Friday, September 30, 2016

Five for Friday September 30

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

I love all the Facebook Live videos I've seen, but I just can't do it.  I have never been great at speaking in front of people (over the age of 5...) .  Maybe some day. For some reason writing ideas here feels safer for me.  

I love Dr. Jean's Facebook Live videos- because I always get great ideas that I can use right away.  She packs the ideas into Facebook Live, just like she does into her conferences, one great idea right after another.

I loved Dr. Jean's paper bag trees.  She gave so many great ideas about how to use them.  Since we're working on learning letters in our names now,  I found these wonderful letter leaves from TypeInspire.  

After the children made their tree, they cut out the leaf letters for their names to glue onto the branches.  Another fun, easy, pretty, Fall way to reinforce names and letters. 
One way to reinforce those sight words is to write them on... pretty much everything!  This little sweetie had a ball making these blocks say, "You I love."  "I love you."  "Love you I."  Her little group building with these blocks thought it was the funniest thing ever making those silly sentences- and I was thinking, "Now you all know "I," "love," and "you!"  

I always start the year off with this quick little activity. I've shared it before, but it really works for getting the children pointing to each word and realizing they can READ!

We have been working on our sight words and one to one correspondence, pointing to each word as we read. This was a good activity for both.  First, I modeled the activity for the class.  I pointed to each word and decided where I liked to go.  I cut out the environmental print word and glued it onto my paper.  When I was done with the "I go to" side, I pointed to each word as I read the page.      
Then, I turned it over and did the "I like to" page on back.  
This was great practice not only for reading sight words, reading environmental print, and pointing to each word, but also for cutting, using a glue stick, and completing the activity independently.  They had a ball. 

I printed out the writing on one page, front and back, and then gave each child a sheet of places to go and things to do.  They could choose their favorites.  When each child finished the activity, he/she had to read their paper to a friend and then to me. They also had to read it to someone when they got home.  The conversations about the places and activities were so much fun to listen to at the tables, too.  

Click HERE if you would like a copy!

We are also working on learning the difference between a letter, word, and sentence. I had the children come up to the chart and choose one of the cut out pieces I had on the table and glue it into the correct spot after we talked about what a letter, word, and sentence each were.

Later in the year, I like to reinforce this lesson, and have the children write a letter, word, and sentence under the correct heading.  This time of year, I'm happy with them choosing one and gluing it on.   I wrote a post all about my Letter-Word-Sentence lessons HERE.

This picture is right beside my desk at school.  It's me in kindergarten.  It's just a reminder for me to never forget how I felt when I was five.  What was special to me?  What was I worried about?  What made me happy?  What made me sad?  I  think every teacher should keep a picture of them at the age they teach by their desk. 

By the way, that is my favorite nightgown.  I remember being so excited when it was warm enough for me to wear it again. And- of course, I was probably looking forward to the Tooth Fairy visit.  And my hair growing out a little bit...

When I introduce letters and sounds, I use a combination of working with all the letters and sounds, all the time- as well as giving each letter two special days.  We constantly work on hearing letters and sounds in words, and my class LOVES going through flash cards fast/slow/with silly voices and telling me the letter and sound.  I always over-exaggerate "o"- like they are at the doctor's saying "ahh,"with their mouth shaped like an "o,"  "u"- like they got punched in the stomach "UHHH,"  "m" like something is delicious- "mmmmm!" "i" - where they wrinkle their nose and say "iiiii" (like something is icky).  We have lots of fun with this and they actually ask to do it.  I usually fly though cards for letters and sounds each time we gather on the rug.  It's also a good time for the kids to settle.

When I focus on each letter for two days, we really give that letter some special attention as far as learning the correct formation, recognition, and sound.  I made 3 activities that I use each day for letters.

I just redid my Kindergarten/Pre-K Letters and Sounds Prezi.  I use this every day.  I just leave it up on the Apple TV (or Smartboard- we used to have Smartboards!) all day.  I show the videos to introduce the letters.   Then, we use the songs and games as brain breaks to reinforce the letter names and sounds any chance I get.

One of the first apps we use in the classroom is the QR Code Reader.  My children love QR Codes, and I love that it makes videos and stories so easy to access.  Now we are using our Alphabet QR Codes a lot.  I found 5 videos for each letter.  They're from ABC Mouse, Have Fun Teaching, Sesame Street Podcast, Storybots, and KidsTV123.  I've also included 16 other fun alphabet/phonics songs for the children to listen to, learn from, and enjoy!

Last year, I sent this book of Alphabet QR Codes home with a few students who just needed some reinforcement.  They LOVED it.

Finally, I made these Alphabet Poems for the children to illustrate.  They are quick, little poems that give the children practice pointing to each word as we read, finding letters and sight words we know and they can highlight, and drawing illustrations to go with text. I also wrote poems for "sh," "ch," "br," and "wh."  In the packet, I included 2 different fonts, and then one set with no illustrations in the text at all if you'd rather have it plain. 

I really loved this video, because there are times at school that I feel behind already.  Week 3.  And I don't have to.  Neither do you!  

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for stopping by!


  1. Thank you AGAIN for wonderful lesson plans!!I'm going to my 40th high school reunion on Saturday and then on Monday my husband and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I needed some fun ideas for next week's alphabet fun. Many hugs to you, my friend!

  2. Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas. I love the QR codes as well.

    The Very Busy Kindergarten

  3. I love all of these ideas, especially for my struggling readers who aren't quite "getting it".

  4. Ah, the wonderful activities on your blog make me miss wonderful kindergarten! I love my second graders, but I do miss teaching Kindergarten! The curriculum is just so fun to teach! Thank you again for sharing all of your wonderful ideas.


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