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arctic week--guided reading
A journey to the Arctic– guided reading focus
5 Jan, 2015. 5 Comments. A Day In First Grade, December, First Grade, First Grade Holidays, Guided Reading, Holidays, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Holidays, Preschool Holidays, Uncategorized. Posted By: Kristen Smith

This week we are exploring the Arctic. Like many of you, today was our first day back after a very restful Christmas break. My students came in bright and early ready to learn! They were so excited to discover that we are studying the Arctic this week. To bring units to life, I make sure that I integrate the theme into all areas of the classroom. In this blog post, I’ll briefly go over how I did that in our guided reading groups today. Later on in the week, I will blog about how I’m integrating our Arctic study into math and writing!

arctic collage

This week, as it is our first week back after nearly two weeks off, I wanted to make sure that I slowed down and reviewed our letters and sounds and the sight words that we had already learned. In our guided reading groups, I played lots of quick games to help my students with these skills. Using games makes practicing these skills fun and engaging.

Today, to work on reading CVC words, one of my groups played a snowman matching game. {This game can be found in my Winter Literacy Centers.} I put a handful of cards into my table pocket chart and had my students work on matching the words that rhymed.

Arctic Activities for Kindergarteners

My students carefully worked together to read the words, and then put the matching words together.

Arctic Activities for Kindergarteners

pictures for my blog-edits .008

After we played this quick warm-up game, my students worked on a reader that I had written. They loved looking at the pictures and learning more about the animals that live in the Arctic.

arctic reader

My next group of students was also working on decoding CVC words, however, for them, they practiced this skill using paint chips. I got the chips from Home Depot and used one of my scrapbooking hole punches to create the squares in them. I have been using these for 4 years now and they are still as good as new!

guided reading tools

This group read the same reader.

arctic reader

My next group played what I call our “magnetic snowflake game.”  For this, I printed out the sight words that we have learned and added my magnetic chips and wands to create one of my most requested guided reading games with this group of kindergarteners. I have my students read the words to me as I place the cards on the table and put a chip on each of them. I then call out a word and my students have to be the first one to get the chip off of the snowflake. They LOVE this game and have learned so many sight words in a short amount of time by playing it.

magnetic sight words

The first time I play the game with a group of students, I start off by saying a student’s name and then the sight word they need to look for. However, the competition element makes it even more exciting!

magnetic sight words

This group of students read one of the magazine articles that I had written about the Arctic.

arctic readers

Over the course of the day we read the picture book “Over In The Arctic,” wrote about arctic foxes, learned where the Arctic is on the globe, and watched this amazing video of the Northern Lights.  Just as a note, when I played the video for my students, I put it on mute and played a more relaxing song in the background. I found the music to be a little too dramatic for kindergarteners.

I will blog more about our Arctic adventures later on this week! For now, I hope that you can use some of these games in your guided reading times and that you had a wonderful first day back with your students!

If you would like to use the readers from this blog post with your students (and many more activities) you can find them in my Arctic pack. Click HERE to get taken to my store.

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5 Comments
  1. Sarah Parker-Walker -

    I love this post! Where do you get all your pictures from to make these amazing products?

    • Sarah- I have a subscription to Shutterstock. It’s pricey but my kids love the pictures. I’m so glad you like my products!

    • Sarah- Shutterstock! :)

  2. Kristen, I love your work! As a fellow blogger/TpT-er, I was wondering where you get your images for your products. I’m always on the lookout since I’m just “emerging”. Thanks so much!

    • Erika- I have a subscription to Shutterstock. Thanks for commenting! :)

5 Comments

  • Sarah Parker-Walker -

    I love this post! Where do you get all your pictures from to make these amazing products?

    • Sarah- I have a subscription to Shutterstock. It’s pricey but my kids love the pictures. I’m so glad you like my products!

    • Sarah- Shutterstock! :)

  • Kristen, I love your work! As a fellow blogger/TpT-er, I was wondering where you get your images for your products. I’m always on the lookout since I’m just “emerging”. Thanks so much!

    • Erika- I have a subscription to Shutterstock. Thanks for commenting! :)

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