Monday, April 10, 2017

Today, April 10, is the LAST DAY TO...

... 1.) enter the ESGI Pot of Gold drawing,

2.) get your extended FREE trial & a $40 discount on your 1st year of ESGI, 

3.) read the answers to your questions about teaching writing in kindergarten!


Here are the last questions & answers from my March 29 Webinar:

Emily, from Strasburg, Virginia stated: I love the shape books! Perfect for my Pre-K kiddos!

Thank you, Emily! I LoVe the Shape Writing templates too. 

My students come up with all kinds of creative ideas to answer the questions, "What is a circle?" or "What is a triangle?", etc. 
One child wrote, "A circle is a pancake."
Another child wrote, "A triangle is a Dorito." 
These made the cutest class books too. 
You can grab the entire set by CLICKING HERE.
Click the image above.

Or... you can get my Shape Writing as part of my 7 writing set flash drive which includes 71 templates for teaching writing! I'm offering the flash drive for $25 which includes FREE shipping. Just email me at and I will send you one. 
Here are some samples from the entire set:

Anika, from Las Vegas, Nevada asked: How do you get kinders to use sentence starters?

I meet with a homogeneous group of five students at a horseshoe table. This enables me to differentiate my techniques with each group and I might even differentiate within one group: 
1.) I read the sentence starter and we brainstorm ideas about how to complete the sentence. 
2.) I ask the students to trace the dotted sentence starter and illustrate their response on the blank area of their writing template.
3.) While they are tracing and illustrating, I begin by asking the first child how they want to complete the sentence starter. Depending on the level of the group, I either write it from their dictation with a wide-tip highlighter right on their template so they can trace over it, or I write it with a fine-tip marker on a lined Post-it (or with a dry-erase pen on my lined dry-erase mats) for the student to copy, or I help the student to sound/blend the words they have chosen and I might write the first letter of each work on their template so all they have to do is complete each word. Then, I move on to the next child and repeat the process.
4.) As children finish, I might ask them to add details to their illustration or share their writing with a partner until everyone in the small group is done. Then, we share our writing and illustrations with the entire small group.

Billi, from Robeline, Louisianna asked: I see tracing dots on the page.  Is this for the beginning of the year?  I will be looking on the blog for the answer. How long will the sign up be available? Are your assessments available to everyone?

Tracing dots are great for the beginning of the year, but some students need them as the year continues and I liked using them all year long with most of my students. I created enough to last you throughout the school year. You can always use the same writing prompt verbally and have your students respond on paper that does not have the prompt written in a dotted font.
The ESGI sign up is always available (for a 60 day free trial and $40 off of your 1st year if you use my code: KFUN), but 
You can sign up for FREE 
(You won't have to enter a credit card #.)
Yes, the assessments I wrote for ESGI are available for everyone who signs up for the free trial. They also have over 700 other assessments you may access too. 

Kayla, from Hazard, Kentucky asked: I’d like to know if she uses a specific writing program or if she uses this as her writing program/curriculum? Thanks!

No, I used my Instant Writing, Month-to-Month Writing, and all of the other templates offered in the bundle above framed with the red polk-a-dot frames. 

Lora, from Leitchfield, Kentucky stated: I have the same question about having them sound out the words...

I think the question was, "When do you expect them to sound out the words instead of just copying what you wrote from their dictation?"
It depends on the child and whether or not they are developmentally ready to encode. It is important to establish a foundation which includes verbally expressing a complete sentence, tracing or copying a complete sentence, and attempting to sound/blend parts of a complete sentence so we don't overwhelm them with too much at once. My students rapidly picked up on sound/blending and encoding when I would write the first letter of each of their dictated words on their paper. This also reinforced how to leave spaces between their words. They were able to stay focused on their sentence and they didn't forget how they meant to end their sentence because they had the first letter of each word to help remind them of what they were trying to write. 

A Shout Out:

I also wanted to include a "shout out" to 3 of my webinar attendees. I recognized three names: 
LeAnna Wolkis Goldstein 
Kaye Johnston
Faye Johnston
LeAnna is a fabulous presenter with SDE (Staff Development for Educators). If you ever get a chance to see her, do! She has so many great ideas and she is the sweetest person you will ever meet!
Kaye and Faye Johnston also work for SDE as event coordinators. You can find them at many SDE events and they will also be at "I Teach K!" in Las Vegas this July. They are both amazing and they really know how to run a wonderful conference! 

If you want more information about attending the best conference EVER, check out:


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