Touchstone Text MiniLesson Resourcess
Reading and Writing Resources

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Writing and MiniLesson Links     KidWriting Resources         Binder Forms

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Long Lists of Links
More Handwriting and Writing Links   More Language Arts and Reading Links


Writing Links

Check out this site! Writing Minilessons
Anchor Chart Sign for Routines/Expectations

Handwriting Without Tears Free Printables

Inside Julie Lay's "Writing to Read" Kindergarten - 4 pages

Here is a list of some possible writing mini-lessons:

how to begin: think of your story, draw, then write
using the date stamp
draw a line on page to separate writing space from picture space
what is a list
writing down the first sound for each word
writing a letter, dear so and so
getting up and finding specific words in the room
the crowns
return sweep, top to bottom
how to find words inside a big book
when to use spaces and how to make them
what is the difference between a letter and a word
what should your picture look like
Using the alphabet chart and singing the ABC song while tracking     to find the letter you need, how to stop on that letter
Rereading what you have written so far in order to remember the next word
Making sense/writing words in order
Using environmental print, using the words and labels in the room
the word "friend"
spelling "the"
Adding ing or s to words
Using mostly lower case letters
Finding the names of your friends in the room to include them in your stories
Using a period - Say "end of thought, put a dot"
Watch what they do and begin to address needs thru mini lessons pick the most important things first, and then refine as the year goes on.

Conventions MiniLessons
Directionality and Spacing Unit of Study by Larissa Runyon

Writing crafts and lists of books - 12 pages

Book Lists for many types of writing

Children's Books Sorted by Craft or Strategy
for Teacher Read Alouds - 29 pages

Joyful Writing-to-Read Kindergartens - Accelerate Literacy - 32 pages

K Writing plan for the year - 16 pages


KidWriting Resources

Teacher Made
Good Writer's Process Chart
Writer's Checklist

What do the Most Effective Kid Writing Classrooms Look Like?

Eileen Feldgus, Ed.D. January 1, 2007
Visual Supports for Children

• One crisp, clear, alphabet chart (may have multiple copies)
   Lower case letters highlighted with yellow highlighting tape
• High frequency word wall (black on white, no names or theme words)
• KidCrowns (King of ing, Sir of were, Gent of went, etc.)
   doesn’t say King of...
• Name wall or chart (photographs, alphabetical by first names);
   also, names used functional (graphs, etc.)
• Rime Chunk Houses (et house, net, bet, pet, etc. – kids add words
– shows picture as example of rhyme – eg. Picture of a bat for at house)
– Dr. Suess hat as roof on house for nonsense rhymes
• Theme words (Halloween, spiders, etc.) illustrated
• Variety of family words with pictures (Dad, Daddy, Father etc.)
• Tell-A-Story words (First…When… After that….Finally….etc.) with post-it notes
   that children sign when they use these words – Begins in first grade
• Number words/color words – take up a small amount of wall space
• KWL Charts and Venn Diagrams related to science, social studies, literature
• Pocket Charts with stories, poems, directions, etc.
• Useful environmental print – eg. "come in" on door, "stop/go" on bathroom door, "off/on" on light switch
• Clip-on name badges – phonics elements highlighted as taught
• Digraph photo charts (eg. Child touching cheek and chin for ch)

Visual Celebrations for Children
• Kid Writing Wall of Fame (Tamika is famous for using talking marks)
with praise point highlighted directly in the writing
• Interactive Writing (large chart or captions – teacher shares the marker)
• Displays of children’s writing (Ouch Pouch, Speech Bubble display, etc.)
• Expensive Words (fabulous words that kids used in writing!) and
   Interesting Words (from children’s literature)

Isabell Cardonick mini-lesson Kids typically use all for aw. So I decided to use a kid spelling of the word saw(sall) for a mini-lesson. We wrote the word/chunk "all" on a rubber ball and called it the "ball of all". Then we wrote "aw" on the picture of a cute puppy. Of course, we all made very exaggerated "aw" sounds to show how we admired the puppy. I wrote sall and pronounced it, wrote saw and pronounced it, then asked which sounded better. I'll try to pick out another all or aw word again tomorrow to review. Within the next couple of weeks we'll do a word family house for all and for aw. Eventually, when an "au" word comes up, we'll add the letters "au" to the cute puppy picture. Keep in mind that this is not an appropriate mini-lesson for children who do not yet have the consonant and basic vowel sounds in place. Happy Kid Writing!

Isabell Cardonick Workshop
Writing Notes from July 17, 2007

Canadian Teacher Made - Kid Writing Cheat Sheet

Journal Paper from KidWriting
There are 4 different journal types to use during the year.

Kid Writing Help Sheet with the "crown" words

Kid Writing Kid Crown Color Pictures

KidWriting Crowns

KidWriting Crown Variations

KidWriting Printable Crowns

Story Paper


Taking journal time to the next level

To make sentences longer so when they write
I like Fluffy. We now add on I like Fluffy because ________.
Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle

Whether you say 'thuh'
or whether you say 'thee'
you always spell it the same,
t - h - e

Posted by Jessica Meacham k/wi on 1/30/07

I wanted my students to start writing stories with more of a storyline, instead of the typical: I like fish. Fish are cute. Fish are pretty. I love fish. So, we've started to model story writing.

I start by drawing a hand on the board (glove). write "who" "what" "when" "where" "why" and "how" (in the middle of the glove and in the fingers). The kids have gotten really good at helping me identify the different story elements when I write the story telling question words on the glove.

I model how to do this by showing the pre-draw illustration [I draw it ahead of time to save time as I don't want my mini lesson to go beyond 10-15 minutes]. Te illustration typically has two characters in it.

I then select a student from the classroom and we label one of the characters with their name and the story now "belongs" to them. That selected student then chooses a classmate, a friend, a family member, etc to be the other character and we label that character with their name.

I then ask, "what does this illustration tell us?" (pointing to the storytelling glove). We give possible scenarios. The person that the story "belongs" to ultimately makes the final decision as to what the story will say. I help by putting in my two cents or by changing the sentence structure.

We use the storytelling glove and check of the "questions" that we've answered in our text and/or pictures (we talk about how our illustrations work with the text and help to tell the story, thus answer some of the storytelling questions).

It's hard for them to stay away from the "safe" sentences (I like, I love, It is, ...). BUT they are getting better and I've noticed an improvement in their own stories when they write independently.

Some even say, I've decided to answer the "who" "what" and "how" story questions today. And during our conferences, if there is time left over, I encourage them to think about what other questions they could answer.

Of course organization is not the focus here...just ideas...(for those teachers that are thinking Six Traits - - we focus on "organization" in 2nd grade and "Ideas" is taught starting in Kindergarten).

Another thing that I've done and will do after I get through writing a story about each of my students is to focus on what other writers write about (they write about things they know about).

I check out series of books from the library (think CAPSTONE book series for early grades) and we talk about how writers not only write fiction, but they also write non-fiction too...of course moving beyond the "I like and I love...".

I come right out and tell my students that at this time of year, "I like" and "I love" stories are not enough. They need to tell more... In fact we talk about how a reader already knows that the author loves and likes the topic they've writen about because they chose to write about it and illustrate it.

I'll be putting the STUDENT STORIES as a mini lesson idea on my web site. Wow! I love to talk about writing, and it is my favorite time of the day!! :o)


Taking journal time to the next level
Posted by Flacka on 1/30/07

I don't like to give my kids topics for their writing but I will sometimes give them a "story starter" (One day I opened my door and ... Once upon a time... In winter... After school...) These are very open-ended and they can write a sentence or a whole story. Sometimes they don't even use the story starter but it gets their brain fired up about something else.

I have also had them write a partner story where 2 children take turns writing the sentences. They can either write them all on one page or write each sentence on a separate page and illustrate them.


Teaching with Word Families
Word Families teaching becomes a MUST after kids have command of individual letter sounds. The reason? Because proficient, competent readers read in 'chunks' rather than individual letters. As a title 1 teacher, I worked with struggling readers all the time. The kids who still at 2nd grade read letter-by-letter hate reading because they are too slow and then have issues with comprehension because they are still struggling with word attack. Word families are one way to teach kids to 'chunk', but you also need to provide lots of other 'chunk' teachings with blends and digraphs too--in other words, lots of word work and exploration then application to 'real' situations-- not worksheets.

Wylie & Durrell identified 37 common RIMES (spelling patterns or word families)
from which nearly 500 primary words come from:
at, an, ap, ay, aw, all, ake, ack, ame, ate, ash, ank, ain, ale
ell, eat
in, ip, ing, ill, ick, ink, ide, ice, ine, ight, ir
op, or, ock, oke, ore
ug, ump, uck, unk

Another list
-an -ag -ap -ack -ad
-ig -it -ill -in -ick
-og -ot -ock
-ug -ut -uck
-en -ell -ed

Write the Room
Have students look for specific word patterns (vary it each week).
For example, 5 letter words, words that end in -ed, etc.


Reading Links

Reader's Workshop MiniLessons

Reading Minilessons
Reader's Workshop: Process, Mini Lessons, Examples and Assessment

100 Printable Home-School Activities for Kindergarten in .pdf format Send home a letter to the family with a fun activity to do to practice reading and literacy skills. There is a place for both the parent (or "learning partner") and the child to sign before returning it.
Click here for the list of the 100 lessons.

Good Reader's Process Chart

Solve Words Bookmark

Comprehension and Literacy

Here is a list of some possible reading mini-lessons:

· rules of readers' workshop
· how to choose a book
· how to conference with the teacher
· giving a book talk
· difference between fiction and non-fiction books
· points of view
· elements of fiction
· connecting reading material to your life
· figuring out unknown words
· making predictions
· reading at different speeds
· how to share your book with others
· foreshadowing
· similes and metaphors
· noticing the dedication
· how characters are described

Book Lists for Text to Text Connections:
Making Connections   Predicting   Questioning   Drawing Inferences   Visualizing   Determining What’s Important in Text   Schema/Background Knowledge   Synthesis   Monitoring Comprehension   Phonemic Awareness Books   Retelling/Summarizing   Setting-Distinct Sense of Place   Tension/Conflict   Models for Writing   Seesaw Books   Voice   Metacognition   Beginning-Middle-End   Dialogue   Leads-Strong   Endings-Strong   Point of View   Characters-Strong   Descriptive Imagery   Books About Words   Poetry   Oral Language


Forms in your binder

white - Procedures for Developing MiniLessons for Touchstone Texts

green - Elementary Writing Workshop Units of Study for Kdg
Trimester Key Points/Focus

yellow - Elem Reading Workshop Units of Study
Monthly Key Points/Focus

blue - Kindergarten KidWriting Performance Rubric

MiniLesson Forms
white = T-1     goldenrod = T-2     salmon = T-3

Copy of Conventions of Writing Developmental Scale
p. 176 - 177 KidWriting manual

Grade Level Academic Standards Packet with blue cover
for Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening

Forms NOT in your binder

pink - Class Book Example and Form
Class Book Ideas

green - Lifeskill Form
Lifeskills   doc   html

84 pages Kdg - PA Learning Standards for Early Childhood

Pennsylvania Kindergarten Education Standards
Early Childhood Observation System (ECHOS)

Rubrics   K-POP   Power School   Touchstone Texts
Main Menu    Early Childhood Websites   Google websites
Sing Along Songs    Themes    Free Printables    Free MiniBooks