Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our Morning In Kinder

WOW!!  I know!  I am the WORST blogger this year!  This year has been super busy! principal, new curriculum, new schedule, etc........ on to this post!  I decided I would blog about our morning routines!  Just in case any of you out there are looking for something new, or care about what I do in my classroom....ha, ha!
I am going to try to do it with pictures....depending on my sad internet speed....and such!
You can do it for a review of what you are learning about....

or for a specific skill you are working on.
So....we start our morning with "baskets".  These are basically literacy centers.  I have 4 tables so I make up 4 baskets.  They come in in the morning and they do the center that is in their basket on their table.  We do this Monday - Thursday and on Friday we do "morning work".  I usually choose 4 literacy centers from whatever Julie Lee center unit we are doing that goes along with our theme.  I didn't have any pictures of this....sorry.
Then we move right into Chit-Chat.  At this point in the year we are doing Chit-Chat Charts based on Deanna Jump's fabulous idea.  I also have both of her Chit-Chat books from TPT!  LOVE THEM!
At the beginning of the year I use this time for a different type of morning message.

I learned this from Kathy Griffin SEVERAL years ago when she presented at SPLASH....and have used it ever since.  This WORKS people!!!  There are several questions you ask each student (like an interview of whoever your leader is for the day)  You start with their name.  Then as a class, you count how many letters and how many syllables are in their name.  I write the numbers (while talking about how to write them) then I draw a shape around each one (while talking about each shape).  Then I ask the student the questions (above the questions are:  How old are you?  What is your favorite color?)  I write the answers to their questions (while talking about all the important things about sentence structure, sounding out words, etc).  Then I choose 3 students to give "happy talk".  This has to be something positive about the student.  I write their sentences and add their names.  Then I just call on kids to come up and "find" stuff in our chart.  They typically find letters and simple sight words at first...but quickly move on to find words, chunky monkeys, punctuation, spaces....etc....  We do this in rounds and I usually do 2-3 rounds before moving on to the other Chit-Chat charts.  A round is when ALL students have answered those particular questions....then I move on to new questions.  During the last round I let the students write their own "Happy Talk".  The kids love this time a day!!!

Then we move on to Word Work.  Right now we are using this book for word work:

The kids come up and "be" the letters and make themselves make words.
The other students write the words being made on their white boards.
Then we read the words we made.

At the beginning of the year we use this book for word work:

I model on my big easel and the kids write the words (changing the beginning, middle, or ending sounds) on their white boards.
I love this book!  They learn soooo much!  Next year we are going to reverse the two books and do the other one first and this one last...

Then we move on to Shared Reading.  We do a poem using our document camera that goes along with our theme for the week.  We also read our pocket chart poem for the week.

I typically use whatever poem is in Julie Lee's center unit I am doing that week.  I made this poem because she does not have one in her penguin unit and I wanted to concentrate on our sight words "said", and "play".
On Fridays they put their poems in their poetry journals and hi-light sight words and such.

Then we move on to our theme reading lesson.  This is the time I read books and conduct lessons on whatever theme we are working on for the week.  This week it is penguins.

This is when we make our charts..and write!

Then we move on to Readers Workshop and Daily 5 time!  This is also when I pull my guided reading groups.

We are using Kim Adsit's Readers Workshop resources from TPT.  Right now we are working on discovering patterns in text!  They are such little word detectives!!

For guided reading I use our leveled readers from Texas Treasures and then readers from our literacy library.  So they read 2 books every day.  I also pull in resources from Julie Lee's monthly intervention packs to use with each group.
While I am pulling my groups (15 min each) my kiddos are rotating through 4 stations:

Read to Self
Word Work
Guided Reading

Part of Listening is writing....I know strange but it works....I have computer, iPad, writing, and then listening to a theme book on CD available for them in this center.
I use the monthly writing resources from DeeDee Wills.

Then we move on to Writers Workshop.  I use the resources from Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills.

Right now we are working on persuasive writing through letters and they are having SUCH a blast with this!!!  I wish I had some pictures of some of their letters.....soooo cute!  Today one of my sweeties wrote a letter to a boy in my class asking if she could try on his glasses!!!

And.....then we go to lunch!  WHEEEWW!  What a morning....!
As you can see the blogging world has impacted my teaching drastically!  I learn so much and it is sooo fun to try new and exciting things out with my classroom!  I am so thankful that awesome teachers share their ideas and creativity with all of us!

I will try to be back and talk about our afternoon sometime soon!

Hope this helped some of y'all in some way....or at least you enjoyed reading about our morning in K!

Now....I am going to go relax!


  1. Wow! Lots of great ideas. You seem very organized. Thanks for sharing. Renee

    1. Thanks Renee! I am so glad you got some new ideas!

  2. Oh. My. Gosh! You mentioned "little old me" 3 times in this post...THANKS so much! This all looks awesome. :) I love your penguin pocket chart! And, your beginning of year morning message...pinning right now! :)

    1. LOL! "little old me!" You are my teaching inspiration! LOVE. All. Your. Stuff!!!!
      Thanks Julie!!!

  3. I love reading your articles.. they are very interesting..
    Preschool In Pune

  4. What curriculum are you using. Looks a little like what we are moving to next year. We are using the Literacy Collaborative framework in our schools next year with a 3 hour literacy block. I'm excited for a change but have lots of questions.

    1. Hi Donna....Yes we are using the literacy framework. We have a 3 hour lit block in the mornings. This is our first year doing'll sure try to answer any questions for you.

  5. What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing!

    Heather (

    1. Thank You Heather for your sweet comment! Sometimes you wonder if anyone reads what your THANKS! :)

  6. Hi! Thanks for the shout out on your blog and for attending one of my sessions many years ago. I am thinking it was 2008? I have created a packet to go with this called Literacy Alive. Could you link it to my specific blog post on it? I blogged on it today. It's called Literacy Alive & The Common Core and has a link to my store on this post. Thanks again!

  7. Hi Kathy! I fixed the link to go directly to that post! I would love to see you present again! You should come to SPLASH! Renate and I are going to present this summer on SMARTboard stuff!
    Thanks for mentioning our blog in your post! :)

    1. Thanks for linking to my post. I presented at SPLASH last year, but I won't be able to this year. I am presenting 10 days in a row in July. Well I have one day to travel in between. YIKES!!! So I had to pass on SPLASH. The teachers in Texas are always so FUN!!! They will love you and your Smart Board activities. It would be great to meet again. Maybe the next year? Your blog is GREAT!!!

  8. Thank you both -- I needed something new instead of my tired same old morning message. Just bought the Literacy Alive packet and will go look at Julie Lee next. I, too, love all the ideas I have found from wonderfully helpful blogs like yours!