Monday, September 24, 2018

"TREE" RIFIC IDEAS!

Here's a simple craft activity that you can tie into science (seasons), reading (letters and word families), and writing.  It's good for small motor skills as well as cutting.

Directions:  Tear or cut 3 or 4 strips half way down from the top of the bag as shown.  (You might want to draw these lines for younger children.)  Open the bag and twist in the middle to make a tree.  


Seasonal Trees
*Tear red, yellow, and orange scrap paper and glue them on the strips to make an autumn tree.
*Pink and white tissue paper can be waded up to make blossoms on a spring tree.
*What fruits and nuts grow on trees? Let children make their favorite fruit tree.

Letter Tree
*Write letters (or use letter stickers) to make a "chicka chicka boom boom boom" tree.
*Make a word family tree by writing all the words they can make from a specific rime.

Family Tree
*Let children make a family tree by writing names of family members on their tree.

Spooky Old Tree
Twist the strips of paper as shown to make a spooky tree.  Let children cut bats, cats, and other spooky things to go on their tree.






*Use these trees to prompt descriptive writing or poems.



Fall Centerpiece

If you're entertaining this fall here's a centerpiece will get rave reviews.  All you need is a large paper grocery sack.  Wad and crush the sack until it is soft and pliable.  Next, make a large tree using the same process you did with the lunch bag.  Use silk leaves, small pumpkins, and other seasonal objects to decorate your tree.  Taaa daaa!!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A LITTLE "STEAM" WITH LEAVES

Take advantage of the science lab on your playground with these leaf activities.                                   
Leaf Hunt  
Give each child a lunch sack and let them collect 2 or 3 leaves from the ground. Bring these back in the classroom and sort by shape, color, etc. You could also graph the leaves by shape. (Whenever you collect items outside emphasize the importance of taking things from the ground. Return the objects to where you found them after exploring with them in the classroom.)

Science Center 
Let children investigate leaves in the science center with a magnifying glass or microscope.  Ask children to draw the enlarged leaf.
Hint!  You can also take a photo of a leaf with your phone and enlarge it to show the veins and details.

Research 
Check out a leaf identification book from the library. Can children match up their leaves with those in the book to identify which tree they came from?

Leaf Rubbings 
Lay a sheet of paper on top of a leaf. Remove the paper from an old crayon and rub the side over the leaf to make a print.Hint! Use rubber cement to glue the leaf to the table. It will be easier for the children to make a rubbing, and you can just rub off the rubber cement after the activity.
              
Leaf Book 
Let each child find a "favorite" leaf. To preserve, place the leaf in a sheet of newspaper and put a book on top overnight. Place the leaf in a zip baggie. Encourage children to dictate or write a sentence about their leaf.
                                 
*Put several baggies together to make a book.

I Wonder Why? 
Brainstorm why leaves turn colors and fall off trees in the fall. Have children go home and do a little research with their parents and report results in class the following day.

Deciduous Trees (Sandra Kelley)
Tune: "Do Your Ears Hang Low?"
Do your leaves fall down?
Do they tumble to the ground?
Do you lose your leaves in the fall?
Then you are deciduous that we know
because in the fall your leaves all go!

*What's the difference between deciduous trees and evergreen trees? Take a nature walk and ask children to identify both types of trees.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

HAPPY FALL, YA'LL!

It's the first day of fall! Football, pumpkins, colorful leaves, and FUN are in the air!
Leaves Are Falling
(Tune: “Where Is Thumbkin?”)
Leaves are falling (Echo song. Children repeat each line.)
Leaves are falling (Flutter fingers down.)
To the ground. (Touch the ground.)
To the ground.
Red, orange, and yellow (Flutter fingers.)
Red, orange, and yellow
Falling down. (Touch the ground.)
Falling down.
*Let children dramatize being leaves and dancing in the wind. As the song ends they fall quietly to the ground.

*What happens to leaves after they fall from the trees? Later in the fall when there are lots of leaves on the ground demonstrate how to pick up a handful of leaves and crumple them in your hands. Explain how those leaves will decay and turn into soil.

Fall
Why do you think they call this season “fall”? What’s another name for fall?
What season comes before fall? What season comes after fall? Fall is a cool off time between hot summer and cold winter.

Signs of Fall
Brainstorm signs of fall and write them on the board. What kind of clothes do we wear in fall? What’s the weather like in the fall? Are there any special seasonal foods we eat? What kind of sports are popular in fall? What holidays do we celebrate in the fall? What do animals do to get ready for winter? What do plants do in the fall?

*Let children make an attribute web and label it with pictures or words of things that remind them of fall. Older children can do this as a writing assignment, but for younger children this can be an opportunity for the teacher to model writing and develop vocabulary.
                        

Nature WalkGo on a nature walk and look for signs of fall. Provide children with tablets, paper, and pencils so they can record their “observations” on the walk.

I Like Autumn Language Experience Chart
Let children dictate sentences about why they like autumn. Older children could write their own original stories about, “Fall, Fall, Best of All!”

Acrostic Poem
Write the words “fall” or “autumn” vertically down the side of a sheet of paper. Children think of a word that starts with each letter that relates to fall.
                                                          

Friday, September 21, 2018

HAVE YOU SEEN A LITTLE GRAY SQUIRREL?

It's almost fall and that means the squirrels are busy gathering nuts and the scarecrows are dancing in the fields. (Squirrels and scarecrows are also good alternatives to Halloween symbols in the fall.)

Squirrel Handshake
Children hold out their right hand and the teacher pretends to be a squirrel and wiggles the index and tall finger up the arm like a squirrel.  Then the children get to be the squirrel and gently run up the teacher's arm.

Gray Squirrel
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close to chest like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Wrinkle up your little nose, (Wrinkle nose.)
Hide a nut between your toes. (Pretend to hold a nut in your paws.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close to chest like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Climb up in the tallest tree. (Arms climb up above head.)
Let your tail blow in the breeze. (Wiggle bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, (Hold hands close like paws.)
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail. (Wiggle your bottom.)
If you’ll be a friend of mine, (Point to self and then a friend.)
I will be a friend of yours.
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDl2fgi8JtY                                       

Here's a link so you can download a book to go with the song.

http://drjean.org/html/monthly_act/act_2007/09_Sep/pg03.html


Gray Squirrel – Have children draw the body of a squirrel on a gray sheet of paper and cut out it out. Staple the squirrel to a straw to make a puppet. Staple a piece of felt or fake fur to the squirrel for a bushy tail.


*Trace around children's feet and attach with a brad to make a squirrel.

Class Scarecrow – Some old clothes, newspaper, and paper grocery sack will work just fine for a classroom scarecrow. Stuff newspaper in the sack and gather the bottom with a rubber band to make a head. Add a face. Let the children wad up newspaper and stuff the clothes. Sit it up in a chair and prop up the head with a dowel rod. Have the children bring in gloves, a hat, boots, etc. from home to complete the scarecrow. Write stories about the scarecrow. What would you do if you were a scarecrow?

Scarecrow Picture Talk- Download a picture of a scarecrow from the internet. Discuss what a scarecrow does. How many details can children notice about the scarecrow? Draw lines to label their descriptions.



Scarecrow Collage – Give children fabric scraps, construction paper, straw, etc. and invite them to create a scarecrow. What is their scarecrow’s name?

If I Were a Scarecrow... Make a language experience chart where children complete the sentence.  Older children could write creative stories about what they would do if they were a scarecrow.

Scarecrow
You can say this chant or sing it to the tune of “Skip to My Lou.”
Children stand up and stretch out their arms like a scarecrow.
They repeat each line as they make the appropriate movements.

Can you turn around? I can turn around.
Can you touch the ground? I can touch the ground.
Can you wiggle your nose?
Can you touch your toes?
Can you wave up high?
Can you let your arms fly?
Can you give a clap?
Can you give a snap?
Can you jump, jump, jump?
Can you thump, thump, thump?
Can you wiggle your knees?
Can you sit down, please? Yes, yes, indeed! (Children sit down.)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

GET OUT YOUR BACKPACK!

Let’s make a backpack we can take on our bear hunt! You'll need lunch bags, scissors, markers, and glue.  


*Here's a link to the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6OVwsnuX-Y

1. Make two dots about 1/3 down from the top corners of the bag as shown.

2. Cut down on the corners to the dots and stop.


3. Fold the front section of the bag down and hold it with your hand. Cut off the remaining 3 sides.

4. Fold down the front section to make the backpack.

5. Cut the section of the bag you cut off in half lengthwise to make the two straps. Fold the ends and glue to make loops.

                   
6. Glue the loops to the back of the bag for straps.

                                           
7. Let children decorate their backpacks with crayons or markers.

Hint! Attach a piece of Velcro to the flap to close.

Note! This is a little complicated to you will need to do it with a small group at a time.
So, now you’ve got your backpack, how can you use it?

Backpack Activities
Let the children draw the items mentioned in "The Cool Bear" hunt and pretend to use them in the song.

Use the backpacks for “homework.” Have children bring in something that starts with a sound…two things that rhyme…environmental print they can read…a shape, etc.

Send home copies of nursery rhymes, finger plays, songs, recipes or other activities children can do with their families.

Send home flash cards with letters, sight words, math facts, or other skills children need to practice.

Grocery Bag
You can make a larger backpack from a paper grocery bag.  
Hint!  Use ribbon or fabric scraps to make more durable straps.


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

WHERE, OH, WHERE WILL I BE?

I'm packing my suitcase with TONS of hands on activities, centers, cheers, games, songs, and stories! I promise I'll do my best to give you lots of great ideas and joy in your heart!!!

Early Childhood Educators Symposium, Odessa, TX
October 6, 2017
wilson_t@utpb.edu

Early Childhood Conference, Cumberland, Maryland
October 20, 2019
tammy.courtney@acpsmd.org



Georgia Kindergarten Conference (Atlanta)
December 6, 2018
Sde.com

Florida Kindergarten Conference (Orlando)
December 10, 2018
Sde.com

California Kindergarten Conference (Santa Clara)
January 11 & 12, 2019
www.californiakindergartenassociation.org

Ohio Kindergarten Conference (Columbus)
January 14, 2019
Sde.com

Arkansas Kindergarten Conference (Little Rock)
January 28, 2019
Sde.com

Pennsylvania Kindergarten Conference (Harrisburg)
February 4, 2019
Sde.com

New Jersey Kindergarten Conference (Atlantic City)
February 25, 2019
Sde.com

Southern California Kindergarten Conference (Pasadena)
March 1 & 2, 2019
www.socalkindergartenconference.com

Virginia Early Childhood Conference (Roanoke)
March 15, 2019
Vaaeyc.org

Ohio Early Childhood Conference
April 26, 2019
Oaeyc.org

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

THINKING GAME

Our prayers and thoughts are with all our teacher friends and families who were hit by Hurricane Florence.  As the devastation unravels we share in your pain.  If you were at a school impacted by the storm, please contact us (drjean@drjean.org or ckisloski@hotmail.com) so we can give you some free materials and, hopefully, put a song back in your hearts!
Dr. Jean & Carolyn Kisloski

Here is a fantastic THINKING game that you can make in about 15 minutes and use throughout the school year. Write the categories below on index cards. Punch a hole in the cards and attach to a book ring. If you’ve got a few minutes before lunch or while you’re waiting during other transitions you can flip through the category cards and see how many words children can “pop out.”


*Whisper - Let the whole class participate by whispering as many words as they can.

*Toss and Tell – Throw a beanbag around the group and each child must add a word to the category as they catch the beanbag.

*Brainstorm - Write words on the board as the students call them out.

*Think Time - Give older children 2 or 3 minutes to write all the words they can think of. You could also divide students into partners or small groups to do this.

shapes cars
something in the yard animals
fruit or vegetable movie stars
something in the kitchen body parts
river, lake, or ocean towns or cities
country or state machines
type of transportation foods
something you wear actions
something in the zoo plants
toys books
songs nouns
famous person verbs
something in the school games
TV shows feelings
colors occupations
restaurants or stores adjectives
sports teams candy
cartoons things that fly

Hint! Adapt the categories to the specific age, skills, and interests of your students.


Check out this video my webmaster (Alex May) just created to go with my song about "Five Little Fishes."

http://bit.ly/drjeanFiveFishes

Monday, September 17, 2018

ROCK ON DAY

"Collect Rocks Day" was yesterday (9/16), but rocks are everywhere every day. Rocks can be a perfect spark for scientific investigations if you add a little STEAM. When you collect rocks or look at rocks, explain that scientists who study rocks are called geologists. Remind the children that they can be geologists, too!
                           


Take a nature walk and invite each child to pick up ONE rock. You might need to limit the size to a rock that will fit in their hand. Take the rocks to the classroom and ask the children to observe their rock for one minute without talking. Go around the room and ask each child to make one statement about their rock. Encourage them to use descriptive words.

*Ask older children to write descriptions about their rocks.

*Place the rocks in a basket. Gently shake the rocks and then pass the basket around the class to see if each child can find his rock.

*Let the children sort the rocks. What was their sorting rule? Can they sort them another way?

*Check out a book on rocks from the library. Place it in the science center along with a magnifying glass. Ask the children to do research and identify the different rocks they collected. (Remind the children to return the rocks to nature after they have finished investigating them.)

*Are rocks older than you or younger than you?

*Make a list of all the things that rocks are used for. 


*Have children make a design and build something with rocks.

*Let children paint rocks or use other art media to make paperweights.

*Place rocks in the math center for children to explore with the balance scale.

*For homework, ask families to take a walk and look for different kinds of rocks in their neighborhood.

*Encourage children to start their own rock collection with this idea. Cut an egg crate in half. Attach a pipe cleaner handle and use it to collect little rocks and pebbles.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

WORLD GRATITUDE DAY


Gratitude is an emotion of expressing appreciation for what you have, rather than what you don’t have. Psychology Today reports that gratitude can be cultivated and it can increase levels of happiness when you do. Energy, optimism, and empathy are by-products of gratitude.  This Friday is World Gratitude Day, so here are some activities you can easily integrate into your lesson plans this week.

P.S.  Have I told you lately that I'M GRATEFUL FOR YOU!!!  Thanks for reading my blog!


Model Gratitude
Make it a habit to include things you appreciate into daily conversations.

Brainstorm
What does it mean to be thankful?  Write children’s responses on the board.  What are some synonyms for thankful?
              
Lists
Children love to make lists, so let them make a list (draw pictures or write) of all the things they are grateful for.

ABC
Can they think of something for each letter of the alphabet that they are grateful for?
                                             
Gratitude Journal
Let children make a special "gratitude journal."  Encourage them to write what they are grateful for each day for a week.
                                                                                       
Gratitude Box
Cut a hole in the top of a shoebox and decorate.  Place on a shelf along with paper and pencils.  Children can write things they are grateful for and place them in the box.  Read the notes at the end of the day before children go home.

Grateful Greeting
Start the day by going around the room and asking each child to say something they are grateful for.

End with Something GOOD
End the day by having children say something good that happened at school that day.

Hot Potato Pass
Children sit or stand in a circle and begin passing the hot potato (ball or other small object)  around.  When the music stops or when the teacher blows a whistle the child holding the potato must say one thing they are grateful for.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

HATS OFF TO YOU!

September 15th is “Make a Hat Day,” but kids love to make hats and wear hats any day of the year. Here are some ways that you can tie in hats with themes or skills you are working on.

Sentence Strip Hat 
Materials: sentence strips or heavy paper cut in 2 ½” x 24”, markers, crayons, stickers 
Directions: Let children decorate the sentence strip and then fit to their head and staple or tape in place. 

Children can write letters, numerals, or vocabulary words on the headband. Sure beats doing a worksheet and accomplishes the same thing! 

                         

Children can add ears or other details to create an animal from a story. Let them wear their hats to retell the story.  

*Wouldn’t this be more fun than a written book report?

How about an “all about me” headband? 

Children can make an autograph hat with friends’ names. 

If you cut a zigzag line on one side every child can be king or queen for the day! 
                       
                                           

Hint! Two brad fasteners and a rubber band will make the hat easier to adjust to the head, but it’s a lot more trouble. 

                                  HATS OFF TO YOU TODAY!

Friday, September 14, 2018

"NOTE" THIS!

I found this idea for notecards from a "Mrs. Young" when I was cleaning out some old files. It might just be my age, but I do appreciate an old fashion paper "thank you" note, and I'm sure your parents and volunteers would as well.  I also like this idea because it's very "child centered" and you don't need permission from parents to use their child's photo.

Directions:  "Mrs. Young" asked each child to draw their picture with a black pen. She reduced the size and did a little cut and paste magic to get them on half a sheet of paper. On the other half it says, “Created especially for YOU by Mrs. Young’s Kindergarten Class of 20--.” Here's the open version as well as what it looks like folded into a card.


Hint! These could be run off on cardstock, seasonal colors, or plain white paper.

Writing Center Stationery
Here's another idea that will encourage your students to write.  Draw off 1 1/2" squares similar to the ones shown around the edge of a sheet of paper.  Let the children draw their picture and write their name in one of the squares. Run off many, many copies so the children can use them to write notes to their friends.
       

Thank You for Helping Us Bloom and Grow
I loved this thank you note I received from some children. Their thumbprints are flowers and it says "Thank you for helping us bloom and grow." Something similar to this could also be used to make class stationery and notes.
                                                      
You know, everybody wants to be appreciated, and these notes would be treasured by the recipients. "Thumb" body thanks you for reading my blog today!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

READING MEETING - WACKY WORDS

SIGHT WORDS
Choose 4 to 5 words each week to practice daily with one of these strategies.

Sign Language - As you introduce new words, teach children the signs for the words by using the dictionary at aslpro.com.
                             

Karate Writing
Spell out words with karate writing.  For letters that start at the top dotted line punch up high. For letters that start at the middle dotted line punch out in front of your waist. For letters with a tail that go below the line give a little kick.
                  A – punch from waist
                  B – punch up in the air
                  C – punch from waist
                  D – punch up in the air
                  E – punch from the waist
                  F – punch up in the air
                  G – give a little kick…etc.

Sports Spell - Pretend to be athletes and spell out words.
Basketball – bounce on letters and make a basket as you say the word.
Baseball – swing on letters and twirl around and hit a home run as you say the word
Soccer – small kicks on the letters and kick a goal as you say the word
Let children make up motions for other sports, such as swimming, fishing, etc.


High Five Words
Cut hands out of construction paper and write the words you want to practice on the hands.  Tape to your classroom door.  Every time you leave the classroom stand at the door and call words out to the students.  They must high five that hand before exiting.
                                       


Sing to Cadence
Children echo each line as you sing, march, and slap your thighs.
     There are some words you need
     If you want to learn to read
     ___ ____ ____ ____
     ___ ____ ____ ____

Mystery Word
Play a game where you give clues about the words. For example: “I start with “L” and rhyme with “book.”

Sentences
Encourage children to make up sentences using sight words.





VOCABULARY WORDS
Each week choose a word (or two) from a book, unit of study, or of personal interest to your students.  Call them POWER WORDS or SPARKLE WORDS.  Make a big deal of introducing the words by saying:

     Give a drum roll….(pat knees and make a sound).

     Give a Beethoven…(pretend to hold a violin and hum the first few notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony).
     Give me a trumpet…(pretend to hold a horn and toot).

*Dramatize the words.

*Invite students to make up sentences using the words.

*Put the word in a name badge and wear it throughout the day.  At random times in the day say, “If you know my special word smile at me.” “If you can read my word shout it out!” “If you can read my word whisper it out.”

*Give children a cheer when they use a power word.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

READING MEETING - PHONO FUN AND ABC'S

PHONOLOGICAL AWARENESS
Choose a rime (aka word family) from the poem of the week. As children identify rhyming words from the poem write them on the board. Circle the letters that are the same in each word. Can they add other words to the list? 

Word Family Song
Sing this song to the tune of “Bingo.” For example, if you read "Jack and Jill" you could sing:
         There is a word family you should know
         And “ill” is it’s name-o.
         J – I – L – L Jill
         H – I – L – L hill
         W – I – L – L will
         They end in “ill” you know.

                               
*Write the word family in a large house and encourage the children to add rhyming words throughout the week.

Rhyme Ball 
You will need a ball, beanbag, or other object to toss for this game. Children sit or stand in a circle. The teacher says a word and then tosses the ball to a child. As the child catches the ball, she must say a word that rhymes.

Syllabication
Clap, snap, hop or make other movements to words in the rhyme.

Instruments 
Have children beat out syllables with instruments.
*You could also use cardboard rollers, straws, pencils, etc. like drum sticks to tap out rhythms and syllables.

Sound Sack

Take a small sack and fill it with common objects or small toys. Capture children’s interest with this song to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot.”
            What’s in the sound sack, who can tell?
            Maybe it’s a book or maybe it’s a shell?
            What’s in the sound sack, who can say?
            Blend the sounds, you’ll know right away!

Choose and object and stretch out the sounds. When children can blend the sounds and say the word, remove It from the sack and place it on the floor. Before putting each item back in the bag, segment the sounds again.


Body Letters
Choose letters from the poem of the week and challenge the children to make the letters with their bodies.
                                                       
Air Writing

Write letters in the air with your index finger or another body part.

Sign Language
Teach manual signs for letters as you introduce them.

Pinkies UP
Children listen as you say a group of words. If a word begins with the letter sound you are working on they put up their pinky finger.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

READING MEETING - MORNING MESSAGE AND RHYME A WEEK

MORNING MESSAGE
The morning message is a powerful way to demonstrate the importance of reading and writing. When a class mascot (stuffed animal or puppet) has a message waiting for the children it will give them something to anticipate each day.

Here's a song to the tune of “My Darlin Clementine” to focus children’s attention for the 
morning meeting:
         We are readers.
         We are writers.
         And we like to learn it’s true.
         We will read the morning message
         So we’ll know just what to do.


Hocus – Pocus – Focus
Did you know that if you tell your brain that something is important it’s more likely to remember it? If you have your children put on their focus goggles before you call their attention to something on the morning message it just might work. Say, “Hocus, pocus, goggles, focus!” as you demonstrate making circles with your thumbs and index fingers and placing them around your eyes.

To the Point
You probably already have some pointers, but it’s easy to make seasonal ones by placing finger puppets on the end of a cardboard pants roller.

Cut out the center of a butterfly net and add some fancy ribbon and you’ll be able to frame letters, words, and other key details.

Correct the Teacher
As the year goes along you can make spelling and punctuation errors so the children can “correct” you.



RHYME A WEEK


Each week write a poem on a chart and introduce it on Monday. Read over the rhyme using different strategies suggested below. Review the rhyme each day and then on Friday read and review rhymes from previous weeks.

Try choral reading with these strategies:

Shadow Reading– Teacher reads a line and then students repeat.

Magic Word– Choose a “magic word” (high frequency word) in the text. Every time you come to that word, the children get to clap, jump, snap, etc.

Say What?Read the wrong way and have children correct you by shouting out, “Say what?”

Missing Word – Omit a word and have the children fill it in.

Read with me IF you…like chocolate ice cream
      like broccoli         have a dog
      can ride a bike     are wearing red

Stand and Read – Children stand and take a small step to the right for each word. At end of the line jump “down” to the next line. Everyone moves back to the left and quickly moves to the right with every word until the end of the next line. Repeat until the end of the poem.

Take a Turn
- Divide children into groups and each section reads a different line. For example: Let boys and girls alternate reading lines.



Got Cha!– Whenever the teacher yells, “Got Cha!,” the students must pick up reading.

Voice Box– Go to my website and download “fluency cards.” Place these in a small box and let students choose a voice and then lead classmates in reading the rhyme.


Monday, September 10, 2018

WHAT IS THE READING CALENDAR?


Several years ago I met Lindsey Gates (K Teacher, Crittenden - Mt. Zion Elementary) who told me about her reading calendar. I thought it was a BRILLIANT way to organize skills and reinforce standards each day.  Lindsey claims the results in her classroom have been amazing!  I hope you'll all get some tips on integrating reading skills into your morning meeting over the next few days.  I'll let Lindsey tell you more about it...





Here is a picture of my reading calendar. Since I started this part way through the school year it will look a little different to start the year and transition as the students learn new skills and as the teacher realizes what skills the kiddos most need to work on. I have set aside about 20-30 minutes for this every morning, but it doesn't always take us that long.

1- Beginning sounds
I show 4 pictures with 2 of the 4 starting with the same sound. On the first day we identify the sound at the beginning and decide which 2 start the same. On the second day we come up with other words that begin the same. On the third and fourth days the kiddos come up with words that begin like the other two pictures. On the fifth day I give them a word and they have to decide which picture it sounds like at the beginning.

2- Ending sounds
I have a list of five pictures and the beginning and middle sounds written next to them. Each day we do one picture. We decide what sound we hear at the end by catching it and then coming up with a few words that end like that as well.

3- Word families
I give the class the word family and they come up with some. If they have trouble I will give them options between a few words to decide which one belongs.

4- Phoneme substitution
I give them a starting word and they help me spell it. I pick a sound to change and they tell me the new word. This is basically a word ladder without the ladder.

5- Onset and rimes
I give them an onset and a rime and have them tell me my word. Then we take away the onset and they tell me what is left and then we do the same thing with the rime and then we put it all together again.

6- Syllables
Kiddos put their hand under their chin and count the number of times their chin hits their hand to count the syllables. We sort the pictures by the number of syllables they have.

7- Medial vowel sound
We sort the pictures by their medial vowel sound. I use baggies so that the kiddos can still see the pictures if they need help.

8- High frequency words/ sight words
I have all 100 of our sight words in the blue container and we go through about 10 or 15 everyday.

9- Fix-a-sentence
I write a sentence incorrectly and the students have to tell me how to fix it. I start with a lower case letter, leave out spaces, spell things incorrectly, use the wrong form of the word and leave off end punctuation.

10- Nursery rhymes
We start off with them repeating it after me, we pat out the rhythm, make up motions and by the end of the week they have it memorized and can act it out on their own. (We sometimes do a finger play with this too!)

11- Rhyming
I show them 6 pictures and they help me organize them into rhyming sets. During the week we come up with other words that could also go in each group and I give them words to decide if they belong or don't belong.

*I found all of the pictures online using Bing or Google. Everything can be done without pictures, but so many of my kids are visual learners and seeing the pictures helps them focus on the sound and not trying to remember what word I said.
Come back tomorrow and I'll share more ideas for a reading calendar.


Lucky me to get to present at the SPARKLE Conference for Creative World
 Schools in Tampa last Saturday.  You've never seen so many 
sparkles, sequins, glitter, and FUN teachers!