Friday, November 29, 2013

Making Lists in the Writing Center {Taking the Fear Out of Writing}

My class loves to write! 
During parent-teacher conferences, parents told me that their children are taking that excitement about writing and are doing it at home too. Awesome!
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
In the past, I've dreaded teaching writing. I could count on frustration, tears, and 'How do you spell...'
So  this year we approached writing with 'baby steps'. We started with copying words. Every Literacy Activity rotation, students are working on Handwriting Books {here} and it's going so well!

To take it a step further and to give students more choice in their writing, I created an activity for students to do during writing time...making LISTS!

We talked about lists and what they are for. I asked my student to give some examples of why people make lists. They gave great answers...for grocery shopping, so they remember what they have to get done, to help with packing for camping or vacations, to keep track of money, etc.

Here's what the station looks like:
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

My pack has 41 Word Cards, and 37 lists about a range of topics, themes, and interests.
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

I haven't set out ALL of the word cards at once. I chose around 8 topics/themes that relate to what we're learning or interested in now, and will switch them out at times throughout the year.
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
Here are some sample Word Cards. Students choose a word card, select words to copy, and fill in their lists. Graphics allow for students to 'read' the words. It's perfect for handwriting practice in a fun and meaningful way...students make their own choices about what they write!


Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing

Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
Here are some sample lists. Conveniently made with 2 lists per page, it's easy to photocopy and cut in half to prep.
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing




Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
excuse the glare...hope you get the idea
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing 
You can find the pack {here}.
Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing


Writing center activities for Kindergarten- writing lists to give students confidence in their writing
I find that this activity has really taken the fear out of writing, and without that worry they are eager to work towards the next 'baby step'...stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Classmate Write the Room and More Literacy Centers

CLASSMATE WRITE THE ROOM
EDITABLE classmate name Write the Room Kindergarten literacy center
I hid 'snapshots' of my students around the classroom.
EDITABLE classmate name Write the Room Kindergarten literacy center
My students had to find all fifteen names and print them on their write the room page.
EDITABLE classmate name Write the Room Kindergarten literacy center

EDITABLE classmate name Write the Room Kindergarten literacy center

EDITABLE classmate name Write the Room Kindergarten literacy center

 Find an editable copy of this activity, as well as editable templates of student pictures {here}

IPAD & IPHONE SPELLING
(Faux) iPad Word Work literacy center for Kindergarten
Students copied sight words from the Word Wall, then practiced 'texting' them on these faux iPads {here} from Mrs. Gilchrist and iPhones {here}from Dragonflies in First, which are free downloads.
(Faux) iPad Word Work literacy center for Kindergarten
RAINBOW WRITING
Rainbow Writing activities to practice letter printing and sight words- perfect as a literacy center
Students Rainbow Write the letters {trace the letters using at least four colors} then find the letters on their worksheet.
Rainbow Writing activities to practice letter printing and sight words- perfect as a literacy center
Find the Rainbow Writing pack {here}
Rainbow Writing activities to practice letter printing and sight words- perfect as a literacy center

HANDWRITING BOOKS
Students copy down words from the word cards into their Handwriting Books {here}

Literacy Activity center Signs
Literacy Activity Rotation Chart {here}

UPDATE: I have created bundles of month-long literacy centers, to make things easy for Kindergarten teachers!
The packs include literacy activities in these 5 areas of learning:
1)Writing 2)Listening to reading 3) Word work (sight words) 4) Phonics/alphabet 5) Phonemic awareness
The packs are laid out, week by week, for the entire month. They include 5 stations for students to rotate through per week, with all of the components you’ll need for each activity.
Assessment tools are included to help keep learning on track and to keep your students accountable.
Learning is spiraled throughout the month, to help students build on their prior learning. 
Check out the first pack in the series {here}
20 Kindergarten spiraled, hands-on Literacy Centers for September

Friday, November 22, 2013

Class Morning Message Charts {editable}

Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas

I was feeling bored with my charts. I was really stuck in a rut, writing variations of the same message over and over...Today is _____, The weather is _______, We will _______.
Super boring and predictable. 
The key is adding variety to the writing routine! I have created an editable pack where you can make the messages the way you want! Find it {here} Make the messages meaningful and engaging, and students all get their own copy to keep. While the teacher works on the chart, students are working on their own page of the message, using clipboards and pencils. This keeps them engaged and works SO much better than having one person at a time filling in the big chart while the rest sit and wait their turn.
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
SO Much Good Stuff Happens While Doing the Charts.
During the Morning Message times, students are being exposed to A LOT of information, all of which is GOOD STUFF! And necessary stuff for them to become better readers and writers.
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
As your students watch you write, they are learning about left-to-right progression. They are seeing that letters make up words. That words make up sentences. That there are spaces between words. That sentences need punctuation. That words and sentences convey messages....
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
I like how they inspire conversation between the teacher and students and between students themselves. Because that's what it is...a conversation that involves the teacher and students. That conversation gets made into a written message. It's not just the teacher making a message to the class, it's the entire class getting involved in order to have a conversation, both oral and written. Everyone gets to participate, and is encouraged to do so.
Many of My Charts are Prewritten
I write them after school so they are ready to go for the next school day. Below are some examples of the prewritten charts.
They focus on skills such as letter recognition, punctuation, student names, class made messages, letter sounds, CVC words, answering questions, syllables, rhyme, digraphs, sight words, labelling, and student sharing. {Of course they can (and should) be used for math skills, unit studies, science...everything.}


  Here are just a few samples, along with the matching student pages:
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas

Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas

Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas



Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas

Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas

Lots of Kindergarten Morning Message Chart Ideas
Find the pack {here}

Monday, November 18, 2013

Five Senses Activities for Kindergarten {featuring Mr. Potato Head!}

It is always so fun to teach the 5 Senses!
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
 Usually students are armed with good schema, showing a basic understanding of the senses and what parts of our bodies help us.

Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
{here}
There are lots of good books that relate to the senses.
Here are a few that we've covered so far:
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten!
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten!
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten!
Free exploration time looks like this:
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
using magnifying glasses to check I Spy books
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
smelling jars
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
feely bags
(use only the sense of touch to identify the objects inside the bags)
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
sound jars to shake and match the sounds
see more about these {here}

We have been working on a 5 Senses booklet to synthesize our learning.
Here are a few sample pages:
Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
nostrils...or as one sweetie calls them 'snotstrils'
Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
check out those taste buds!!!
Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
{here}
A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!

A post with tons of 5 Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
You can find the whole booklet and craftivity {here}
Five Senses activities for Kindergarten- love the Potato Head craft!
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