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Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
   
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

The Value of Poetry Notebooks


Poetry Notebooks have been in my classroom since I started teaching 20 years ago!  The poems have changed over the years as well as my focus, but the bottom line is poetry notebooks are here to stay! I always have a large chart with the poem for classroom instruction and individual student copies for the student poetry notebooks.

Poetry notebooks provide a home-school connection!  Students take home their poetry notebooks once a month to share their poems with parents.  This helps my students feel more confident with their reading and it helps parents feel connected and invested in their child's learning.  I send home the books on a Friday and offer a small incentive to have them back by Monday!  This year, it is as simple as a sticker!


Poetry notebooks provide the perfect structure to practice skills in context!  In pre-k, we look for letters and sounds throughout the poem.  Later in the year, we will be looking for beginning sight words.  We practice tracking words with out fingers and discuss rhyming words.  In first grade, we just bumped it up a notch.  We looked for spelling patterns, contractions and yes, even reviewed rhyming words there too!  The students love using a yellow highlighter as we review these skills!
 

Poetry notebooks offer that repeated exposure which can in turn increase fluency.  As students point to each word as they read and reread the poems, their brains are making connections to the written word.  In my poetry notebooks, I have included rebus pictures throughout the poem to help the students decode words and make connections as they read.  This helps pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and struggling firsties feel successful.  When students feel that success, they are more inclined to reread the poems again.  


At the end of the school year, students have a collection of poems to take home and share.  This is especially beneficial to those students who come from homes that do not have a lot of books.  This allows students to practice reading over the summer and prevents them for taking the "summer slide". Students can lose one to three months of instruction if they are not actively engaged in learning over the summer.  We work too hard to allow that to happen.  This is just one more resource to help prevent that!  You can click on the pictures below to find these resources on TpT.



My focus is on nursery rhymes, songs and short poems to promote reading in the early grades!  Be on the lookout for the upcoming months and a growing bundle to help you save!  You can follow me on Teachers pay Teachers to make sure you don't miss any updates!
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Learning through Play - Five for Friday


I have finally come up for a breath as "back to school" has come and gone and we are settling into routines and such! If you are new to my blog, I made the transition from first grade to pre-k this year as well as switching schools and counties.  The first month of school I was in shell shock and wondered daily if I made the right decision. 
 
Well friends, I am here to tell you that as much as I love the growth in first grade, pre-k is where I belong! It is so refreshing to see children learning through play! Through LOTS of planning and modeling, the students are learning in developmentally appropriate ways.  I have found my passion once again.

 
I am linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching, here are some snapshots from our week.
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Children love learn to play with a variety of materials.  Some are more popular than others!  It is our job as educators to encourage play by MODELING activities! Foam shapes sat at the math table during centers this week.  I sat down next to a child who just seemed to be sitting there.  We talked about what we could make and started moving the shapes around.  We had a great dialogue including shape names and before long, the table was crowded and everyone wanted to play!
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Puzzles were at one of the rotations during small group activities this week.  It is a "quiet" center,,, My students work on puzzles with up to 10 pieces with individual pieces.  I started to walk over to the child in the bottom pictures because he was "playing" with the puzzle pieces and making plane noises (GASP!) . REALLY?!? This is pre-k!! I quickly caught myself and sat with him for a minute to chat about the space shuttle he was launching! Perhaps he will travel to space someday...
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Games are such a great learning opportunity.  In a time where the only games kids know about are video games, I believe this is the PERFECT activity during small group.  It give students a time to practice skills, learn how to take turns, follow directions and yes,  sometimes there is a winner and a loser.  Lots of life lessons and it is my job to help students with these social skills.  Thanks to my friend Anna for introducing me to the game of CRASH!  I just added the CRASH cards to a set of Lakeshore shapes for instant engagement.  CRASH cards can be added to any cards to add a bit of fun to any skill:).
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The sensory bin is such a great place to combine science, math, fine motor practice, language and free exploration!  We added pine cones, acorns (which not one little friend know what they were prior to this)  and little pumpkins along with pumpkin ice cube trays for counting!  Don't worry about the two little "worms" that crawled out of the acorns... I saved them and relocated them outside!
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The block center encourages cooperation, spacial awareness, fine motor, language, naming shapes, and sorting them at clean up!  The conversations students have evolve and the challenge is to add additional materials such as animals, cars and wooden people to foster imaginative play and keep things fresh and inviting.  

As a new program, I am always looking for new ways to expand our program and resources.  I have a Donor's Choose projects you can see more about HERE. If you would like to read more about how Donors Choose works, you can click HERE,

I encourage YOU to COMMENT so we can share ideas about taking the basic centers and changing them up with skills, materials and new vocabulary!  I can't wait to hear what you are doing:)
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