Hello my friends! Here in Ontario, we have one week left of classes. At the end of the school year, I like to take some time to discuss Canada Day with my students. For the age group I teach, their perceptions of Canada Days past can be quite entertaining:
Canada Day is clearly a memorable experience for even our youngest students, whether it be of fireworks, time with family or friends during the day. Whether we are retelling a story that we have read together, creating our own adventure, or discussing a personal experience, there is a logical sequence of events and words that match: first, then, finally (or whichever vocabulary you have decided to use!) (For a post about using the 3 part graphic organizer with young students, and a freebie, click here!)
Here is a fun Canada Day story that started orally with a reading buddy who helped sort out the three basic story parts before the pictures were drawn (and was duly thanked!)
My students enjoy ‘fun worksheets’ every so often. The literacy skills practice pages that are included so far are pictured below:
Bonus Terry Fox and hockey colouring fact sheets for those early finishers!
P.S. Here’s a little ‘Aha’ moment from a pre-Canada Day conversation in my classroom about 19 years ago…no figurative language in kindergarten!
Have you noticed that in the last few weeks of the school year, it gets more challenging to motivate kids to write? Many seem to only have the energy and patience for tasks that have real purpose. And let’s face it, kids are far more motivated to do what we do or what they see others excited about.
The Writing For Real Purposes: Fun Summer Lists storybook provides a model of students discussing how various types of lists are useful to them, and the lists they have made. (If you purchased this pack last year, simply download the update that now includes the storybook!)
Summer is an ideal time for making plans and getting kids involved in making lists. Being mindful of meeting them where they are, it is important to communicate flexibility in terms of the expectations for how the lists are filled in. Because some children may be writing while others are copying or drawing, each printable has a lined and unlined version (except for the Friends contact lists which have ‘mostly girls’ / ‘mostly boys versions’).
Think of the possibilities of summer vacation….
One of the storybook pages
Lists for Summer Socials…
Lists of wishes, favorites and nostalgia…
Whether they draw or paste pictures, dictate to us while we scribe, print in hieroglyphics or phonetically spelled words, when students make real world connections to their own writing, it becomes its own reward!
Write for Real Purposes: Products and Freebies!
Best wishes to all of you as we enter the last month of the school year!
That Fun Reading Teacher
Hello my friends!
Is it just me, or did Mother’s Day sneak up on us as quickly as Easter this year?
In times like these, I’m grateful for the stash. (We all have a collection of never-fail, warm-fuzzy lessons and go to printables, don’t we?)
The time-saving factors in this Mother’s Day Card is twofold: 1) Print or photocopy and your students instantly have something to color, and 2) the inserts that allow each child to print (or paste if unable to print) at the level they are comfortable with. By pre-printing the various options, your students have different choices for how they can complete their Mother’s Day message, and most will be able to do something independently.
Disclaimer: Student names do need to be added to individual cards!
Some students might be capable of printing a message on their own. Others may copy from a strip or trace. Those who are not printing yet can simply glue their message in.
Perhaps you’re working on 1:1 correspondence and would like to take this opportunity to practice. Cut the words apart and have your students reassemble the sentence in order, with or without a model.
Lesson from a recovering over-achiever:
Over the years I realized that I had to adjust my expectations to my circumstances. Some years we may have a smaller number of students in our class, students that work more independently or more support for our students with special needs. Particularly at this time of the year, and even more with Father’s Day, schedules go awry and every week feels more frantic than the week before.
This activity worked best, especially in more challenging years, when I let the students choose how they wanted to do the inside of the card. It came down to a decision:
Was the goal of the activity to teach and assess a particular goal or skill for any or all of my students, or for my students to simply enjoy creating something special for mom?
On another note…
Did you see what I added to the title? I am a mom and a teacher and a MAJOR appreciator of teachers myself. Thank you to all of you for getting in there with your students everyday. TpT has announced that it’s time to appreciate teachers with a big, site-wide sale! Please see the button below for details!
Enjoy the sale, and Happy Spring!
It was almost Easter, and I found myself fighting off the urge to nod off while my students were reading some of the most entertaining leveled books schools can buy. My primary readers were in a slump. I heard it their robotic, monotone reading. Things needed shaking up with phrasing and pacing with a number of my early readers. I ran the risk of my head falling to my chest and a potential neck injury.
It was time for another Phrasing and Fluency Blitz!
When I taught Reading Recovery, there were times that a student would plateau at a a level for more than a week. We would be advised to take two or three lessons for a phrasing and fluency blitz – rereading some familiar, easier books to rebuild confidence, model and practice phrasing and pick up the pace! Many of our students’ favorites were readers that rhymed, had a lively rhythm and made us both laugh!
I used the freebie The Bunny Hop Easter Song and Movement Activity in Kindergarten poetry books as a music and movement activity. It works particularly well if modeled and echoed first before showing earliest readers the text:
It’s all about the Eggs is an Easter Fun Fluency Reader modeled after I’m All About the Bass (performed by Meghan Trainor, co-written by Meghan Trainor and Kevin Kadish). I’m All About the Bass had been on the radio so much last year that my students knew the tune instantly. I modeled the first read to them, and we practiced a few phrases in isolation before we all enjoyed singing it fluently from beginning to end (over, and over and over again.)
There is a twist on a familiar Fairy Tale in this book that the kids find hilarious (but humor and laughter are topics for other days…).
Limitation of liability: It’s all about the Eggs is not recommended for those who are prone to getting songs stuck in their head or with one last nerve.
That Fun Reading Teacher