Kindergarten Step by Step Apples Week!

Thank you so much for joining me for another week of Kindergarten Step by Step!  This week is all about APPLES!  Who doesn’t LOVE apples?  I will also be discussing KinderPhonics and guided reading/literacy centers today!

Yes, you heard it right… we are in apple week!  Today’s KinderLiteracy post I will be going through each day of the close read and how that looks for you during apple week specifically!  This week is also SO exciting because it’s our first focus on nonfiction. 
Now you most certainly have probably read a nonfiction text, but not to the “level” you will take the Apples text to!  This text is full of beautiful pictures and the kids always love it!  It’s perfect for this initial introduction to nonfiction because the text is not overwhelming!  There are given fact after fact we will ask them to remember… it’s a lot of general information paired with new!  It’s really the perfect text!
It’s day one of your Apples close read!  Remember that day one of your close read is all about building interest!  We are getting the kiddos excited about out theme, apples!  We create a bubble chart and chart all of those “facts.”  We know that initially our kiddos are going to be relying a lot on their limited schema and that’s okay!

On day one you will also be stating the essential questions but knowing that you are pretty much talking martian to them ha!  Also, you will notice the type of question this week… it’s leading to that introduction to nonfiction! 

Day one ends with a quick capture this and that activity!  The kiddos love these but remember that if you are strapped on time these are optional!


Day two is all about that vocabulary!  You will want to read the text cover to cover and stop when you get to the initiated vocabulary words.  I prefer to teach the words in context and and that’s why I try not to skip pages on this second day!

I know a lot of you have said you like me to go over ideas for the vocabulary words so I’ll do that here!

bloom:  Take two hands and make a blooming motion
ripe: reach up and grab an apple (because it’s ripe enough to eat)
thud: take one fist and slam it into your other hand making a loud noise

rot: plug your nose and say yuck
dribble: pretend to take a bite and wipe the juice from your chin

On day three you will be referencing the included text dependent questions!  When asking these questions please remember these two things!  1.) You do not need to ask EVERY question!  There are 8 questions in the plans and if you were asking all of those AND turning and talking for several… well we might end the lesson with a lot of “rollers” aka kiddos not being attentive.  I always encourage teachers to choose around 3-4 that they will get their biggest bang!  2.)  I encourage you to keep working on those turn and talks!  We have discussed how to set up partners and how to get them more comfortable talking!  At this point, we just continue plugging along!  You can also model turn and talks by doing one with a colleague or calling up a student to do one with you!  The kids will learn so much by example! 
On day three, the kids will be asked to infer!  What would happen if apples didn’t have seeds?


On day four you will be pairing any text you choose (hopefully you will bring in a fiction text!)  Jada from Daisy Days For Learning chose to use 10 Apples Up on Top!  How much fun are they having?


On day five it’s time to reward the kiddos for their hard work!  We start with a quick skill assessment and then get to having fun with CRAFTS!  This close read has a couple different crafts to choose from!  The first craft is a torn paper craft!  You can either use tissue paper or construction paper!  This is great fun and helps to build those fine motor skills!

The second craft is also a lot of fun… just a little more messy!  For this craft you will need 3-4 apples and cut each into two pieces.  You will also need red paint and white construction paper for the students.  To cut down on the mess you might also want newspaper.


I like to go ahead and draw the template for the kids onto their paper!  I also have them color the tree before we start!

The kids will dip the apples down into the paint.

The kids “stamp” the apples onto their apple tree!

You can see they turn out adorable!

Also, here are a couple extra activities for your apple week!  I also love to bring in apples of different colors and have the kiddos decide which they like to eat the best!


We then chart our favorite apples!  You can get this graphing activity for free HERE!

Up next we will be discussing our guided reading and literacy center blocks!  Last post I introduced you to the Introduction to Guided Reading!  You are most likely VERY close to starting literacy centers or  you might even be ready to dabble in pulling back your first group!  Remember that before we start pulling back groups… we must be certain the students know the routine 100%.  We need to be sure we have covered all possible “hiccups.”  I like to write these out and then be sure to discuss the scenarios with the kiddos!

I don’t know how to play this game… what do I?
I am “done”… now what?
Can I get up and walk around when I am done?
I want to ask my teacher to go to the bathroom… what do I do?
Uh-oh… the CD player won’t work!  What do I do?
I am writing folder and I wrote one sheet… what can I do now?

These are just a few examples!  If you don’t feel confident the kiddos know these routines and have build up a solid stamina of 12-15 minutes then take the time to keep practicing!  The practice now will pay off huge once you are ready for groups!
However, we know once we get to that point and we are ready to do that gradual release and creep back to our desks with kiddos… well then we get to peek out over the magic…
“We started literacy stations with modified small group today. I love how engaged everyone is!”

I love doing quick little “literacy-based” mini lessons at the start of this block!  Below is a super quick anchor chart I made.  We then came up and practiced “pushing” the buttons for each word.  Of course this is going to help the students build that strong one to one reading correspondence!  The other thing I love about it is the fact it’s REPETITIVE… the kids “get it” and it’s so special to see them reading their mixed sentences (an actuality I follow up with).

You can watch a quick snippet of the lesson below.  Due to privacy I snipped the video to not include the students coming up to practice!

After we  practice at the carpet whole group I give the students their own sentence strip!  They read it several times and then I come around and “cut up” the sentence.  They work hard to mix and fix it several times.  Eventually, we glue the sentence down and draw a matching picture! 

I received a video from a teacher this week using these and it touched my heart!  She wrote, “He is nonverbal, but listen closely and you can hear him.”  He read his mixed sentence and smiled the biggest smile afterwards!  It really is those moments that makes our jobs so special!

You can download two freebie mix and fix strips HERE!  
If you would like to try the strips out in your classroom I have a packet of them as well!
Hopefully in KinderPhonics you are moving and grooving right along!  Lately I have had some teachers asking for help with the “movements” of KinderPhonics!  I will so shamefully post this GOOFY video of myself doing the motions!

If you haven’t had a chance to snag the Leap Frog Letter Factory DVD then you can also watch this quick song HERE!  We also love practicing that path of motion!  

At this time you will also be building your KinderPhonics ABC wall display!
I’ll be back later this week with a post all about KinderMath!  Until then have  a GREAT week!


  1. So I'm religiously following your Kinder Step by Step. I have Kindergarten Step by Step: Those First Days of K!, then Kindergarten Step by Step: Week 1- Rainbow Fish, and then Kindergarten Step by Step- week 2, so is this Apple one for week 3? Sorry, I'm new to kindergarten. 🙂

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