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!  :)

Love Tails Interactive Read Aloud FREE Download

 

Interactive read alouds are my all-time favorite lessons in kindergarten.  They are the purposeful read aloud of a story to focus on specific content, central theme(s), and vocabulary. They are an essential component to balanced literacy that provide many opportunities for all students to engage with rich texts. 

 

When I first read Love Tails by Rob Sayegh Jr., I just knew I had to create an interactive read aloud for it.  The text is simple, but the theme and illustrations are strong.  Absolutely perfect for primary grades and can even be used as a mentor text in reading and writing workshop.

 

And this interactive read aloud is complete with an adorable dachshund craft and clip art from Rob Sayegh Jr.!  The dogs are sooo cute; they definitely give me all the cute aggression.

 

Interactive read alouds are typically done whole- group with pauses throughout each read to: discuss the text and theme, discuss the illustrations and meaning(s), make predictions, make connections, and have meaningful conversations centered around the text.

 

Typically, interactive read alouds are above the students’ reading levels but the texts are age-appropriate and high-interest.  The read aloud builds community through reading with shared knowledge. 

 

My Interactive read aloud lesson plans are on one-page and have many components that include: story introduction, identified themes, read aloud of the story with pauses for discussion (“We’re wondering”/sticky notes), vocabulary introduction and discussion (before, during, and after the read aloud), and a discussion of the theme after the read aloud with think-aloud extensions. 

 

For this specific interactive read aloud, we will discuss and write about our own "love tales" after the read aloud.  And of course, color and craft our own dogs, just-for-fun.

 

I'm currently working on many more interactive read alouds with new + diverse books, so stay tuned in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!  And to visit my library of 88 (and growing!) titles of interactive read alouds, click here.

 

CLICK HERE for my Love Tails Interactive Read Aloud lesson for FREE!

 

 

And CLICK HERE to buy Love Tails by Rob Sayegh Jr. from Amazon (not an affiliate link)!

St. Patrick's Day Activities + Free Download

 


St. Patrick's Day is one of those silly little holidays that don't bring much meaning, but are fun to learn about in the classroom.  Over the years, my favorite crafts have been my leprechaun hats and my I'm Lucky Pots of Gold.  The pots of gold always turn out so cute, and are an amazing family gift.  Students most often writing about how lucky they are for their family.  The best.



But the other night, I went down a rabbit hole of leprechaun folklore.  And because my students absolutely love readers, I thought it was the perfect way to learn about leprechauns.  So I created a new resource that includes a The Legend of the Leprechauns reader in both color, black-and-white, and Google Slides™ plus a super-fun build-a-leprechaun craft.  I posted it in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, but I wanted to add it as a freebie, exclusive to my blog!

 

CLICK HERE for my Leprechaun Reader and Craft FREE download!

FREE Valentine Craft


 

Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday in the primary classroom.  Unfortunately, we are still learning remotely so we won't be having any Valentine parties. 


But I wanted to give my students more options to make valentines for their families and friends.  In addition to my new fave Dinosaur Valentine Crafts, I'll add these koalas to my virtual classroom for my students to print at home.


This is the same koala I have in my Australian Animals Crafts and Writing, and I'm so glad I found another fun way to use him!


CLICK HERE to download the Koala Valentine Craft for FREE!

 

Thank you all for being KOALA-TY friends!  And for more fun valentine crafts, click below!




Chinese New Year FREE Download

 

Chinese New Year has increasingly become one of my favorite holidays to learn about in kindergarten.  There is so much history, and the Zodiac animals are so interesting.


Over the past few years, Ruby's Chinese New Year by Vickie Lee has been my favorite read aloud for the holiday.  It has a great plot while also teaching about the 12 zodiac animals.  And it gives me fun fairy tale adventure vibes while reading it.  And who doesn't love a classic "going to grandma's" story?!


My FAVORITE craft is my Chinese New Year Lantern.  It's so easy for kindergarteners to complete, and almost no prep for teachers!  It includes student-friendly picture instructions, all 12 zodiac animals, and comes in both color and black-and-white!  I print on cardstock, with the handles on red cardstock.  But any type of thick paper would work as well.  

 


And it's time for another F R E E download!  In December, I worked on a new Holidays Around the World bundle.  I wanted my students to learn, read, and write about various holidays (other than Christmas).  They loved them, and you can get the Chinese New Year resource for free at the link below!  It includes a fact page, various writing pages, a word bank, and a reader.  It also has a Google Slides™ version to share easily with students and their families at home.


CLICK HERE to download the Chinese New Year unit for FREE!

Groundhog Day Free Download

 


 

I'd be lying if I didn't say that whenever Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow, I'm a little hopeful for an early spring.  

 

Groundhog Day is such a silly little holiday.  But I love it in kindergarten.  It's the perfect excuse to do fun themed centers and activities and to talk about the weather and seasons.  And I have a free download for you!


A few weeks ago, I worked on some Groundhog Day printables and Google Slide™ activities for my students while we are distance learning.  I wanted them to have opportunities to craft, learn about groundhogs, talk about the weather, and predict the outcome of the day.  And one activity we always love are our emergent readers.  This one is great to teach about Groundhog Day and to record the outcome.


I was also working on more intervention activities for my students who are still working on letter naming, so I created some fun themed centers.  In the free download, you'll get both a color and blackline version of a Groundhog-themed letter match game and a Boom Card™ digital task card game.  


CLICK HERE to download the Groundhog Day Literacy Centers for FREE!