Monthly Archives: January 2013

Sentence Starters

Yesterday I talked about making short patterned books for the early reader and writer.  For more detailed information, please read yesterday’s blog and remember that only 1 sentence starter should be used per book.  The same sentence starter should be used on every page of the book.  Today I will give you part 2 of the list of Sentence Starters for these books.  These are just some of the repetitive patterns most frequently used for beginning readers.

Can you…..?

Can you see a…..?

Can you see the…..?

Can you see my…..?

Here is a …..

Here is my…..

This is a…..

This is the…..

This is my…..

I like a…..

I like the…..

I like my…..

I like to go to…..

Look at the…..

Look at me in the…..

Look up at the…..

Come to the…..

Go to the…..

We can…..

We are…..

We like…..

It is a…




Filed under Beginning Readers, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Writing

Sentence Starters for Simple Books

Blog 90 Sentence Starters for Simple Books


Your Kindergarten child is just about half way through the second quarter of school.  One popular second quarter goal is to encourage more writing from our Kindergartners.  How to do that? Easy.  I am sure that you have noticed that your child has a longer attention span since the beginning of school and that your child is interested in more things.  The way I like to introduce simple writing and simple reading simultaneously is with short patterned books.  They are easy to MAKE, yes MAKE, no money involved and your child will love them.

Materials that you need:

  • 2 sheets of copy paper
  • Stickers of something that your child likes (i.e., a page of scrapbooking stickers full of items, like transportation, or princesses that your child likes)
  • Pencil


  • Fold the two sheets of paper in half, staple together to make a small book
  • Place a sticker on each page
  • Pick ONE sentence starter from the list below and write the same sentence starter on every page.
  • Your child will finish the sentence by writing the name of what is in the picture.
  • Now you have a book.


I see a…

I see the…

I see my…

I can see a…

I can see the…

I am a…

Here is the…

More sentence starters tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Beginning Readers, Kindergarten, Language Arts, Reading

15 Minute Reading Activities

Fifteen-Minute Reading Activities

by the National PTA

Make 15 minutes go a long way. Try these quick reading activities with your younger kids.

1. License to read. On car trips, make it a game to point out and read license plates, billboards, and interesting road signs.

2. Better than TVSwap evening TV for a good action story or tale of adventure.

3. Look and listen. Too tired to read aloud? Listen to a book on CD and turn the book’s pages with your children. You also can find books on your ipad.  You’ll still be reading with them!

4. Labels, labels, labels. Label things in your children’s room as they learn to name them. Have fun while they learn that written words are connected to everyday things.

5. Pack a snack, pack a book. Going someplace where there might be a long wait? Bring along a snack and a bag of favorite books.

6. Recipe for reading. The next time you cook with your children, read the recipe with them. Step-by-step instructions, ingredients, and measurements are all part of words in print!

7. Shop and read. Notice and read signs and labels in the supermarket. Back home, putting away groceries is another great time for reading labels.

8. Your long-distance lap. Away on a business trip? Take a few books with you, call home, and have your child curl up by the computer/ipad/phone for a good night story.

9. A reading pocket. Slip fun things to read into your pocket to bring home: a comic strip from the paper, a greeting card, or even a fortune cookie from lunch. Create a special, shared moment your child can look forward to every day.

10. A little longer? When your child asks to stay up a little longer, say yes and make it a 15-minute family readingopportunity.


Leave a comment

Filed under Beginning Readers, First Grade, Improving Reading Skills, Kindergarten, Reading

The Importance of Play in Kindergarten

The children in my Kindergarten classroom have the opportunity for indoor play every day that they come to school.  I am all too well aware of the Reading Readiness, Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies that I am required to teach to these young children before they leave me to go to first grade.  Let’s not forget about the required assessing, both standardized and informal that I must do along with the teaching.  However, I do have to remember that I am teaching young children with 5 year old brains.  They MUST play with others in order to learn.  The American Academy of Pediatrics says “Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.”  Play allows children to use their creativity to solve problems. A group of children were followed from preschool through high school. Researchers found that the complexity of playing with blocks in preschool and Kindergarten predicted kids’ mathematics achievements in high school. In particular, those who had used blocks in more sophisticated ways as preschoolers had better math grades and took more math courses (including honors classes) (Wolfgang, Stannard, & Jones, 2001). Yet year after year, I have to explain and convince parents of the importance of play in Kindergarten.  Children learn not just with paper and pencils.  Assessment comes from observing the play, and listening to the conversations.  Math is happening at the block center, language arts is happening at the art center and writing center, science is happening at the listening station followed by free art at the easels. I listen to children as they discuss with each other what we have learned in our daily focus lesson.  At play, they have the opportunity to relearn and take ownership of what has been taught and file that information away in their brains.  I have blocks in my room, and blank art paper, and lots of toys (legos, buckets of old keys, flannel board nursery rhyme stories and so much more) These toys are big hits with the 5 year old crowd and even when I should be teaching, sometimes I stop what I am doing to listen and observe ALL of the learning that is taking place right before my eyes.

reposted from 2009

Leave a comment

Filed under Kindergarten, Play