I have the kids sit on the rug and I pick a special helper.
We do calendar and weather, then I write on the sheet [of chart paper]:
Good Morning! Today is Tuesday.
(As I write, I make mention of certain words or sounds such as "What letter does Tuesday start with?" "Oh I put the !
after 'morning,' what does that mean?")
I continue.... something about the day:
We are starting gymnastics today. ____ (name of ___ the special helper)
likes to tumble on the mats.
We sure do!
I change it a little each day. It always starts the same but the last two sentences are about something in our day, the weather or with the school. We had Red day last week so I did this:
Today is RED day!
_______ wore a red shirt.
I am constantly talking aloud to myself about what I am writing and modeling the concepts of print. I say sweep back when we are out of room. I will get close to the end and say that I will not have enough room to write a word so "what
should I do?"
I point out our sight words, words within words (ex: NO in
November) the sh, th, ch in words.
Then the special helper points to each word as we count the words (a good quick assessment for me to see if the child understands a what a word is - how there are spaces between words.) We count the words in each sentence. Then we will count specfic words- to help them understand the difference
between a letter, a word, and a sentence.
Then we read it with expression.
Then I call on certain kids to come up and point to something I ask. I differentiate [by child's skill level] this accordingly. A low student may point to a letter in his name. A high student
has to find a longer word, spell it, tell me the sounds in the word, tell me the number of syllables etc.. they don't do all that - just one of various ideas.
Then I rip the chart paper off and give it to the special helper to take home. I have had parents tell me that the kids keep them and hang them on the door. They play teacher and will count the words and read it at home and will have Mom go up
and point to.
I did not do it my first year in Kindergarten 7 years ago and I really do see a difference in their writing abilities. I find it such a powerful tool for having the kids to learn how to
write, spell, read and learn concepts of print.
I also have a big SPACEMAN from ReallyGoodStuff. I hold it up in between the words to show the kids the spacing. Then I have the little ones for the kids to use when writing.
Some teachers have a Morning Message prewritten. I do it with the kids. Do what is comfortable for you!