Guided Reading

Guided Reading
Guided Reading



Kindergarten Step by Step- {Edition Three} KinderStart

Hi all!  It's the next post in my series of Kindergarten Step by Step blog posts!  This series is designed to assist YOU in transitioning into the new school year (and beyond) with confidence... and most of all - -ease!

We all know that there are the "phases" we go through during summer... the initial "WOOT it's summer" phase... then there is the "I get to live a NORMAL life" phase... and then about July comes the teacher in you... "Oh, I'm going to prep and 'think school'... Next, comes closer to the start of school... we organize our rooms, prep for open house, and then come the KIDS!  We are so excited to see them and we have a solid "game plan."  After the initial first days come and go it's time for our routines and instruction!

I've felt like I always had my core curriculum areas solid those first couple months.  However, if you are a kindergarten teacher you know that our littles during the first couple months are never "curriculum" ready per say.  We need time to build phonemic awareness, listen to stories, build basic phonics skills, learn colors, etc.  I always knew the importance of that, but finding the material and a systematic approach to that wasn't always there.  My team and I created and prepped some super cute games and we would rotate them from class to class each day... but still something was missing!  I just felt like I needed to do MORE those first couple crucial months! 
That's when I created KinderStart!
What IS KinderStart?

KinderStart is a very versatile 8 week Kindergarten starter curriculum created by a teacher for teachers!
  The program is designed to give kindergarten students an 8 week introduction to skills in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral listening.  You can find success in using this program in your whole-group instruction, intervention groups, RTI groups, guided reading, or as a resource for non certified staff members assisting in the classroom.  The program is based upon a slotted thirty minutes of instruction.  However, this too is versatile as you can limit or extend this time frame to best fit your classroom needs.

What is covered in a KinderStart Lesson?

A KinderStart lesson plan is broken down into three major areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, and oral listening/storytelling.  For the oral listening/storytelling the teacher will read an included daily script about the adventures of, Brisket, your neighborhood dog.  The students will have an opportunity to listen as Brisket goes on his daily adventures.  Included in the lesson plans as well are daily follow-up questions.  The students will respond to the story they had just heard.  In the area of phonemic awareness the students will be introduced to the skills: rhyming {identifying and generating}, syllables, onset/rime, single sounds, segmenting, and blending.  The teacher will lead the students in a variety of activities each week to help build mastery in the skill.  The lesson plans provide explicit instruction on what games to play and all necessary pieces are included.  The students will also have a phonics piece each week.  They will work on names, the alphabet, color words, and words in sentences.  Please note this is not an explicit alphabet instruction, but a basic introduction to the alphabet and alphabetic skills.

Below is a quick look at a KinderStart lesson plan!  You can see the that the lesson plan in broken down into the three areas described above!  The week is also broken down into 5 lessons, but you can stretch that out if needed or combine!

What skills are covered in KinderStart?

Week 1: Rhyming {Identifying} and Names
Week 2: Syllables and Names
Week 3: Onset/Rime and Alphabet Introduction {Abc's}
Week 4: Rhyming {Generating} and Letter Sorting {by attribute}
Week 5: Single Sounds and Alphabet Games {maniupulating letters}
Week 6: Blending and Color Words
Week 7: Segmenting and Color Words
Week 8: Segmenting and Words in Sentences

What about assessment in KinderStart?

Before going into the activities within KinderStart I would also like to discuss the assessment piece that is included!  We know our sweet kinders need our tending loving care, BUT we have seen year after year that our kinders come in with a wide range of skills!  I have always tried to assess my students on phonemic awareness early in the year!  This helps guide my instruction and allows me to know another "piece" of information about my incoming kinders!  This is also a great way to show improvement through using this program with fidelity!

Along with the above assessment I have also included a phonemic awareness tracker!  It's perfect for a visual of who has the skills and who is still lacking!

What is included in KinderStart?

The main reason I created KinderStart was to have EVERYTHING at my fingertips!  I didn't want to search everyday for the activities and supplies I needed.  I wanted it all there!  Maybe I needed to hit print and cut out a few pocket chart pieces, but other than that I would be good to go! Below is a list of what's included!

-Teacher "simple read" lesson plans for 40 instructional days. You will not need to rewrite these lesson plans. They are truly print and teach lesson plans covering the areas of {shared reading, phonemic awareness, and phonics}.
-All necessary picture cards and poem pieces
-All necessary independent follow up sheets
-Color word posters and home connection piece for color week
-Phonemic awareness assessment and tracker

Now let's look more closely at all the goodies that come with KinderStart! 

Rhyming pocket chart sort cards

Rhyming song pocket chart pieces

 Rhyming exit tickets!

 Working with names pocket chart  (just write names on index cards)

 Names mix and fix (again just names on index cards)

 Name letter sorts (a way to ease students into phonics skills without requiring them to know the letter names!)

 Name playdoh mats (or laminate and use a dry erase marker)

 Syllable pocket chart sort!

 Syllable bag sort! (I purchased these ADORABLE bags at Target, but any bag will work!)

 Name mats! (students will love using a variety of ways to practice their name)

 Name portraits!  I love to save these to home at the end of the year!
Practicing names with this adorable chant!

 Letter arcs... again phonics work without the requirement of letter names!

 Matching magnetic tiles to abc chart (If you use my KidnerPhonics you can just use those abc mats!) 

 Matching abc magnets to letter sound ABC chart!

Letter sorts!  

 One of the BEST parts of KinderStart are the color focus weeks!  There is even a quick parent note to notify parents of the color weeks focus and allows the kiddos to wear a matching color to school on each day!

 Color exit tickets!

Segmenting sound boxes

 Segmenting pocket chart picture cards
Segmenting letter cards (I know, I know... not 'true' phonemic awareness... but at times the visual makes it click!)
Onset and rime picture cards

Onset and rime letter cards!

Words in sentences!

When it comes to organizing your KinderStart unit... you can choose to print and place into a 3 ring binder OR collate the unit!  I have started to collate more so that it's easy to leave on my lap during teaching!

I have also organized all of my KinderStart cards/pieces into a small little Rubbermaid tub from Target!

If you're needing a PRACTICAL and COMPLETE program that will ease your stress of those first couple crucial months of kindergarten you can snag this packet at 50% off for $9!


  1. Keeping my fingers crossed for a first grade edition!

  2. I CAN'T WAIT to use this next year in my classroom! Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication!

  3. This program is a great opportunity for our kids to become more creative and intelligent, i think. But if you have some problems you can always turn to experienced writers from company. I'm sure that this series will help us in learning many new things before transitioning into new school year.

  4. Where did you purchase the magnetic letters you use in the above pictures of KinderStart?

    1. They are from Lakeshore :D

  5. Tara
    I just bought the ABC Lego cards and I wanted to know how to download them do they get emailed to me? please and Thank You

    1. Hi there! I'm wondering if it's from the fine motor post? I was able to download mine for free. I;m thinking the blog owner maybe has a contact spot? I don't have a connection with them :( I'm sorry!

  6. I love this product and I am excited to use this in the upcoming year. I have a question....I almost hate to ask it because via "text", it may not come across like I need it to for an answer. Anyway, here the blog above, you mentioned you like to collate the unit in a binder/spiral to keep on your do you collate it? If I print it out from page 1 to the end...would that be collated? I am SO sorry if this question is stupid.