Winter Shared Reading in Kindergarten

Welcome to the I Teach Kindergarten linkup! My name is Crystal McGinnis and I am a kindergarten teacher in a small Missouri school district. Winter is well underway, and although it has not felt like winter yet (temps in the 60's), I would like to share with you one of the lessons that I will use in my kindergarten classroom following winter break. I hope you can use some of these ideas in your own classroom. Check back next month for more kindergarten classroom ideas!

This year, one of the goals that I have for my kindergarten classroom is to provide more shared reading experiences for my kindergarten kids. My school has implemented a very rigorous balanced literacy program, and shared reading is a very crucial and important part of our day. Generally, I love to use big books for shared reading, but sadly I don't always have a big book to use that ties into the theme that I am teaching. Some weeks, instead of a big book, I use poems for shared reading. This has really proved to be a positive reading experience for my kids! I usually use the same poem for 3 to 4 days each week during our shared reading time. Each day, we do something different with the poem. By the end of the week, my kids have learned several new words, and have practiced many important reading skills including concepts of print, rhyme, making connections, and so much more. The following is a glimpse into how I use a poem for shared reading in my classroom. 

Day 1 is my introduction to the poem. I usually introduce a poem by providing a time for my kids to make predictions about what they think our poem will be about. For this poem, I will bring in some items that you would put on a snowman (such as a hat, scarf, sticks, carrot, etc), and pull them out one item at a time. As each item is pulled out, we will make our predictions. After we have made our predictions and connections,  I then provide my kids with a copy of the poem that we will be reading. Each student in my class has a clipboard, so they attach the poem to their clipboard and join me "on the carpet" to begin sharing the poem. I display the poem with my projector and with an anchor chart. (Depending on how much prep time that I have).  On day 1, we read the poem a few times and then begin to study parts of the poem including concepts of print, sight words, cvc words, rhyming words etc. We use our highlighters (or yellow crayons) to highlight these concepts as we find them.

Some weeks, I write the poems on chart paper. These are perfect to display around my classroom so that my kids can use them later as a tool in their writing. Once every few weeks, we go back and read all of our poems. Most of them are "catchy" enough that they are usually turned into a song. I am thinking that these songs/poems would be perfect to sing at our end of the year parent night. We may take a "glance back" at our year using songs!
After our poem introduction, I follow up the poem with a word work activity that includes words from the poem. This poem had a few words from the "at family," so this will be my focus. We will write our "at words" on the white boards that I picked up at Dollar Tree. We will draw sound boxes to practice breaking apart the words into the sounds that we hear. We will then build "at words" using our letter tiles.

On day 2, I re-use the same poem again to build fluency. I try to change my routine on day two. This time the poem is missing words. We work together to fill in the missing words. I usually display the poem with my projector, and the kids place their copy on their clipboard. We fill in the missing words together. Some of the missing words are our "sight words," while some of the other missing words are cvc words.
On day 3, my students help me build the same poem again in our pocket chart. I pass out the words, and they come up one at a time and put their word in the pocket chart as we say the poem. I am always amazed at how many words they can now identify from the poem by day 3. After they have helped me build the poem, I place the poem (laminated and cut into individual words) into my working with words center. My kids put it together independently while I am completing my guided reading groups.
 After day 3, the kids will place their poem in their poetry notebook. We pull out these notebooks during our "read to self" time. Our notebooks have become valuable familiar reading materials.
You are welcome to use this poem in your own classroom! If you would like the versions of the poem that I have shown above, click the picture below. I have included this poem as a freebie in the preview. Enjoy!

Crystal McGinnis

December Emergent Readers

I just finished my latest set of emergent readers to use during guided reading. After the students are introduced to the book, we place these in our book boxes and use them during our "reading to self" time. This set includes 6 holiday and Christmas themed emergent readers that are predictable so that even the youngest readers can be successful.  It includes 2 gingerbread (cookie) books, one December book, and 3 Christmas themed books.

Crystal McGinnis

Thanksgiving Week Crafts for Kindergarten

I can't believe that it is already Thanksgiving week. Here is a peak at a few crafts that my kinder kids did this week as we were learning about Native Americans and Thanksgiving. I hope that you can use some of these ideas in your own classroom!

TEEPEES- We created these quick teepees. My kids drew Native American symbols on their teepee.

We created these Native American "papooses." The kids loved carrying these around.

We created Native Americans, and then we followed up the craft with a writing activity.

We completed our "Turkey in Disguise" projects. This idea can be found on pinterest in several locations!

We created a class can, have, are chart for turkeys.

We participated in several shared reading experiences throughout the week. I found this poem on pinterest. I simply changed the first line to say "Native Americans." The kids loved this song and knew it well by the end of the week.

We created our annual Native American headbands and necklaces. We then met first grade in the cafeteria for our feast. The first grade classes all dressed up like pilgrims.

Crystal McGinnis

Poetry Shared Reading in Kindergarten


This week I will be beginning a poetry notebook in my kindergarten classroom. We will use each of our poems as a shared reading and then we will add it to our notebook. The poems that we will use will all be sight word poems. These poems will focus on our sight word of the week. We will highlight our sight words as we are reading the poem. We will also focus on concepts of print, rhyming, punctuation, and more.

These poems come from my sight word poems set. I created 40 sight word poems to place in our poetry notebook. Click here to see more poems or to get them for your classroom.

Later in the year we will add to the poetry notebooks. We will add Fall Poems, Christmas Poems, Spring Poems, and more!

Crystal McGinnis

Pumpkin Themed Literacy

This week our focus was pumpkins. I am trying to incorporate at least 3 shared reading experiences for my kinders each week. We use each shared reading poem, song, or big book for two days. Here are a couple of poems we used this week.

This poem is called Little Pumpkin. I displayed it using my projector, and then provided my kinders with a paper copy and highlighters. We found words we knew, identified rhyming words, highlighted beginning sounds of words, looked for punctuation, and other concepts of print. This poem is a FREEBIE in my TPT store. Click here to see it.

This is a predictable book that I created about pumpkins. We illustrated our own "picture clues" using words from the book. Students had to draw short, tall, skinny, wide, big, and little pumpkins. We then read our stories using the beginning sound of our "unknown words" and our "picture clues." You can get this book and more here!
Our sight word of the week this week was the word "have." I created this predictable chart using the word "have" and number words. Students helped me highlight the word "have" and then draw pictures and numbers to match our number words. I also used sight word "have" activities during my literacy center time. You can see more of these activities by clicking here.
This was a song that I wrote to review number words. It is sang to the tune of "10 Little Indians." After we sang it a few times, the students helped me cover the numbers with number word sticky notes.

We also created this cute pumpkin craft to hang in the hall. It reviews the life cycle of a pumpkin.

Crystal McGinnis