Kindergarten and First Grade Writing : Phonics

Inventive Spelling and Phonics plays a huge role in writing for kindergarten and first grade students. I find anchor charts and a classroom wall dedicated to phonics to come in very handy. Below is an anchor chart for those tricky vowel pairs. I call them Sound Twins ( however there are some triplets too!)

phonics anchor chart
Vowel Pairs Anchor Chart


If you would like to recreate this anchor chart I have saved the clip art I used into a PDF file. Just print, cut, and paste! Click here to download. 



Here is the pdf version of the above anchor chart. Click here to download.

Narrative Writing for Kindergarten

Narrative Writing is a fun genre for my class because we are far enough in the school year that the class  can actually do some awesome inventive spelling. That skill combined with temporal words like : First, Next, Then, Later, After, Last, or Finally, and kids can really do some amazing writing pieces. I'm created a little poster to help introduce Narrative Writing to my class. I project it on the class' Promethean Board and start a discussion about it. Here is the poster link.

Narratives
Narrative Writing Poster


I then give my students an example of a narrative story about how my family adopted a cat from a shelter.

Narrative Writing Sample Page


I point out to the class how the whole story answers the following questions: Who? What? When? Where? and Why?

Here is the journal cover master I run off on colored paper for my class. All the master copies are in a freebie file on my Teachers Pay Teachers profile. For that Narrative Writing Graphic Organizer Freebie click here.

Narrative Writing Journal Cover

Narrative Writing Graphic Organizer



Kindergarten Writing : Centers

High frequency words or sight words are an important part of writing. For this reason, many of my Literacy Centers are centered around sight words. A few weeks ago,  I noticed The Dollar Tree Store had cookie sheets for one dollar each so I grabbed a stack of them and headed for the register. With the help of a thick Sharpie and tons of magnetic letters the results are below.

sight words
Sight Words Magnetic Letter Center

sight words
Magnetic Letters Sight Word Center

Kindergarten Writing Center
Magnetic Letters Literacy Center

Kindergarten Writing Center
Magnetic Letters Writing Center

I took the time to check if I had enough letters to spell all words before introducing them to my class. Looks like I had enough letters!

For more sight word practice during writing center I also put out a cut and paste center for over 50 different grade level appropriate words.

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Sight-Words-Practice-Pages-Set-One-722572
Sight Word Practice for Kindergarten
Here is the link for this set of two letter sight words,  three letter sight words, and four letter sight words.

Kindergarten Writing - Opinion Writing Prompts

Without daily writing prompts many students this age will write about the same topic every single day. One year, I had a student who would write about the Red Power Ranger every single chance he got.  Last year, I had a student who would write about her puppy no matter how much I encouraged her to branch out. This is why writing prompts are so important. I typically give my class a "free-write" day once every two weeks. Otherwise, there is always, always, always a writing prompt for the day! This helps to establish that writing is just like talking. The prompt (or question of the day) helps kids to feel like they're having a conversation instead of doing a chore.

Here are some easy prompts to establish the concept of Opinion Writing



Easy – Introducing the Concept

  1. Describe the best snack.
  2. Describe the best toy.
  3. Describe the best dessert.
  4. Describe the best dinner/lunch/breakfast.
  5. Describe the best movie.
  6.  Describe the best show on TV.
  7. Describe the best game to play in a pool.
  8. Describe the best sport to play/watch.
  9. Describe the best game to play at home.
  10. Describe the best game to play at recess.


Writing Possible sentence frames to help EL students: 
" The best snack is _______. I like it because it is ________." 
" I think _______ is the best because it is ________. " 



Medium – Developing the Concept

1.    Do you prefer fruits or vegetables? Why?

2.    Do you prefer cookies or crackers? Why?

3.    Do you prefer pancakes or waffles? Why?

4.    Do you prefer Legos or blocks? Why?

5.    Do you prefer cupcakes or brownies?

6.    Do you prefer chicken nuggets or fish sticks?

7.    Do you prefer hot dogs or sandwiches?

8.    Do you prefer baseball or football?

9.    Do you prefer hopscotch or tag?
10.   Do you prefer painting or play dough?

Writing Possible sentence frames to help EL students: 
" I prefer _____ because ______." 
" I prefer _____ over ______ because ______." 

Hard – Practicing Negation and Mindful Reasons
1.    Is it safe to visit a zoo?
2.    Is it safe to cross the street without an adult?
3.    Is it safe to go to bed without brushing your teeth?
4.    Is gummy bears and chocolate a healthy snack?
5.    Should children be allowed to walk to school by themselves?
6.    Should children have chores/jobs at home?
7.    Should girls and boys be allowed to use the same bathrooms?
8.     Do we need police officers in our community or can we solve our own problems?
9.     Do we need fire fighters in our community or can we take care of our own homes or buildings on fire?
10.    Put yourself in the perspective of a turkey on Thanksgiving. What other meats would the turkey say you should eat instead of him? 

Writing Possible sentence frames to help EL students: 
" I believe ______. My first reason is ______. Another reason is ________. My last reason is _______." 


To download a pdf file of these prompts click here.