Category Archives: Things in Pencil Boxes

Updates on Literacy Work Stations

Here are the pictures I promised yesterday showing the new things in our Literacy Work Stations–as always, if you have any questions, please e-mail me at



This is Handwriting Work Station–I added some dry erase slates, some of those Magic Slates (the kind that use static to help you write), and some alphabet writing task cards.


These are the practice cards in use! 🙂


An update to the Word Work Station–this is the “-at” family game.  It was very simple to make, I just printed off the sheet from Word/Excel and wrote “at” on 1/2 of the dice and several other letters on the other (s, m, h, p, b, r). To play the children take one of each kind of dice, roll them and if it is the first time they roll that combination, they record it at the bottom.  After that, they write the word they rolled in the box above where it belongs.

I also added one for the “-an” family as well.  I decided to go with these two because I had already added the word family tins to the station, so they would be familiar with the words, just in a different format.


This is another addition to the Word Work Station.  The children can make various words, and I asked them to write down any words that they make and share them with their partner.  They then need to try to sound out the words and bring it to me to read.


I added several new things to the Games and Puzzles Station.  We have two ABC puzzles, and ABC coloring mat that came with our new handwriting things, and ABC picture cards for the children to match (Letter to Picture).  Also I included Alphabet Lotto for the children to play.


This puzzle really could go to Puzzles and Games, but I put it into ABC Work Station instead.  


This is the rest of ABC Work Station–The blue pencil box has an alphabet puzzle inside, then the ABC rubbing cards, and a small pocket chart I got at Wal-Mart a few summers’ ago.  The children can take the words in the bag on the left and match them to the letters in the bag on the right in the pocket chart.  I also added a set of Alphabet stamps and an ink pad (the paper is 1/2 sheets) and the children are able to stamp words and letters that they know.

Did you notice the colored dots on some of the things?  I labeled the materials in some of my Stations to reflect the levels at which my students are currently at.  There are three levels currently and a dot was placed on each of the children’s name cards in the pouch to reflect the level they are at.  I left enough flexibility in the plan, so that I can change levels if needed throughout the year. When the students go to ta Station, they simply look for materials with a dot that matches their card.



I added several of these sheets to our Overhead Work Station.  I made them with a permanent marker and transparency sheets.  The children place them on the overhead and then fill in the missing letters.

I also had some time during our parent/teacher conferences last week to re-organize my Parent Volunteer Materials.  I used the same “dot” system as for Literacy Work Stations.  I put the children into fluid groups and labeled their sticks with a dot.


When the parents come into help, they just take the sticks from the pocket correlating to the day of the week, look at the dot on the stick, and choose a game or activity that correlates:



We also have a new guest in our room:


See him?  It’s Lucky a box turtle! 🙂  Does anyone know a good way to get rid of fruit flies?  They are hovering around his cage and I feel so bad for him! 🙂


Today we worked on the Little Red Hen, started to read Cook-A-Doodle-Do by Janet Stevens, made a Little Red Hen book that the children cut, colored, and stapled and then took home to help retell the story there.  We also finished our Predictable Chart, “I will help…”.  I have some good helpers in my room! 🙂

We also made patterns with foam shapes and halved sentence strips:



See you tomorrow!

Kristen 🙂


Spiders (day 3)

I went back to school today–although I seriously considered taking another day off just because I could, but I would of needed to drive 45 minutes to school and then back, wasting all that sleeping time, when I could just go and teach!  So I did!  🙂  I’m glad I did, I miss my Kinder. kids!

Here’s what we did today:

We read I Like Spiders and predicted how many times the word “spider” would appear in the story (16).  We then read the story and highlighted the word “spider” and counted as we went.

We also wrote the word “spider” on an index card and that will be the task for the Big Book Work Station.

We then continued on with our Predictable Chart:

And revisited our KWL chart:

Here are the books we will read/have been reading:

We worked on Pattern Block Spiders yesterday:

I can only post a picture because I did not make this one, you could lay down some pattern blocks, trace and make your own! 🙂

Today, we started heavily into patterning and used candy corn!

We had everything from the very simple:

To a very elaborate pattern…

After a little while the Kinder kids had a self imposed contest to see who could make the coolest and best patterns!  That was fun motivation for them to get creative!

I also introduced a few new things into Word Work Station:

I showed these rubbing cards this summer and just introduced them.  I have had many rubbings done of them and some children are choosing just to copy them onto the dry erase boards.

These are word family tins I created using old playing card tins.  I have about 10 of them (the tins came from Teacher’s Treasures 5 years ago) and I just used a permanent marker to write in the inside.  I usually have small scraps of paper inside so the Kinder. kids can write down the words that they make, but we’re still just learning how to use these–maybe the first part of November!

I also introduced this sorting board into ABC Work Station.  Currently, it says “Letters in my name, Letters not in my name” and “Letters with a Curve and Letters without a Curve”.  I wrote it in dry erase marker so it can be changed easily and quickly and used electrical tape to make the lines.

I have a ring of names for the name side so once the Kinder kids are done with their name they can find their friends names and try them too!  I will add a ring with pictures of the Kinder. kids for my non-readers soon.

Kristen 🙂

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Handwriting Helpers

I have three children in my class this year who for one reason or another have difficulty in writing their first and last names.  I was thinking about the different things I could try, and then I thought of this one:

I got a plastic pencil box and put their name on it.  Then I traced their first name on a sentence strip, using magnetic letters.  I then put the magnetic letters into the pencil box and laminated their name:

They will use the magnetic letters to match them to the letters in their names.

I also wanted them to pracitce writing their names so I made these:

The first one is a solid line-they will trace over it with a dry erase marker.  The second I made using “bubble letters” so they will try to write their name without touching the sides of the lines.  The third is obviously dotted for them to trace as well.  I will also laminate a blank strip for when we get to that point.

It all stores in the pencil box:

When we are doing Literacy Stations, they will be doing this for a few weeks, until they get it down!

This led me to creating a new Literacy Station-Name Work Station!

I was at Teachers Treasures (see blogroll to the right) today and was standing in the container isle, when something caught my eye!  I was already thinking about what the other children in my class would say when they saw  these boxes, “Where’s mine??”.  I checked my stash of pencil boxes–3 left!  23 more kids to make boxes for, but with what?  That’s where Teacher’s Treasures comes in!  I was walking down that container isle again, and I saw these flat blue jewlery boxes, the kind jewlers use to package large necklaces in (I will get a picture tomorrow for you).  They are about 5 inches tall by 7-8 inches wide.  They are cardboard–the only down side!  I will make a box for each child–I got 20 of them!  I also got  bags of rubberbands, so just like the old Math Their Way junk boxes, I will attach a rubberband to each one and we will keep them closed that way.  I will label the top with a sticker that has their name and picture and this will be a station they can all rotate through–they can practice their name or their friends’.  Either way, they are still practicing letter writing, just not their own name.  For most, that won’t be an issue!  I might only have selected students go to this center as well.  I want to guage the popularity of the idea first and see how that is.

I’m also trying to figure out where this station will go and how I will store the boxes.  Any ideas?

**Subject change here!**  My husband always wants me to alert him as to when I do that–go figure, I’m random and sometimes he doesn’t always follow my conversations!

Anyway, I’ve decided to do the first part of National Board Certification.  I will complete one of the four sections this year and then the rest next year.  It’s something I’ve had in the back of my mind for a few years, but now seems like the best time to do it! 🙂

Kristen 🙂

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