Friday, September 13, 2013

Making Our Way Through Kindergarten Journeys Curriculum.. with a FREEBIE included!

Good evening to my bloggy buddies! The beginning of this school year has been such a whirlwind that I have not had ANY time to take out for blogging. The good news is, I have been taking lots of pictures so that when I finally did have time to update my neglected blog, you'd forgive me because I'd have lots to share! Right....?

My kinder team and I have been painstakingly making our way through our first year using the HM Kindergarten Journeys curriculum. The teacher's guide contains a LOT of information, and we are just trying to figure it all out. Tough when we knew the last reading curriculum like the back of our hands -- I barely even had to look at the teacher's guide anymore because I knew it so well. We figured it would take awhile to get into the groove, but we have found it darn near impossible to fit every activity into our reading block, so we just pick and choose the most important parts. One thing I love about my amazing kinder team is that for years and years we've been making our own resources to go along with what we needed to teach. In fact, when I first arrived at my school 5 years ago, I thought I made good stuff until I saw what kinds of activities 2 veteran teachers on my team were making! I guess you could say they inspired me to start making more of my own stuff, which let to me opening a TPT store. We had SO many resources that we had made over the years to go with the old curriculum... and now it's totally obsolete!

I don't know about you, but the activity sheets/centers/etc. that came with Journeys leave a bit to be desired in that they are SO easy that it would literally take the kids about 2-5 minutes to complete... and that just won't cut it! So we've been slowly but surely supplementing the curriculum and creating projects and activities to go along with the different stories and themes. There's a lot of great stuff that came with Journeys... but it just needs a little boost to meet my students' needs! Here are a few of the activities we have done with various stories from the Kindergarten Journeys curriculum.

The first theme in Unit 1 is Families, and the main read aloud is What Makes a Family? A teammate and I brainstormed and came up with this cute little craftivity. She made the response sheet where the students had to draw a picture of their family. Then they used our family words poster to write and label each family member. My kids completed the labeling part surprisingly well for the 3rd week of school! Then they created themselves holding the paper. Didn't they turn out adorable? I love the mohawk in the second picture! Haha!


Here's a closer view of one of my student's labeling pages.


The next theme in Unit 1 is School, where the main read aloud is a story I love -- How Do Dinosaurs Go To School? We used the giant flip book page with the retelling pictures to choose a main event from the story and illustrate.


I gave each student a sentence strip to cut up and build that had the question, "How do dinosaurs go to school?" They cut it up and put it back together (with finger spaces)! Then I gave them a printout of a dinosaur (thanks to Little Red's Schoolhouse) and, for whatever scene they chose, had to color their dinosaur the same color as it had in one of the retelling photos. Then they drew the setting for their main event.



This week, our theme was Jobs/Community Helpers. One of the little fairy tales included in this lesson is The Elves and the Shoemaker. They were so fascinated with this story. While we were building background, I asked them what they knew about fairy tales and their responses were so fantastic! I think that conversation helped set the stage for them to be totally into the short story. After the read aloud, we had a great retelling discussion about how each character helped each other. As a story response, I gave my students a little questioning strip to glue into their interactive notebooks that asked the think aloud question, "Who helped the Shoemaker with his work?" Then they had to draw the characters and show what they did. I absolutely LOVE how their illustrations turned out! So cute! This friend below even drew their "tattered" clothing. :)


If you'd like even more story response strips to use with the Journeys series, check out my Journeys Comprehension Story Strips in my TPT store! There are multiple story response strips included for all of the stories in Kindergarten Journeys Unit 1. Click on the picture to check it out!

 photo Journeys Comprehension strips picture_zpsmb1k5myg.png

The first main read aloud in Unit 4 was a story called Pizza at Sally's. My kids really enjoyed this story - probably because it had to do with food! Ha! After we read the story, I created this little "How to Make a Pizza" craftivity to retell the story and do a little functional writing!


Here's the steps we took:

1. Copy/Print the sauce template on red and the crust template on brown paper.

2. Cut out the pieces and glue the "sauce" on top of the "crust".

3. Give students a strip of yellow construction paper and have them cut it into little pieces to make "cheese".

4. Do the writing piece and then put it all together!

Interested in doing this little "How To" activity with your students? I'm offering it as a freebie here on my blog just for you! Click on the picture below to download. Enjoy!! And feel free to post a comment below on how you are using Journeys in your classroom! I'd love to hear!

 photo PizzaatSallyscover_zps36c19c97.png

18 comments:

  1. Hi there! Just found your blog...love it! We just started Journeys this year and I am overwhelmed!!! Love this post!!!
    Robyn

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    1. Hi Robyn! Thanks for the kind words! I was just chatting with one of my teammates today about how overwhelmed we were by Journeys, too! Too much to fit in and not enough time! And we hate how the weekly themes are laid out... seems like no rhyme or reason to it and no time to delve in to the topic!

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  2. I really like your website and this is my first year teaching kindergarten and we are using the curriculum Journeys also. I was wondering if you maybe had a lesson planning template that you use to create your plans each day. I am having a hard time with this curriculum because it is very dry. Thank you!

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  3. These are such wonderful ideas especially for beginning writers. We too are using Journeys for the first time. I'd like to know, do you plan on making these Read Aloud writing prompts available on TPT?

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    1. Hi Francesca! I have a set for Unit 1 available in my TPT store now and will be making a set for every unit!

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  4. We ordered the Journeys Kindergarten kit, but it had no teachers manual, and I cannot find one on the HM to even order. Can you direct me to where to find it???

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    1. Hi Dana!

      I'm afraid I'm not sure where to buy it as our district purchased the materials for us. Where did you buy the kit from? It seems odd that it wouldn't come with a teacher's manual! I wonder if it was just an oversight?

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  5. My team and I feel the writing component is so lacking. When we found this freebie we were so excited. The students had so much fun. We were wondering if you have anymore writing activities for this program?

    Thanks,
    Caterina

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  6. My team and I feel the writing component is so lacking. When we found this freebie we were so excited. The students had so much fun. We were wondering if you have anymore writing activities for this program?

    Thanks,
    Caterina

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  7. I LOVE the Craftivity's!! We just adapted Journeys. Will you be sharing more either on your blog or on TPT?

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    1. Thanks Molly!!! I have a few other Journeys posts with freebies on my blog - just click the keyword "Journeys" under the labels on the right hand sidebar of my blog! I also have lots of supplemental resources in my TPT store! If you want to check them out, just click here: Kindergarten Journeys Resources

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  8. Thank you for reassuring me on this whole new Journeys thing! I am the only k teacher at my school and we only meet three days a week. There is way too much to squeeze in, besides trying to figure out the flow of the manual. I am feeling very much validated after reading your blog and seeing your products. Thank you!!!

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    1. Thank you Julie! I'm so glad it was helpful for you!

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  9. Thank you for reassuring me on this whole new Journeys thing! I am the only k teacher at my school and we only meet three days a week. There is way too much to squeeze in, besides trying to figure out the flow of the manual. I am feeling very much validated after reading your blog and seeing your products. Thank you!!!

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    1. I'm so glad, Julie! You definitely can't do everything in the Journeys manual, so you just have to pick the most important activities!

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  10. We used Journeys, but have now switched to another curriculum. I am using the What Makes a Family this week for our family unit. Would you be willing to share your kid craftivity?

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    1. Hi there!
      Unfortunately, my former teammate made them and I don't have the template! So sorry! It would be super easy to trace your own similar ones, though!

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