Thanks to almost two weeks in quarantine, we tried out our own "Chalk Your Walk" project earlier this week!  We had seen pictures shared on facebook with ideas and I was even invited to join a local group about this so I knew we had to try it!

Little did I know we would end up with the PERFECT first grade shapes lesson right at the start of Spring Break!  This activity is great for practicing shapes at home during this time of social distancing or in the summer! Here's how we joined the trend and learned quite a bit of math skills all in the name of "Chalk Your Walk" fun!

The designs I had seen online showed coloring in an entire sidewalk with a mosaic, stained glass design.  But before we conquered that, I wanted us to try something smaller on the driveway.  Cooper wanted to do a shark (of course!), so we got busy!

First, we taped off the outline of the shark.  The shared pictures online showed using painters tape.  But we didn't have any one inch painters tape, so we tried out washi tape because I have an ENDLESS supply of it that was given to us.  Washi tape worked just fine (but probably more expensive if you don't already have a ton on hand you need to use up).

Then, we divided his fins and tail with tape.  And then we filled in the large part by dividing the shark into two parts on the diagonal.  From there, we simply started adding taped lines to make shapes!  For preschoolers and kinders, this would be a great time to have them name the shapes you are taping off as you go.  You could even have them touch the "side" of the triangle or a "vertex" of the shape.

And that's when I realized we were hitting some first grade math standards with this!  I taped off a huge triangle in our shark.

Then, I had Cooper grab his washi tape and decompose my big triangle into smaller shapes.  We actually used that language.  I said, "Take your tape and decompose my triangle into smaller shapes...I can't wait to figure out how you decompose it!"  It may be hard to tell, but first he decomposed the bigger triangle into 2 right triangles.  He said, "Look, Mom!  I turned it into 2 smaller triangles."  So, I reinforced our math language and said, "Yes! You decomposed my bigger triangle into two right triangles!"  Within minutes he was using the words compose and decompose too!

Once we finished decomposing, we got to coloring!

We each used a different color and colored five shapes that same color before we switched colors, but obviously, you can color however you want to!

Once we finished coloring, it was time to remove the washi tape!

I just LOVE how our little shark turned out!



This is the perfect quarantine math shape lesson or summer time math lesson!  But you can easily do this in the classroom too!  Just use some washi tape and crayons and do the same thing!  Then, have your first graders write about how they decomposed their shape!  
   

Find the activity here with 6 shape options!


As we are all navigating how to homeschool our own children at home thanks to CoVid-19, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to practice essential K-1 literacy skills at home--with no technology needed!

Even after this pandemic is over, these are great activities and routines to keep in mind for the summer time or any time you are at home with your littles to reinforce what they are learning at school.  I've already blogged about my math suggestions, so let's talk about reading and writing today!

Handwriting

WHO? kinder and 1st graders or any kiddos with illegible handwriting :)

WHAT? A pencil and handwriting pages or paper

HOW?  Write a sentence in marker on handwriting paper and have your child trace it with pencil and then write it underneath.  If you want to make it even more fun, let them You can find ready made handwriting pages here.  If your child is in PreK or Kinder or really struggles with handwriting, you can get the phrases I say with kids as we write letters for free here.  This really helps their letter formation.

WHY?  Handwriting is great fine motor practice.  Also, research shows that practicing letter formation helps kids become better readers.  The act of handwriting while learning letters increases letter naming fluency, which is an indicator for reading success.

You can get more ideas for handwriting and letter formation practice here.

Sight Word Practice

WHO? Any kids who are reading or beginning to read words in a book

WHAT? sight word cards (make your own on index cards or use these premade ones), play doh, yarn, or other around the house items

HOW?  There are a ton of sight word games and practice options out there.  I've blogged about my favorite at home sight word games here including the fly swatting game, and this independent activity.

If you're looking for even more independent practice for your first or second graders, you can find tons of sight word printables here.

WHY?  While sight words should not be the only thing you use for reading practice--not even most of your reading time, it is important for kids to quickly read some words that we see a lot in books!  Having several high frequency words that kids don't have to sound out leads to reading fluency.

One Sentence Journaling

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? a notebook or download this free journaling paper here, pencil and crayons

(This is the cover we are using during the CoVid-19 Quarantine, but there are other generic cover options if you want to use this during the summer.)

HOW?  At the end of each day, write one sentence that tells about your day.  It can be a sentence about something you did, how you are feeling, or what you think about this whole quarantine situation!  Illustrate your sentence too.  Only ONE sentence.  That's the fun part (and makes it easier to get kids to do).  Just pick one important thing to remember and write and short and sweet, one sentence memory about it!

WHY?  I have been doing my own one sentence journaling for over a year now and absolutely love it!  It's a great way to look back and see what has happened over the last year and a half or so.  Quarantining to protect our community from CoVid-19 is an unusual time in our history.  Years from now, it will be special to look back and see what we were thinking about and doing during this time!

Letting kids write about what they want to write about (journaling) is great, authentic writing.  It gives them practice with sentence mechanics like capitals, spacing, punctuation and spelling.  And it's way more motivational to write about something you choose than something mom tells you to write about! :)

Pen Pals

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? pencil, paper, envelopes and stamps

HOW?  Find a friend or family member (or several) that will write to you!  Just like we did years ago, write a letter to a friend and write a letter back to someone who writes to you.  Tell them anything you'd like!  My sister-in-law had this idea and started a Facebook group for those interested to exchange addresses.

WHY?  Once again, letting kids write about what they want to write about is great, authentic writing.  It gives them practice with sentence mechanics like capitals, spacing, punctuation and spelling.  And it's super fun to write to friends and family members and get out and check the mailbox everyday while we are all practicing social distancing.
Mail, Newsletter, Home, Mailbox, Hiring

Digital Phonics

WHO? Kinders, 1st graders, and 2nd graders

WHAT? A week of digital phonics lessons.  Just click on the grade level below to get a free lesson.  Want a whole week for free?  Sign up for my email newsletter and choose the grade you need to get any entire week of phonics lessons for free.
 Kindergarten Digital Phonics Curriculum, Letter ID FREEBIE   Phonics Interactive Powerpoint: FREEBIE   2nd Grade Phonics Digital Curriculum FREEBIE

HOW?  These lessons require powerpoint and a computer.  They are intended for a teacher or parent to guide the kid(s) through them.  There are notes at the bottom of each slide that tell you exactly what to do.  It's as simple as click and learn.  No prep needed!

WHY?  Phonics or decoding skills are essential for young readers.  Primary teachers are highly trained for teaching these skills, but it can be scary for parents to understand the skills, much less teach them.  But if our schools are closed for any length of time, we must be able to continue phonics instruction for our children so they don't have decoding "gaps" in their reading when they return to school.

Decodable Readers

WHO? Kinders & 1st graders

WHAT? decodable readers... these are books where at least 90% of the words can be sounded out based on the phonics sounds your child knows.  You can use any books you may already have as long as they fit that criteria.  You can find a free set of decodables here to get you started!
       
HOW?  Just print the free decodables I linked above or grab your own decodables and have your child read to you.  Can't sit and listen to them read right now?  Have them record themselves reading and then they can play it later for you or an older sibling to listen to.  I have blogged about specific routines and ways to use decodables to help your kiddos.  Read the post here.

WHY?  AGAIN....decoding skills are essential for young readers.  Primary teachers are highly trained for teaching these skills, but it can be scary for parents to understand the skills, much less teach them.  But if our schools are closed for any length of time, we must be able to continue phonics instruction for our children so they don't have decoding "gaps" in their reading when they return to school.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS?  If your child gets to a tricky word that he/she can't decode, try saying... "Say the sounds" or "Blend the sounds" or "Get your mouth ready for the first sound and read all the way through the word."  If it is still super tricky, cover up all but the first sound and ask, "What does this sound say?" and then continue to reveal the next sound until they have decoded the whole word.

More Free Resources

Looking for more free printables and resources to help your K-2 kids with reading and writing with little to no prep?  Check out these FREE resources by clicking on each picture to download them.
Seusstastic Rhyme Time Matchup FREEBIE  Poetry Folder FREEBIE  Sight Word Morning Work FREEBIE
Reading Comprehension Passages and Questions FREEBIE  Homeschool Preschool Reading FREEBIE  Halloween Grammar Worksheets: FREEBIE
Language Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten  Phonics Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten  Writing Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten
Pocket Chart Center FREEBIE for Kindergarten
As we are all navigating how to homeschool our own children at home thanks to CoVid-19, I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to practice essential K-1 math skills at home that are so fun your kids will be begging to keep playing!

Even after this pandemic is over, these are great activities and routines to keep in mind for the summer time or any time you are at home with your littles to reinforce what they are learning at school.  I plan on sharing some of my favorite activities that are perfect for distance learning from home over the next few days (I blogged about reading and writing ideas here).  Let's start with math games today!

Many of these games are ones I used in my first grade classroom and are great for kindergarteners, 1st graders or struggling 2nd graders.  Most of them I've blogged about separately and will link the detailed post at the end of the quick description.  They can play with an adult or older sibling.  Some are independent activities.  They also can be easily extended for an on grade level 2nd grader.

Quarantined and not getting out of your house to buy materials? No problem!  All of these activities require nothing more than what you already have around your house!

War (Game of Compare)

WHO? Mostly kinder or first graders, partners

WHAT? A deck of cards

HOW?  Just play traditional war, but reinforce comparing words.  If you have a first grader, you can ask them to write the notation for the first 10 or so rounds. (Ex: 5 > 2)  You can take out the face value cards for younger kids if needed!

WHY?  Kinder and firsties need to understand quantities and how they compare to each other.  They need to be fluent with and understand words like greater than, equal to, less than, etc... This helps build their number sense and understand our number system that we use.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? Who has more?  How many more?  Who has fewer?  How many fewer? How do you know?


Read more details HERE.

Double War (Double Compare)

WHO? 1st graders or struggling 2nd graders (see how to adapt to use with 3-4th graders), partners

WHAT? A deck of cards

HOW?  It's the same as war, but you each draw 2 cards.  Add the 2 cards together and compare the sums.


Have older kids in 3rd or 4th grade?  Have them multiple the cards and compare the answers.

WHY?  It continues to build stronger number sense with comparing larger quantities.  It also practice fact fluency (or timed math facts if your district still uses that term).

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? Who has more?  How many more?  Who has fewer?  How many fewer?  How do you know?

SPECIAL NOTES? Try having your child lay down both cards and give you the sum.  Then, you lay down just one card.  Ask, "How many more do I need to have a greater sum than you?"  It's not necessary to do this every turn, but a good discussion to have a few times in the game.

Fact Family Card Game

WHO? 1st and 2nd graders, play alone or with partner

WHAT? A deck of cards using A-10 and Q (as a 0) cards only

HOW?  Deal a face down stack of 21 cards.  Turn over 4 cards at a time.  Look for a fact family.  Make a stack of a fact family when you find it.  If you don't find one, continue to draw one more card until you do.  Once you find a fact family, turn over more cards to have just 4 cards showing again.  The object is to have a few cards left over when you get "stuck" as possible.


WHY?  First graders need to know related facts to help them have more strategies for solving addition and subtraction problems.  It also builds fact fluency.

Read more details HERE.

Tens Go Fish Card Game

WHO? Kinders and 1st graders

WHAT? A deck of cards, A-10 and Q as a 0 cards only

HOW?  Play go fish, but a match is 2 cards that make 10 (9 and 1, 8 and 2, 7 and 3...)


WHY?  One of the kinder standards is to know the combinations of 10.  This is important because it helps kids add and subtract more quickly.  In first grade, this skill can help them regroup numbers to find a group of 10 or mentally add things like 8 + 7 by knowing that 8 + 2 is 10 plus 5 more is 15.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? I have ___, do you have a ___ to make 10?  I have ___. What do I need to make 10?  How do you know?

Read more details HERE.

Total of 10 Card Game

WHO? Kinder and 1st graders.  Can be extended for 2nd graders.  Play alone or with a friend.

WHAT? A deck of cards with A-10 and Q (as a 0) cards only

HOW?  Lay 20 cards down in a 4x5 array.  Find cards that make 10.  Remove the cards from the board.  Continue until you are stuck.  The goal is to have a few cards (or none) left as possible.  Combinations can be 2 cards or 3 or 4 cards...but let the kids figure that out.  It's fun to watch them figure that out!


WHY?  One of the kinder standards is to know the combinations of 10.  This is important because it helps kids add and subtract more quickly.  In first grade, this skill can help them regroup numbers to find a group of 10 or mentally add things like 8 + 7 by knowing that 8 + 2 is 10 plus 5 more is 15. It also helps them think more flexibly about 10 by finding 3 or 4 numbers that also combine to make 10.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How many more do I need to make 10? How do you know?

Read more details HERE.

Board Games

WHO? Any age!

WHAT? any of your favorites.  I've listed my favorite ones for elementary kids HERE.

HOW?  Follow the directions given in the game :)

WHY?  Board games build problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.  Both of these skills transfer over into math problem solving.  You can read all of my reasons for playing board games in detail HERE.


Snack Math Stories

WHO? Preschool - 2nd grade or any age kid struggling with understanding math word problems

WHAT? pieces of snacks (goldfish, crackers, cheerios...anything that can be counted out)

HOW?  While you are serving lunch or a snack, practice oral math word problems.  The options are endless, but I'm going to give you some story frames that we use at our house that cover the math word problem standards for K, 1 and 2. These are examples, and you can add more details to the stories as you see fit.

Fill in the blanks with numbers.  Use these standards as guidelines...
K - numbers to 10
1st - numbers to 20
2nd - numbers to 100

*I will give you ___ goldfish.  Now, I'll give you ___ more goldfish.  How many goldfish do you have now?

*I gave you ___ goldfish, but you ate ___.  How many do you have now?  How many would you have if I ate ___ more of them?

*I gave you ___ goldfish.  How many more goldfish do I need to give you so that you have ___ goldfish?

*I'm giving you ___ yellow goldfish, ____ green goldfish and ___ red goldfish.  How many goldfish do you have in all?

*I gave you ____ goldfish.  How many goldfish do you need to eat before you have ___ goldfish left?

*I gave you some goldfish.  Now, I'll give you ___ more.  You have ___ goldfish altogether now.  How many did I give you to begin with?

*I gave you some goldfish.  You ate ___ of them.  Now you have ___ left.  How many did I give you to begin with?

*You have ___ goldfish.  Your sister has ___.  Who has more/less? How many more/less?

*You have____ goldfish.  Your sister has ___ fewer/more than you.  How many does your sister have?

*You have ____ cups.  You put ___ goldfish in each cup.  How many goldfish do you have in all?

*I have ___ goldfish.  I want to give them to ___ people.  How many can we each have to get a fair share?

*I have ___ goldfish.  I want to put them into cups.  Only ___ will fit in each cup.  How many cups do I need?

This is just the beginning of problems you could do!  Get creative!  The more problems you practice, the better the pay off!  The fun part is when I sneak it in to snack time or lunch or anything food or toys related, they willingly play along without realizing they are practicing math!

WHY?  It is important for kids to be able to comprehend a math story problem...to know what information the problem is giving them and what they need to solve for.  The goal with this activity is comprehension and discussion...not writing anything down!  When kids understand what a problem is asking them to do, it is MUCH easier for them to do the actual math.  The more casual, oral experiences they can have with this, the more it will help them.  Just like the more books you read to your child, the better they become at reading and understanding stories.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How did you figure that out?  (This is super important for kids to be able to do!  ALWAYS ask them to explain it to you. You'll be floored by their thinking!)

Telling Time

WHO? Kids of all ages

WHAT? digital and analog (old-fashioned) clock

HOW?  Just ask them to read the time to you.  All the time.  On a variety of clocks.  Give them a time limit to play or do a task.  "You can play on your iPad until 4:30.  Watch the clock on the ipad and stop at 4:30."  It's really that simple.  Just practice all the time.

WHY?  Telling time is a life skill and one that just needs repetition to perfect.  Kinders need to tell time to the hour (1:00, 2:00...) 1st graders must tell time to the hour and half-hour (1:30, 2:30...). And 2nd graders need to tell the time within 5 minutes (1:05, 1:10, 1:15...).  But any kid starting in kinder should be able to read any digital time.  Those time standards are mostly for analog times.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? What time is it?  What time will it be in an hour?  It's ___. You can play for an hour.  What time do you need to stop?

Counting Collections

WHO? Kinders, 1st graders and 2nd graders, done alone or with a friend

WHAT? anything you have in bulk at your house (pasta shells, q-tips, legos, blocks, beans, marshmallows, buttons, stickers....the sky is the limit!)

HOW?  Just count.  Counting collections is all about counting how many.  Count a set of legos ahead of time, hand them to your kid to count and tell them to let you know when they know how many!  Count by 1's, count by 10's, count by 100's, whatever they want to do.  But the goal is to eventually (at least by first grade) be putting things into groups of 10 to count by 10.  To extend this, have them record how they counted on a blank piece of paper or these recording sheets.  Here are the counting guidelines based on grade level.  But your kid should definitely practice counting above his/her grade level.

K - count to 100
1st - count to 120
2nd - count to 1000


WHY?  Counting is foundational for number sense.  Show me a kid who can't add or subtract well, they probably can't count well.  Counting in kinder develops one to one correspondence (pointing as they count) which develops the idea that each item means one more in the counting sequence.  As counting develops, kids learn they can count in groups of ten and begin organizing their collections into groups of 10.  This builds base 10 understanding (place value) and skip counting.

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK? How many ____ do you have?  HOW DID YOU COUNT?  Can you count it a different way?  Can you count it a faster way?

Read more details HERE.


More Free Resources

Looking for more free printables and resources to help your K-2 kids with math that take little or no prep?  Check out these FREE resources by clicking on each picture to download them.
True False Equations FREEBIE!  St. Patrick's Day FREEBIE  Hundreds Chart Puzzle FREEBIE
Valentine's Day Math Worksheets: FREEBIE  Christmas Counting FREEBIE
The Science of Reading is HUGE right now in my state (Arkansas).  For too long, we've focused on reading strategies that teach kids to guess the word, skip it and come back, use context clues, and more that are just scientifically unproven to help kids grow as readers.

With the Science of Reading research, the focus is back to the basics.  Decoding.  That's not to say that comprehension isn't important.  But decoding leads to comprehension.  If I can't read it, I can't understand it... That's why phonics instruction is absolutely critically in the kindergarten classroom (along with whole group comprehension work)!

If you've followed my small corner of cyberspace for long, you know that I taught first grade for 10 years.  First grade was my first love!  But then a baby...and then twins...and now I'm home on a mommy break for at least a few more years until the twins start school.  But last year, before the twins joined our family, I taught kinder for 3 months as a long-term sub.  And I absolutely LOVED it!  One of the things I loved most was getting a chance to see how the phonics routines I grew to love in first grade could be adapted for kindergarten.  Let's talk about what weekly phonics routines look like in kindergarten!

I spend about 30 minutes on direct phonemic awareness and phonics instruction each day.  Of course, my kids get more work on phonics in guided reading with our decodable readers and during stations...but this is our whole group phonics block time!  Here's a look at what we do each day....but if you are more visual, watch the video to see my routines here.


Mondays

First, we practice phonemic awareness (7 minutes).  I have used different phonemic awareness programs and activities over the years.  But my favorite elements of a good phonemic awareness program is that it's focused, intense, but quick, that it has a good pacing and almost rhythm to it to move it along, and that they kids actively participate through total physical response.  You can read about some of the motions we do for segmenting and blending in this post.  And someday soon, I'll blog about all of the specific phonemic awareness activities I use and the motions we put with them.

The most important thing is the rhythm of the activity.  I do not waste any seconds.  I open with, "Let's do some listening.  Ready?"  If the first skill is beginning sounds, I immediately say, "I'll say a word, you say the beginning sound: cat." Then, the kids know to repeat the word by saying, "Cat. /c/ /c/ cat!"  Then, immediately, I give the next word, "Ball" "Ball. /b/ /b/ ball." and so on.  When we get to the next skill, I give short and sweet directions and then we go again. It's fast.  Kids move with it.  And it's FUN!

In my digital phonics powerpoints, I've recorded all of the phonemic awareness activities on each slide.  So you just need to click to play and do it with the kiddos!

Second, we read through our phonics chart (3 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, or blends chart, depending on our focus sound for the week.

Then, I introduce our new sound (3 minutes).  We click to watch the video to introduce our focus letter sound for the week.

Next, we practice letter naming fluency (2 minutes).  I simply click on our letter naming slide and the letters appear and the kids name them.  We review any letters that kids miss.

After that, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We have 3 words that decode each day of the week (except Fridays). You can watch me model slide, slide, slippety slide in this video.  We do this for each word.  We review any words we miss sounds on.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (7 minutes).  If you've seen my spelling video, you already know this routine.  It's available to view here, so I won't rehash in this post!  As soon as we finish decoding our word list, I tell my kids to get their dry erase boards ready. They go back to their desks for this and while we are transitioning, students write our words we just decoded as many times as they have time to write NEATLY.  I walk around and point to one word for each kid to read aloud to me. 

Once everyone has their boards ready, I introduce 2 new words  on Monday with our dry erase boards and our break it down chant.

Finally, we introduce new sight words (5 minutes).  I introduce each sight word and we do some physical response with it. (like jump and spell it, clap the letters, etc....we do the same motion with the word all week.  With each word, they stand up quickly, spell out the word, say the word, and sit down super quickly.  I also love using Body Spell from Go Noodle for this!  It's perfect: I just type in our new sight words for the week (I have a suggested list of sight words in my phonics powerpoint pack) and the kids get to practice reading and spelling our sight words and have a brain break too!  I love it!

Tuesdays

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays look very similar to Mondays with minor changes.  Here's a look at Tuesday!

First, we practice phonemic awareness (7 minutes).  We follow the same routines I explained on Monday.

Second, we read through our phonics chart (3 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, or blends chart, depending on our focus sound for the week.

Next, we practice letter naming fluency (2 minutes).  I simply click on our letter naming slide and the letters appear and the kids name them.  We review any letters that kids miss.

Then, I introduce our phonics poem (5 minutes).  I read it to them without showing them the poem.  Then, I reread the poem and students listen for our focus sound and I have them give me some TPR (total physical response) when they hear it.  For example, for /a/ we hold a pretend apple up to our mouth while we say the sound.  Next, I show them the poem and they look for our focus letter sound with their eyes.  We highlight the focus letters together.

Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Tuesday.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (5 minutes).  During our transition to dry erase boards, students write our words we just decoded as many times as they have time to write NEATLY.  I walk around and point to one word for each kid to read aloud to me.  Then, I introduce two new spelling words with the same routine as Monday.

Finally, we sort our sight words (5 minutes).  We use our interactive sort to sort our sight words words by the number of letters.

Wednesdays

First, we practice phonemic awareness (7 minutes).  We follow the same routines I explained on Monday.

Second, we read through our phonics chart (3 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, or blends chart, depending on our focus sound for the week.

Next, we practice letter naming fluency (2 minutes).  I simply click on our letter naming slide and the letters appear and the kids name them.  We review any letters that kids miss.

After that, we sort pictures (5 minutes).  We sort photos into letter sound categories.  For example, for the letter m sound, we sort pictures that begin or end with the /m/ sound.  I call on kids to sort each picture.  After the move the picture, the segment the focus sound for us.  For example, if a kid moves "ham," he moves the picture and then turns to the class and says, "Ham. Ha - MMMM."

Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Wednesday.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (5 minutes).  During our transition to dry erase boards, students write our words we just decoded as many times as they have time to write NEATLY.  I walk around and point to one word for each kid to read aloud to me.  Then, I introduce two new spelling words with the same routine as Monday.

Finally, we find sight words in our weekly poem (5 minutes).  The kids come back to the carpet and I draw names as we "pass the pen" to circle a sight word on the poem.  When the kid circles it, the kids chant the word and then spell it. (THE. T - H - E. THE)  If it's one of our focus sight words for the week, the kids stand up and do the motions we learned for the word on Monday.

Thursdays

First, we practice phonemic awareness (7 minutes).  We follow the same routines I explained on Monday.

Second, we read through our phonics chart (3 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, or blends chart, depending on our focus sound for the week.

Next, we practice letter naming fluency (2 minutes).  I simply click on our letter naming slide and the letters appear and the kids name them.  We review any letters that kids miss. 3

After that, we sort words (5 minutes).  We sort words into categories.  For example, for the M letter sound, we sort them into words that begin or end with M.  I draw kids' names and they come up and move a word into the sort.  Then, they read the word to the class emphasizing the focus sound.  For example, MMMMMe.



Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Thursday.

Then, we review our six spelling words from Monday-Wednesday on dry erase boards (10 minutes).  We do a practice spelling test whole group on their dry erase boards.  I walk around to check words and pick one friend who writes the neatest to show us their word or write it on our board.

Finally, we practice reading our sight words fluently.   I click each column of words and the kids read them and try to keep up with the pace that the words appear.  There are 3 columns of words and in each column shows the sight words a little faster.

Fridays

Everybody knows Fridays are crazy.  Teachers are ready for the weekend.  Kids are ready for the weekend.  And it's pretty much assembly day where I'm at too!  So, Friday Phonics is short and simple.  We get our phonics poem for the week, add it to their poetry folder, and highlight our focus sound and circle sight words like we did together on Tuesday.

If we have extra time, we practice our decodable reader for the week.  You can read about how I add in routines for whole group decodable readers to extend our phonics block into our reading block in this blog post.

And if you are interested in using my interactive phonics powerpoints, you can find the bundle and in my store!
I love making rainbows to display in March!  This March creation station activity makes a beautiful display around St. Patrick's Day, but is also easy enough for kindergartners to do on their own!

Rainbow Craft Materials & Set Up

At this creation station, I put the rainbow template and pot of gold copy, and I precut 1 inch strips of rainbow colored paper.  And I make sure glue sticks and crayons are at the station too!

Rainbow Craft Directions

First, kids take a strip and wad it up into a tight ball.  When you model this, show them how to wad it tightly using their pinching fingers.

Then, they un-wad the ball so that they have a wrinkly strip of paper.  They may need to use two strips to cover the space for some colors.

Then, they simply use a glue stick or glue bottle to glue to wrinkled strip down.  It will not all sit nicely on the paper and this is on purpose.  It gives the rainbow a fun, 3-dimensional look!


Finally, they color the pot of gold, cut it out, and glue it to the base of the rainbow!

You can find this creation station activity and more for March here!
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