We do not use a curriculum at LLCS, but we do have individual goals for every child. I am a former first grade teacher, so I know what I want them all to learn. When I create or search for content I have specific goals that I have in mind for every child. I’m sharing K5 (preschoolers who are ready for Kindergarten) and First Grade activities with you today. These are not aligned with Common Core, but they do come from my background as a teacher and what I think works best with the individual learning styles. For most of my PreK and K5 students, it is more about exposure and not so much about mastery. I did not look up any state standards for these goals this week, I just planned according to each students’ needs.
First off, I chose to teach poetry not only because it is National Poetry Month but also because:
a. I knew my students would love it. My students with short attention spans sat, enthralled while I read every word of the rhythmic poetry.
b. It teaches how to communicate feelings, thoughts and ideas in creative ways. It paints a picture in the mind with vivid adjectives.
c. It’s perfect for the practice of rhyming skills.
d. It’s perfect to practice nouns, verbs, and adjectives.
The list goes on, but I will stop there!
Since we were studying poetry, I found a poem written for children centered around gardens and Christ. We read it each morning and discussed it’s meaning. My first graders circled all of the adjectives and my K5 students circled the sight word “the”.
My K5 students are really getting the hang of word families and sight words. I wanted them to come up with their own poem that included words from the -at family. After distributing an -at card to every student we went around the room and read them aloud. Then the writing began! I would start a sentence on the board, and the students would finish it with one of their -at words. They would come up to the board and write their word to finish the sentence.
I really wanted my first graders to realize that you could use your senses to write poetry! I also wanted to tie in some science, so this was the perfect lesson for this! All of the students went on a “sense walk” while they observed and recorded their findings on this print out. poetry planning sheet
We then went back inside to begin writing our own poetry in our journal. Poetry Journal Page
Then we started to list adjectives and verbs to go along with our Spring words.
Our sign language teacher taught us how to sign the spring words along with the adjectives and verbs.
As a class we came up with a poem using the words that we listed. I have some very eager illustrators in this class, so they illustrated the poem as well.
To practice our listening skills and to have a little fun, I passed out blank pictures of a body. Then I read Jack Prelutsky’s poem “The Green Giant.” The students were then allowed to draw the giant the way that they heard him described in the poem.
I had some very interesting giants!
I have some preschoolers that are so close to knowing all of their letters and sounds. I found a poem about Jack and The Beanstalk. I read it to the PreK class. Then I gave them a printable with pictures from the story. They were to identify the beginning letter of each picture. This was a great assessment for me to see where everyone was on their letter and sound recognition.
All of the activities were a lot of fun and I could see what skills needed to be revisited next week. Does anyone use the state standards in planning their school year? I’ll soon start looking at our state standards for my upcoming second grader.