I WANT you to NEED this post!

Ok...so that's a silly lead, but my post today is about WANTS and NEEDS.  This can be a really fun unit for kinders.  They understand the concept of "want," so you really just need to help them think about what they need.  I like to teach this unit between Thanksgiving and Winter Break.

What do you want?

A great introduction to our unit is using the Black Friday ads to let them have fun with "wants." I put out the ads from Black Friday and they get a piece of paper to cut out 2 things they want for Christmas, their birthday, or as a special treat (depending on the beliefs in our classroom).

What do you need?

Once they know what they "want" we talk about what they need.  Of course, we have a song to sing about "needs."  The song is to the tune of "Three Bling Mice."  This song introduces the concept of need to the students.  Needs are what we MUST HAVE to to stay healthy and safe.
In addition to shelter, clothes, and food, students are also taught we need visits to the doctor, medicine when we are sick, glasses, and even plenty of sleep to stay healthy.  

Wants v. Needs

Using picture cards, we sort through wants and needs.  We can even sort the needs into shelter, clothes, food, and other things to keep us healthy and safe.  We can make tree maps for things we needs or things we want.  We can use the cards to do many activities like ABC order and syllable sort.  We can look at magazines  and cut things that we need.  

ICLICK HERE for the Wants and Needs FREEBIE or click on the image below.

If you are interested in the full pack, CLICK HERE for my TPT Wants and Needs Set or click the image below.

Snow Dog, Go Dog...Rhyming as we Grow Dog

Hello and welcome to our second annual Winter Wonderland link up!  Last year, The Reading Crew sponsored a winter literacy hop, but we decided to run it a little different this time. Instead of hopping with the potential of dead links, we decided on a closed link up. What this means is that there is a "map" of the blogs at the bottom of each post, so you can hop through them all at once, visit some today and some later in the week, or see what best matches your literacy needs. 

On each blog, you will see a word in blue font. This is the blog's mystery word. Please be sure to record them because you will need each word for a five point entry in our raffle. To help you keep track, you can print and use [this form]. We are raffling off two wonderful prizes. We are giving away a copy of each book featured in our posts to two winners (K-2 group) and the (3-up group). Each prize package will include 12 books (K-2) and 13 books (3-up). 

On each blog, we will be sharing a mentor text lesson using the book we've chosen. The lesson will be modeling a reading skill (comprehension or writing typically, but some at the primary level may target vocabulary, fluency, or word building).  The materials that are shared may be forever freebies or may be free for a limited time. Please take note of this as you visit the blogs. 

Again, we welcome you to our blogs and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season.

I love Tinka and his excitement about the snow.  He reminds me of kindergartners...except, we all remember how long 5-year-olds actually play in the snow. As soon as they are cold, or slip in the snow, or get hit with a snowball, they are done.  It took longer to dress my son for his first outing in the snow...than his actual outing lasted.  
Tinka loves the snow.  From the first flurries to the piles of snow, he is ready to go, go, go.  Along with his boy, he runs, slides down a hill on a sled and on his belly, and even plays with another dog in the snow.  Unfortunately, he doesn't pay attention to wear he's running...and soon he's lost his boy.  Will the boy find him?  (Of course, he will.)  Will they get warm and cozy at the end?  (Of course, they do.)  You'll be all warm and cozy at the end, too.  BUT, my favorite part of the book is the language.  The text is rhyming, but it's a fun rhyming.  

This book is perfect for rhyming fun.  Introducing real rhymes like, "A glide dog, a ride dog, a body-sledding-slide dog." The rhymes are initially single word rhymes like chilly and silly, while the final rhyme is a multiple linked word rhyme like "a wants-to-romp-with-Millie dog."  This can set the students on a rhyming frenzy.  

My freebie includes "paint chip" rhymes from the story.  I LOVE paint chips.  I even wrote a whole blog about paint chips, Obsessed with Paint Chips.  Using the paint chips, students need to find new rhymes for the rhyme string in the story.

To kick up the rigor of this activity, your students can try to make a hyphenated rhyming phrase for the ending rhyme.

"A fun dog, a run dog, a run-until-we're-done dog." 
There are 2 other activities in the FREEBIE.  Writing Papers can be a fun addition to the rhyming phrases or students can tell about their day in the snow.  A summer paper is also included.  Why not move Tinka to the sand?  What could be more fun.

"A sandy dog, a dandy dog, a keep-a-bucket-handy dog."

Using the graphic organizer can help your students sequence the story.  What did Tinka do in the snow?  It will help with a retell or a summary.  They could also use Tinka's organizer to decide what they like to do in the snow.  

If you would like the Snow Dog, Go Dog FREEBIE, CLICK HERE or click the image below.

Before you go, I will remind you that my mystery word is flurries. You can enter it onto your sheet or into the rafflecopter below. Good luck to you, and I hope you'll come back soon.

High Five Writing with 2nd Graders

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to do a training with 3 second grade classes in Roanoke, Virginia.  I usually work with K-1 classes, but had a great time with these students.  The teachers were worried about their sentence structure being too simple.  SOOO, we started with simple sentences...and made our sentences HIGH FIVE worthy.

What are High Five Sentences?

As you would suspect...high five sentences are so great, you want to give someone a high-five. During this one day lesson, we challenged students to High Five Sentences...supporting them all the way.  We broke the students into partners and we gave them a Who? and a Did What? puzzle. Acknowledging that we had the makings of a good sentence, these sentences were deemed "kindergarten sentences" by the second graders.  We needs to amp up the sentence before we could call them High Five second grade sentences. First, we added more details to the Who? part of the sentence.  We added a gold piece of puzzle and added adjectives.  These students decided the lion was BIG and MEAN.  Once we added the gold puzzle, we decided we only had a High 2 Sentence (whomp, whomp).


Next, we added a purple puzzle piece.  Where did your lion roar?  Where did the mom bake?  Where did the sister sing?  We encouraged phrases like "at the zoo" or "in the jungle." They were careful to match their Where? puzzle to their Who?  A dolphin needs to be in an ocean, in the sea, or in an aquarium.  We had the students close their eyes and visualize their Who? to make a great sentence. They were also asked to try their Where? piece at the beginning and at the end of the sentence. Where did it make the best sentence?  But alas,  these sentences were only High 3 Sentences.


Next, we added a blue paper and talked about When? words.  The discussion about time words included days of the weeks, months of the year, actual times (10:00), today, yesterday, tomorrow, at night, and in the morning. We also had a discussion about where the When? could be in the sentence. Again, they were asked to move this puzzle piece around and see where they wanted this piece to go. The students were starting to get excited about their sentences.  We were getting closer:  Who? Did What? Where? When?  Clearly, a High 4 Sentence.

Finally, the Why?

I think this can be the most fun puzzle piece.  It is the amazing way to figure out just what they are thinking.  We could also move this puzzle piece around...decide where it makes the best sentence.  A blue car crashed...because he was going too fast.  The dolphin jumped...because he needed to get some air.  The nice grandma baked...because her grandkids loved cookies.  We asked the students in the class to close their eyes and let their classmates sentences make a great picture in their head. They were respectful of each other and commented about the sentences.  We counted the Who? Did What? Where? When? and the Why?  We had five!  We had made a HIGH FIVE sentence.  So, we did what we needed to do...we gave our partners a High Five.
It was a great lesson.  

**This was one lesson in a series of lessons.  Students will obviously need several days with this. They can also dissect sentences by circling, underlining, and distinguishing each of the 5 parts of the High Five Sentence.  It is also obvious that ALL sentences in their writing cannot be a High Five Sentence.  One idea was choosing 1 sentence from a piece of writing to revise it into a High Five Sentence. 

If you'd like Freebie of the High Five puzzles click the link, or click the picture below.

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Week 10 Kindergarten Centers Update

What's going on?

Here are a few center updates...for Week 10 in kindergarten.

In Listening Center, students are working on the setting for the book about bats.  They are also practicing with stamping word wall words.  Several years ago I saw a genius tip on Pinterest for  using ice cube trays to organize stamps.  On the back, students can write word wall sentences.

Students are building CVC words.  Some students are building CVC with the vowels already provided, concentrating on beginning and ending sounds.  Other students are building CVC words including the vowels.  

Students need to create sets that are more, fewer or the same.  After practicing this activity as a whole group, the activity was put in the Math Center.  Students rolled the dice and wrote the number in the box.  Then, they have to draw sets that are more, fewer, or the same.  These boys did a great job.

The New Centers for the New 9 Weeks

We are adding Squiggles and 4 Square next week...can't wait to show you the pictures.  Stay tuned!

FREEBIE Fall CVC, Click Here...or Click on the picture below.

PALS Spelling Interventions: A Small Group Plan

If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.
In Virginia, we use the PALS (Phonological Awareness and Literacy Screening) test as our universal screener in K-2.  PALS 1-2 contains sub-tests for spelling, words in isolation, and reading.  The spelling section is similar to the DSA (Developmental Spelling Assessment) as the scores look at certain features in the words.  However, we prefer using the DSA for grouping purposes and student placement.  Unfortunately, that means the PALS Spelling section is often ignored.

Ignored No More!
If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.

Using my Snipping Tool, I made "pictures" of the spelling results for the student in each group.  Once I made a sheet for each group, I tallied their weaknesses.  Each feature can have a total of 20 points. Having this tally chart helped me plan small group interventions.

I wasn't concerned about the beginning and ending sound tally marks.  All three of the beginning sound errors were a "k" for "c" substitution in the word "cub."  The errors were understandable and easily discussed.  The same for the final consonants:  understandable substitutions.  

The tally marks showed digraphs 13/20 features were correct.  Blends were correct only 4/20.  CVC words was the most correct feature with 16/20.  Nasals were very weak with 2/20 being correct. However, CVCe was the most weak, as none of the students in this group scored any points on this feature.  Although all the students have been exposed to blends and digraphs, they most likely didn't get instruction in these features in kindergarten AND may not get to these features in first grade ...so exposure is important.  Nasals and CVCe are not introduced until the end of Letter Name or the beginning of Within Word, but are still required at the end of  first grade on the PALS test. Giving them small group instruction and exposure to future feature will increase their ability to recognize the patterns in spelling.

Digraphs (13/20)
If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.

Digraphs sh, ch, and th are used in the beginning and ending positions.  Using a quick review with digraph cards can expose your students to these sounds.  We also have hand movements for each of the digraphs.  Of course, the /sh/ is putting the finger in front of their lips while they whisper the sound.  The "t" and the "h" are naughty when they are together.  They stick their tongue out and put their thumbs up.  Finally, the /ch/ is all about "ch-ch-chopping the chair" while they are using their hand to make a chopping motion.  

Blends (4/20)

Typically, blends are easier...so obvious reasons:  they can hear both sounds independent of each other.  One easy way to distinguish these sounds is a sort.  Students need to HEAR the sound before they should be exposed to seeing the letters.  I do take time with the affricates "dr "and "tr."  These sounds are so tricky to early learners. You know they put a "jr" or a "chr." I make sure my students know they should not ever write a "jr" and the beginning of any word...it just doesn't happen.  One of the teaching assistants doing this intervention has her students identify the beginning and then say what it isn't. "Tree" is "t-r," never, ever "jr."  I also talk about "chr" is found at the beginning of Christmas or Christopher and doesn't sound like a the "ch" blend at all.

CVC Words (16/20)
If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.

Practice, Practice, Practice.  There are lots and lots of CVC activities for early learners.  We discuss Stoplight Writing:  green is the beginning, yellow is the vowel (they can trick us, we have to slow down and take our time), and red is the ending.  We do CVC words in centers, in writing, and in word building.  Students need to read, decode, and compare CVC words. 

If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.

Historically, nasals are a low scoring area for our school.  Students need explicit lessons with nasals, but also they need rote practice.  Here's a silly version of Head, Shoulder, Knees, and Toes that is about about the nasals.
Ang, ing, ong, and then there's ung. (Plug your nose.)
Ang, ing, ong and then there's ung. (Plug your nose.)
ank, ink, onk, and listen to the unk
Ang, ing, ong, and then there's ung. (Plug your nose.)

I know it's silly.

Finally, the CVCe
If you take the time to give a test, take the time to use the information or don't give it. PALS Interventions are an important step in providing students with needed competencies. The spelling portion should not be overlooked.

Teaching students to Flip the Vowel from short to long with the addition of the final e is a spelling feature they over-generalize.  After you introduce the silent e, they add silent e to everything!  One of the first lessons for CVCe, is matching the picture with the word.  

Small Group Lessons

Small group can be the perfect place to practice these spelling patterns.  Exposing students to quick word work and finding these features in their reading, can make the difference in the testing results...but most importantly, it was make the difference in your students reading and writing.

If you would like a sample of these Small Group Spelling Interventions, CLICK HERE! or click the picture below.