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Saturday, August 9, 2014

First Week...PHEW!

So I made it!  First whole week in Kinder & we had nothing super horrible happen.  2 days I had a crier, but she recovered in the first 5 mins. - I'm chalking that up to initial separation anxiety (and it didn't happen on Th. or Fri. so we've improved).  1 student almost led my class through the wrong doors at dismissal - thankfully our SpEd. teacher caught it & redirected the class!  Finally, 1 student joined a 1st grade line at arrival, on her first day - she was found quickly though.

Not too bad - heck worse starts have happened!

I'm here to share some of the fun interactive alphabet journals we've started in my Kinder class.  My school/team follows the Saxon Phonics curriculum for introducing the letters.  It is a "letter of the week" program, but that doesn't define my whole literacy block.  I like that we highlight a letter each week, it helps me make sure that I introduce the formation, sound, and initial sound key word explicitly!  However, I need to have my Kinders exposed to far more letters/sounds by the end of the year & at 26 weeks only to have introduced the alphabet is UNACCEPTABLE (to me).

So, I use lots of alphabet tools, games, songs, & activities to reinforce the letters taught & introduce letters more quickly - my goal is to have all letters recognized by October/early November & all letter sounds by Christmas.

Then, when we return from Christmas Break, we can focus on long vs. short patters, "sneaky" e, consonant digraphs (ch, sh, etc.), & common vowel digraphs (oo, ee, etc.).  Because, it's my goal every year to have my Kinders reading, ideally in Fountas & Pinnell level D!

This year in the B2S sale on TpT I purchased a 2 interactive alphabet notebook packs (1 from Cara & another from Rowdy in Room 300).  I am excited to teach these on the 5th day - Saxon is a 4 day lesson roll out.  So, I will use the 5th day to make this notebook our 5th day phonics lesson/activity, to help reinforce our letter/sound memorization.  If the students get behind, the notebook can be completed as a table tub the following week - that way by the end of the year the journal will be filled with 26 poems & letter activities that show our weekly letter focus/sound focus.

I also plan to do some of the activities as small group lessons or seat work after small group lessons - as I see students who are struggling with forming the letters or recognizing the letters previously taught.  I was strategic in my purchases too...I wanted the standard/objective of the activity clearly printed on the activities - because I wanted the purpose to be clear & intentional, so it is more than a cut and paste, "fun" art project/craftivity - I want what I do to be reflective of the objective I am attempting to teach & have the student demonstrate mastery of (can you tell we're thick into the Marzano evaluation tool?!?!).

So far I'm loving this addition to my instruction, because I have been guilty of sending home mostly/partially used notebooks.  I HATE THAT, I mean we requested the supplies so, I need to be diligent about using them on a consistent basis.  This is my goal this year - to make table tubs recurring activities, to add structure/routine to our seat work & center rotations, AND add notebooks with standards visible, as a formative assessment - so students demonstrate, throughout the year, their understanding of the Kindergarten CCSS (which parents can see, an obvious PERK)!

Now for some pics:

So far we've started off strong & I may have recruited a few teammates to join me this year (accountability),

Miss Kristan King

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