Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thankful for Teachers ~ Some FREEBIES to make you smile

Need a few FREEBIES to add to your already busy week.  Maybe these will spark something exciting with your emergent readers.

A typical learning standard in November is learning about Past and Present and learning about The First Thanksgiving.  All teachers know the facts of our first Thanksgiving can be debated among historians, but we have specific standards to teach about the holiday.  In Virginia, kindergarteners need to know the terms long ago, past, and present.  They also need to know Thanksgiving is to remember of the sharing of the harvest with the American Indians.  Teaching the concept of long ago can be especially interesting when your kindergarten students think you are old if you are 15!  But, there is a way.

Past and Present Sort

Students can usually sort between what is past and what is present…using themselves as the model for present.  Using their clothing and things in their house, they can be successful at sorting past and present.  If you want to up the expectations, ask emergent readers to not only decide what is past and present, but also what is BOTH past AND present.  This is obviously upping the rigor. 
Instead of asking students to recognize or classify at the remember and understand Bloom’s level, adding the BOTH category asks students to explain and justify which is at the application and evaluation Bloom’s level.  AND the best part is they don’t know it’s hard.  They just know you think they can do it.

Writing with Thanksgiving 4 Squares

Using new 4 squares, students are asked to tell you what they know about Pilgrim Life and Wampanoag Life.  The earlier learners can write basic sentences using word wall words.  “I see the Pilgrims.  I see the Mayflower.  I see the new land.  I see the new friends.”  The more advanced students can change each sentence starter:  “I see the Pilgrims.  They are on the Mayflower.  They see a new land.  They made new friends.”  Students can also be taught to use voice:  “I am a Pilgrim.  I go on the Mayflower.  We made it to a new land.  We made new friends.”  Finally, requiring more details can add different levels of understanding:  “I see the Pilgrims.  They are leaving their home.  They are on the Mayflower for many days.  The new land was different from their home.  It was hard.  They made new friends and shared a harvest with them.” 
Take the 4 square to the next level…deliberately and strategically and at a differentiated pace.

Making Words by Stretching Sounds

Students can use the provided turkey and hats to make new words.  The 3 letter CVC word mats contain one word for each vowel.  The students that need support can be instructed to make sure a turkey is in the middle.  Students that are independent can create the words, write the words separately on the paper and write a sentence, a rhyming word, or a word with the same beginning sound.

I hope these FREEBIES make your day a little brighter.  I am thankful for all of you…and the job you do.

If you'd like the Thanksgiving FREEBIE, CLICK HERE.

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