Sunday, September 25, 2016

Daily Journal Writing in Kindergarten!

Autumn Writing Journals:

This is the perfect time to get your students writing EVERY day.

My kindergarten students started out the year copying a group sentence or attempting to complete the sentence by filling in the last word. 

These are four different sentences that we copied in our journals over one week.
We copied one each day and I covered all of the other sentences so only one showed at a time.
Check out these autumn themed daily writing journals 
with a five-point rubric. 
Use this template to create excitement and interest in daily writing. 

Click the image above to grab the set of all 5 templates. 
The rubric is the same one I used all year long, only the cute icons change with the seasons. 
1. I wrote my name.
2. I used spaces between my words.
3. I used a capital and a period.
4. I sound-blended
5. I wrote neatly.

You can get the entire set of 5 journal templates by clicking on the image above. 

Then, they brought their journal up to me and I used a marking pen to place a dot on each icon that they earned.
This is my generic journal template which may be used at any time of the year.
The teacher uses a marker to place a dot on each earned icon.

Then, each student gets to color in each earned icon. 
Students get to color in each icon that has a dot.
Notice that spelling is not a factor.
This student clearly attempted to sound-blend, so they earned that icon.
The period was left off. I inserted it in red ink and did not dot that icon. 

This is what my students looked like while writing in their daily journals:
My students write on the slanted surface of
3-ring binders. Did you know that it's almost
impossible to write letters from the bottom up
while using a slanted surface? 
This is one of their first journals.
They copied their sentence from a chart. 

I stored the journals in a tote tray in the order that my students turned them in to me. This way, the child who gave me their journal last was the first one to get their journal the next day! That child needs the most time, so they get their journal first. 
Journal pages and a construction paper cover.
The cover says, "If you give a kid a pencil..."
What About The Early Finisher???
If you have a few students who finish way before the others, let them be your special helpers. Give them a pointer and ask them to check the students who are still working and remind them to include certain things while writing. 
I got all 3 of these for $1 at the Dollar Tree.
I added the labels. 

Here are examples of what they can tell the working students:
1. Captain Capital- Check papers for a capital letter at the beginning of the first word.
2. Punctuation Pointer- Check papers for a period at the end of the sentence.
3. Neatness Nurse- Check papers for neatly written letters.
4. Space Cadet- Check papers for spaces between words.
(You may have more than one child for each job.)

Remember, daily writing is NOT a test. We want students to be successful and earn as many icons as they can. Reminding them of these skills helps to build their confidence because it will help them to earn more icons. You can use this template to test writing skills, but not during Daily Writing time. 

Their journals becomes a wonderful sample of each student's successful attempts at writing and should be shared with parents at your next parent-teacher conference. 

My next post will be about October Math Ideas! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"It's Fall, Ya' All"

Time for Some Fall Writing FUN!

Fall is here and it's time to to fill your walls with writing. It's not too early to get your students writing! 

Why not start with a simple small group writing lesson? 
This template is perfect for your small-group time.
Here is how it works:
(It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!)

1.  Meet with a small group of about 5 or 6 students. 
Here is the small group I met with ON HALLOWEEN! 
Give them each a piece of lined paper with the prompt "On Halloween, I will be __________." printed on it.  
Ask each child to write their name at the top and then create an illustration of what they want to be for Halloween.

(You can also use one of my Halloween Writing templates. Students trace the dotted letters with a pencil.) 
Click the image above to grab the entire set of 20 templates. 

2. While students are drawing, ask each child to tell you what they want to be for Halloween. You write what they tell you on lined Post-its or dry-erase boards so it can be copied by each child.

You can use lined dry-erase magnets like these.
I got these at Target's Dollar Spot. 
Idea: Laminate construction paper with samples of the alphabet and a number line attached.
Then, I add a piece of lined dry-erase contact paper to each mat.
Then, I can take students' dictation, write it on the dry-erase paper,
and they can copy it. I still need to add the dry-erase paper to the green, blue, and purple mats. 
3.  Students should use unwrapped, broken, black crayons to fill in the black background so it looks like nighttime. 

I like to post their seasonal writing on a 12" X 12" frame that has a file clip (the type they used in medical files prior to the use of computers) attached to the top through two holes. 
This is a writing sample we did later in the year.
I just wanted you to see how the clips work. 
As students produce a new writing sample, all I have to do is punch two holes at the top and add it to the clip. 
This is a sample of their springtime writing.
I continue to add their monthly writing throughout the year.
At the end of the year, open the clips, remove the work, and send it home.

Celebrate Autumn:

If you would rather have your students write about fall, you can use this template after brainstorming things you can do in the fall like rake, collect, or play in piles of leaves, walk in the rain, run in the wind, or celebrate Thanksgiving.  

Click the image to grab the entire set of 20 templates. 

You follow the same procedure: (It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!)
1. Students illustrate while you take dictation.
2. Students trace the dotted letters and copy from their dictation.
3. Students add background color (they can use unwrapped, broken, blue crayons to look like the sky) and you post their writing on the bulletin board. 

You can get the entire set of 20 templates by 

Sneak Peek @ my next blogpost: 
Using Daily Writing Journals in Kindergarten.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Enter to WIN 3 GREAT PRIZES & Find Out How We Celebrated The Color YELLOW!

We celebrated "Yellow Day"!

But, first, let me tell you about my latest give-away! 

You can win a Show & Tell Apron! 
Click the image to enter the Rafflecopter.   

Or you can win a FREE Year of ESGI & save yourself hundreds of hours each year!

And... if you give ESGI a try with their 60 day FREE trial (no credit card required), you will automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card for Teachers Pay Teachers!

The Rafflecopters are at the end of the blogpost about my most recent Webinar.

Now, Let Me Tell You About "Yellow Day":

We all wore yellow, we made individual cups of lemonade, and we made a book about yellow things!


First, I requested organic lemons from our parents by placing a Post-it on our "Giving Tree".  You can grab our Giving Tree FREE here.
I also requested cups, organic sugar, and filtered water.  My great parents had everything we needed at school by 8:00 A.M.  :)
Wow, this has been
over 1800 times!

Here it is mounted on construction
paper and laminated.
You can use any type of Post-its.
 The apple ones are so cute! 
Then, I brought in my juicer and a small knife to cut the lemons.  Now, this juicer is older than me, and I'm pretty old!  You can use any juicer, even a fork inserted into a half of a lemon works well.  Just juice over a strainer to remove the seeds.
It's hard work!

They loved working hard to make their own
You can usually find a juicer like this one for about $10 at a swap meet or flea market.  My son bought one, power sanded it with steel wool, repainted the base red, and gave it as a gift.  It looked so amazingly retro!

Problem solving when the juicer started to move.
I like the way his yellow crown covered his eyes.
I didn't have to smudge out too much of his face!

He loved squeezing his own organic lemon!

How we Made Lemonade:

OK, after each child in my small group of 4 juiced 1/2 of a lemon, we poured 1/2 cup of water into a plastic cup.  
Spills are OK.  That's why we worked on
yellow construction paper.  :)

It was interesting to see who knew how to
1st: hold the white cup so it didn't tip, and
B: pour quickly enough so as not to spill.
(Do you like that 1st, then B thing?)
Then we added 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed, organic lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of organic sugar.
Measuring wet and dry ingredients.  
When they stirred, they got to hear the sugar scraping the bottom of the cup as organic sugar tends to come in larger granules than highly processed sugar.  

Five Senses Link:

So, we saw the yellow lemons, smelled them as we squeezed them, listened to the sugar scraping the bottom of the cup, tasted the lemonade, and felt the bump lemons and the wet, cool lemonade.

Linking Our Color Days To Our Calendar:

For the first 11 Fridays, we celebrate our Color Days.  I use these Color Day Notes

and Color Days Calendar Cards to remind students to wear a particular color on a particular day.
The notes are
in both English
& Spanish.
You get 2 on
a page so they
are easier tocopy.

Color Day
Calendar Cards

You can find these items by clicking on the images.
Then, we made a Color Day Class Book for the color we were celebrating that week!  This download also includes an individual page where your students can write about something that is a particular color. 

Our Color Days
Class Books.  
This download also includes an individual student book.  We used this as we integrated Writers Workshop into our day.  :)

You can win a Show & Tell Apron or Ond Year of ESGI.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Did You Miss It?

Grab Your FREE Resources & Enter to Win Prizes:

Enter to win a SHOW AND TELL APRON!!! 
(Scroll down to enter.)

Click the image to see all of the cute aprons they have. 
Enter to win One Year of ESGI!!! 
(Scroll down to enter)

BONUS: If you sign up for a FREE 60 day trial, 
you will automatically be entered in a raffle 
for a $50 gift card 
for Teachers Pay Teachers!

Click to see ESGI's website.

If you missed my webinar this week, no worries...
Click the image to view the archived webinar.

Not only is it achieved HERE, but here are all of the cool links for FREEBIES an other great resources. Scroll down to enter to win prizes.

        Free Resources:

Classroom Organization Webinar Archive: (Should be available by Sept. 16)

Crayon Box Insert:

Number Line Cards:

The Giving Tree:

12” Whisper Blogpost:

Whole Brain Teaching:

KFUNdamentals’ TpT Store:  (Find 20 FREEBIES there)

KFUNdamentals’ Blog:

KFUNdamentals’ Pinterest Boards:

KFUNdamentals’ Facebook:

KFUNdamentals’ Twitter:

KFUNdamentals’ Instagram:

  Other Resources:

Kleen Slates:

Show & Tell Aprons:

I Saved This For You:

And here is the link to the archived webinar:

Win a Show & Tell Apron!

This Rafflecopter will begin on Sept. 16 at 12:00 AM PDT.  It will end on Sept. 23 at 12:00 AM.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win 1 Year of ESGI: 

Bonus: If you register for a FREE 60 day trial, you will automatically be entered to win a $50 gift card from ESGI. 

This Rafflecopter will begin on Sept. 16 at 12:00 AM PDT.  It will end on Sept. 23 at 12:00 AM.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced here and on KFUNdamentals' Facebook page on Friday, Sept. 23.  CLICK HERE to see Kfundamentals' FB page. 
And the winners are.....

For the Show And Tell Apron:  Kadee Strait


For the Year of ESGI:  Danielle Steiner

Congratulations to you both! You will receive an email with the details soon. :)

Monday, September 12, 2016


Tune In On Thursday, Sept. 15 at 4:00 PM (EDT)...

Click the image above to join in the fun. 
Catch my quick webinar this Thursday, Sept. 15 @ 4:00 PM (EDT) on Classroom Tips & Hacks that will help you to have an AMAZING CLASSROOM!
Click any image to join in on the fun.

This webinar is geared for Pre-K, T.K., Kindergarten, and 1st, but almost any grade will find something useful in this WebBrief.
Click the image above.

Register for FREE by clicking HERE.

Be sure to have a pen handy to copy down some URLs for lots of FREEBIES. 

I'll be covering 3 quick topics:
1.  Managing Materials

2.  Managing Data

3.  Managing Students

Be prepared to be inspired! And find out how you can win a $50 Gift Card for Teachers Pay Teachers!  CLICK HERE to get your free trial & be entered in the $50 gift card drawing!

Click the image above to get your FREE trial & be entered in the $50 Gift Card drawing.

See you all on Thursday, Sept. 15! 
(4:00 PM EDT, 3:00 MDT, 2:00 PM CDT, 1:00 PM PDT.)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Name on EVERY Paper & Win a $50 TpT Gift Card!!!

How do I get EVERY child to write their name on their paper?

These are tropical fruit scents.

It's easy.  I use scented lip gloss.  Well, not on lips.  This is how it works:

You, or an aide or volunteer, walks around the classroom with scented lip gloss.
If you see a student's name written neatly on the line (no flying letters allowed), you rub a tiny dot of scented lip gloss on the back of their hand.  We call it a "smelly spot" and you get one if you have a name on your paper by a certain time.  

I also love how it goes great with our 5 Senses unit.  The kids love it and will hurry to their tables and write their names just to get a smelly spot.  You can find them at the Dollar Store and I even saw some cute crayon-shaped ones at the Target Dollar Spot.  Have fun with this one.  

Check out my:
FaCeBoOk:  Click Here to see my Facebook. (Tons of FREE ideas.)
PiNtErEsT:  Click Here to see my Pinterest Boards.  (Oh, the ideas on these boards!)
TeAcHeRs PaY tEaChErS:  Click Here to see my TPT Store (Did you say, "15 freebies?!")

And you might like my 5 Senses Writing Pack:
Click the image to see the writing pack.

Win a $50 Gift Card For Teachers Pay Teachers:

Have you heard of ESGI?

Give it a try for FREE for 60 days 
and you will automatically be entered to 
win a $50 gift card for TpT!

Just use the promo code KFUN when you 
sing up for your FREE trial by clicking RIGHT HERE.
(No credit card required, no risk, & no cost for the FREE trial.)

That code will also give you $40 off of your 1st year, 
if you decide to sign up after your FREE trial is over. 

Try it now and see for yourself how ESGI will change your life!
You will spend less time testing, 
you will gain useful data about each child,
 and your students will LOVE testing 
because ESGI makes it so much fun!