I am in kindergarten! YAY! There is so much going on in a kindergarten classroom at the beginning of the year. There are students who are excited, scared, happy, sad, joyous, and devastated. There are routines to learn and curriculum to be taught. If we integrate all our lessons, it makes it all easier.
Our first week of school, we jump in head first and teach how to walk in a line, put their backpacks on the hook, find their chair, stand for the pledge, and sit for the moment of silence and that’s all before 8 am. As crazy as it is, this is the face of kindergarten. This week we are also going to make color posters, talk about class rules, learn how to walk to the carpet, be “rug ready” and participate when asked. We are taught to raise our hand and not shout, “I’m done” a million times. We dance, we sing, we run at recess, and we get our snack ready. AND we learn words.
Kindergarten Sight Words and Poem of the Week
The first week we introduce three sight words: I, a, and am. We introduce it during our Poem of the Week and put it on our word wall. We talk about how “I” and “a” are both letters and words. We introduce ourselves to each other, “Hello, I am Grant Collier.” We also find the words and letters in everything we do. Our poem of the week is about Kindergarten and how excited we are to be in school. We spend time locating a, am, and I. We practice how to spell “am” (a and I aren’t really spelling lessons…wink). Using our finger, we write in the air, on the desk, and on the carpet.
Kindergarten First Formative Assessment and School Rules
Our school rules lend themselves to this perfectly. The three rules for the school and each class are: 1. I am safe. 2. I am responsible. 3. I am respectful. There is a class anchor chart made with the rules and pictures. We “share the pen” with “I” and “am.” We practice penmanship strokes (a = around the ball and up and down) and I’ll repeat those directions 5 times a day, everyday, for the school year. I want my oral directions to be the sound in their head when their writing independently. The students also make a student sample, but I don’t have a picture to show you. Friday of the first week of school our students a given directions for our first formative assessment. This assessment includes matching colors to shapes, writing their name, and drawing a picture of themselves. They also have to construct the “I am” and write their name. It’s so much fun to see how much they grow.
Kindergarten Anchor Charts, Big and Little
We also make an anchor chart about good listeners. Monday, the teacher wrote the title, “What go listeners do?” The class has a discussion about good listeners. Tuesday and Wednesday, the students help add words to the chart. Thursday, students start their student-made chart by coloring the boy and adding the words. Friday, students will order the words “I am rug ready!” The following week, students will color and complete “I am…” sentences connecting reading with color words.
In the following weeks, they will also use configuration boxes and sound chart pictures to write “I am a…” sentences. This is fun. Kindergartners think it is funny to read the sentences after they make them. “I am a dog.” brings giggles all around.
Kindergarten Keeping it Connected
Repetition is the best way to make words concrete. Research tells us students need exposure to a new word 14 times, but a struggling student needs exposure to a new word 44 times! As the year progresses we will continue to circle back to words.
If you would like the “I am rug ready.” paper, CLICK HERE or click the picture below.
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