Friday, September 18, 2015

Five for Friday September 18

Anybody else tired?!

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

I posted LOTS of environmental print freebies  in my post at the PreK and K Sharing Blog.  My class is loving environmental print.  Here's some proof:

They are so proud that they're readers!

This is one of my favorite activities  to do with them- and their first "homework" was to go home and READ this to someone in their family.  It's amazing how quickly they can learn to point to each word as they read it. 

I let them choose three things they like to do and three places they like to go from the pictures I have on the papers. 



This last picture is mainly here because his shirt made me smile all day long.  It says, "Purrito" and is a cat in a burrito. Of course.  

I made my Superhero Vocabulary poster this week.  We haven't added any words yet, but I wanted to show you what ours looked like.  You could use any before and after Superhero:  Peter Parker/Spiderman,  Bruce Wayne/Batman...   

I can't wait to start adding words.  Every book we read has some new and interesting "better" word that we talk about, and we can add to the poster.  I think our first one might be the group of words "get a drink"   and then "hydrate," because I have one little guy who will just randomly shout out, "I NEED TO HYDRATE," throughout the day.  I sort of love it. 

This is just one of many ideas in the book I wrote with Dr. Jean.  We had so much fun thinking of our favorite ways to teach reading that really helped the children remember the concept we were teaching while having so much fun at the same time!

Since my theme is Superheroes this year, I wanted to think of some reading strategies to go along with the theme.  This is what I came up with:

I just used Google Images to find the pictures. I saved them and printed them out 8X10.   HERE are the pictures I used for this poster that I put together in a document (just in case you'd like them and don't feel like searching for them!).  Here's my thinking of the pictures I chose:  Mr. Fantastic is sort of blurry- but it worked fine when I cut him out.  It was HARD to find a Wonder Woman who wasn't extremely voluptuous.  And I cut Superman and his "S" out of the picture I used, because I wanted him and the first letter of his name. Just cut out the other part of the picture.   

Someone on Facebook asked about using Batman, and I said that I had thought of adding another strategy with Batman and Robin, that said, "Ask a friend if you need help."  So- that's how you could add him to the group. 

My sweet friend Anne, at Common Core Connection, just added this darling freebie of Growth Mindset Posters to her TPT store. It's perfect for a Superhero theme!  Thank you, Anne!
Growth Mindset PostersGrowth Mindset PostersGrowth Mindset PostersGrowth Mindset Posters

I wanted to share a fabulous freebie from one of my FAVORITE reading companies,  Reading Reading (pronounced "Redding Reading" because it is based in Reading, Pennsylvania.) . This company has wonderful leveled reading books that are just right for kids- great text size, pictures/photographs, stories, book length, and story topics.

Reading Reading  is offering wonderful FREE ABC Printable books.  So far, they have letters A-J, which our whole kindergarten team is using and loving to use.  More books are coming soon.  They only had A-D just a while ago- so they really are coming soon!  Here's a sample look at the A book:

We have a book closet for our primary wing with our sets of guided reading books.  We share these books among all the classes, kindergarten through second grade.  I do not have individual browsing boxes for my students in the classroom because it became very time consuming to manage, and we never had enough books.  I felt like I always had to get them back to the book closet because other classes were waiting to use them.

Instead of individual browsing boxes, I ordered the mixed sets of these Kris Bonnell leveled books for the last few years from Reading Reading with my textbook money. They come with one copy of each of the different books.   I have colored bins that coordinate with my group colors. I fill the bins with leveled readers appropriate for each group.

When my students finish an activity early, after morning work, or even for independent reading on the rug, they go to their colored bin to choose a book to read.  I have enough books to switch out often so they have a big variety at their level.  When the group levels up to the next level, it's very easy to include some higher level books in the bin.

I love it because when I have a few extra minutes to read with a child, I can easily choose a book that will be just right for that child because they are right there.

These book bins have worked really well for me.  The books are just the right length for the children to read and finish, plus the kids love the topics.   Lots of them have photographs which the kids really like. We do have lots of the sets of six in the book closet that we love to use for guided reading.

Here are some samples of the insides so you can get an idea.  I find the books to be on the "easy" side of the levels, which I like.  Don't you hate choosing a "C" leveled text and having it be so hard that you wonder who on earth leveled that book? I know...  #teacherproblems- right?

Reading Reading is a wonderful company, and are always coming out with new books, too.  

I loved this quote and this picture so much, that I put them together.  I feel like we've got to start swinging the shift back to teaching and learning what it means to be human.  We've got the technology down. We can't forget to teach children to be good people, share, and to get along with and work with others.  For a while I feel like everyone's been so caught up in keeping up with all the technology, that the human side of teaching has fallen by the wayside and has been labeled as "old fashioned." 

 I do think with people are seeing the consequences of too much technology:  seeing children getting less exercise and having more health issues, having more cases of ADHD, and having difficulty with any sort of down time. The consequences are unfortunate, but I'm glad people are recognizing these effects, and maybe realizing we need more balance.  At home, there is less family interaction because everyone is on some device- and instead of spending quality time together, often either the parents or children, or both, are doing something else on on a phone or iPad, while they're together.  

I like to see and use new things in the classroom, I just want to protect the human side of teaching as much as I can.

Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. Love the idea of super hero vocabulary!

  2. Love your whole post. My toddler daughter will probably love your environmental print. We have a couple of super simple books like you show and she loves to "read" them. I like the t-chart of regular words and superhero words too!

    My Bright Blue House


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