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December Activities for Kindergarteners_-2
December: Lessons, Guided Reading, Math, and more!
2 Dec, 2014. 4 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Daily 5, December, First Grade Holidays, Guided Reading, Holidays, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Holidays, Kindergarten Math, Math, Preschool Holidays, Uncategorized. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Ok. Let me be 100% honest. Moving down from first grade this year was a little difficult. At the end of last year, my first graders were so independent. They had our routine down pat and were masters at the Daily 5 and Math rotations. Beginning of the year kindergartners were definitely no where near where my first graders were at the end of last year. (shocking, right?) 😉 Well, by golly, my kinders have been ROCKING it lately. They are doing such a great job and I wanted to share a little with you how we stay on track during Guided Reading and what we have been doing.

At my school we have a little over an hour for our literacy block. During this time I meet with ALL of my students in small groups and when they are not with me, they are working on specific activities that focus on our learning objectives.

During my literacy block we have 6 rotations. Each rotation lasts about 11 minutes and then they have 1 minute to clean up their area. Their rotations include:

1. Read to self

2. iPads

3. Work on writing

4. Meet with me

5. Activity table

6. Centers

The past few years I used the Daily 5 and fell head-over-heels in love with the method and the reasoning behind their program. This year I use a modified Daily 5 approach. My block is “modified” in that I do not have my students doing “word work” and instead my students go to activities and literacy centers during our block.

In case you are unfamiliar with the Daily 5 I have previously written about using it in my classroom. I even have a few freebies that you can use if you would like. You can read posts about read to self, HERE, posts about work on writing, HERE, and other general posts, HERE.

At this point and time my literacy centers focus predominantly on helping my students master listening for beginning, middle and ending sounds in words, letter naming fluency, letter sounds, segmentation, and blending.

For example, this week our center choices (they get to choose which centers they go to daily) include these games:

1. Pull a Letter— this is a FAVORITE in my classroom. We have been playing this game each month with different themes and my students LOVE it. In fact, when I took out this new version, they CHEERED. One boy even said, “Miss Smith, this is my MOST favorite center!!” This makes my heart SO happy because the center focuses on three objectives in one.

December Activities for Kindergarteners_-2

To play, each student picks a work mat. (This month we are using “Christmas mats.”)

You can get them for FREE here!!

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Then they reach into my gift bag full of letter tiles and pull out one. They look at the tile and say the letter name, the picture cue, and sound. (We use Fundations at my school so they say the entire sentence. “t-top- /t/”) Then they cover that same letter on their work mat. This month we are covering the letters with plastic ornaments. (Target find: $3.50)

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The player to cover the entire mat first is the winner!

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So what does this center help with?

1. Letter Naming Fluency

2. Letter Sounds

3. Matching capital to lowercase letters (the letter tiles are capitals and the letter on the mats are lowercase)

Another center that we are working on is called “Plowing Through the Words.” In this center, my students are listening for beginning and ending sounds. In this, they take out a snowplow card, say the name of the picture in the middle, and then put the beginning and ending sounds in the appropriate spots.

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My young readers love this and are getting so confident with writing and reading  CVC words. December Activities for Kindergarteners_-40

Another center we have been working on is listening for medial sounds. For this one, my students say the picture on the card out loud and then cover the correct vowel sound. I was going to have my students clip them with clothespins but one of my sweethearts found my reading chips and asked if we could use them instead. I said sure and they have been very happy highlighting the vowels! Either way, it focuses on the same skill. :)

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A question I get often is, so what do you DO with your students when you are meeting with them in Guided Reading?! Here is a glimpse into a few of my groups this week. This week my lessons are focusing on decoding CVC words. (We are working on reading real and nonsense words.)

The first day we worked on building words with our letter unifix cubes. I used a work mat that I had printed out last year off of Reading A-Z and had my kids making words following this pattern: blue, red, blue. (Consonant, vowel, consonant.)  

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They picked their letters out of the bucket and placed them on their work mat. December Activities for Kindergarteners_-18

Then they read the word they created. If it was a real word they wrote it down, if it was a nonsense word, they put the cubes back in the bucket and tried again. December Activities for Kindergarteners_-19
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The next day, to warm up, my students used our CVC word spinners and practiced reading the words they spun. (2 minutes)

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Next, they took turns reading word cards with their partner and sorted them based on if they were real words or nonsense words.  (When my emergent readers read these words, I have them touch every letter, say the sound, and then blend them together. When they blend the sounds together, they draw a line under all the letters they say.) [I hope that makes sense] This trick helps them blend the correct sounds together.

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December Activities for Kindergarteners_-46 December Activities for Kindergarteners_-47

My students are also reading books. This week (since I teach at a Christian school) I wrote a reader about Gabriel telling Mary the BIG NEWS that she was going to be the mother of Jesus! After we play these games in our guided reading groups, we dig into a text.

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You can get this book for FREE (click here)

Before this reader, we were working through the readers in my “Guided Reading Made Easy: Kindergarten Edition” and my “Guided Reading Made Easy: Short Vowel Edition.” They love reading these books and they have helped my kindergarteners develop confidence in their reading abilities.

To stay on track during Guided Reading I use a rotation wheel.

daily 5 wheel.011

You can use my wheel if you want to; however, I used one of our favorite praise songs in it so most of you will not be able to use it. (sorry!!) The way the wheel works is that my students know which group they are in and what each icon stands for. Quiet music plays throughout the entire rotation and then our clean up song plays. Once the clean up song comes on, they stop what they are doing, clean up, and dance for a bit (1 minute) and then sit on our carpet. The wheel then changes and they look to see where to go to next. {This GENIUS idea was not mine and rather a colleague of Reagan Tunstall. She sells a version of her wheel on TpT! Once I find the link, I will add it!} If you teach at a Christian school though, and have 6 groups, feel free to use mine! You can find it here:

https://vimeo.com/112013764

The password is abc123

december math

Our Math Time is VERY similar to our Guided Reading time. During it my students rotate through 3 different tasks:

1. Interactive Notebooks

2. Centers

3. Guided Math lessons with me

We have been LOVING using our interactive notebook pages. Each week we complete 2-3 pages. This has been a GREAT way for my students to practice skills as well as an assessment piece for me.

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2. Centers

This week we have been focusing on mastering our teen numbers, making numbers using ten towers and ones cubes, and reading dots on a domino and tally marks.

For teen numbers my students have LOVED making Christmas trees with the correct number of ornaments.

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For practicing making numbers with ten towers and one cubes, my students have been putting these winter kids in number order, and then using snap cubes to make the numbers correctly.

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To help us with reading tally marks and domino dots, my students have been playing “Go Fish” with our tall snowman cards. To play, they pass out five cards to each player and then look to see if they have a match.

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If they have a match, they put down the matching cards. If not, they have to “go fish!”

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They love this game and even ask to play it during free choice centers!

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In Guided Math, my students have been working on many things such as: using base ten blocks to count and make numbers, learning how to compose and decompose numbers, and how to read and write tally marks. I love that this small group time ensures that my students get the individualized attention that they each need!

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I hope that you enjoyed the glimpse into our literacy and math blocks.

If you would like any of the activities you can find them here:

(click on the product cover to get taken to my store)

Literacy Centers:

December Literacy Centers.001

Math Centers:

KINDER December Math Bins horizontal.001

Interactive Notebooks:

interactive math journal december.001

Guided Reading Resource:

Guided Reading SHORT VOWELS.001

I hope you are having a great night and that this post was helpful! :)

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4 Comments
  1. Laura -

    Thank you for the reader. We just talked about Gabriel today so this will be a great review for my kiddos. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your class for just one day. They look like they are having so much fun!!

    Laura

  2. d -

    Thank you – I love this !!! I’ve been teaching k for 14 years but the transition to all small groups is a bit trickier than I expected !!!

  3. I love your rotation wheel! I only have four groups so I can’t use yours but I am determined to figure out how to make my own to use. Such a great idea!

  4. Rebekah Anglian -

    I love your center rotation board. I was wondering if you had an editable version to make it more appropriate for varied center choices/times??????

4 Comments

  • Laura -

    Thank you for the reader. We just talked about Gabriel today so this will be a great review for my kiddos. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in your class for just one day. They look like they are having so much fun!!

    Laura

  • d -

    Thank you – I love this !!! I’ve been teaching k for 14 years but the transition to all small groups is a bit trickier than I expected !!!

  • I love your rotation wheel! I only have four groups so I can’t use yours but I am determined to figure out how to make my own to use. Such a great idea!

  • Rebekah Anglian -

    I love your center rotation board. I was wondering if you had an editable version to make it more appropriate for varied center choices/times??????

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