Summer vacation is the perfect time to rest, have fun, and plan for the new school year! Next year, I'll be incorporating the Daily 5 and Literacy Work Stations in my classroom. I am really looking forward to it because I know that my students will enjoy all of the fun activities I have planned.
I love the Daily 5 because it's 90 minutes spent reading, writing, responding to reading and writing, and working on words. I love literacy work stations because the stations remain all year so the children quickly become independent workers. I have spent a lot, and I mean A LOT of time thinking about the kinds of activities I want my students to work on during these blocks of time. I already have a lot of the activities planned and I just added a few more. I want activities that cover the common core standards and that can be completed independently by my kindergartners and first graders while I am meeting with small groups. The children need to stay engaged and on task the entire time, so the activities need to be exciting, challenging, and meaningful. I like to introduce all of the activities during my whole group lesson time and model how to complete them. Once I know my students can successfully complete them independently, I put the activities at their stations.
I'd like to introduce a new series that I have been working on for months. It's called Writing Right Through... Each unit covers 2 months and includes seasonal and thematic writing activities that correlate to the common core standards. Although the themes change through the months, the activities stay the same. This way, the children can master the skills and you can easily see their strengths and weaknesses. Here are some images of what is included...
These cards can be on display in your writing station to help your children write words, sentences, and stories. There are a lot of them, but I only hang the ones that correspond to my current unit of study. They also come with a label for your pocket chart. (You have a choice of 3 different colored labels.)
I made these for teachers who don't have a lot of space. These can be printed and kept at your writing station. They don't take up as much room as the pocket chart cards.
Children need plenty of practice drawing and writing sentences. Although this is a tough skill for incoming kindergartners, the more practice they get each week, the better they will become at writing proper sentences. Students can either write 3 sentences or 6 sentences, if you print the sheets back to back. Children use the word cards for reference.
Labeling is an invaluable skill. You can choose to just have your students label the pictures or you can copy the sentence writing sheet on the back, so they are encouraged to use some of the words they labeled in sentences. I made these in color and black and white. I use black and white when I give all my students a copy and I use the colored ones in the dry erase sleeves. I don't always find it necessary to make copies for all my students.
Children love making lists, don't they? These seasonal/thematic list writing templates will give the children weekly opportunities to draw and write words. Children will be successful because they are using the word cards as a reference. Once they become more proficient at writing, they don't always have to refer to them. But, for now, it helps to build their confidence.
These booklets provide more opportunities for the children to practice writing words and sentences. My students love to make books and read them to anyone who will listen. They can either write words or sentences. Depends on their skill level. These books can even be placed in the classroom library to be read over and over again.
Students need to learn how to express their opinions. It's a common core standard and it's a tough one! Children often know what they like, but they have a tough time telling us why they like it. These sheets are differentiated and contain sentence starters for our developing writers. Once students become comfortable with stating their opinion, they can use the sheets without the sentence starters.
Writing to inform is another common core standard. Once again, these writing activities are differentiated and contain lots of support for developing writers. All they have to do is add one word to complete the sentence. Once students become comfortable with writing to inform, they can use the sheets without the sentence starters.
These differentiated letter writing templates will give your students practice writing a letter to anyone at or about school and writing to Johnny Appleseed. They contain anywhere from 2 to 4 lines for writing.
Children love to make up stories and these narrative writing prompts will guide your students as they dictate or write about an event. Since students are practicing these skills each week, their writing is sure to strengthen as the year progresses.
Responding to literature is also a common core skill. After students are read to, or after they read a book on their own, with a partner, or at the listening station, they can fill out a book review. These book reviews can hang in your classroom library, or be put in a folder or 3-ring binder, for students to refer to as they choose books to read each day. How motivating is it to have YOUR book review be the reason someone chose that book to read?!
Each month, students can fill out a writing goals sheet. They can pick just one or more goals to work on during the month and then they can use the reflection sheet to help them determine if they met their goal(s) or not. Setting goals helps you and the children gauge their progress, and helps the children increase their confidence and level of performance. Reflecting on whether or not they reached their goals helps students become accountable for their learning.
Each month, you'll be able to assess your students on whichever skills you wish. There is an assessment sheet for every single skill and they are all labeled with the common core standard it is testing.
You can use these assessment sheets to help you individualize instruction, and to see how much support your students need. Keep them in their portfolios to use during conferences with your students and their parents.
These 10 I Can...posters can be displayed at your stations to help guide the children. Each poster contains an example of the activity the students will complete. You can hang them on the wall, put them in a 3-ring binder, or attach them to the file folder that holds the activity sheets.
Although you will not be grading all of these activities, if you want to, you easily can because I included two different grading scales. One can be used to grade a single skill, like writing a complete sentence, and the other can be used to grade multiple skills, like writing a lead sentence and using details in an expository essay.
Wow! This is a very long post and I bet you're glad it's finally done! I just wanted to be sure I fully explained how I plan on using these monthly activities in my classroom. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them here or email me. I'll be happy to talk to you!
You can find this pack in my teaching store by clicking on the image below.
You can find October and November by clicking on the image below.
Click here to see the themes included in the October/November pack.
And, December and January can be found by clicking on the image below.
Click here to see the themes included in the December/January pack.
Click the image below to purchase all 6 months at a discount!
Stay tuned for February and March, April and May, and June and July. June and July will also contain activities for several popular topics taught throughout the year.
Thank you so very much for all the thoughtful comments.
The winner is...
Check your email Kristen!