April 26, 2016

Independent Reading in Kindergarten


Getting kindergarten students to sit in one spot and read for an extended period of time can be a daunting task. I’ve been interested in moving to an “independent reading” model in my classroom instead of centers/Daily 5, but I’ve struggled to build the reading stamina to 45-60 minutes. But... in my final year of teaching, I think I’m finally getting somewhere. My students are directed to find a comfy spot in the room and read their book baggies which are filled with 8-10 texts that are on their independent and instructional level. They are expected to read the whole time and can move to the word work table to take a brain break while working on differentiated phonics skills. Once they’re done with word work, they go back to their books and continue reading.


 I created these interactive, adapted CVC books for my students who needed a little more engagement while reading. These students read the books in their baggies, complete word work activities when they need a brain break, and continue reading throughout the block with these laminated books. I’m excited that my students are reading, building foundational phonics skills, and building their stamina all at the same time!! The best part is they LOVE reading them and their confidence in reading has gone up so much. Below is another adapted book set that I created for my students to use during independent reading.




My students are expected to complete a graphic organizer at least 3 times throughout the week during independent reading. All of the graphic organizers have been directly taught so there’s no confusion as to how to complete it. Some students may take 2-3 days to complete 1 graphic organizer or reading response which is why I only make them complete at least 3 per week. 





Has anyone else tried independent reading in kindergarten? I would love to hear of more ideas!

Want to know how I made these books? Click here to see a video tutorial of a similar book!
I use these tools DAILY!


Kristin


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April 18, 2016

Warm Fuzzies, The Reward Book, & Intrinsic Motivation



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Adapted Books: Colors


Teaching kindergarten in a rural area of Florida for the past four years has taught me that not all kindergarteners start school knowing their colors. I can’t wait to use these books let my teacher friends borrow these books at the beginning of next school year (I keep forgetting I won’t be in the classroom next year!!)  


The real photographs are great conversation starters for students who need more vocabulary!

Each book takes about 6-8 minutes to make. I use this ProClick binding machine:





Even my most emergent readers stay engaged during independent reading while using this interactive, engaging book!



Grab all 10 of these books from my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking the picture below! :)





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March 15, 2016

Behavior Contracts

Do you have a student that is repeatedly calling out in class, no matter how many times you’ve addressed raising his hand and waiting to be called on? Or a student that is constantly disrupting/distracting other students?  

A great way to address unwanted behavior in a classroom setting is a behavior contract. 
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Behavior Strategy Books for ADHD



The first page introduces the book to the student. Drawing pictures of their emotions will help them connect to these emotions as they happen in real life. Discuss situations they feel these emotions in, letting them know it is appropriate to feel these at different times in our life.



This page allows the teacher to understand what the student feels is most/least distracting. This can sometimes help a teacher who is unsure of what to try next. The distractors can seem hidden to us as teachers, but so obvious to the student. The first way to make progress is to identify the problems. 



This page encourages the student to think about what rules they know of and the consequences for breaking the rules. Sometimes just talking about what is appropriate/not appropriate will improve behaviors. This page can easily be referenced in real situations… “Remember that rule you mentioned? What is the consequence?” …to prevent the behavior from occurring.



This checklist provides an opportunity for the student to help the teacher understand them better. Tell students to be honest with what they want you to know. All of this information is used to gain a better understanding of how to help this child. 



A to-do list, which comes in two sizes, can be used for anything you want the student to complete. The items on the list should accommodate the student, not hinder them. For example, some students can handle having a week’s worth of assignments/things to do, where some students need it broken down by day or even by hours. If parents are having trouble at home, have them use the to-do list for regular routines such as brushing teeth, completing homework, etc.



Goal setting is always a great way to start a discussion about change. The student has to be motivated to change their behavior and goal planning for future, weekly, and daily can help with that. Again, this planning sheet can be used in any way, but is designed for future, weekly, and daily goals to be aligned. Each goal should get more specific.


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March 13, 2016

Comprehension & Phonics Books


My students were literally begging me to give them more of these books! I am so excited to share them. This set includes CVCe words. CVC, digraphs, blends, and vowel teams are all coming soon!



This resource can be used in so many ways- homework, guided reading, independent reading...

Here is how I use this in my kindergarten classroom. 

On Monday, students review the sight word flash cards and phonics words. I usually split the differentiation into two groups, sometimes three or more depending on the time of year.


 They complete page 1 and 2 and read the passage one time, coloring in the first star.



On Tuesday, students re-read flash cards and phonics cards. Read the passage for the second time and color in another star. They then complete page 4 by listing all of the phonics “focus” words. Students highlight the phonics words in the passage.

On Wednesday, students re-read all flashcards again, re-read the passage for a third time, and complete page 5 by listing the “focus” sight words. Students highlight the sight words in the passage.



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