Thursday, 13 December 2012

Home Reading Program and my first Freebie!

I don't know how some people manage to update their blogs so often. I am in awe of them!  I think I'm one of those people who need to have 29 hours in a day and 9 days in a week.  Of course I have officially decided that one of those 9 days needs to be a spa day....every week!  One can dream......

So, in our school, there is no set home reading program for Kindergarten.  We send home a VERY informal sheet that parents can fill out if they read any books to their children, but we are finding only about half of the children in each class are actually bringing the sheets back.  My collegue and I are finding it to be such a huge leap for them once they get into Grade 1 and are expected to be reading books independently every night. 

We both thought hard about this because we don't want parents to get the idea that their child must be reading books independently at this point (most of the kiddies don't even know all of their letters yet!) but we feel like we need something more.  So starting in January we are going to send home some emergent readers that we will already have practiced in class.  I am going to invite all of the parents in for an information session and help them learn how to effectively read with their child.  We are going to talk about things like doing letter hunts in books, counting how many of one particular word they can find in the book, "framing" a word with their fingers, etc....all great concepts of print strategies.  I think it will be a good idea to teach the parents all of the reading strategies we use in the classroom so that the don't just say "Sound it out!" when the child comes to a word they don't know.

Each time they read a story, the child will have to talk with parents about the book and decide which of the characters is their favourite.  I'm hoping that this will encourage some rich conversation about the book.  The parent will then record the date, book title and the favourite character.  When the reading log is returned, the children will be given a home reading certificate.
Here's hoping it works and that parents buy into it!

Here is the home reading sheet that they will be asked to fill in each month. You can grab it for FREE by clicking on the picture.  It will take you to my store.

Happy Reading!


Saturday, 1 December 2012

December is Here!

Can you believe it is already December?  I've had a hard time wrapping my head around that...perhaps because I have only just returned to work from maternity leave and it feels like it should be September! 
Christmas is my favourite time of year and I have so much that I want to do with my little kiddos that I had better get cracking!  Yesterday we did an adorable wreath craftivity with our big buddies. I found it on pinterest and it turned out really great. I forgot my camera at school, so I don't have any action shots, but this is the cute and so doable...even for the kindies!

 It was so great to see them all working together and helping each other out.  I have never done big buddies before, but if this first get together was an indication of things to come, I am so glad that I decided to try it this year!

Next week I am going to introduce my new Christmas Initial Sounds Bingo game for the smartboard to the kids.  Such a fun, easy way for the kids to learn and practice their initial sounds.  Students click a tile to reveal a letter.  They then search their board to see if they have a picture that starts with that letter.  If they need a bit of help, they can touch the picture to hear what the word sounds like.  I think it's going to be great for Literacy Stations and Centers time!  Here's what it looks like.  You can click on the cover to head to my teachers store if you want to see more :)

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

New beginnings

Wow!  I’m so excited to be starting on this new blogging journey.  Over the past year I have been inspired by so many talented teachers through their blogs.  I have been on maternity leave for the past year with my beautiful baby boy and am so excited to be returning to work to try out some of the fantastic ideas that I have come across.

I’m hoping to post my thoughts, ideas and observations regularly, but with a 3 ½ year old girl and a 1 year old boy... not to mention my wonderful husband, black lab dog and cat... at home, I might have my hands full!  Oh...and there are those 20 lovely, energetic beautiful children in my class to plan, prep and teach too.  I think it is going to be a busy year! I’m hoping that you will take this journey with me and start following my blog.  
Thanks for reading!