Sunday, August 30, 2015

Writing at the Beginning of Kindergarten

So, it's the beginning of kindergarten and we're off to a GREAT start!  Writing is developmentally a tricky skill for young kiddos.  My goal is to build confidence in my young students and to be patient!  Kids come in at all different levels.  
Here's what worked for me the second week of school:

We were working on writing about ourselves.  Our district uses Write from the Beginning, so we use start out by using paper that has just one line on it.  The picture goes above the line and the words go below.  We model how to draw a good picture and I always tell them to include at least 5 details (they get really good at this as the year progresses).  We focus A LOT on the picture in the beginning, since that's where most of their confidence is going to build.  We also ONLY use a pencil during writing time.  We see more details when kids use just a pencil.

 I gave each student a sentence strip with their sentence on it.  I highlighted between each word for them to cut.  This allowed them to visually see that a sentence is made up of words.  We always count the words in our sentence before we start writing.  This skill is so important!  

I modeled how to show that you're inside by drawing lights.

They put these in their pencil pouches to use all week.  Most kids pulled them out and used them for writing.  Some kids didn't need to use them, but they were available.   

What are your tips/tricks for teaching writing at the beginning of kindergarten?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Beginning of the Year Centers!

I love the beginning of a new school year because it's all about exploring with our hands.  I just wanted to share a few of my favorites for the beginning of kindergarten!

1. Play dough Names 

Kids decorate their name tags and then I laminate and put in centers.  They can pick a friends name too if they finish their own.

2. Name Tracers

I put these in sleeve protectors. When the kids finish their work throughout the day they can work on writing their name for extra practice.


3. Salt Letters

I made uppercase, lowercase, number, and shape cards for kids to use during literacy and math centers.  They take turn pulling a card from the bag and making it in the salt. The rule is to make it three times before they can pick another card. Grab your salt cards {HERE}.

4. Shower Curtain Letter Matching

The kids love to match letters on the shower curtain.  I can't remember where I purchased the bean bags, but they're a big hit with 5 year olds!

5. Play dough Numbers

The tricky part about having play dough in a center is making sure they are actually using the play dough to complete the task.  Kids just love getting their hands into play dough! :) You can find these cards {HERE}.

6. Alphabet Matching with Banana Tiles

This alphabet matching game is easy to set up and kids enjoy playing it!  The banana tiles are from Target. This is part of my Back to school {Bundle}.

7. Number Practice

Number practice using a protective sleeve and expo marker.  Grab this {HERE}.

8. Count & Clip

I keep this center around for a while.  It's great for fine motor as well as counting. I actually spray painted enough close pins for each set of cards.  I have 4 kids at a table, so I made four different colored sets.  I liked doing it this way so there weren't any arguments about getting close pins. :)  Grab your free set {HERE}.

9. 1, 2, 3 FLIP

 This game is played like the popular game, "War".  Each player has a stack of cards 1-10 OR 1-20 depending on your class.  Both players flip over the top card & whoever has the larger number gets both cards.  I made each set to include numerals and ten frames, so kids can compare numbers along with ten frames.
Click {HERE} to check it out!

If you're looking for more activities, crowns, games, printables for the beginning of the year, check out my back to school pack.

Have a fantastic school year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


We are now in our second week of kindergarten and have started working on rhyming.  Every year, I notice that kids either get the concept right away or they just don't!  I'm always looking for new ways to help those struggling with rhyming.

Rhyming is important to teach at a young age because kids listen for sounds in words and begin to understand that some words have a pattern.  Rhyming is non-threatening.  Kids don't need to produce anything on paper and they don't need to know the letter names.  They just need to listen and try to hear the same sounds at the end of words.  It should be taught in a fun, engaging, and meaningful way.  Rhyming is an important skill that helps young kids begin to learn how to read.

This week I've read short rhyming poems and books to let the kids listen for words that sound the same at the end.  We've done songs and chats, and played some rhyming games.

I called some kids one up at a time and they had to whisper two rhyming words to me.  Then they shout them to the class & the class had to repeat the rhyming words.  I did this with 5 different kids and they loved it!  Probably because I told them to yell.  :) 

I like to start out with a song to get the kids excited and ready to learn!  Here's one that they love.

Here are some other activities that I've found helpful:
Kids take turns rolling the rhyming dice and color a picture that rhymes. Kids love to roll dice in centers! :)

Rhyming clip cards. They have to clip the pictures that rhyme with the picture in the circle.  I tried this in a center, but I need to use this in a small reading group.

Rhyming flip book
Match the rhyme by cutting and gluing.  My kids are doing a great job with this skill!

Kids have to color the words that rhyme and glue it on their rhyming crown.
I'm a tad bit obsessed with making crowns.  I just feel like it's a nice way for everyone to see what we're learning at school.  This is how I like to wrap up the day. :)

I like to use some puzzles at the beginning of the year too.  This one is form Lakeshore and the kids have enjoyed playing it.  I love Lakeshore puzzles!

You can check out my store {HERE} for these rhyming activities.  If you have some rhyming resources that you've found helpful, I'd love to hear about them!

Thanks for stopping by,