Tag Archive: labeling


We are cruising along in Kindergarten.  At the beginning of March we transitioned into READING BOOKS!  This is such a big deal.  Learning to read is such a monumental life experience when you think about just everything you need to do at once to be able to read.  For the last several months we’ve been “practicing” getting ready to read by labeling, word by word matching, learning letters and sounds, putting sounds together, learning word parts, building simple words, and finishing sentence starters.  We’re reading basic patterned books and still working on those word by word matching skills, but we’re getting there.

IMG_0413One thing we’ve had to work on is keeping our eyes on the text unless we need to check the picture for help with a word.  Many friends memorize the pattern and only look at the picture, but when a page changes the pattern of the text then students have difficulties.  We’ve had to really work on even if we think we know the pattern making sure we are correct by looking carefully at words.

IMG_0417We’ve even transitioned from finishing a sentence Ms. Acuff has written to students actively participating in the Interactive Writing and writing the stories themselves.  They practice words on their white boards while another student adds the word to our chart.  I help with more difficult words I know they don’t know.

We still do the cut up sentence portion of the lesson, but instead of students copying the cut up sentence, they then write their OWN sentence about the story we wrote together.  Most of the kids are doing a great job of using parts they know (ee, ou, ow, oa) and applying them into their writing.  Some IMG_0416students still need a little more support and structure with the writing as this is very new for us.

I’m starting to notice students writing in capital letters as they are more comfortable with those than lower case letters and we’ve had to work on when we use capital letters and also working on letter reversals.  These are common and we just keep practicing the correct way to write them.  We’re also working on different punctuation–periods, exclamation points, IMG_0415and question marks–when do we use them and how do we make them?

We are seeing lots of great things in Kindergarten and are overjoyed with how well students are applying their phonics knowledge every day.

img_0251Kindergartners continue to work on labeling pictures but now we add in letters/sounds we know in the word.  We are starting to know more and more letters and sounds so we don’t let Ms. Acuff do very much work anymore.  In fact, she often says, “I don’t even have a job anymore because you are doing so much on your own.”

img_0253We continue to cut up our sentences and put them back together.  She has us write our sentence underneath our cut up.  It’s still a little tricky getting spaces between our words.  Sometimes we use spaces and sometimes Ms. Acuff draws a line for each word we need so we know where to put words.  We’re making a lot of progress.  Most of us know almost ALL of our upper and lower case letters and lower case sounds.  Kindergarten is fun.



Kindergarten Group

Check out the excellent work from Kindergarten!  We’ve been doing A LOT of work on directionality, word by word matching, and letter formation.  I’ve been reading poetry and mentor texts to go along with our picture we label, then write about, and then use a cut up sentence from.

IMG_9621IMG_9622 This has been a fun experience as I’ve really seen the kids grow in their letter formation and they are getting stronger in knowing where to start reading, which way to go, and where to return when they get to the end of a line of text.  We’ve been having fun writing silly stories and then putting them back together when they are cut up.

IMG_8345One of the things I took away from the JCCL Reading Conference earlier this week was how we need to be better about building background knowledge and vocabulary with my kiddos.  It’s not that I don’t do vocabulary things with my IMG_8346students, but they weren’t remembering the words we went over when it came time to read them.  We’d build them with magnetic letters and we’d locate the words in the book, but then there would be several students who still didn’t know the word.  Linda Dorn showed a picture of how she gave her kids sticky notes to label the different seasons.  I was anxious to try this myself when I got back to school.

Yesterday, I introduced the book All About Sharks and hung up different pictures of sharks.  I went over the important vocabulary words with the kids and then gave them each 2 post-it notes to put in the appropriate places on the shark picture.  The 2nd graders were super excited about this part (picture at top.)  I was planning on leaving the labels where they were and then having the kids double check for accuracy after reading, but they were all correct. (Photo to the right)  And I was really excited when it came time for the kids to independently read the book because they were accurately reading all of the vocabulary words we had gone over.  In fact, I saw some of the kids look up at the board to cross-check information and then go back to reading.  It was a wonderful use of using your strategies and using your resources.

IMG_8349Today we reviewed the vocabulary words and I had the students make their own shark fact booklets.  They had to have 5 shark facts they learned from yesterday’s reading.   The students got right to work and it was incredible because there was very little asking of help from them.  They were using the board as their “word wall” and IMG_8348writing sentences with the important vocabulary words we went over the previous day.

I got to go around and conference with each student on the sentences they wanted to write.  Some of the students I had to go back and help them with writing complete sentences instead of just writing down a vocabulary word.  I was really impressed because out of the corner of my eye I saw one of my students re-reading for accuracy and then changing part of the sentence to make sense.

When I see the kiddos again on Monday we’ll be able to finish the books and fix some of the spelling errors on the papers and also to make sure our sentences make sense.  IMG_8347I’m really excited with how the vocabulary labeling seemed to really help with the reading.  I’ll be interested to see how this works with other books that we read.


2nd Grade Labeling

IMG_6823My 2nd graders read All About Robots during group time.  Not only did we learn a lot of different things about robots, but we learned about how labels can help a reader learn more information about a picture when reading non-fiction texts.

IMG_0179After we read about robots we made a list of things robots do, look like, and places they go.  Most of what we listed started out as things from the book, but quickly the boys added other things that a robot could have–mostly what they look like.  And in typical boy fashion, they wanted to add all kinds of weapons!  Ha!

This was our catapult to writing.  The boys were to come up with a robot of their own.  They had to make a list of all the things their robot would do, look like, and places it would go.  This was a lot of fun for the boys as now was the time they could amp up a robot of their dreams.  We had to scale back on the weapons to make it more school appropriate, but I was impressed by the imaginative things they came up.

IMG_6828After they had made their list they were given a homework assignment to draw a picture of their dream robot–including the things they had on their list.  If they said their robot could go in space then there should be something on the robot that would make it possible for the robot to go to space, etc.  The boys came back with very creative robots.

From there they had to start putting the list into sentence format and label their robot.  They labeled the most important parts of their robots.  They then had to write about how these parts they labeled helped the robot.  We discussed how we don’t need to label everything on the robot because not everything is super important.  We also discussed that if we labeled it on the robot then it had to be included in the writing otherwise it would confuse a reading.  It was challenging for the boys to pick what was most important as to them, EVERYTHING was important!

I was able to conference with each of the boys on their writing.  This was a great time for us to make sure everything that was labeled was written about and go over spelling and grammar.

After conferences the boys were able to write a final copy to go with their robots.  They were pretty proud of their work and didn’t want me to hang them up in the hallway because they wanted to take them home.