Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Weekly Reading Folders in Kindergarten

Hi everyone!

My students bring home reading folders once a week. I typically send them home on Monday. The parents take out the activities in the folder and the student returns the folder the next day. The folder contains a list of our kindergarten sight words (this sheet stays in all year),  an emergent reader or book we read in class (either shared reading or guided reading group) and a poem or small game that reviews key concepts (rhyming, sight words, alphabet recognition, etc.) The parents really enjoy the folders because it gives them something specific to review with their child.

I decided to make a weekly update form to place in the folder. I realized that although I was sending these activities home every week and parents were looking through the folders with their children, they may appreciate some tips about how to review the sight words, readers, etc.

The clip art is from Scrappin Doodles.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sight Word Parking Lot

About ten years ago I went to a district workshop about phonemic awareness. At the workshop, we also discussed sight word vocabulary and the presenter showed us a really clever game to review sight word vocabulary. It is called Sight Word Parking Lot and it is a great game to use for small group work or during your literacy stations, daily five work work, etc.

You can easily make one with a piece of paper and a marker. You make parking spaces on the sheet and write a different sight word in each parking spot. Then, you give each child in the small group a matchbox car. On each turn, you say a sight word and they drive their car into that parking space. Easy and fun!

Here is a picture of the board with a car:

I made five boards with ten words on each board. I used fifty of the most common sight words for kindergarten. You can make your own, too. I suggest laminating the boards.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Using First Names During Writing Workshop

As I have discussed in  a previous post, our first names can be really useful learning tools in every subject area. They are especially great to use in the beginning of the year. I went to a workshop years ago, and the presenter told us how to make an alphabet name chart for our students. I thought that this was a great idea and I make one every year.

You basically make a grid, one square per letter. Then, you type in the first names of all of your students in the proper letter square on the chart (first letter of first name).  I give each student an alphabet chart to keep in their writing folders and they stay in the folders for the entire year. We use first names to write letters to our friends,  include them in the stories we write, make lists, to label illustrations, etc. My first grade colleagues place the students' first names on the word wall, too. There are so many possibilities!

I made a few versions of the grid. The first grid is a blank pdf version (you would have to write in the names), the second is my model with names already in it, and the third is a word doc that you can alter. Enjoy!