As we embark upon a new school year, I wanted to take a quick minute to introduce you to a literacy resource I think you’ll love…especially if you’re a Kindergarten or 1st Grade teacher.
When I’m visiting classrooms and working with teachers, one common recurring thing I continue to hear is, “I wish there were an easier way to fit it all in.” If you’re anything like most teachers, I’m sure you feel the same way. Last fall Abby and I started brainstorming different ways we could help teachers streamline their literacy instruction while maintaining the integrity of the standards & objectives as well as providing teachers with flexibility and choice. We wanted to provide you with resources that were easy to implement, cohesive, and meaningful. We feel that our collaborative efforts with ELA in a Day fits the bill.
ELA in a Day includes 10 different components all covering the major standards of early literacy instruction. Phonological awareness, phonics, speaking & listening, handwriting, poetry, vocabulary, and writing. As we were creating this resource, we thought in terms of a daily schedule. What are teachers doing during morning work? Morning meeting? Shared reading? Etc.
Instead of starting the day with a worksheet, we thought it was important to get our early arrivers working with their hands, thinking outside the box, and solving problems. So we created a set of task cards (both projectable and student friendly) to give you choices for each morning of the week for 20 days. Each day is themed, too. Maker Monday, Teach It Tuesday, Wonder Wednesday, Thinker Thursday, and Flashback Friday. Just add kids 🙂
In most of the classrooms I’ve visited…and speaking from my own personal experience in the classroom…once the bell rings and morning work is finished, the kids come to the carpet for a “family gathering” to get the day started. Now, this time looks different in every single class I’ve visited. Some of us start with calendar time, some with a read aloud, some with song and dance, and some with a written message. We wanted to provide a format for teachers to use during this time that would allow teachers to start the day with a mini phonics/phonological awareness lesson and/or spiral review. The “Daily Dish” is a projectable review that teachers can display on the whiteboard and invite students up to help complete. This is basically what I’d try to squeeze in after writing a morning message….a sort of phonics review. But this tidies everything up nicely, covers a range of skills, and allows time for a traditional “message” either before or after the Daily Dish.
Family gathering…aka: “carpet time”…is a great time to facilitate discussion. Abby and I thought it was important to include opportunities for students to speak and respond to/with each other. The community conversation cards included in this resource cover four different themes…citizenship/rules, friendship, growth mindset, & names. These thematic topics are perfect for back to school and the conversation topics are a great springboard not only for hitting those speaking and listening standards, but also for developing strong communication skills which many students need opportunities to improve.
We also carried these themes into poetry as well. Poetry is one of our favorite things to implement because it helps create a strong reading foundation for our kids. It gives them experiences with rhythm and rhyme, expression, phonics skills, sight words, reading fluency, etc. We LOVE poetry!!! Because we wanted the poetry to include pertinent vocabulary (to go with the vocabulary slides included), we created four original poems (1 per week) to be used over the span of 20 days. The poems are perfect for shared reading and can also be projected OR copied onto chart paper. We included sample lesson plans for each poem, both activities for whole group and independent poetry notebook tasks as well. You can use these as is, or modify as needed.
And to continue phonological/phonemic awareness, we included 33 different phonological/phonemic awareness tasks that the kids can complete either independently, in pairs, or in a small group setting. These activities are included in this resource and don’t require much prep at all! (think: print, laminate, cut, and go!). These activities can be incorporated into literacy centers/stations, fast finisher tubs, etc. and they provide great practice and review throughout the year.
And because we know that many teachers appreciate student accountability, we included a condensed version of each activity included that can be copied, placed in a folder, and completed each day throughout that 20 day time frame. If homework is something you do, these printable would also be great to send home for extra practice.
Both Kindergarten and First Grade skills are included in this resource which helps provide you with intervention/challenge for our littlest learners. In addition to these activities, we also included daily handwriting practice, vocabulary, and writing. You truly have your pick of what to choose and implement to best fit the needs of your classroom. And the best thing about this resource?!?! It’s compatible with ANY curriculum. It doesn’t take the place of a curriculum, but enhances what you already have.
To answer a frequently asked question in regards to this resource, (“Will you be creating one of these for each month?!“), the answer is “yes“.
And as usual, if you have ANY questions about this resource at all, just leave me a message or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.