Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Labeling activity, Freebie, and a Giveaway!

Well, a month and a half into school and we have been rockin' and rollin' with ourselves! My class has been amazing and they keep impressing me every single day with their learning. I'm currently knee-deep in benchmark testing for the first time this year, but in the meantime we've been busy working on colors, beginning sounds, letters, writing skills, shapes, and counting. One thing I like to do to help my kids practice their early writing skills at the beginning of the year is labeling activities. I'll usually post the words either on the word wall, at the writing center, or on the whiteboard for the kids to use as references to label their pictures. For some reason, when we do these labeling activities, their handwriting turns out more beautiful than anything they've ever written before! I made up an activity sheet and matching word cards for our latest labeling activity we did this week using animal naming words. I hung up the four word cards on the board for them to look off of:

Then, using them as a reference, they labeled their animals on the activity sheet and then colored the picture.

You can download the animal naming words labeling sheet and word cards for FREE here on Google Drive (formerly Google Docs!): 

Animal Naming Words Labeling Sheet** (read note below about printing)

**One thing to note about the Labeling sheet - I made it to be printed on LEGAL-sized paper, so you'll have to manually go in on the PDF and change it to print on that size or else it will automatically print it to 8 1/2x 11 paper. Hope that makes sense! I wanted the kids to have as much room as possible to write their words.

Now for the exciting news - Heather over at the blog Heather's Heart is having an AMAZING giveaway just cause she loves us! 2 winners will get a $50 Target gift card, a $25 Lakeshore gift card, and a $25 TPT gift card! Woah! You know teachers love shopping at all 3 of those places! How generous of her! Check out the giveaway here: Heather's Heart Giveaway ....and hurry! There's only 3 hours left to enter!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Practicing Writing Concepts With Predictable Charts

One of the biggest things my kinder team takes pride in is our students' ability to do some amazing writing by the time the end of the year rolls around. At the beginning of the year, I'm always referring to the things that "good writers do" and we create an anchor chart together to leave up on the wall for the whole year. One of the strategies I've found most helpful is for my students to participate in shared writing with predictable charts. A great resource for learning how to implement these in your classroom is this book, Predictable Charts: Shared Writing for Kindergarten and First Grade

After we learn a new sight word, I have each student dictate a sentence using the same sentence stem so that they see it used over and over and I record their sentences on chart paper like this:

After each sentence, you write their name on the end in parentheses (mine aren't shown). Every time I write a sentence, I make a huge deal about using a capital letter at the beginning, "finger spaces" and a period at the end. I usually do the predictable charts during my morning message time and have about 4-5 kids a day go so that by the end of the week, my whole class is done! Once I have every student's sentence recorded, I type each sentence out and give the kids theirs in one strip:

I have them cut off their name first and glue it in the corner of the writing paper:

Then they cut up each word in their sentence - I tell them to cut on the "finger spaces"! - and then glue them back in order on the writing lines.

After they glue their sentence back together, they have to copy and write their sentence exactly like the one that was typed out, practicing all of their things that "good writers do", and then illustrate!

Some get it and they come out great!

Others need a bit more practice.... :)

But either way it is a early-kinder writing strategy that I love using in my classroom! And my kiddos always think it is the coolest thing that they get their very own sentence to use. I love that they are excited about everything at this age! One of the things I love most about kinder is how much amazing growth they make throughout the year, especially in writing!