Literacy

adding-literacy-to-dramatic-play

Beside our dramatic play centre, I placed one of our smaller tables, near the windows with my signs for the flower shop.  In the centre of the table, I put a basket of pencils and markers and some blank paper.  When I introduced the centre to the children, I told them the flower shop needed help.  I explained that we needed more signs and pictures of flowers for customers to see.  I also told them we were running out of order forms for when customers called in to the store for deliveries, and asked if they could help make some of these to help.

It was amazing to see what the children created!  We had beautiful pictures, sale signs, and unique order forms.  One child even made a price list of flowers.  She drew flowers on one half of the paper and numbers on the other!

It never amazes me what children can create, if given enough time and opportunity.

shaving-cream-letters

Our Kindergarten Literacy centre became a little messy today…..I brought in a few cans of shaving cream.  I bought the unscented kind.  As a literacy station, I set up 4 chairs at a table.  I had plastic letters as models for the children to see.  I had each child put on an art smock so their clothing did not get ruined.  I gave each child a medium sized mound of shaving cream (egg-sized) on the table in front of them.  Then, I told the children to use their hands to spread it around and then use their fingers to create the letters.

The children loved it!  They wrote their names in it too!  Next time, I can have them write their sight words in the shaving cream.

marching-around-the-alphabet

To help our children visually recognize the letters of the alphabet, we pretend we are marching around the alphabet to the song listed below.  Depending on how many children are in your class, you can decide how many children can show the class their letter and tell them what it is.  In our room, we have 28 students, so we sing it 4 times and allow 7 children to “teach” the others about the letter they chose each round.  To hear the song, you can look it up on YouTube, or Google it.  You can also buy the CD.

 

Marching Around The Alphabet
Words and Music: Hap Palmer

We’re marching around the alphabet, around the alphabet.
We’re passing letters from ABC, all the way to XYZ.
We’re marching around the alphabet, around the alphabet
Where we stop nobody knows, until the whistle blows.
(Whistle Sound)

Now bend down right where you are,
Pick a letter that’s near your toes.
When the teacher points to you,
Tell the teacher which letter you chose.
Tell the teacher which letter you chose.

Put your letter back on the ground
Stand up tall and march around.
We’re march around the alphabet, around the alphabet.
We’re passing letters from ABC, all the way to XYZ.

window-letters

In our classroom, we have 4 large windows.  I looked at them and thought they needed to be decorated!  So, I went to Wal-Mart and got the washable window markers.  As a literacy centre, we have been letting the children use the markers to practice drawing people, as well as to practice printing. 

Some days we have the students print their names.  Other days, we have the students create lists of our sight words from our word wall.  There are also days were they can write a story and draw a picture.

We have this as a centre every other week so the children’s work can be displayed for a week before we begin with a clean slate again.

the-alphabet-treasure

My teaching partner, Jenn, brought in 5 “pirate” telescopes today.  We used them to go a Treasure Hunt for the Alphabet. 

In our literacy centre, we had a photocopied chart of the alphabet and pictures that began with each letter.  We copied it onto cardstock to make it more sturdy for the students.  We then told the children they had to find the letters of the alphabet throughout the classroom using the telescopes and once they found a letter, they had to cross it off.  The children thought it was great!  A few of them even went to the art centre and made patches for their eyes so they could wear them on the Alphabet Treasure Hunt!

christmas-mail

At our school, we have a letter writing program during the month of December. Students of all grades can write letters to anyone in the school, and then “mail” them at our office. We have a large, old-fashion post box just outside of the office.

Today, we helped our Full Day Kindergarten class send letters to their friends, and a few of their favourite teachers. Of course in kindergarten, most of the students can’t write a letter. Most of our students drew pictures to send. But, we used the sight words “to” and “from” and had them write those 2 words, as well as the receiver’s name, and their own name. It was a great way for them to practice their writing, as well as learn 2 new words!

I am sure when our students begin to receive mail, more letter writing will happen in our classroom!

using-playdough-for-literacy

To help our children learn the letters of the alphabet, we have playdough set out daily as a centre.  Each child has their own container of playdough labelled with their name.  There are placemats they can use, as well as outlines of letters they can use.  The children can put their playdough on the letter, roll it into snakes to form the letter on top of the laminated letter, or they can just create the letter on their placemat. 

Even if the children don’t want to make a letter, playdough is very important in any Kindergarten classroom.  Young children need to develop and strengthen their fine motor muscles.  Using playdough (or clay, plasticine, etc…)  helps children build the muscles necessary to manipulate writing materials.  And what a fun way to do it!

a-teddy-bear-picnic

This week, we learned about the letter B.  We did several play-based literacy activities throughout the week, but the one the children enjoyed the most was bringing their bears to school for a day.

We let the bears sit on the carpet for large group instruction.  We read “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” to them.  We sounded out the word bear, focusing on the “b” sound. 

Just before our lunch time, we got each child to get one snack out of their bags.  We all sat in a large circle on the floor and had a Teddy Bear picnic.  The kids thought it was great!  While we had snack, we thought of names that started with b, sang the Teddy Bear Picnic song, and had enough time left before the bell rang to play “I Spy” for letter b’s in our room.

It was a really fun way to reinforce this letter!