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This n that!

This is another poem that I use at the beginning of our Mental Images unit.  I read the poem the first time for enjoyment and then I read it slowly a few times while the kids drew their Mental Image.

Our dragonflies... these turned out beautiful.  I forgot to take a picture of their writing.

Our story elements chart.

Going Buggy Glyph.

I've had a lot of emails asking me about my schedule and how I fit everything in.  Here's my schedule. 

8:30-8:45 Chit-Chit book (Morning Message)...see end of post for more
8:45-9:30 Specials (art, music, p.e)-this is my planning time
9:40-10:10 Shared Reading and theme study
10:10-10:40 Writer's workshop
10:40-10:55 Read Aloud/Get ready for lunch
11:00-11:30 Lunch
11:40-12:30 Centers/Guided Reading- during this time I pull Guided Reading groups while my little sweeties are working on literacy centers.  Many of the activities in my units are completed during this time.  For example, the alligator chomps book from my zoo unit was completed during literacy center time.  The dragonflies that are pictured above were done in a literacy center.  At the writing center the kids made the dragonfly and then wrote about it.
12:30-1:00 Reader's Workshop/Strategy Groups-This is when the anchor chart above was completed.  We read the story and then discussed the elements by writing them on the chart.  After this lesson the kids read from their reading bags and then discussed story elements from one of their books with a partner. 
1:00-1:30 Recess
1:40-2:40 Calendar/Math- Our math time starts with calendar, followed by a mini lesson and then math tubs.  During math tubs they work on various activities including graphs, surveys, math journals, etc;
2:40-3:20 Theme study (this is where I do my projects that relate to my projects, art projects, etc;)
3:20 Read aloud
3:35 Dismissal

**You will notice that there isn't a time built in when we go to restrooms and
that sort of thing. The kids go when they need to go UNLESS I'm doing direct
instruction. My transitions are fast and I don't waste any time. We literally
move from one activity to another. I start playing a movement song (such as The
Silly Pirate Song, My Mother is a Baker, etc;) and the kids clean up and get to
the carpet fast because they don't want to miss the song.

I talked about my chit-chat book in a previous post but in case you missed it here's some information and a picture.

CHIT-CHAT-I needed it to have a little bit more "meat" to it and I wanted it to be a way to not only cover the important skills such as phonics, sentence structure and grammar but also serve as a review for what we had learned the previous day. 
Another component of my Morning Message routine is Oral Language and manners.  My message always ends with a question.  So when we finish the written part I read them the question and the tell them to turn to their partner and "Chit-Chat". 
They learn how to take turns listening and speaking.  Once they've had a few minutes to chat about the question I ask them who wants to share.  They never know when I might say, "Who wants to share what their PARTNER said?"  This keeps them accountable for listening


  1. You have such wonderful ideas! I really enjoy learning from you. I think that I just might start calling my morning message the chit chat too. I am bored with the regular message and i think that yours is really cute! Thanks for all your wonderful information!

  2. Thank you for the window into your day. I am likin' the "chit-chat".

    Don't you think teaching kindergarten should be counted as aerobic exercise?
    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  3. I've done the Chit-Chat style Morning Message for 2 weeks now after reading about it on your blog. My kids absolutely ADORE it! (And so do I.) It's much more interactive.

    Your insect stuff looks great... I'll be starting it the first week of May when we return from our Spring Break. I'm very excited!

  4. Thanks for posting your schedule! As a first year teacher, it helps to see what other teachers are doing!

    Thanks goodness for teaching blogs :)

  5. I was just wondering how many centers you have during your centers/guided reading times. Do they have centers that they have to do and some that they may choose from. Also, how many groups do you have! Thanks for posting the schedule for me and all that you share with others. You are a blessing.


  6. hello
    love your website.. check out mine!

    Sara Zakar

  7. Thank you so much for your ideas. I LOVE your cute dragonflies. My first graders will love making these during our unit on insects.

  8. Thank you for posting your schedule. I wish that I could get to everything that you do in my half day schedule. I have bought almost all of your things on TPT and love every one of them. Thank you so much!

  9. Thank you for posting your schedule. I agree with Heather, I wish I had time for it all in 1/2 day kindergarten. Would it be possible to get information on how you structure your year? Maybe a unit outline - - What units you do in August, September, etc. I am fairly new to the "arranging" and planing my own units thing and it would be very helpful.

  10. Thanks for posting your schedule. I was wondering how you got so much accomplished but you do have a full day kindergarten class.

  11. You mentioned some transitional songs you sing. What's your pirate song?

  12. Are you a LFS school?

  13. Love the chit-chat idea and the accountability for listening to your partner. I will definitely incorporate this into our discussion after partner-reading tomorrow!


  14. I teach two half day sessions of 25 students each. I wish for your full day schedule!

  15. I am interested to know:

    what your writer's workshop looks like and what your literacy centers are in your classroom?

  16. I really have learned a lot about kinder students and curriculum through your website, TPT units, and blog. Thank you so much. :0)

  17. I would just love to make these dragonfly crafts with my kinders... could you spell out a few directions like approx. size, shapes, etc... thanks! Kelsey



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