Kindergarten Step by Step – Week 2

Hi all and
thank so much for stopping in again for Kindergarten Step by Step!  This post is all about week 2 of
kindergarten!  Please remember that this
might be more of your “week 3” because the first post was geared more towards
those first days!

I’m going to break down each subject area and discuss a lot of extra topics
that you’ve requested information on!  I
hope to tailor these blog posts for your exact needs… feel free to email or
comment below your questions!
Let’s get
started in calendar!  You’ve most likely
established the general routines of your calendar but I will explain those soon
more in detail below!
In calendar we will be starting each lesson with those calendar
basics!  At this point in the year, those
‘basics’ are really necessary as they give the kiddos a jumping off point.  We will discuss how to boost those as the
year goes on.  We will start with pointing to the calendar and asking the students to help us with the date.  Encourage students to count with you to the
date.  This is so important those first
couple months as rote counting is new to some of the kiddos and they most
likely will be required to rote cote for their first quarter assessment.  Start by pointing to 1….then count to your desired
date.  After your students get
comfortable with that do something like this… “Oh boys and girls, today I am going to challenge you to count on from
a number other than one.  Today we will
start at this number, can you help me count on from here?” 
This will foster awesome counting skills,
help with those transitions, and once they get to the point where you can start
them at a number other than one they will be mastering more standards!

You will then discuss the month and days of the week.  I use the Whole Brain Teaching strategy of
‘blow and release’ a lot for calendar time. With blow and release all students
have the opportunity to answer with your prompting.  With this all students have an opportunity to
answer… which keeps them engaged! YAY!  Okay, so how do you do blow and release?  The teacher asks a question.  Students ‘blow’ the answer in their fist and
then when the teacher waves her hand across the students all say the answer at
the same time. I like to do this for the day of the week, pattern piece,
weather, etc.  I choose answers I know
all students will know and be interested in helping to answer!
So you have the basics covered: today’s date, day of the week, month, and
today’s weather!  Now it’s time for the
more intricate pieces!  Up first we will
discuss the days in school number strip!
For me this is one of my favorite pieces of the calendar!  This component allows the teacher to build a
100’s chart with the class day by day.
It’s like a huge flashing billboard for number sense!  There are SO many rich mathematical
conversations you can have using the number strip(s).  The picture below helps you to see what the
number strips look like as more strips have been added!  You will want to make sure you have enough
room under your strips so you can build the entire 100’s chart!  The changing colors help the kiddos to
immediately see place value!

With the ten
frames and crayon collection you will be working on how many days you’ve been
in school as well.  Please don’t feel
like you have to do the number strip, crayon collection, and ten frames if you
don’t have time.  However, all three are
used in their own unique way and offer endless opportunities for math talks
and number sense! With days in school ten frames you will simply be adding a
new dot, sticker, ‘x’, etc each day.  You
will have the chance to discuss how many tens/ones each day as you see fit.
With crayon collections you will also be adding one new crayon each day.  However, with the crayons the students will
see you bundling your tens as you bundle them!
Beyond the calendar routines, it’s time for the number sense section!  You will have a daily number sense focus
number.  With this number you can choose
from these or do them all: show it on a ten frame, shot on a dot cube, show on
a domino, show it in tally marks, and show it in a number sequence format! This
simply means… what number is before and after!
I will focus
more on the number of the day section next week!  After the number of the day you will have a
math skill focus!  Most likely you are on
weeks 2-3 of KinderCalendar at this point.
So, you are working on numbers to 5 or sorting and classifying!  Please note that these math skill focus
lessons are meant to be quick and easy!
A way for students to expand their math learning across the entire
academic day!

You might also choose to set up your KinderCalendar in a Linear format like my Prechool calendar program below! Download a template to create a linear calendar **HERE**

Again, next
week I’ll focus on that number of the day section and the following week I’ll
move on to the math skill focus!
meeting we know is such an important part of the day!  Today I would like to discuss something I
started doing in my classroom a couple years back called Primary
Interviewer.  During this the teacher
will ask a question and the students will take turns ‘interviewing’ each other
to discuss the answer.  I picked up THESE inflatable microphones from Amazon and they were
a HIT!  Of course you don’t have to have
those for it to work.  It would go something
like this… “Boys and girls, I’m
wondering if you can interview your partner about what they did last night when
they got home?”
A- “What did you do
last night?” 
B- “I ate dinner and played games.” A- “What did you eat?” B- “Hamburgers
and fries.”
A- “Was it good?”
You can see how it goes back and forth.
You would then decide when to have students swap and Partner B would be
the interviewer.  This helps tremendously
with helping students to gain their speaking skills and learning how to form
questions and answer statements as well! This summer I shared with you me
KinderTell!  This would be another
awesome opportunity to use KinderTell. You can read the prompt and have the
students interview one another for the answer.

Daisy Days for Learning

important thing is making sure the kiddos are talking!  This comes through a lot of teaching modeling
and the students feeling comfortable with their partners!  I use the same partners in morning meeting as
I do in KinderLiteracy!
Beyond primary interviewer I also am still covering sight words and the
KinderLiteracy phonemic awareness  skill
focus!  First off… YES I am still
creating KinderSnap! I’m so sorry that it has been delayed!  I’m working on that one still for sure!  Week 2 of KinderLiteracy our phonemic
awareness focus is on recognizing rhyming words!
Now it’s time to switch up gears to discuss
KinderLiteracy!  Last week I visited a
lot about setting up partners and how to help students feel more comfortable
with one another!  At this point you are
most likely still getting more “umph” from your teacher led discuss than the
student partner talks.  That’s
okay!!!  Remember how new this is to them
and how they WILL get there!  I think
it’s super important to still give them the opportunities to turn and talk!
This week’s theme is all about FRIENDSHIP!  How fitting is that in kindergarten?  The main text this week is Huggapotamus!  If you haven’t read this story ….well it is
the cutest!  The animals express their
thoughts that the hippo is just way too rough.
He learns about how to be a good friend and then all is well!
Below are this week’s vocabulary words and optional motions:
delight: smile big

waddling: waddle motion with arms to side

spotted: Put up binoculars

skidded:  Make a car screeching sound ..eeerrrrk!

sigh: Take a big breath in and let it out

This week our hands-on craft is a community building one!  We discuss the importance of friendship and making sure all of our friends are created equally!  We create this crayon box to display on the back of our door! 🙂

This is week two of literacy centers and it’s also time
to start whole group guided reading (don’t fret- – I’ll explain).  My literacy center block is around an hour
and ten minutes.  However, we know that
building our stamina and even running two rounds this week won’t take up your
entire guided reading block… that’s where whole group guided reading comes
in!  I will explain that in just a few!
Up first is literacy centers!  Reminder that week one (last week) the
students were just building their reading stamina each round.  This week you will include a second round to
your literacy centers.  Reminder that I
talk explicitly about my literacy centers and options on setting them up HERE.  Round one of week 2 will mimic week 1 exactly!  You’ll want to bring the students to the
carpet, review the expectations, model reading stamina, and then send the
students off to build their stamina.  You
are most likely building stamina for around 10-15 minutes.  I never go over 15 in my room… but that is
completely up to you!  So, round one-
everyone is reading from their books tubs!
You’ll want to make sure you are having the kiddos book shop on their
own, or you are swapping out their books frequently!  This will help greatly with their engagement!
Round 2 is all new!!!  It’s time for
writing folders (or writing center if you choose).  Here’s my little public announcement about
writing folders.  My school is huge on
meeting all students on THEIR level at daily five/literacy centers.  I struggled with making sure students were
choosing material at their level from the writing center.  With writing folders I am able to stuff their
folders with what I want them to have!
Each student can have the same thing to start the year… and then as
the year progresses I will be swapping out the included material to sheets that
meet their level!  For example, at the
beginning of the year we might all be in ABC practice sheets.  Then, around end of September or early
October I will start transitioning some of the kiddos from ABC practice sheets
to story starters!
Each of my kiddos have their own writing folder.  I purchased the cheap plastic folders from
Walmart, wrote their names on each, and placed into two baskets.  I have a boy and girl basket… you could
organize them anyway you see fit!  On
this first day of introducing the students to writing folders I bring them down
to the carpet.  I think start a new chart
(like we did for read to self).  This
chart will say ‘work on writing.’  I
think chart student and teacher expectations!
Under the student side- write the whole time, write quietly, stay in one
spot, and get started right away.  Under
the teacher side- work with students.  After
starting the chart, I show all the students the two writing folder baskets, how
to find their names on the front of the folder, and how to carry their folders
so nothing falls out!
Beforehand you will want to set an expectation for how many sheets of paper the
students can use.  Be sure you share this
with them… you sure don’t want them to write on every sheet that day HA! I go
ahead and the kids back to their tables with their folders.  At this point they aren’t able to do our full
independent spaces, but I do ask that they write for our class stamina
time.  So, if we read for 11 minutes that
day… we will also write for 11 minutes!
We continue this same routine all week… round one we will read to self and
round two we will write!  At this point
in the year I like to stuff my folders with lots of ABC sheets.  You can even download this set for free!
For literacy
block we are doing a 10-15 minute read to self round and a 10-15 minute work on
writing round.  This still leaves plenty
of “leftover” time!  During this time I
like to do week 1 of Whole Group Guided Reading!  You can view the packet below!  It’s completely scripted and all necessary
material is included!  You start with a
phonemic awareness warmup and then lead the kiddos in a lesson using a big
book!  The students also have an
opportunity to apply the skill independently.
This is really all about the students understanding that they ARE

After the phonemic awareness warm up of t he lessons you start with a big book of your choice and then follow up with the included items!

Oh writing
how we love you!  This start of the year
can be so tricky for students and teachers!
We want to give them time to be creative in their stories, yet we still
want to slowly teach them those necessary “good writer” traits!  I like to model, model, model during
writing.  Everyday I am writing a story
on the board.  This story can model my
thinking and teach the skill in a scaled down way.  If we are working hard on labels still the
kids will see me go to each picture and hear a first sound.  If we are ready for a high frequency sentence
then they will see be get that started. I feel that modeling during the
beginning of your writing block is the biggest bang for your buck!  Even we are afraid they might not be ready…
most certainly some of them will be!  I
will continue to talk more explicitly about writing next week!

Let’s talk math!  I’m going to base them
post on the fact you are week 2 of unit 1! During unit 1 the students are
focused on learning those numbers to 5!
Not only are we practicing number id, but we are writing numbers,
counting sets to 5, and representing sets to 5!

During these first two weeks (Unit 1 of KinderMath) we are taking things SLOW for two reasons!  One being that the whole thing of “math workshop” is brand new to them.  Most likely the kiddos have never had to explain this math thinking.  Two- we want to take things slow to allow children to truly, honestly “get” number sense.  Too often in the past I rushed through getting my kids to “know numbers to 5, 10, 20.”  I often forgot the integral parts of those number way BEYOND simply identifying them! I now understand that there is a large part of kiddos that can idendify numbers but not know their “parts.”  Moreover, research continues to show the importance of oral counting and comparing numbers!

Below are some snapshots of the activities the kiddos will be doing in unit 1!

5 frames- Yes before we can get to ten frames, let’s use five frames!

Building and comparing- this activity allows the kiddos to first build the set to show their ability in understanding the parts of the number.  Then, the students will compare the two sets/number cards.

Pull, Build, and Write- for this activity the students are seeing the number in all possible ways!  They see the numeral card, the written number, and build the number using objects!

Of course we know the importance of subitizing and especially at the beginning of the year!

Build sets- For this activity the kiddos line up the number cards 1-5 and build matching sets!

Next week we will go deep into math as we transition into unit 2- sorting and classifying!  I will spend some time talking about the importance of the spiral component of KinderMath as well!

Now it’s time for a little chat on KinderPhonics!  At this point you are most likely still plugging along on the first introduction of all letters A-Z!  I always find these few weeks so fun because you really start the see the kiddos pick up their letter names and paired with Leap Frog Letter Factory you see their connection to letter sounds as well!

Thanks so much for stopping by for another week of Kindergarten Step by Step!  As always feel free to send me questions or comment below questions 🙂  Have a GREAT week!


  1. I love your Week1 Day1 Cards on a ring. I have all of your units and need a way to help me stay organized. 🙂 Do you have these available somewhere? Thanks in advance!!

  2. Hi Tara!
    I love your Color and Write ABC sheets. I clicked on the free down load button but it took me to your store. I look all through your store and couldn’t find them. Are they still available?

  3. Hi Tara,
    I was interested in the color and write pages too. The link you shared is for a tracing activity, not a coloring one with pictures of things that start with the target letter. I’ll even pay if it is in a packet!

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