Friday, April 22, 2016

Southern Sale!

Atlanta TpT Sellers Meet-Up Sale
On Saturday, April 23, about 50 sellers on TpT in the Atlanta area will be meeting for dinner, support, and fun!  KinderLit is celebrating with a two-day sale on the 23rd and the 24th.  

One of the perks of selling our products on Teachers Pay Teachers is the assistance that we all give each other.  I have learned so much about marketing, creating products, and even blogging from other sellers during the past 4 years.  I’m sure I’ll be picking up more tips and hints tomorrow night!  

Have you ever thought about selling your own creations on Teachers Pay Teachers?  We’d love to help you get started and begin earning a little extra money for all your hard work you’re doing anyway for your students!  Your creations could be used to help other teachers and students all over the country - and even the world!  Send us a message through the Contact Us page on our website and we’ll get you started!   Ready to start now?  Click here to sign up and we'll walk you through the process!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Can Students Still Play and Learn in Kindergarten?

Kindergartens Ringing the Bell for Play Inside the Classroom

An Article from The New York Times, June 9, 2015

Linda:  I read the above article about incorporating play with the Common Core standards and thought back over my 35-year teaching career in kindergarten.  When I first started teaching, my classroom had “centers” for blocks, housekeeping, art, play dough, and even puppets but so many of those areas shrunk or were deleted altogether to make room for a guided reading station, a table for the Waterford program computers, and a large data cabinet for wiring and a TV monitor for announcements.

Lisa:  When Linda and I began teaching together back around 1990, we had half-day kindergarten with a morning and afternoon class for 2 1/2 hours each.  Our students learned the consonant letters and sounds for reading and number identification for 0 - 10 for math!!!  No Child Left Behind changed all that and now we have a full-day K program for 7 hours/day.  Our kinders continuously amaze us on just how far they can go with reading and math! 

Linda:  Now with CCSS, have we put too much emphasis on academic skills?  Is there still time for play?  Are social skills being ignored?  Every year around budget time, our district thinks about reducing Art, Music, and P.E. in favor of more academic time for all students.  A sad situation but we have been able to hang onto these special area teachers, unlike many schools around the country. 

Lisa:  There has to be a balance between academic work and play for these 5 and 6 year olds.  So I try to include time for play and for art whenever possible.  I still have a block corner which is a great learning place for social skills!  Now I also include paper and pencils in that center for labeling the creations and I use different art activities for our KinderLit books.  Gone are the days of setting out the painting easels every afternoon!  But I give the children the opportunity to be creative through our bookmaking.   

Look at the social skills and geometry going on here!

Future architects! 

Marble painting for our Colors Colors Look What I See book.  When we are done with the brown page for our books, we leave the mess out to give the children more time to play!
How do you include play in your day?  Please share your ideas and plans in the comment section below - we all need to help each other!
Update Notice!
We have added more recording pages to our One-and-Done project, Wishy-Washy.  There are also pages for your students to write about their own bath time!  If you have purchased Wishy-Washy in the past, please visit your page My Purchases in your account and download the latest version!  There is no cost to you for any update on TpT!   
Happy Teaching!

Monday, April 11, 2016

The King of _Ing Freebie!

Lisa:  I’m continually amazed at how much my students have grown and learned this year, especially with journal writing!  The children use phonetic spelling and I can read almost all their stories now!  Recently I introduced the King of _Ing to them and had them make their own crowns to wear home. 

To reinforce the _ing suffix in their writing, I had them select a photo of a child performing an action to glue onto a page in their King of Ing journal.  They circled the appropriate word “he” or “she” and then wrote a story about the picture, using as many “ing” words as possible. 

Be one of the first to get these crowns and journal pages for  free!  If you click on this cover, you’ll be able to download these activities! 
Linda: The King of Ing is an idea from Kid Writing, a research-based approach to teaching writing in kindergarten.  For more information, click on the cover of the book to go to the website.  You won’t regret it!
Our students love looking for _ing words in books and in the environment.  One year I had a student named Irving.  I introduced the King of _Ing to the class and someone noticed that Irving’s name ended in _ing.  He was our king for the rest of the year! Maybe you'll have a king in your classroom too! 

Happy Teaching!

Friday, April 1, 2016


Linda: We love making books with children!  Our students see themselves as authors and illustrators as soon as we finish our very first book in August. At one time, we had this assessment question for literature from our school district: “Who is your favorite author?”  Many children answered by saying, “Me!”  

Lisa: As April begins, it’s fascinating to see our August students now! They no longer rely on repetitive text such as “Red, red, I see red,” but are decoding actual text!  And they love making their own books! So we have created this FREE simple emergent reader on Community Helpers and for that tricky sight word "said."  

Linda: Our emergent readers always reinforce a concept or theme but we also create the pages to help the students learn a new sight word.  We’re beginning our community helper unit soon and created this emergent reader which can be yours by clicking on this picture of the product cover: 

Lisa: There are 8 different community helpers included so pick out the pages you want for your student books and let them write “I” and “said” on each page.  At a literacy station, we work on one page a day for the helper we are studying.  The background illustrations are created by the students with crayons or colored pencils. 

Be sure to click on any of the photos above to get this free emergent reader before it’s added to our TpT store in a few weeks!

Before the children take home any book, we always sit together and read it one more time.  Here’s my class holding up their community helpers collage book, Oh, What Can I Be?  They are showing their favorite helper and each collage is so unique!! 

Happy Teaching!