Monday, July 30, 2018

A-Z Bible Verses

Wowzers - this product just got a HUGE overhaul! I updated the fonts on the posters, but I also added a few other resources for you.

I added a few FAQ's to hopefully help answer any questions that you might have.  I have used this resource for several years in my Kindergarten classroom, and I am always pleased with how the students learn God's Word.

There is now a list of all of the verses so that you can send that home with your students or put it in their take-home binders.  This is great for the parents so that they see all that their child will be learning as well as possibly help them a little bit at home.

I've also added three different types of assessment forms for you to use.  We are required to assess at our school, so the forms are nice to send home with parents to show them how their child is doing with their Bible verse memorization.  When I use any of these forms (and I suggest sticking with one for the full year), I circle any words that the child missed.
Typical grading scale form

Mastery Form with Grading Scale

Mastery Form only
Click on the top pictures or any of the picture captions to access this resource!  Thank you for teaching your children or students to hide God's Word in their heart!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Teaching Handwriting - Part 1

I know that this seems to be a thing of the past, but I still feel that it is important.  That does not mean that it has to take a large chunk of time.  Because I teach half-day Kindergarten {Vonda}, time management is CRUCIAL.  So I can't possibly denote 20-30minutes that some traditional programs require.  I've found a few quick and easy ways to teach handwriting quickly and efficiently.  I hope one of these will be great for you!

Catchy Tunes and Phrases
Students love catchy tunes and phrases.  I am always surprised and pleased when parents tell me their child corrected their penmanship at home using one of our tunes or phrases!  Here are some of mine - I'm pretty sure I made most of them up on the fly!

  • "Never ever ever start at the bottom {move hands back and forth to show "never"}, always at the top {point up to the sky}.
  • There are lots of songs out there for letter formation.  I don't have a specific source, because it is something I learned from my Advisory Teacher when I was a Student Teacher way back when!  But anything put to song sticks with the students so much better!  Add making the letter in the air and voila...magic!

Jen Jones, from Hello Literacy, posted a great anchor chart for teaching the proper formation of letters.  My boys loved this one.  It was easier for my students to identify with this than the traditional "upstairs, downstairs, basement."  Kindergarten is sometimes students first experience with using writing lines and lowercase letters, so some added visuals and verbal cues is just what they need.

Special Incentives
Notice that I didn't say "Prizes!" There is no reason to give rewards for every little thing that students do.  Of course, they love to hear you praise them and compliment them.  But here are a few more easy things you can do to encourage them in their handwriting.  These things have worked great for me!

  • Smelly Markers - My students love any opportunity to use smelly markers.  I have a large bucket of them that they can only use during Handwriting time.  Students can use the marker to circle their best letter on the page, use if for the last line if they have tried their best on all the other lines, circle the best one on a friend's paper, etc...
  • Smelly Stickers - I only use smelly stickers for handwriting assessments.  I do these bi-weekly, and the students only have to do their personal best to earn one.  It never ceases to amaze me how well some students do on these assessments compared to their daily work - all for one little smelly sticker.  If you are ever interested in doing handwriting assessments, click the pictures below for a free download of some rubrics I have created.

Consistency is KEY
Use the chants, phrases, songs, and reminders throughout the day, any time the students have a writing utensil in their hands!  Handwriting time cannot be isolated to only 10 minutes or so per day, or a lot of bad habits will form.  Of course, don't nag the students.  Find lots of ways to remind and encourage them.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Daily 5 Station Rotation Management

I've spent some time this summer re-thinking how I manage my students as they rotate through their Daily 5 stations.  I've used a variety of methods, and I'm hoping this is THE ONE to keep things simple this year.   My Kindergarten students do one station a day for four days a week.  The stations that I use are Listen to Reading, Read to Self, Word Work, and Work on Writing.  Read with a Partner doesn't always happen in my class because of our time constraint {I teach half-day Kindergarten}.  But I have high hopes to eventually be able to do it!  I do not have Work with the Teacher as a listed station because I pull different students each day, depending on what I am working on in our small group time.

My groups for stations always stay the same.  I teach them that this is their FAMILY...and you don't choose or leave your family.  :)  Because I want to have students at all levels in each of the groups, I don't typically start these official groups until the second or third week of school.  We do stations, but I "hand-pick" them for their activities in the beginning so that I can learn their personalities and abilities.  So far, after 3 years of doing it this way, it has worked great!

These charts will go around the room where the station activities are located.  The names are printed on card stock, laminated, and a velcro dot put on the back.  Each day, I will move the names to the next station around the room.  The velcro dots will make it easy to change them.  You could also laminate the signs and write on them each day.   My students stay at their station/activity for the full 20 minute time.  If it is something that they finish early, they have several choice "Can Do" stations available for them.  The 20 minutes usually gives me time for 2 small groups to come and meet with me.  It's worked great so far!

How do you run Daily 5 in your classroom?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

To access this resource, click on any of the photos above, or click HERE.