Monday, February 17, 2014


We are in the midst of teaching our little ones about beginning blends.  This week we focus on R blends.  Our district purchased curriculum has nothing for blends. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I used a piece of district adopted curriculum. So it is up to us to create activities to practice blends.  Along the line of Words Their Way sorts, I created these sorts for students to do to practice.  I also made sorts for the Smart Board using Smart Notebook software and a page called the Vortex- pictures of all this in action tomorrow.

Click here to get this freebie that includes six r blends. My team and I are looking forward to use these activities to help our students differentiate between the single consonant sound and the consonant blend.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

American Symbols

We just finished a little unit on American Symbols.  The idea of a symbol is a very difficult concept for kinders to understand.  And, it is equally difficult for them to understand big words like freedom, strength, justice etc...  But we used these Welcome Book that are part of our Common Core book tubs.  They didn't totally understand the concepts, but it's a beginning.  American Symbols are taught in 1st grade as well, so we did a good job of providing a beginning knowledge base on which 1st grade can expand.

These books are pretty good about giving very basic information about the American Symbols.  Then I also used my Read It, Trace It, Put the Sentence Together packet for American symbols.  These were at my Theme Station during our Literacy Stations. Get a part of it free here.

 Then to tie it into informational writing I created these pages that we did after we read each book and talked about each symbol.  We would create circle maps or tree maps together after reading the books.  Then the students would write about the symbols. Get the freebie here.

Included is the Liberty Bell, the Bald Eagle, the Statue of Liberty, the flag, and the White House.  I used our informational writing proficiency scale to grade their writing.  And, then, of course, we did a craft activity for each of the symbols. It's a fun little unit to do right before President's Day.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Opinion Writing in Kindergarten

Kindergarteners love to tell what they think about things and they have opinions about everything!  The tricky part is harnessing those opinions and writing them down to satisfy the common core standard W1.  We've been using proficiency scales in our classroom a lot this year and my team created a proficiency scale for Opinion Writing.

So, we have this to work from when we revisit opinion writing.  But, it's such a broad type of writing and I wanted to start with small topics that I can use when I teach the proficiency scale to the students.  So I created this packet of easy to use opinion journal pages.  The first week I will use the easier ones about favorite foods and fun things.

The second week it will be when we read Dr. Seuss books and we will do some opinion writing that connect to some of the books we're going to read.

After that, we'll see where the unit takes us.  But this will hopefully be a good start for us.  To get this freebie that includes ALL these samples and more, click here.  Would love to hear your OPINION about the best way to teach this type of writing with our little ones.