Language Arts in the Elementary Classroom
In kindergarten and first grade you are building foundational skills in all subjects. Your reading and writing block will include things like phonics, grammar, reading comprehension, and vocabulary. Read more about our favorite ways to teach these skills (and more!) in these blog posts.
Teaching writing in kindergarten is a task that comes with its own set of joys and challenges. As an educator, you witness the budding creativity and imagination of your students, but you also see the hurdles they face when putting pencil to paper and trying to express themselves through writing. Crafting sentences, adding details, and translating their incredible thoughts into words can be particularly difficult for beginning writers.
Janet Stevens’s book Tops and Bottoms is a great spring read-aloud for introducing a planting unit, but there are also some valuable character lessons within the charming tale. Hare learns that even if you have made a mistake in the past, hard work and persistence can...
Kids learn A LOT in the 180 days they spend with you. If you teach kindergarten, I would argue they learn more than most grade levels (at least in elementary school). With all that new knowledge, it is important for students to review the skills over the summer to prepare for first grade. Summer review will help them be better prepared for the next school year and keep their minds active during the summer.
The story, Too Many Carrots, has wonderful illustrations and gives many opportunities to talk with students about what a good friend should and shouldn’t do.
Easter is a time when many people think about rabbits, and it’s a great opportunity to teach young children about these fascinating creatures. But instead of just focusing on the Easter bunny, why not take the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of rabbits and learn about their unique characteristics and behavior through animal research?
Spring is Here by Will Hillenbrand is a perfect read-aloud choice for the classroom during the spring season. The book’s charming illustrations and simple text make it an ideal choice for young children.
Teaching kindness in the classroom is an essential part of preparing our young children for a successful and fulfilling life. By incorporating books, modeling kindness, and providing opportunities for students to practice and be recognized for their kind actions, we can help them develop into compassionate and empathetic individuals.
If you’re looking for an engaging way to review concepts with your kindergarten or first grade students, why not try playing some fun review games? Review games can help keep students engaged while they practice and reinforce the material they’ve learned. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
This fun cumulative Thanksgiving story of One Is a Feast for a Mouse becomes a bit of a cautionary tale when a little mouse quickly changes from grateful to greedy.
Fletcher and the Falling Leaves reminds us that change doesn’t need to be worrisome and that there is beauty in every season of life.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting has been one of my favorite Thanksgiving picture books for many years. My students have always been engaged by the story and love the surprise ending.
In the story The Scarecrow’s Hat, when Chicken meets Scarecrow and he says he would swap his hat for a walking stick she quickly sees a great opportunity. But solving Scarecrow’s problem takes solving the problems of several friends in the barnyard along the way. After many trades, all the characters end up with just what they wanted thanks to clever Chicken.
Too Many Pumpkins is one of my favorite fall books to share in the classroom. I love how this story starts with too many pumpkins but ends with just enough seeds. It is a great lesson in problem solving.
Pumpkin Soup is a fall favorite for the story and illustrations. It also leads well to talking about friendship and working together when not everyone agrees.
This silly series by Wendi Silvano is a first-grade favorite and Turkey Trick or Treat is a great read-aloud choice to add to your Halloween week lesson plans!
If you have ever taught on Halloween, you know the excitement to come can be very distracting. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything is a perfect read-aloud to combine movement and keep students engaged.
Halloween stories don’t have to be scary. Doreen Cronin has written one with the barnyards friends of Click, Clack, Moo. Farmer Brown’s pajamas are sure to bring a few giggles too!
Although Room on the Broom doesn’t mention Halloween, the main character is a witch, so it fits in nicely with your October read-alouds.
The Pigeon Has to Go to School uses humor to ease the first day of school jitters. It is a good story to address fears. Some of the things Pigeon worries about could never happen. Some of his concerns could happen, and students may share those things; the story is an easy segue into “what if scenarios” at school and sharing possible solutions.
Most classes have a few students with unusual names. If a child has a hard name for others to pronounce or that they have been teased about their name, it can add anxiety to meeting new people at the start of the school year. Chrysanthemum can help reassure students that unique names are special and help springboard discussion on kindness expectations for your students.
We all worry sometimes, but most of the things we worry about will never happen. Wemberly Worried can help ease beginning of the year worries about the unknown by laughing together over some of the silly things Wemberly worries about and talking about those things that may be common worries among class members.