Sunday, July 26, 2015

Student Info Sheet FREEBIE
This is the student info sheet I use the first day of Kindergarten. I actually give this to parents on what my district calls a "Preview Day". This is a day the Kinders and their families get to come into the classroom and meet the teacher, find their seat and their cubby and see what they are getting themselves into. I love it because I get to meet the kids, talk to their parents a little, and get the really important info that I need (most of which is on this sheet). It also helps with the kids' nerves on the first day. There isn't nearly as much crying as normal. (But, don't me wrong...there is always crying. )

I realize this sheet does not match exactly what everyone is looking for, so if you would like an editable version, let me know and I can send one your way.

Friday, July 24, 2015

What order do I teach the letters???

The idea of teaching one letter a week is old. It is not a good idea and it goes waaaaaay too slow for today's Kindergarten. I teach 3 to 4 letters a week. I follow Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills Guided Readers Units. These units work on 4 to 5 letters a week with AMAZING literature components to them. Seriously, if you are trying to work Story Study into lesson plans check out these units. They have everything already done and are PERFECT.

Ok, back to letter order. I get excited when it comes to the Guided Readers. The 4 to 5 letters a week is too much for my class, mainly because every Wednesday in my district is a minimum day. I just don't have the time. So, I separated them into 3 or 4. Here is my outline.
 You can download this outline as a PowerPoint file and edit it as you need. 

By teaching these letters together students will be able to compare them. They will see the differences between t, b, and f. They will compare the sounds. They will be able to use them more meaningfully in writing and identify them during their reading time. 

Along with the letters you see that I have my sight word list outlined. This is my FREE sight word Core Words unit on TpT.  I begin these units right away and expect my students to know at least 10 words by the end of the first 6 weeks of school. Here is the letter that goes home to parents:

I know, I know, it sounds like a crazy lot. But, it's not and my students do rise to the occasion. As for those who are behind, those are the ones who get special time with me during Guided Reading to work on the skills they are still learning. The ones who are ready move ahead and the ones who need the one-on-one time get it. We call this.......say it with me......differentiation!! Haha!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

10 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten

You have seen this before, I know. You have tried to get the word out to parents exactly what should be worked on at home to prepare for Kindergarten. Needless to say, these skills are not mastered BEFORE Kindergarten. They are worked on before, during, and after Kindergarten. I like to put this on my parent website so that Moms and Dads can see what they need to do with their incoming Kinder. Because the year is fresh, parents are more likely to work on these skills at the beginning of the year and I am very ok with that. This is the first post on my classroom website each year for my new class and I hope my parents see it and find it helpful.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Starting the Year Off With Sight Words

Ok, you know it's coming. You are going to get a new batch of Kinders. No, they wont be able to sit down. No, they wont stop crying. No, they can't keep their hands to themselves. And yes, you will think you are not going to survive the first two weeks. But, you will! (Seriously, you will...)

So, how do you get your little babies reading? How do you get them to understand that letters make words and we READ words? I am going to share what I use. Many of you already use it and I am glad to read your comments that it is working. But, for those of you who don't, I have a FREE download of my Core Sight Words that my school district uses for Kindergarten starting the second week of school! (Yikes! The second week!)
 This is my free unit that comes before my other sight word units. These are the Core Words that your Kinders will need to start reading emergent readers and building an understanding what words really are. The activities are much simpler that my other units because it is designed for the beginning of Kindergarten. Take a look:
 I send this one home attached to their homework packet. Parents get into the habits of having words each week, which will continue for the entire school year.
 Read, Color, Write is simple and in all of my units. I do these every Monday. I choose a student from my name can. If their name is called they get to find the word in the room with my pointer, spell it for the class, and then tell us what color they want to color it. The kids love it and it keeps everyone engaged.
 Using the interactive whiteboard is great for this activity. Students really get the meaning of tall, small, and fall letters.
Color the sight words. These are in all of my units too. Reinforces color words and after a little while of practice can become a center for the year.

Remember teachers, this is FREE! Go download Core Sight Words at my TpT store and see what you think. If you like it and think it can be helpful in your class I hope you will look into my other units Pre-Primer and Primer.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Redesigned sight word units!

I finally got some time to sit down and redesign my units for teaching sight words in Kindergarten. My district has been using these units for Kindergarten sight word instruction for three years now. I have seen what works and what needed to be adjusted. The newly redesigned units are a little more visually pleasing, as well as having some of the words moved around in the lists. It is also better for a Kindergarten student's fine motor skill development. Check out my units for yourself and see if you like them. Here is a sample of each activity. There are 18 lists, 8 in the PrePrimer and 10 in the Primer.
 Preview of PrePrimer, Part 1
 Preview of Primer, Part 2 
This is a Primer activity in which students sort words that have different fonts. 
Color the Sight Word is in both PrePrimer and Primer. Primer is more advanced. 
Weekly flashcards that can be sent home for homework or put on word rings.
 Read it, Colors it, Write it. I pick students out of my Name Can to find the word on a board in the room and read it to the class. Then he or she gets to tell the class what color the word will be. Keeps their attention while they do this activity.
 Build a Word is challenging in the beginning, but once they get the hang of it they become experts. It also really helps their visual discrimination and processing skills when unscrambling the letters to make the words.
 Trace and Write the word. I send this page home for homework, or you could put them in a sheet protector and have them practice in class at center time. 
Another Color the Sight Word. This one is a PrePrimer, with only three words to read.
 Missing Letter is a great center activity. Students do really will with this activity once they learn how it works.
Word Wall words or flashcards. Blue is PrePrimer and green in Primer

Kindergarten Sight Words Bundle

I have been using these units for three years now and have had a lot of success. If you want to have a good sight word supplement, this is it. Hope you enjoy!

4th of July Sale!
I am throwing a 4th of July sale this weekend, July 4th and 5th. Stop by my TeachersPayTeachers shop this weekend and get 20% off all of my products. Happy 4th everyone!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sight Word Checklist EDITABLE

Is everyone having a good summer? I am, for sure! My family and I went to Maui. Needless to say it was AMAZING and I didn't want to leave and I want to go back right now. But, I can't. So, I came home and checked my email instead. Know what I found? A lot of requests for an editable version of my Sight Word Checklist for Kindergarten. If you would like to have this please click HERE or on the picture and you can edit it using PowerPoint.

Some of you may use Fry Words or another system, so this will allow you plug in your own words where you need them. Please remember that this is a PowerPoint file, so you will need access to PowerPoint from Microsoft Office to use it. Once you have it open, click on the word you want to change, delete the one you want to replace and write your new word in. Hope this helps!

I am off to the I Teach K! Conference on Sunday. Hope to see some of you there. :)


A big THANK YOU to and Chevron! Chevron has funded my newest project, Magformers (and a lot of them) for my Kindergarteners. Now we can learn about magnets, sort colors and shapes, and have FUN!

Thank you Chevron and DonorsChoose! You are AWESOME!

09 10 01 09 10