Friday, 3 May 2019

Non-Fiction Fun in Kinder

Hello out there in the teaching world!!!
Whether you have been back for one week or two, I hope that your week has been a wonderful one!

Well, I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back here to share some fun literacy lessons with you.
Since last I posted, so much has changed! This year I made the move to country New South Wales with my family and have taken up a position teaching Kindergarten, and I could not be happier!

Anyway, down to business!

This term I am teaching a unit on animals in English where we will be exploring an animal each week and writing informational texts about them. To introduce the unit, this week we have looked at fiction and non-fiction texts and their features. I amd super excited to share our activities from this week with you!

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

On Thursday we began by reading ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and ’Caterpillar to Butterfly’ then compared and contrasted fiction and non fiction texts. Some of this involved some pretty silly questions from me!

For instance:
Reading the story ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’...
“On Friday, he ate through 5 oranges but he was still hungry. A little egg lay in the light of the moon. That night he had a stomachache.”
Somehow, reading out of order didn’t make sense, and there were plenty of giggles at silly Mrs Gibson! This led a discussion comparing how we can read non-fiction out of order, one page at a time, but a fiction story has to be read from beginning to end.

By the end of the lesson we had a fairy comprehensive list of the differences between. Fiction and non-fiction.

Non-Fiction Text Features

On Friday we delved in a little deeper to Informational Text Features. In pairs, everyone looked through non-fiction books (lucky I have a good stock of them!) and identified different features of the texts that are different to fictional stories. Some were easy to find (like the glossary, photographs and page numbers) while others were a little trickier. We had a great time exploring all the texts and by the end we had found all of these non-fiction features!

Seriously, is there anything better than seeing your classroom scattered with 5 and 6 year olds reading together?

What is a Label?

While we were investigating the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts on Thursday, this question came up - "What is a Label?" Now, of course we have talked about labels before - many times in fact, but apparently this is something that just has not sunk in.

Soooo, what did we do? What else? We investigated labels!

Friday afternoon we looked at this chart (and I could not resist using a Creative Clips puppy for the modle - I mean, how stinking adorable is he??!!) and discussed exactly what a label it. Together we added 'Animal Feature' words to our word wall on green post-its and labelled our puppy using them as a guide. This was a shared pen activity where multiple students came up to the board to label different body parts.


After we had chatted a bit about how to label - including the use of arrows, all the kiddies split into groups to label their own pet. And of course on each table was a cute stuffed cat or dog from Target to help them identify key features and make it just that little bit more engaging!

By the end of the lesson, we definitely had a much better understanding of what a label is!

Well, we are now well and truly ready to start our learning next week on our first animal...OWLS!

Until next time my friends,

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Back to School! - And a couple of FREEBIES!

Hello out there! Wow, it feels like it has been AGES since my last post! So let's kick off the term with a look at what we have been up to in Prep C this week, and with a few FREEBIES!

Every morning in Prep, we start off with Circle Time, and I decided to kick the term off with a good dose of kindness!

We began the week by reading 'Have You Filled a Bucket Today?' by Carol McCloud. We created an anchor chart together using a FREEBIE from Scholastic and some bucket pictures I found online. You can download these by clicking the link below. We also talked about ways we were kind to people on the holidays and recorded them on a mind map on the board. We referred to this throughout the day.

Another day we read 'Pig the Pug' by Aaron Blabey and brainstormed all the ways we share in the classroom.

Finally on Friday we watched an online reading of the beautiful story 'Chrysanthemum' by Kevin Henkes and completed an adorable activity I found on Pinterest by 'Keepin' it Kool in Kinderland.' I showed the children a large red heart cut out of cardboard and explained that this was Chrysanthemum's heart - full and happy. Throughout the story we folded it over and over again each time the other mice hurt her feelings. At the end we unfolded it and talked about how even though she felt better and her heart was back in the right shape, we could still see the creases from where she was hurt. We stuck a poem in the centre and hung it up on the wall as a reminder to think before we speak. You can grab this FREEBIE and read more about Khrys' lesson by clicking the link below.

FREEBIE Link to Bucket Filler Anchor Chart - Scholastic 
FREEBIE Link to Heart Poem - Keepin' it Kool in Kinderland
Our sound of the week this week was the 'Long U' sound. As a class we built an anchor chart of the sound, completed a spelling sort and even made our own unicorns after reading a class favourite 'Thelma the Unicorn' by Aaron Blabey!

We made did puzzles, built words and completed a handwriting sheet in our rotations.

If you click on the image below you will find a document with some FREEBIES to teach this sound in your own classroom - including the template for the adorable unicorn craft! Just add some foil for the horn and hooves, and coloured paper strips for the mane and tail.

We reviewed our phonics skills with these super fun letter punch cards from Doodle Bugs Teaching, and Syllable Fluency and Fitness by Tickled Pink in Primary. $2 hole punches from Kmart and it was well worth the little mess they made!

For number sense in maths this term we are focusing on how to show numbers in different ways. On Wednesday we completed an 'All about the number... 8' activity on the whiteboard, then later in the week we worked on tally marks in particular. We worked together to play 'Puppy Pick and Match' and matched tally mark bones to puppies. This was such a favourite that I left them out for the kiddies to play with during free choice math groups. Afterwards, we played another Fluency and Fitness game from Tickled Pink in Primary for number sense using tally marks. We sat on the carpet and write each number we saw on whiteboards and at the end completed the fun fitness activities - and LOVED IT!

If you click on the image below I have also shared my 'Puppy Pick and Match' activity for you all!

Finally, we also kicked off our new Health unit this week. We will be learning all about being safe in different places and situations throughout the term. This week we started by reading 'Monkey Needs to Listen - A book about paying attention' by Sue Graves from the 'Behaviour Matters' collection.

(Can I just say - this collection of books is AMAZING!!! I purchased the set through Scholastic Book Club and I can tell you now, they were well worth the investment! This particular book I have read 4 or 5 times with this class alone and they still love to hear it. And a heads up, if you have the new TBS Book Club catalogue, you will find them in there. I highly recommend them. If you want to check out the other titles just search 'Behaviour Matters Books' in Google and you will find them.)

Anyway, back to our unit. Before our story we looked at our own classroom rules and discussed how we have rules for lots of reasons - getting along, working, playing and most importantly, for safety. After we read our story, we talked about how when Monkey made the choice not to listen, he put himself in danger and spoiled a very fun activity for all of his friends. We then completed a sort of safe and unsafe choices we can make in the classroom which I then turned into an anchor chart to display and refer to throughout the term. At the end of the lesson, the children drew a picture of themselves doing something safe in the classroom. This was a great way to start back at school after 2 weeks off to review our classroom rules, and recover WHY it is important that we follow them.

If you click on the image below, you will also find a document with this safe/unsafe choices sort for you to use in your own classroom.

Well it has been a long short first week back and I am now off to do some well-earned relaxing!

How was your week?

Monday, 1 August 2016

Jungle Number Sense Bingo FREEBIE!

Hello my lovely teacher friends! It is the very first day of August and I have a great FREEBIE for you all! 

You know those adorable jungle number posters that I love so much? Well...after a request from a lovely lady on Facebook, I have made a set of Bingo cards to match the posters! The download contains both a set for numbers to 10 and numbers 11 to 20.

You can download your own copy for FREE by clicking on the image below.

If you have not yet snagged your own set of the jungle number posters to 20, you can also access them here.

I hope your little ones love these as much as I do!

Friday, 22 July 2016

Retelling Stories - Goldilocks and the Three Bears FREEBIE!

Hello there my lovely teaching friends! Here in Queensland, school is well and truly in full swing as we end our second week of Term 3. This term in English we are learning about retells and I wanted to share with you our work for this week (along with a great FREEBIE of course!).

This week we started reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears - a great story to begin our retells with! After reading our story once or twice, we got started with our oral retells. I was lucky enough to have some adorable story spoons made up for me over the holidays, which arrived just in time to teach this text! These were made by Jenna Bee via her Facebook page 'Just Craftin' Around - Story Spoons'. They worked so well and my kids were in awe of them, and just so excited to use them!

For our oral retells, I selected four children to hold a spoon each and act out the story using some setting cards in a pocket chart, which I made, printed and laminated. They were so engaged in this part of the day that I just had to let them make their own, and you would not believe how excited they were!

On Wednesday, while we were acting out our retells, I scribed our story onto the whiteboard and we re read it as a class.

Next day we pulled out a sentence from our retell and worked in pairs to pull it apart. Each pair had the sentence written on a large cardboard strip, coloured dot stickers, and a highlighter. Their first job was to place a sticky dot under each word to make anchor point for tracking their reading. After this, we read, re read and read again the sentence, taking turns while I circulate the room, listening to a couple each time. While reading we stop and look at the word which make up the sentence. For example, in our sentence 'First she ate Baby Bear's porridge.' we spoke about time words telling us when an event happened, pronouns which can be used in place of a name, actions, and details. As we looked at each word or group of words we highlighted in on the sentence strip.

Once we had finished our highlighting, I zipped around the room and cut apart the strips into those words/word groups and shuffled the pieces. The kiddies practised mixing up the words then reassembling the sentence in the correct order.

On Tuesday I gave the kiddies their own set of pictures to colour and use for their own story puppets. I took these home and laminated them for durability, and brought them back for the kids to cut and add pop sticks to over the next few days. On Friday I printed and laminated some mini books for them colour in and use for their retells (again, you should have seen their faces when I showed them what they were doing! I got a few cuddles when they found out).

Once the booklets were done, I handed out the kiddies bags with their story puppets, they found their own spot in the room, and they started their retells! This time, I was more excited than they were to see them so happily engaging in literacy!

At the very end of our week, we had a go at starting to write our own retells. The kids worked in ability groups with a helper and each group worked at their own level. They used their retell aids to help remember the events in the story. Below are a couple pictures of 2 of my groups work. On the left is a picture of a cloze activity I did with my little ones who are still working on letters, and on the right is the next level up. This group brainstormed their sentence and then worked with their helper to write their sentences.

This week has been full of wonderful work by my little ones, who were happily engaging with literacy and I have been so happy to see it! I would love to share this with you to try with your own kiddies so if you click on the link below, you will find your very own copy of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears retell aids, both colour and black and white versions to use with your class!

I hope you get some use out of this little FREEBIE :)

Until next time my friends,

Another Cute Number FREEBIE!!!

Would you like some awesome news? I have updated this file of adorable Jungle Number Posters to include numbers to 20! Prep them the same way as before by matting them onto coloured paper and laminating. For these numbers I would suggest using A3 pouches to laminate the 2 parts of each teen number together (this worked well for my number 10).

These posters have been a staple in my room this year, and that of lots and lots of other teachers! I have been so happy to see them in use in other classrooms and just HAD to share the teen version with you all! They are perfect for number sense warm ups and for aids when teaching number in math lessons - plus they make a ridiculously cute display!! Just click on the image above to download your very own copy :)

I hope you love the new set as much as the old.

Until next time my friends :)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Buggy Literacy FREEBIES

Hi there!!

I am back for a very quick post with a couple of FREEBIES to share :) click on the photos below to download the items!

This week we are learning math with some buggy friends so I thought I would add some bugs into our literacy rotations too.

Sight Word Sentences

I printed off these sight word sentences and the kiddies are able to copy them onto their whiteboards. I have also included a set of cards to use in a whole class setting. I blue tac them to my whiteboard next to the sentences and as a class practise reading them.

Buggy Spelling

This is just a fun centre! I printed off enough copies of the word mat so that each chlid in the groups can have one, along with a set of the cards. The kids take turns to grab a word card, find the matching word on their mats and spell it.

I hope you like these little FREEBIES for your classroom!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Guided Reading Goodies!

Hello again lovely teacher friends!

If you are anything like me, you are probably always on the look out for fun and engaging phonics and letter recognition games for your little cherubs at this time of year. Right now I am putting together my own collection of games to use with my guided reading groups - made up of my own creations as well as some fabulous FREEBIES I have hunted down over time. 

I have put together this post full of my own FREEBIES, as well as links to some great FREEBIES out there on the web. I hope you enjoy these...

These items are all FREEBIES I have made myself, which you can download by clicking on the images.

And here are some links to some fabulous products I have found very useful over my teaching time. Click on any of the images below to go to the host site.

(Hint: any links leading to 'the Reading Mama' have the download link RIGHT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. Just keep scrolling and you will find it :)

I hope you find these bits and pieces as helpful as I have!