares his Dad, as a man in the army, to a Superhero. Teachers can re-read the story and work with students to see exactly which characteristics were compared.

Students can make text-to-self connections for why they feel as though their Dad is a Superhero also!

 Finally, have your students make their own personal Veterans Memorial! Each student will be provided with the clip art for each of the branches in the military shown below and American flag kids.  The kids can color and cut the imagines themselves - keep the rectangle on the bottom, that will be taped onto the construction paper to help the veterans stand up!!  Fold along the clip art and rectangle and glue the rectangle to the construction paper.  Glue a popsicle stick to the back of each clip art to ensure they stand up correctly!  I also reinforced with tape around the front and the back of the veteran.

Thank you for stopping by!  Happy Veterans Day to all, especially to those who served!!

October 25, 2015

Rafflecopter Giveaway!!!!

Hello everyone!! Great news!!! I am lucky enough to be a part of Princess Netherly's one year celebration!!! Congrats to such an awesome TPT author for the amazing accomplishment!  To celebrate all of her successes, we are hosting a giveaway!! In this giveaway you will find your choice of many TPT author items and gift cards!  Fill out the Rafflecopter below!  Best of luck!!!

Click the link to enter for your chance to win!!!

October 22, 2015

Where's My Mummy?

My school in Pittsburgh, PA has teachers work one after-school program per week (more if you chose to do so).  So, of course, I chose to create a reading program for Kindergarten students.  Teaching reading is one of my favorite things to teach.  During this program, we read a story that aligns with seasons/holidays/etc., work on some comprehension skills and usually do some type of craftivity to make it really fun for the kiddos.  This week we read Where's My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi.  This is the perfect book for Halloween next week!  The kids loved it!!!

Here are some thing the extension pack includes!
Making Predictions before reading the story

Little Baby Mummy Character Descriptions

Draw the Spooky Setting

Making Connections: What Spooks Little Baby Mummy vs. What Spooks You?

A character Retelling Craftivity:  My students made these mummies and together we used them to retell the story.  They loved it!  And I think they turned out pretty cute :)

 Happy Halloween!!!

October 20, 2015

Markdown Monday posted on a Tuesday!

Hello!!  I apologize that my Markdown Monday post is on a Tuesday!  I joined this linky party too late last night to accomplish writing a post before bed.  I struggle staying awake as soon as my body hits the couch! Ha!  Thanks to Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations for the Linky Party!!!  Click the link to see all the amazing products on sale for the week!

I chose to mark down my Fry's Sight Word and Intervention Pack for this Markdown Monday!  I love this intervention pack and I use in constantly during Guided Reading centers in my classroom.  I have two students that leave my classroom during Guided Reading to receive Title Support.  However, I have two students that are still in the Tier 2 part of RTII that I meet with every day.  I use this sight word pack as an intervention strategy to reinforce learned sight word with those students.  I'll tell you this.... I believe that it's working!  Slowly but surely my two girls in this group are remembering sight words more frequently. There are two different pages for every word through the document.

Page One Looks Like This:

We work through this small group following this routine:
  1. We figure out the sight word together.  They use different strategies to help them figure out the word.  Sometimes we use the Kid Crown helper if the sight word has it (Kidwriting by Eileen Fledgus), sometimes we use the sounds to read the sight word and sometimes, honestly, I just need to tell them.
  2. We count how many letters are in the word.
  3. They trace and write the word on their own.
  4. We then follow along the sentences using our finger to practice concepts of print.  Together we find sight words that we know.  Again, we use the same strategies to figure out unknown words (Kid Crown helpers, letter sounds and potentially teacher help).  We then circle all of the words from that paper in the sentences.  In this case we circle every word "in" that we find.  The group also practices fluency by reading the sight words together after the ones we know are highlighted.
  5. We then spell the word while underlining the letters.
  6. We find either the picture that rhymes with the given word or write the sight word in an pattern as directed on that page.
  7. Finally, they rainbow write and silly write the sight word.

Page Number Two:

This can be a fun way for practicing sight words for those targeted students.

Here is a photo the completed pages during guided reading time.  I'm so proud of how well they are doing!

Of course, this Fry's First 100 Intervention and Practice Pack does not only need to be used for intervention.  This can also be great reinforcer activities to use during centers, morning work and extra time!

Thanks for stopping by!

October 11, 2015

A Classroom Book a Week... October Style!

This year I have tried something new with my Kindergarten class that my students and I absolutely love!  During one writing block each week, we complete a classroom book (yes, a classroom book a week!!).  It may seem excessive, but you'd be surprised how much the students find it fun, while still working on becoming great writers!  As soon as I'm finished conferencing with each student, I quickly put it together and we read it right away.  They clap through every single page as they compliment their friends on how well they did!  Here's a peak at October's themed books.

Each book has a writing page with a sentence starter that correlates with the book's theme.  You can find October's themed books here.  My store has books for every month and a full year bundled pack at a discounted price!  The writing pages become more challenging as the year progresses and I will expect my students to write more each time.

Parent-teacher conferences are tomorrow at my school and I am so excited to put these books out for parents to read!  I plan on putting them in the hallway for parents to look at while they are waiting outside the classroom.  Hope you enjoy!!!

October 9, 2015

Revamped Blog!

My blog is finally b-e-a-utiful thanks to Blogs Fit For a Queen!! (find them here.)  It was affordable and quick for the amount of blogs they work on at once!  I find it amazing that people know how to design these blogs, because when I tried to teach myself through tutorials and YouTube the past few months it was an epic fail.  HUGE Thank you to those girls!

I wanted to start my blog by sharing something that I created this summer and is now newly implemented in my classroom and the kids LOVE it!  My Superhero Writing Kit motivates students about the different parts of writing for young writers.  Each component has it's own superhero.  Students can earn the Superhero's super power they prove to the teacher they can use it in writing independently. (What kid doesn't want to earn a super power?!)

Queen Capitol

Susie Spacing 

Punctuation Pete

Sight Word Vision Girl

Super Stretch Man

Vibrant Voice Vince

Each kid has a Superhero writing hat.  Here is my class below on the day Superhero Writing was introduced.  They absolutely love their hats, and we wear them every time we write (after discussing rules of the hats of course).

Within the Superhero Writing Kit there are many other things included!
  • An individualized Superhero Card for students to recognize which Superhero they still need to earn.  This also includes examples of how each one would be used correctly.
  • A progress monitoring sheet for teachers to track if they use each skill within their writing.
  • A brainstorming "What Do I Write About?" sheet
  • Journal cover and journal pages.

It's amazing to see how many kiddos are already so much more intrigued about writing, even spacing, than the last two years I taught Kindergarten.  I hope that by the end of the year, each Superhero writing hat looks like the one below!! Every Writing Superhero MASTERED!  Thanks for reading!  Have a great weekend!!!