If you teach kindergarten through 2nd grade, you know that guided reading is an essential component of literacy instruction. The way I’ve conducted guided reading has changed over the years and some people aren’t fond of the term guided reading, but small-group reading instruction is essential in order to differentiate and meet your students’ needs in reading. Planning for guided… Read More
It can be daunting for emergent writers to stretch out words, especially long words. Many of my kindergarten students are very artistic and can add details to their pictures, but when I ask them to add words, they sometimes hesitate or tell me they don’t know how to, even if they do have some letter-sound knowledge. Writing Warm-Ups To get… Read More
You don’t have to wait for the end of the year to make a memory book! Make a yearlong scrapbook that doubles as a writing portfolio for kindergarten and first grade! It’s so great to see how your students’ writing progresses throughout the year and doing this little by little avoids trying to cram it all in at the end (which results in rushed and poor quality writing!). Read this post for some tips to make it easy and save you time.
A great way to scaffold for your emergent writers in kindergarten and first grade is using wordless picture books. These include pictures and students add the text. The word bank helps with spelling and vocabulary. They also include editing pages and students can add details to revise. Read this post to find out how to use these to help your beginning writers become more confident.
One of my favorite things about teaching kindergarten and first grade is reading students’ writing. Sometimes it takes pretty good detective work to decipher it, but you can get so much insight from their invented spelling. Plus, it’s super cute! Obviously, when children are first learning to write, they won’t spell every word correctly. So, they need encouragement to try… Read More
“C-a-t. . . . MAP!” Ever have students who do that? Even when students know letter sounds, they may still have trouble reading because they don’t blend the sounds correctly. The likely cause is a lack of phonological or phonemic awareness. Phonological, Phonemic: What’s the Difference? First things first, phonological awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds… Read More
Last week, I sent a survey out about my Guided Reading Warm-ups and am so thankful for all of your responses! There was a LOT of positive feedback (thank you!), as well as suggestions, and a whole lot of questions. I wanted to answer as many questions as I can, as well as let you know the exciting updates I… Read More
Looking forward to the last day of school? Do I hear a “heck yeah!” Teachers and students alike can’t wait for summer break! Before you run out, though, here are some important things to do before leaving the classroom for the summer. The last thing we want at the end of the year is more work. I know, you’re exhausted…. Read More
Between organizing, packing, cleaning, summer vacation excitement, and class management, the end of the year can be a little overwhelming. But despite everything you have to do, you still want to enjoy your students and make it memorable! I’m sharing some fun ways to end the school year and make great memories with your students! Balloon Pop On the last… Read More
There’s not much I remember from my first-grade class and end-of-year memory books weren’t really a thing back then, but I SO wish I did have one to look through now that I’m older! Nowadays, there are all kinds of wonderful end-of-year memory books and most teachers I know have their students complete one each year. If there is ever… Read More
For years, kids have been taught to memorize high-frequency sight words because they don’t follow phonics rules. I’m guilty of having done this, but changed my practices and learned how to really make sight words stick, using phonics. Now that we know that kids need to learn words by orthographically mapping them out (learn the sound/letter relationships to store them… Read More
There are few lessons I love to introduce more than making inferences! Kids love to be detectives so when I come out from behind my desk in my trench coat and detective hat, holding my oversized magnifying lens, and hum the Mission Impossible song as I furtively sneak up to the board, it’s always a big hit! It’s ok that… Read More