Monday, March 7, 2016

Word Study in Kindergarten

Word Study in kindergarten is daily in my classroom.  I devote my small group time when half of the class attends spanish to word study.  Word Study in kindergarten covers phonemic awareness, letter-sound work, spelling patterns, sight words, strategies for problem solving words, and vocabulary.  I use my spelling BPST assessment to group my students and plan instruction.  I use this data to drive my instruction beginning with a quick mini lesson and then providing independent work time for my small groups.  This chart helps me differentiate my instruction.  I bought all these materials called Guided Reading RTI by Tara West.

     Working with my lowest readers our focus right now is one-to-one correspondence.  I am working with Ezra to touch each colored dot as he reads the picture/word.  Before starting to read, I have Ezra count each picture/word, for example, "You counted 4 words so how many times will you tap this page, 4 times."

Hands on letter work has a major effect with learning letters!  I supply my students with magnetic letters to match pictures.  My kiddos work on finding the missing letter or matching letters to pictures.

Using magnetic letters for beginning sounds.

I use sound boxes during this small group time.  Sound boxes allow my students to picture the parts of the word as they stretch out the sound, and push up the sound into each box.  Students can do 1 of 4 things:  Build word with magnetic letters, push up sounds with counters, write sounds with dry erase markers, or push up toy cars with each sound.

Phoneme segmentation onset and rime cards are used as a building block to my phoneme segmentation cards.  My kiddos state the onset and rime and then blend the word back together.  

I use phoneme segmentation stretchers for kiddos to practice touching one black dot per sound in the word.  
Sorting supports spelling pattern study.  Every student has a word work journal they keep for sorting.  In this journal you can find rhyming sorts, beginning and ending sound sorts, and syllable sorts.  We use our word work journals at the end of the session to summarize what we learned that morning.  

My super readers have a set of tools in their book boxes that helps them navigate those tricky words, sight words, fluency, blends, one to one correspondence, and looking closely at pictures.  Each kiddo has a handy pencil case that carries their tools in their book box.  Just when the novelty begins to wear off, I introduce another tool to build back up the excitement in reading.  Coming in the near future for non-fiction reading is microphones for becoming a news anchor, and eye rings to closely at non-fiction pictures! 


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Writing Like a Scientist!

Integrating Reading, PBL and Writing

This lesson is designed to help my students develop the foundational skills that will move them from emergent readers to conventional readers. I am challenging my students to "think, read, and write like a scientist," and by applying their knowledge of letters and sounds through labeling items and observing objects in our PBL project, Trees, Trees, Trees. Students are encouraged to stretch out each word, listen to the first sound, as well as every other sound after that.

Every kindergartner needs time to explore. By bringing nature inside, I collected and displayed natural objects to enhance my student's sense of observation. All children benefit from nature and learn from nature. I provided a variety of objects for my students to explore. I allowed and strongly encouraged my students to TOUCH.

Animals that live in trees.

Logs, twigs, pinecones, and bark

Leaves, acorns, & seedlings

Let the exploring begin:
Don't forget magnifying glasses and special googles!

I tell my students to embrace the knowledge they have by exploring with their senses.  Children already have their own ideas about nature and living things.  I am helping them find the unique characteristics in trees by touching and exploring first.

The next day my kindergartners explore nonfiction books about trees. Students are exposed to list books, pattern books, and books with simple sentences that revolve around our PBL unit. Students will learn that reading and writing is a tool for learning about science. Looking at and reading nonfiction books about trees gives my students the chance to learn about rich, engaging content. Reading and writing about a shared research topic, such as trees, provides a supportive scaffold where every student feels successful.

In this lesson, students are reading "Learn About The World Books" to help them discover things such as what animals live in trees, why an acorn turns into an oak tree, or why leaves change color. As a teacher, I highlighted and pointed out to students how the author writes in a pattern, labels, 
stays on one topic, writes one sentence on each page, or uses repetitive language on each page.  

Then we go outside with our binoculars and explore and collect some more!

Then we write!

This unit offers an opportunity for my kiddos to apply what they are reading in their books and transfer all that they learned to writing. Taking nature-themed books along with blank sheets of paper inspires my young readers and writers to make connections to their PBL. As a teacher my goal is to check for student's knowledge of concept of print, letter-sounds, and their understanding of nonfiction books. I am looking for early reading skills and behaviors such as one-to-one correspondence, pointing to words while reading, and reading left to right.

Next steps for integrating our PBL project and reading is to show students that information is all around them and as we study trees they'll find themselves wanting more.  We will participate in a shared research project reading from the pages of a big book, poems, charts and texts and then incorporating that information into a shared writing project or book about trees.  Addressing how to gather information from nonfiction books to answer a question about our PBL will be our focus.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Classroom Is Ready!

I made it through our first week!  Nothing is better than meeting your new kinders and sharing with them their new room for the next 180 days.  As a teacher you spend a lot of time in your classroom, so for me, I need to have CHANGE.  It's a BIG job changing the decor in a classroom so this year I kept the same colors, sticking with BRIGHT, and I added more to my room.  I hope you like it!

Starting with my Meet The Teacher gift for my kiddos.  Thanks to Kim Adsit's Open House Unit, my kinders were welcomed with a bag of goodies!

 This is my dramatic play area.  It used to be called the Surf Shack but I changed my colors and added my black/white chevron rug.  My plan is to call this "Home, Sweet, Home" and take a photo of each student then frame it in BRIGHT colors for the wall.  Too cute!

The lighting on this pic is not too well but this is my Math and Engineering area.  This is where my kiddos explore building.  I have many different kinds of building materials in this area.  Under the window is our countdown for "How Many Days In School."  Here we are going to add a number to the 100th chart each day, add a link, fill in the Ten Frame, and build the number.  Looking forward to trying this!
 This is my Guided Reading Table which will be a little different this year since we are beginning Reader's Workshop.  To the left of my table is my NEW rolling Reader's Workshop cart.  I have mentor texts organized by letter, reading tools on the second pull-out shelf, and more reading supplies on the bottom.  My plan is to roll this cart around as I conference with students.

We have a school-wide set of rules that all teachers follow together.  It makes the message consistent and throughout each grade level.  RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, KIND, AND SAFE.  We give out blue awards that the students bring to the principal.  It is a positive system where the students are rewarded by having a chat with the principal about their positive behavior.

This is my calendar board.  I am planning on using the neon caddies as ones, tens, and hundredths and collecting straws.  Pretty simple calendar board but I like it.  Thinking of adding the sight words for the week.

This is my new idea for Student of the Week.  Instead this year we are doing Explorer of the Week!  When it is a child's week they will bring home a suitcase from our class.  Inside the suitcase is Zippy the Zebra who LOVES to travel and a travel scrapbook.  Each student needs to pick a county to travel to anywhere in the WORLD.  Each student will bring the suitcase back to school with things from that country and share with the class.  I have a special table for the items brought to school.  They also have to make a page in our class travel scrapbook.  We will keep track of our travels by stamping our passports and marking our class map!

This is my leveled library where students will shop for books for their book boxes.

Next to the leveled library is the student's book boxes.  This first week of school I will take a picture of each student and place it on their book box with their name.

For the first time EVER, I have focus walls for Language Arts, Math, and Science.  So excited how these came out.  Language Arts includes our Super Readers stamina chart, Common Core standards, Writer's Workshop goals, etc.

My math focus wall will have Common Core Standards, new vocabulary words and anchor charts that go along with the unit.

This is my Math Centers rotation board.  After Math Workshop we have Math Centers for 30 minutes.

This is my morning message board.  Each and every day I will write a message to my kiddos.  Each day of the week I try to practice skills in language arts, math, or science.

This is in my writing center.  Just love my new "Sharp" and "Dull" labels for my pencils.