Kindergarten Writing + FREE Writing Checklist

 

 

Teaching writing in kindergarten starts on day one and is a major focus every day.  Writing involves a variety of different skills: letter identification, sounds, letter formation, fine motor and handwriting, sentence structure, and more.  And because it is so complex, it is important to be consistent with how you teach it, the time devoted to it, the structure of your writing workshop, and how you edit/review students' writing.


A couple years ago, I began using a simple writing checklist that my students are able to successfully use themselves.  There are five points to our writing: beginning with a capital (we normally use the term uppercase), using finger spaces (we start in the beginning of the year with two finger spaces, and some move to one once they become strong writers), sounding out words, ending with punctuation, and having a detailed picture.  When we review our writing, we use our fingers to count and see if we have all five points. 


This writing checklist is a part of all of my Kindergarten Writing resources including my Personal Word Wall that I use in the classroom digitally (and my students have a hard copy they keep at home).  I LOVE how my journals, my Personal Word Wall, and my Writing Checklist flow seamlessly together and allow for my students to write (mostly) independently. 


And you can get my Pencil Writing Checklist for FREE below!  It's a large-format poster in the shape of a pencil for easy access in the primary classroom.  It also has picture supports for students learning to read.  It also includes small bookmarks for students to keep in their writing folders or at home.



My kindergarten writing bundle has everything you need for successful writing instruction throughout the year.  It includes my Personal Word Wall, a creative writing journal for narrative writing, an opinion writing journal, an animal journal for expository writing, and a feelings journal for narrative writing.  And it's majorly discounted for the bundle of five resources!


CLICK HERE to access the Pencil Writing Checklist for FREE!

 

Happy writing!

Name Craft FREE Download!

 

 

Last year, I began doing monthly name crafts and we all LOVED them.  They were successful both during distance learning and in the classroom and helped to create amazing bulletin boards that my students adored.


All of my name crafts focus on the same skills: name recognition and spelling, handwriting, letter recognition, and fine motor (cutting).  I simply print and my students take it from there.  I typically print on colored cardstock, so my students can focus on letter formation and spelling their names.  I also love printing on colored cardstock because it really helps to make our bulletin boards pop.

 

I also included a Google Slides™ option for all of the name crafts so you can type and print!  This is a great option for younger students who might only be tracing their letters and names.


I have a year-long Name Craft Bundle that is always 30% off!  It includes eight different name crafts for the year: ice cream cone, apple tree, pumpkins, acorns, snow globe, candy box, pot of gold, and butterfly.


And I just added this adorable Ladybug Name Craft as a bonus to the bundle, but you can access it below for free!  I love how the ladybug sits on the leaf with students' names.


CLICK HERE to access the Ladybug Name Craft for FREE!

 


 

Happy crafting!  :)

Father's Day Picture Books + FREE Craft!

 

 

Father's Day is such an important holiday that unfortunately does not always get celebrated in the classroom (my school year ends at the end of May).  Every year, I try to be organized enough to get crafts done and read some wonderful books featuring dad and grandpa relationships, but it doesn't always happen.

 

I'm trying to get better about organizing my books by theme, so are ten of my favorite books all about special dads and grandpas:


Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Grandad's Camper by Harry Woodgate

Drawn Together by Minh LĂȘ

How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler

Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Grandpa Grumps by Katrina Moore

Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer

My Dad Used to Be So Cool by Keith Negley

Papasaurus by Stephan Lomp


And a F R E E craft for you and your littles!  Inspired by the book, Papasaurus by Stephan Lomp, this craft includes a build-a-brontosaurus and a build-a-tyrannosaurus rex with hearts with different phrases like: You're the best papasaurus in the world!  Phrases included for dads, grandpas, uncles, and loved ones.


CLICK HERE to access the Dinosaur Father's Day Craft for FREE!

 


 

Kindergarten Summer Activites + FREE Summer Journal!

 


 

After a full year of hard work and getting my students ready for first grade, it can be difficult to say goodbye for the summer without worrying about the dreaded "summer slide".  Typically, the summer slide refers to the loss of reading and math skills in young students.


So every year, I send my students off with my Kindergarten Summer Handbook and my Summer Writing Journal.  I love my Kindergarten Summer Handbook because it's for both my students and their parents; it explains every skill and provides parents with essential information and tips for practicing each math and literacy skill included.  

 

My Summer Writing Journal is also a fave because it includes all three types of writing: narrative, expository (how-to), and opinion writing.  It includes 40 summer-themed writing prompts to help keep students writing throughout the summer and an easy-to-use writing checklist for independent editing.


But the most important things students should be doing over the summer is reading every day.  This should be a mix of reading what they want plus reading at their level.  They should have access to a diverse library filled with many different types of texts.  Local libraries are a great source for summer reading books and incentives.  I also recommend for students to have a designated "reading area" at home: a quiet, peaceful space where students can read with little distractions.  My students also love reading incentives, so I send them home with a special 100-book reading log (it's a free download in my TpT store).

 


 

And as a special summer freebie, CLICK HERE for access to my Summer Writing Journal for FREE!

Mother's Day Crafts + FREE Download!

 

 

Kindergarten students always love making crafts for their loved ones.  There's something so special about working hard on a special gift to take home.  And because not all of our kindergarten friends have moms or grandmas, both of these crafts can be used for ALL loved ones!


My "You're a gem" Mother's Day Craft is so universal it can be used for a large variety of purposes: Mother's Day, Father's Day, Grandparent's Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, birthdays, or a fun just-because craft!  It's also really easy to cut out and can be done in one sitting.  I even had someone mention they want to use it for Pirate's Week in their classroom--so fun!


CLICK HERE for my Gem Mother's Day Craft!


And if you already downloaded my Koala Valentine Craft, re-download or revisit the resource in your Google Drive because it got an update!  It now has hearts to say "You are a koala-ty mom!", "You are a koala-ty, dad!" and "You are a koala-ty loved one!"  


CLICK HERE to access my Build-a-Koala Loved One Craft for FREE!

 

Happy crafting!

Literacy Centers in the Classroom + FREE Download!

 

 

Now that half of my kindergarten students are back in the classroom, I have rediscovered my love for hands-on literacy centers.  Even though I LOVE Boom Cards™ and Google Slides™, there just isn't anything like the experience of a literacy center in kindergarten.

 

We have about 15-20 minutes every morning for drop-off.  This is a huge chunk of time that I needed my students to work independently.  So as my students come in, they choose a literacy center and get started.  I love this routine because it also allows me to target specific skills for students.


My literacy centers range from letter matching (for letter recognition and fluency) to CVC segmenting.  I'll also be adding more this summer and next year to the growing bundle.


And I wanted to give all of you a FREE download!  Now that we have a solid foundation of letter sounds and blending and segmenting CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, I wanted to teach my students a trickier literacy skill: digraphs.  Consonant digraphs are two letters that together make one sound.  I often teach my students digraphs during writer's workshop and guided reading, as the need comes up.  But this year we are more than ready to all tackle these sounds.  And if you're in need of a digital center, click here for my Beginning Digraph Boom Cards™!


CLICK HERE for a beginning digraph literacy center download for FREE!

 

And click the image below to find out more about my Kindergarten Literacy Centers Bundle:

 

 

Happy {literacy} centering!


Unicorn Day Activities + FREE Download

 

 

April 9th is National Unicorn Day.  Who knew?!  But random days like this are just so fun in kindergarten, so I'm here for it.

 

Just like most activities and special days, I love to begin with picture books.  There are so many fun unicorn books to read to celebrate the occasion.  My absolute favorite is Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima, which is a book about being yourself, no matter how you look on the outside.  I love this one so much that it was one of my first interactive read alouds that I posted to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  A couple more good ones are Unicorn Day: A Magical Kindness Book for Children by Diana Murray (another about acceptance and being yourself) and How to Catch a Unicorn by Adam Wallace (perfect for any expository/how-to writing units).


And to make National Unicorn Day even more special, we'll be writing about what makes us unique, how-to catch unicorns, and making unicorn crowns to wear (crowns are always a classroom fave of ours).  


CLICK HERE to download the Unicorn Day Activities for FREE!


Happy Unicorn Day!  :)