Monday, February 1, 2016

Love Letters Freebie and Link Up

Welcome to my FIRST "ITeachKinder" Linkup!
In these monthly linkups, I will be sharing timely tips, teaching strategies, resources, and some freebies with you.  If you like what you see in this blog post, be sure to follow me (or any of the participating bloggers) and check back at the beginning of the each month for a new link up. Today, I will be sharing a free and a paid teaching resource with you that I use during February to keep my kiddos engaged in learning! 
For me a classroom should be built on a community of friendship and love. My kiddos know from day one that we all treat each other we love, respect, and kindness.
 One of the ways that we continue this throughout the year is by writing "Love Letters" to each other. {This unit is perfect for Kinder or First.} 

 I begin this unit in February because it is perfect for Valentine's Day. We learn what a letter is, how to write one, how to address one, and what types of things we would put into a letter.  I begin by reading this awesome book. It is a great way for kiddos to get their "hands on" a real letter. It is called The Jolly Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
Then the kiddos use a planning sheet to "interview" a friend.

 Finally, the kiddos get to write their letter and "mail" it to their friend.  We make our own envelopes out of construction paper. We also address the envelopes and add a stamp. (All of these things are included in this FREEBIE!) The kiddos are hooked on writing letters after the first time of doing it whole group.  They want to interview and write letters to each other ALL. THE. TIME! It's fabulous! If you would like to try this FREEBIE, just click Love Letter Freebie!

When our kinders and firsties are writing anything, they need a good base of sight words to help carry their stories or letters. Sight Word Hunts are a great way to practice identifying and writing sight words that the kiddos will want to use in their letters. I use this activity every other week in my class. The first week we use it, it is done independently. Then I place the center version of the hunt in a center for the following week. There are 12 different versions of the game so it can be played many times. The particular Hunt that I use to support the above letter writing is called Valentine's Day Sight Word Hunt. The kiddos use magnifying glasses to hunt for sight words.  When they locate a word, they cross it out  on the paper and then write it on the blank provided.Super easy to make, super engaging, and super fun!

If you would like to try this word hunt out in your classroom, just click Valentine's Day Sight Word Hunt.

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