Sunday, May 18, 2014

Guided Reading Activities for Kindergarten

I have been working on this little set for a while now and testing it on my son and my students. It's a keeper! I am always looking for things that will work for my beginning readers as you've probably gathered by now. I'm so excited to show you this new set of activities that I use for guided reading with my kinders and with my son, Shawn.

I made some short, simple stories (as in one long sentence stories). Believe it or not, these one-two sentence stories have a character, an event, and most have dialogue. I have my students "whisper read" them, using their strategies to read accurately. Then I have them reread them a few times for fluency and to work on expression with the dialogue and stopping at punctuation. Of course, this is at the basic level, so it's not perfect, but I think it's so important to introduce and model this skill anyway.  After reading, they can spin the story spinner to answer questions about their mini story. Comprehension...check. fluency... check. using strategies to read accurately... check. Gaining confidence... hopefully check!

In the picture above, he is pointing out who the character was in the text.

Here the student is underlining what the character is saying.

Here are all the short story fluency cards included in this pack:


This pack also has four prediction cards:





My favorite might be these sequencing cards. Each "story" has four cards. Students read the cards and put them in order. 



My son was all about this! 

...So I made a few others:

Each color is a different "story".

I love using fluency sentence strips. It gives students an opportunity to practice reading sight words, sounding out words, and using picture clues. These are perfect for my newest readers.


I made two version: easier with dots and slightly harder without dots:

Shawn's favorite was the sight word spin. He loved going through and mastering each list. When he read a column correctly, he could color in a smile. 



I included a blank one, so you could write any words that your students needed to work on. Here, I wrote the same 5 words, but in different order, in each column.  I slide these pages into a plastic page protector so I can write using white board pen, then erase when I'm done. 


If you are looking for activities to spice up your guided reading groups for those beginning readers, you can find these activities here:




You might also like these two spring kindergarten packs:



I bundled all three of these together for the ultimate kindergarten reading spring resource!


Want a chance to win this bundle with ALL three sets? I'm giving away a set here and on my Facebook page. In the meantime, I'll put this on sale. :)







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Saturday, May 17, 2014

A "Bright Idea" for Handwriting


Hi everyone! I'm back for another "Bright Ideas" link up. In case you are a new follower, this is a monthly link up with over over 100 other bloggers with some simple "bright ideas" to share. No sales pitch, just great teaching ideas. You can find my last post here.

I had a few different ideas for this month, but I decided to go with a simple, yet effective strategy that I've been using this year with a few of my students. All you need is a small paperclip. Do you have students who squish all their words together? Do they have a hard time making spaces between their words? Lack of spacing is totally normal in the beginning stages of writing, but I usually have one or two that continue to struggle with this.  I've worked with a few students  this year (ranging from first grade to third grade) who needed some assistance with using that appropriate spacing between words. It seems to be a spacial awareness thing because they have to consciously move their hand in order to make a space, and then sometimes the space is huge. I tried a bunch of different things to help them until one day I discovered a paper clip. It all happened because I had left a small paperclip out on the table and a student started playing with it. I said, "Okay, you can use that but I get to choose how you use it." It ended up being the perfect solution to his spacing problem! He writes a word, then slides his little paperclip over to make the perfect sized space between his words. 





He used it for several months and now he doesn't really need it anymore. He truly needed something physical to help him get used to making spaces between words. I started using it with other students and it seems to work with each of them and not get in the way too much. 

  


It's also easy to grab and easy to clip onto paper to use again later. Plus I always have little paperclips laying around. I was worried that this "bright idea" may have already been used or thought of by someone else, but it certainly was an "ah ha!" moment for me. I hope it can be for some of you too! 

There are 130+ blogger participating in this Bright Ideas Blog Link Up. That's 130+ fabulous ideas at your fingertips! Click on the links below to see more ideas and tips. They are labeled by topic and grade level. Enjoy!

For more ideas, follow me here at my blog or on Facebook. :) 




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Segmenting Words

Segmenting words can be a tough skill to master, but it is an essential skill for beginning readers and writers. I'm always looking for ways to give them practice. I love giving them something to move while they segment sounds. Often I would give them a little circle (math counters) to "push" the sounds as they segment. I've also seen people use a car on a track. I'm always looking for more ways to pretty much do the same thing so it feels new and different to my students. For spring, I made two different segmenting activities that I wanted to share with you today.



 I'm putting my bug math manipulatives to good use here. :) As students segment the word, they are pushing the bugs onto the leaf. 

And here you can hop the little frogs onto a lily pad.  The picture card is a fish, so you would push the frogs as you say this: f-i-sh




You can get both of these "segmenting mats" for free by clicking here or on the picture below.


I included a bunch of picture cards to use with the mats, too. 

If you like this, you might also like some of my kindergarten spring literacy hands-on activities.  You can check these out here:




Monday, May 12, 2014

Spring Literacy Centers for Kindergarten

Happy Monday everyone! Today I wanted to share with you my newest pack for minders. It's a big collection of hands-on literacy activities to use as centers or during guided reading groups. I've been using them with my kindergarten kids in a small group setting. These activities are perfect to give your kiddos much needed practice with sounding out simple words, reading sight words, and phonological awareness. There are a variety of activities to keep them engaged while learning. I'm also using these with my son, who is just now starting to read. 


Some of kids are ready to start reading blends but it's been a challenge. This activity is perfect for them. Since there are so many combinations of cards, I can use this for several days. 


You can use this with a spinner or just have your kids use a clear circle to put over the petal with the letter they will read with the middle part.


This is a sorting activity with -ck words. I did this activity a few times already with my kinder kids and they loved it. They needed to do it more than once to practice reading -ck words and to practice the concept of sorting by word family. 


We always love to build our own words! Sometimes I build the word and they read it, and other times they get a chance to build a word. I write the vowel with white board marker so I can change it easily.  When I build the word, I have them all "whisper read" the word, then I call on someone to read it to the group. 


I have this on my magnetic white board (there are magnetic dots on the page and on the letters). We change the letters and use the grasshopper/cricket to hop through the words.


If you are starting silent e with some groups, this will be perfect for them! My son is starting to learn about silent e, so I made this for him. That silent e can be so tricky!


I still love doing activities that strengthen their phonological awareness, like syllable sorts.


My kinder kids are focusing on digraphs right now, so I made this little activity to practice that skill. I have them try all digraphs with each card to see how many words we can make. 




This is a challenging activity, but SO good for them. I want them to be solid with their short vowels, and this is a great reinforcer for them. They try each bubble with all the vowel possibilities to make words.


Matching clouds to make real and nonsense words:


Sentence scrambler is a favorite with my kindergarten kids!


This is a tough one! They look at both pictures under the umbrella and listen for the sound that is different. Here, I'm using a magnifying glass because I was at home and couldn't find my little clear red circle. :) When they identify the sound that is different, they will put the red circle on the box to show beginning, middle, or ending sound.


These are the centers I haven't yet printed out but will be using soon:

There are pictures on the bees. Students will place on the beehive with the correct blend.






If you are looking for spring centers for your beginning readers and you like what you see, you can get them here:









Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Little Butterfly Freebie

My friends and I at A Classy Collaboration are having a little blog hop today.


Thanks to Irene for planning this! If you are starting here, make sure you go back to her blog to see her fabulous freebie! 


We are all sharing some freebies today, so make sure you visit all of our blogs. I'm excited to share my little butterfly observation booklet with you today. I hope you can put it to use!


Have I mentioned how fun it is to have a 5 year old in the house? My son, Shawn, is at the perfect age to do so many fun things! I'm lucky because he absolutely loves to learn. He humors me too! About a week ago, our caterpillars came in the mail. I used to always get them for my first grade class. They were always such a huge hit, so I was excited to get them for Shawn. He is just downright pumped about it. I made him a little observation journal to go along with it. I wasn't sure if he would humor me on that one, but he actually asks me if it's time to do his "science journal". He takes it so seriously. It's pretty cute.











I printed off a few pages of this one since there are quite a few days where the caterpillars are growing, eating, and moving around in that cup. 

 These pages are for when you take the chrysalis out of the cup and into the big net cage thingy.

I added these pages for the back so kids could have a little word bank to help them along the way. These are words that they may want to use while recording observations.


I also included a little story to go with it. This is for our beginning readers (kindergarteners in spring). I'm definitely not a close reading expert, but I've been really trying to integrate it into everyone because I think it is wonderful for kids to practice. I tried to make the story simple, with basic sight words, repetitive sentences and key vocabulary and picture clues. 


Hop on over to Mrs. Wheeler's blog. You will find a fabulous freebie there waiting for you!

Make sure you stop at every blog to snatch up some freebies. 


You also could win a $50 gift card! Enter the Rafflecopter below:








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