Monday, July 16, 2012

Differentiated Word Work and A Freebie-Kinder Daily 5 Book Study Chapter 6


I'm so excited about this Chapter.  I've replayed and adjusted and maneuvered how word work is going to look and function in my classroom.  All this thinking and pondering usually happens in the middle of the night when I'm in a dead sleep and wake up to an A-HA moment.  Does this happen to anyone but me?  Well, I've learned to sleep with a notebook next to my bed and as a result, I think I have a pretty good plan of action.

First of all, I like the idea of being an area where students can CHOOSE what they would like to work on.  In order to accomplish this, I am going to start out with 6 activities for students to choose from and probably expand it to 9. 

I plan on housing them in  Steralite drawers like these that I currently use for my math stations.  These are big enough to house almost anything I have and big enough that I can put differentiated activities in them.  Students can easily pull them in and out so they are great for maintaining independence. 



Will my stations always be the same?  Probably not ALWAYS (I get bored when things are always the same and if I'm bored then I know my kids are too.)  I know that there will be times when I want to add different skills or manipulatives. So for that reason I don't necessarily want to affix a permanent picture label to the front of my drawers.  Instead, I will probably be affixing them with velcro so I can easily change them as needed. 

When I start planning for differentiating word work I want to have a good plan of action so I created this planning sheet to guide me.  Of course, I'm going to doing on-going assessment to know where my kiddos are and the skills which they need more practice.  I like to tier by color because I can simply write my kinders names on an orange, blue or green laminated card and they know which envelope, bag or bin from which they need to work.  Because the cards are laminated, I can adjust quickly and easily as needed or as skills change.

So back to my planning template:




With differentiated instruction, we are always working toward a core principle or concept and I want to be mindful of that so I have an area to write that down on my plan.  Then there is a spot for me to write down the name of the activity and three areas of tiering.  Sometimes I tier for two and some activities aren't tiered at all.  That's OK.  You don't have to tier everything.   I also quite often will add a little code for multiple intelligences  in the corner so that I know I am being mindful of my student's different learning profiles. You don't want to have only spatial activities or only logical activities.  Make sure you have a wide variety to appeal to all your learners.


Ok so let me show you a completed example. 




Before I give you an explanation of each of these, let me just say.  It's pretty much impossible for me to know at this point how I will tier my stations.  That something that comes as you assess your students and figure out what skills and concepts they need to work on.  I could very well end up with students who have already mastered all there letter sounds and be onto segmenting short cvc words or they could be ready to start their Dolch (I call them BALL Words) word study.  If that's the case, this template would look very different.  Still, students would be completing the same activities, just working on different skills and concepts.  Ok that being said . . .


Here's a short explanation of each station and how (if) they are tiered:

Station 1.  Wild For Write The Room.  


 This is a kinesthetic activity that will allow you to address letter sound skills and basic letter recognition skills at the same time. 

Station 2.  Top Bananas Letter Recognition I-Spy



This is a unit that is I use before introducing ball words (Dolch word study) to my kinders.  They work at different activities to become TOP LETTER BANANAS.  You can click on the picture to find out more about the unit.  If I wanted to differentiate this station as well, I could also slip in . . .




This is a differentiated I-Spy activity that address letter sounds and letter recognition both.  Both of these appeal to your logical and intrapersonal intelligences.

Station 3.  Banana Splits Letter Game


This activity is played with two or more students.  Again, it is part of my TOP BANANAS unit but the activity is used when then progress to Ball Words so they become very familiar with the game.  It's a class favorite much like the I-Spy activities.  One student hides the banana split and the other students guess where it is hidden.  They must point and say the letter name (or sound depending on skill), if the banana split is there, then they get the next turn for hiding it.  If it isn't there, it is the next person's turn to guess. It's a great interpersonal, kinesthetic, logical activity.

Station 4  See-Bead-Write



This is a  self-correcting (can't get much more independent than this) letter recognition activity where students string letter beads (Does anyone else have a bunch of letter beads lying around their room?)  in sequence and then write the sequence below.  (There is also a CVC-CVCC/CCVC version of this activity in my store as well and a Dolch word version coming.)  The activity has cards for either lowercase or capital letter beads so you can use whatever beads you might have lying around your room. It appeals to your kinesthetic learners and IS excellent for strengthening fine motor which I can never get enough of at the beginning of the year.

Station 5. Top Banana Letters In A Bottle





Top Banana Letters in a Bottle is another activity from my TOP BANANAS unit.  Students search for letters in the bottle.  When they find one, they circle whether it is a capital or lowercase letter and then write the letter on their recording sheet. 

Station 6. Buggy for Rhymes


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This is a free activity that you can use for rhyming in your sensory/sand table.  I like to use my sandtable for other things besides sand.  Of course you can always just throw the cards in a bucket if you don't have a sand table readily available.  Students match up the rhyming pictures and pin them together.  Musical and kinesthetic intelligences will love this and, of course, it's great fine motor practice.

Station 7.  Play-doh





Because so many of them still need to strengthen those hand muscles and because they just love it so, I almost always have some kind of play-doh activity.  Whether it's making letters on letter mats out of play-doh or stamping play-doh with letter stamps.  There are alot of free resources out there for play-doh.  This is just a little free one I made up for my play-doh stampers. If you'd like it go ahead and click on the picture to get it.

Station 8 Pokey Pins.



This is not one of my products but I love it so that I will be including it in my word work stations this fall.  It is an activity from Mrs. Miners Monkey Business store. Students use little push pins to reinforce different concepts AND, of course, it's GREAT fine motor.   The set I have includes letters, letters and sounds, and site words. So it will last me for most of the year.  If you would like to check it out, you can click on the picture to get more information.

Station 9 Top Banana Slap




This is another activity from my Top Banana unit where students use flyswatters (I also do this on the floor with beanbags) to slap the letter or letter sound that is called out.  I usually save this center for a volunteer to run if I have one for that particular day. 


If there isn't a volunteer, then students can do another letter sorting activity called Monkey Vines (from my Top Bananas unit).  Students sort letters by CAPITALS or Lowercase, In my name/Not In my Name, or short, tall and in the basement and pin them to a vine (rope) hanging from the ceiling or between two chairs.

So that's my plan.  Students will get to choose which station to complete when they have a Word Work day.  I'll keep track of who has gone where by having a check sheet on a clipboard like this.



When they go to station 2 they put an X under station 2 next to their name.  That way they know and I know which stations they can choose from next time they go to Word Work.  My plan is to change the stations up every 2 weeks.


Some of the Word Work Stations will have specific spots where the activities need to be completed such as play-doh needs to be at a table or Banana Splits is played at a pocket chart, but there are also many activities that can be played either on the floor and they will be able to choose.

I'm excited to see what everyone else has lined up for their Word Work, so I'll be linking up and I hope you do to.  Just head on over to Kreative in Kinder for Word Work and Little Miss Kindergarten for Writing.





35 comments :

  1. These tasks all look wonderful and I am sure that they will work as part of D5 in your classroom. I love that they are also age appropriate and work on fine motor skills too. :)

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    1. Thanks so much. I really work hard (especially at the beginning of the year) to get those little finger muscles moving.
      Marsha

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  2. What great activities! I really like your Word Work Station organizer. I can see this being very helpful to me. Thank you for sharing!
    Jessica

    Apples and Papers

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    1. Thanks Jessica. Even if you don't use nine stations I think it will give you an idea of HOW you can organize it.
      Marsha

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  3. LOVE IT!! Lucky me, I have a monkey theme in my bilingual classroom. I can definitely use your letter activities. Thank you for sharing, I now have more ideas to implement with my kinder kiddos. I have to say your CC addition to the lesson plan sheet is BRILLIANT. I've been inserting the CC standards onto all copies, except my D5 materials for some reason.

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    1. Arenia, I'm so glad you will be able to use these in your class. I know I am going back through all of my items in my store (most have them) and including the Common Core Standards to make it easier as well. I think it will be really helpful.
      Marsha

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  4. Looove all these ideas!! Will be implementing them too!

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    1. Thanks so much. I'm so glad that others can use the ideas have know my own students love.
      Marsha

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  5. These are WONDERFUL - thank you for sharing!

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  6. Love these! Thank you for all the ideas!

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  7. Thank you so much! I am getting excited about how to revamp my schedule with these awesome activites and ideas. I teach an extended day K 8:05-11:15 and 11:15-2:25. This will definitely help me reach all my kiddos...

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    1. Wow! is that one class for both those sessions or are you teaching two classes. I can't imagine trying to fit everything in during a half day. That could be really tough.
      Marsha

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  8. i love your ideas--but cannot seem to find the link for the playdoh? any ideas where to look? thanks!

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  9. Wonderful ideas, love them all! Just wondering, how do you introduce them to your class? One at a time, several at once or what? And, how often do you change them out?
    Thanks!
    Kathy

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    1. It takes alot of modeling for sure. The one thing I like about these activities is that once they learn them, there are similar activities that I use for my Dolch Word (Ball Word) Units. It makes it alot easier for them to 'know' how to do the I-spy sheets and just go pick out their level and do it. They don't have to relearn the activity necessarily. They just have a new theme or new material to work with. I won't be changing these out weekly. Probably more like every two weeks.
      Marsha

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  10. Thanks again for the FUN learning ideas! How soon will you start the Daily 5 with your class and how soon will you introduce these activities?
    THANKS so much!
    meg

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    1. I will start Daily 5 in some capacity on Day 1. Even if word work only last 5 minutes and we have to come back and regroup. Once they understand the expectations, then the types of activities and tasks can be added. I will stick to pretty simple stuff those first several days that I am teaching routines and assessing readiness.
      Great question.
      Marsha

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  11. Many thanks for all the info and freebies in this post. I feel more confident about Word Work (and especially differentiating) now!

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    1. Oh that's awesome Robin. I think sometimes it's just a matter of getting your head wrapped around it and then going OH I GET IT. I have to see things layed out to really understand them.
      Marsha

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  12. Great post...I loved this chapter too! Thanks for all the ideas (and pictures!)
    Bobbie



    The Daily Cupcake…A Kindergarten Blog

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    1. Thanks Bobbie. I'm glad you liked them. I need lots of pictures myself because I'm so visual and it helps me wrap my head around a concept. So because I'm visual, I tend to use alot of pictures in my blog.
      Marsha

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  13. Wonderful post. I am new to differentiation, and this example is very helpful to me. Thanks!
    Alyce

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

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  14. Love your posts, Marsha. They are practical and clear. I am eager to start the Daily 5 in my classroom. Going back to Kindergarten (have been in 2nd grade for 5 years) and this book study has been so helpful! My mind is so full of ideas!

    Sara
    Kinderaffe2ndgraders.blogspot.com

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  15. I love all of your great ideas for word work. I purchased your top banana and baseball words packs yesterday. I can't wait to use them with my Pre-K kids.

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  16. You have great ideas. I am your newest follower
    Rhonda
    Classroom Fun

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  17. What a beautiful blog you have! I'm pinning this. I hope you'll visit my blog sometime: Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers. A former kinder teacher's tips, etc. I'm your newest follower and glad I found you!

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  18. Thank you so much for all your wonderful ideas. I used the ocean ones last year in my centers and my kinders loved them. I have a class monkey so I am very excited to start the year with the monkey ideas. I also bought your Top Banana and Baseball unit. We do have some different sight words. Is it possible to have some blank balls that I can use to add our words? I am looking forward to using all of them!

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  19. Marsha...you are amazing! The word work station with the Common Core Standards...LOVE!! I totally adore your blog!

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  20. Where do you come up with all of your wonderful literacy center ideas, I struggle so much with that task.

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    1. My own boys and my kinders give me lots of ideas and materials to consider. I'm very fortunate to have them share their ideas with me.
      M

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  21. Where do you come up with all of your wonderful literacy center ideas, I struggle so much with that task.

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  22. Now that you have done this for a year I would love to hear a follow up... How did the tracking go? That is something that I have struggled with this year. How did D5 go for you from the START? I had high hopes that soon went out the window... I am sure it was NOT because I got my job 7 days before school.... So I am so excited to have all summer to prep!! I want to know how does D5 look like from the start of K. I have seen it successful later in the year. When I think back to the first day and the 5 boys I had and how crazy things were .... all the wasted time... We have come so far but I want to be better!

    Sorry so long :) You are who I want to grow up as!!

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    1. Wow. What a nice compliment. By tracking, I assume you mean progress monitoring. I think this is an area I actually have a really good handle on. Because I use my common core checklists and lots of note taking, I am able to keep regrouping my students based on skills, interests and learning styles. D5 gave me a ton of time with students so that I knew their capabilities and could assess/adjust/instruct. When D5 starts out in the fall it seems like it takes forever to get them to build stamina, but once it was up and running it went well. Are there things I tweaked? Absolutely. I didn't anticipate have 27 kinders so I had to. With anything, you have to adjust to make things better, run more smoothly, be more effective...we wouldn't be teachers if we didn't. My husband always wants to know why it seems like I'm always changing things each year, adding more, adjusting...I always say, if I had the same group of kids each year I probably wouldn't have to, but I can't bottle up my curriculum and expect it to fit every class . . . let alone every child.
      Hope this answers some of your questions.
      Marsha

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  23. Do you remember where you got the alphabet beads for the letter bottles? I can only seem to find all uppercase letters. Thank you!

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