Guided Reading

Guided Reading
Guided Reading


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Kindergarten Step by Step- Edition Two {Guide to Center Time}

Hey all and thanks so much for joining me for the second edition of Kindergarten Step by Step.  Last week was all about schedules!  If you missed that post you can click HERE!  You will also want to make sure you sign up to receive my blog posts via email so you don't miss out on the weekly series!  You can sign up directly under my picture to the right side of the school!  Alright, forward... today we are going to be discussing literacy centers!  I get a lot of questions how I run things in my room so I have covered that for you today!  Please know that this is just what's worked for me... if you love it, get it a shot!  If you want to throw tomatoes then fire away ;)  All of the information shared on the video and on the slides below can be downloaded for FREE here!

If you'd like you can click play in the video and then follow along with these slides or on the actual packet from TPT!  The visual quality is a little poor on the actual video!  However, if you love to hear me ramble you'll want to listen in below :)

What ARE independent centers?

Wanting to start centers?  Check off these four things and you'll be on your way!

Why do I feel the importance of INDEPENDENT work?

The five centers of my day!

The up and down pacing of my literacy center block!  

Sample week of students!

A checklist to make sure all students are going to each center during the week!

Below is a sample of one day's rotation board!  However, I have added a week's work of samples for you to view and editable rotation boards that you can download for free HERE!  The student reading levels are only shown for a quick visual of the reading group and would not be shown on the finished boards ;)

I love using my interactive board for center dismissal!  The students can quickly see where they are going and get there quick!  Once you set up the files for the first time you only need to pull the file up and click!  No switching cards everyday, etc!

A look at one student's journey through the literacy center week!

A look at ideas for your word work center!

A look at ideas for your writing center!

Ideas for your technology center!

Ideas to go "beyond" book tubs for independent read.

Hands-on explore ideas!

A closer look at the first four weeks of the literacy center block!

Ideas for setting up your writing folders/center

Ideas for setting up your word work baskets!

Independent read options for the kiddos!

Ideas to organize your technology center!

Explore tub organization!

A little about about holding kids accountable during literacy centers!

Taking time daily to discuss positives and possible something to work on the next day!

Transitioning back to the carpet after each round!

Ideas on how often to switch out your centers!

A couple ideas on how to introduce the new games to your students!

The importance of brain breaks during independent work time!

A couple ideas on how to organize your centers!

I get a lot of questions from teachers that have purchased several of my packet... and they aren't quite sure how to mesh them all together!  Below I explain and show a year long pacing of literacy centers, writing center, and explore tub ideas!  I only show one slide below, but once downloading the packet you'll be able to view all the weeks!

A look at a possible week 1 and 2 literacy centers, writing center material, and explore tub ideas!

Below is a look at the packets I utilize throughout the year for literacy centers and writing center!

Primary Writing Printables for the YEAR

Are you ready to take over your center time!?  Here is a quick last minute check!

I hope you were able to pick up some information and activity ideas for your literacy center block!  Remember that you can download the entire packet along with the free rotation board by click below!  If you are struggling with a part of your literacy block of have questions about mine feel free to email me

Thanks!  Tara

Summer Explore Tubs

Hey, hey!  It's time for a brand new set of fine motor explore centers!  These are great for this time of the year ...a mix of hands-on, with summer, and FUN!   You'll want to be sure to click through to each activity so you can read about each in depth!  I hope your littles love these and thanks so much for the internet - -total game changer for us teachers! :)


This is a fun and practice fine motor center!  The Bead Drop just needs beads, jar/bowl {like a better tub}, and fine motor tweezers or clothes pins!  Read more about this HERE.

Bead drop from Modern Preschool


Umm... nothing says summer like sand!  I love how And Next Comes L has paired the kinetic sand with fun "manipulatives" like sticks aka pencils and geoboards aka writing surface!  In my room I'm putting the kinetic sand into a plastic bowl with a lid and then will leave them a cookie sheet to pout it out on then they'll place it back into the bowl once their through!

Kinetic Sand idea from 
And Next Comes L


Another adorable idea from And Next Comes L!  For this activity the kiddos will be using those strong finger muscles again to attach clothes pin legs and tails to the foam animals.  However, they can be created and mix and match the legs and tails! Fun!

Mix and Match Animals from And Next Comes L


Eeeek "worms!" For this activity you will place pipe cleaner worms OR little creatures from the dollar store!  The kiddos will use their fine motor tweezers to dig for the items in the "dirt!"  I am placing my brown rice into a plastic "shoe box" so that it will have a lid and hopefully cut down on a chance of a spill! #wishfulthinkingatleast

Digging for Worms idea from Laughing Kids Learn

Did someone say barbecue?  These are adorable little ketchup and mustard lacing cards!  You can snag them for free from Classic Play!

Have a splendid week and enjoy these last few weeks! :)

Kindergarten Step by Step: Edition One {Schedules}

Hey all and thanks so much for stopping in for the very first edition of Kindergarten Step by Step!  This is going to be a very detailed weekly blog series!  I am very excited to finally get this off the ground!  Let me get through some "housekeeping" tidbits and then we will get started!  Kindergarten step by step will be where you can access my blog weekly for the "behind the scenes" of teaching.  This spring we will focus on preparing for next year, this summer we will continue with that theme but really hammer down the details, and then all next year we will visit weekly on the activities we are teaching THAT upcoming week and recap the week we just taught as a way to reflect and grow our teaching.  I will be sharing weekly pictures AND videos of the lessons in action!  I am by NO means an expert, but where I lack in a PhD I pick up in passion.  I am so passionate about making a difference for students and what better place to start than with their teachers!  Being able to help...even if it's a tiny bit is totally worth it to me!  You are all so dedicated and being a teacher "ain't always easy," but boy is it ever rewarding!  So, I am sticking with this motto... I'll be writing to INSPIRE!  I'll try my darnedest to leave you inspired and ready to tackle whatever might come your way!
As I mentioned this will be a weekly series of blog posts.  There might be weeks we skip through the spring.  However, I will try very hard to be consistent and a reliable source for you!  I want to create a community that empowers you and makes you grin ear to ear AND makes you have that contagious *sparkle.*  If we are sparkling it will be so contagious that our students will pick up on it and they love nothing better than to *sparkle* and shine!  If you would like to keep up with these posts and don't want to miss out I would suggest that you subscribe to my blog email list.  Now, this will be different from my newsletter.  You can sign up for blog posts directly under my picture >>  I also keep up with teachers and their questions, shouts, comments, etc posts in my private KinderLiteracy/KinderMath Facebook group!  If you own either of those packets feel free to join HERE.  

Okay let's jump into the first edition of Kindergarten Step by Step!  This first edition will focus around setting up your schedule and some new updates to curriculum for next year. You can watch this first edition of Kindergarten Step by Step below!  Remember this is just a beginning to the series as we will get to the meat and potatoes as we get closer to summer and next school year!  *Disclosure- I was attempting a conference call and it flopped so that's what I am rambling about ;)

Packets mentioned in the video are linked below!* Morning Work freebie explore ideas HERE
* KinderCalendar {coming summer 2016}
* Sight Word Curriculum {coming summer 2016}
* Whole-Group reading curriculum- KinderLiteracy, FirstieLiteracy
* Small-Group Guided Reading program- K Guided Reading Mega Bundle
* KinderStart {coming April 2016}
*Intervention programs- Kindervention, Firstievention, KinderMath intervention {2016}* Writing - Lucy Calkin's 
* Math- KinderMath year long program {FirstieMath summer 2016}
* Phonics- KinderPhonics year long program {FistiePhonics April 2016}

I am just thrilled to start this and want to make sure I best serve y'all!  Please let me know anytime questions you have!  Feel free to leave comments below or email me at  Also, know that if you're able to make your way to Charlotte, KC, or OC ...I still have conferences available! :)  Have a great week - - you deserve it!

Spring Explore Tubs {Take Two!}

Hey, hey!  It's time for a brand new set of fine motor explore centers!  These are great for this time of the year when our kiddos start to get a little ancy at center time!  wait, is that just mind? HA! You'll want to be sure to click through to each activity so you can read about each in depth!  I hope your littles love these and thanks so much for the internet - -total game changer for us teachers! :)


These ADORABLE feathers create strong hands!  Cutting is one of the BEST ways for kiddos to build strength in their hands!  Read more about those HERE.

Paper Feathers from A Little Pinch of Perfect


Flowers and yarn for the win!  I know my kiddos are going to flip fore these!  Anytime we have worked with yarn the kids thought I was the best ever.  View more about these tulips HERE.

Yarn wrapped tulips from School Times Snippets


This activity is for sure going to be loved be all!  The template for the frog is linked below and then all you need is some sequins!  Grab the template HERE.

Sequin Frog from Child Care Land


Eeeek weaving looms!  For this activity I would swap out the safety pin for a toothpick!  The kiddos will be all over these!  View more about this activity  HERE.

Weaving Looms from Hello, Wonderful

How about this adorable watermelon fine motor activity?  Kiddos will be able to use their fine motor skills to place the playdoh seeds onto the matching watermelon slice!  View more about this fine motor activity HERE.

Watermelon Fine Motor Center from Child Care Land


More fun with tissue paper! The kiddos are going to love being able to create their own turtle with tissue paper and glue!  I'm going to having this one printed for them to use as a model! View more HERE.

Turtle Tissue Paper from Oopsy Daisy Blog


Another fun and exciting fine motor  activity!  You can view more about this activity HERE!

Button Fine Motor from Child Care Land

I hope you love all the ideas and have a GREAT week!