Extra! Extra!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, sweet friends!!!!  I took a little blogging hiatus during the break so that I could just ENJOY my sweet little family…and ohmiword…it was AMAZING!!!  Hope your new year is off to a great start!!! 

I think one of my favorite times of the day has become “Daily Dish”.  You might know this better as ‘daily news’ or ‘morning meeting’.  As the year progresses, I like this time even more.  I just wanted to share with y’all a little something we’ve been doing during this little block of time to reinforce phonemic awareness and writing.  

About 2-3 days a week, I choose the topic for our Daily Dish so that I can make sure I’m reinforcing our weekly objectives and any other areas that I think my kids need more exposure/practice.  The other 2-3 days of the week, I take my little “pick-a-stick” jar and randomly choose one of my littles to share some news with the class.  This *might* be their favorite time of the day, too!  Not only do my kids get a chance to share their news, but the rest of the class gets to respond…in letter form.  Here’s how it all goes down…

First we start with the news.  My random friend practices writing his/her name first and then comes up with something he/she wants to share.  We talk about how we can condense his/her thoughts and focus on a “small moment”.  Then we talk about how we can fit those thoughts into a sentence.  Once we brainstorm a good sentence, we count the words out loud and then I draw the line to represent each word so that we can make sure we’re tracking our thoughts as we write.


As you can see, it’s nothing fancy.  All my friends help us spell & stretch out the words in the sentence.  They are getting SO stinkin’ good at this!!!  Some of my high flyers are even remembering the “sneaky e” rule!  After my little friend writes his sentence, we go through and count all the letters and all the words and talk about why there are less words than there are letters.

Then I send each of my babies back to their desks and I have each of them write a letter to their friend about his/her news.  We’re still in the beginning stages of letter writing, but ohmiword…they’re seriously doing so well!  In each of their letters, the kids have to ask a question.  This has been great for reinforcing the difference between asking and telling sentences and it’s also familiarizing them with using the correct punctuation in their writing.   Plus, they’re becoming such great little letter writers :) 

letter2 letter3

Left:  Dear Caden, What did you have for dinner?  Love, Joseph 

Right {this one cracks me up!!}:  Dear Caden, Is it going to be the best day or night ever?  Love, Micah


Dear Caden, Why did you go to dinner?  Love, Tristan

After they’ve written their letters…which takes about 5-7 minutes…we gather back together on the carpet to share.  While the rest of the class writes their questions, I have the “daily disher” write more about his/her news.  This has been great for getting my kids to understand what it means to “add on” to a story.  What I love about gathering back together to share is that EVERYONE has a chance to share his/her writing and it goes by super quick because the letters are only a sentence long.  It also gives me the opportunity to quickly assess their writing and then make notes about what I need to touch on during our writing conferences.  The “daily disher” feels pretty stinkin’ cool, too.  And he/she loves to write/read more about the news they shared. 

We like to find the vowels and consonants in the news, too!  And LOVE how my friends are remembering to “chunk” sounds when they write!!!! 



Dear Clarissa, Did you get a chew toy?  Love, Olivia


Dear Clarissa, Did you like your new puppy?  Love, Caleb

As the year progresses, we’ll continue to look for more in our sentences, too!  Currently, my kids LOVE looking for the nouns!!!  Cah-ute!!!


I love that we can use this time to focus on SO many different concepts and improve so many different skills!  How does “Daily Dish” look for you?! 


  1. So glad that you had a great break! It's so important to take that time to enjoy with family and relax!

    L.O.V.E. your daily dish!! You always come up with the greatest ideas and names! We just call ours morning meeting, but I love how it is so easy to incorporate so many different skills in such a meaningful way!

    First Grade in Foxwell Forest

  2. Love this idea! I think I am going to start doing this tomorrow. Super easy, no prep, and SO MEANINGFUL! Cara, you are the love of my life!!!!!!

  3. This is so awesome! I love how Clarissa spelled "chuwowo." I haven't done anything like this yet, but I think I will have to make some time for it because I can see how my kids would benefit from it. Your kids are making so much progress!
    Learning In Wonderland

  4. LOVE this idea! It looks super fun and easy! Most important the kiddos would be writing and having a blast...Thanks for sharing!

    First Grade Fanatic!

  5. Sheesh!. You always amaze me! Every. Single. Post.
    Growing Firsties

  6. I love love love that activity! Your kids really seem to get it! This is my favorite time of year. Coming back from break, I was so excited to see how independent they are now and how much more capable they are. Kindergarten is the very best ever! You are such a fantastic teacher! I always love reading your posts! Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. This is fantastic! I love this idea! I love how you are incorporating counting into it as well, what a great activity!

    I'm having a giveaway of sight word bingo and sight word soccer spelling at my blog once I reach 20 followers! Each of the first 20 people will get the free pack!



  8. I am loving your daily dish! Kiddos love to share all their happenings, why not turn it into an AWESOME learning opportunity!

    Glad you enjoyed your break. I took a hiatus myself and it was so nice.

    Kindergarten Kidlets

  9. This is so cute! I wish we had more time in the morning for our morning meeting! Our morning meeting time got cut short this year because we have a new Breakfast in the Classroom program and we switch for reading, so I have to have my kids fed, have our meeting, everybody is cleaned up, and ready to line up in 30 minutes. Considering my meeting used to be 25 minutes, it feels quite short. :-( This is such a great idea, though, I'd really like to find a way to work it in!

  10. I love your daily dish! What a great idea to have this activity be a part of their day! So cute!
    Happy New Year!

  11. This is such a fantastic idea. Love it! This is why I love reading blogs. Those quick ideas that don't take much to implement. I'll definitely be trying this out. Thanks for sharing.
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Klass

  12. What a great idea!! I'm going to start doing this with my kiddies! One question: what do the children do with their questions that they wrote? Do they take it home or do you collect them? Thank you for sharing all your ideas!! Happy New Year

  13. This is so fantastic! I was just thinking how/when I was going to start teaching my kinders about letter writing and after reading this now I KNOW they can do it! :) Love how you made this part of your morning meeting! :)

  14. I always love your ideas!! I hope you had a fantastic Christmas and New Years!

  15. Great idea! The "daily disher" could take all the notes home in a booklet to save - "The Day I Was the Dish. " Thanks for sharing!! :)

  16. This is such a great idea! I just started having share time this year and the students love it. I am always looking for ways to enhance it. I love the idea of having the students condense their news to a sentence and stretching out that sentence. What good practice for writing!

    Thanks for the ideas. Glad you had a great break!
    Compassionate Teacher

  17. Thank you for sharing your ideas. It just reminds me of how many concepts can be covered with daily news. I especially love the idea that children are writing questions. I think they need more opportunities to do this in authentic ways, and this provides those opportunities.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  18. What a fun activity! My kiddos would love being the newscaster and have fun writing too! Thanks for sharing.

  19. What a cute idea! We'll have to add this to our weekly rotation of things we work on! Thank you so much for the wonderful ideas!!

  20. I love the idea and the pictures are precious! Makes me miss teaching kindergarteners!!! :) Glad you had a wonderful Christmas break!!! I was NOT ready to come back this year after spending time with my 2 boys (and hubs too).

    Rulin' The Roost

  21. I tried this, this morning with my first graders and it went great! Would you be able to put up an example of what you do on the days you don't pick a student?

  22. Seriously love this!! We do what is called "good things" each morning where student(s) share a good thing! It is always their favorite time!! BUT I am so loving the writing part that you are bringing into it!! Def going to use this!! You are amazing Mrs. Cara Carroll!!!
    Would love for you to stop by and visit Smitten With First!
    Michelle @ Smitten With First

  23. I love this! I have been trying to think of ways to beef up my morning message and this is full of great ideas! Thanks!

    Ms. Cranfill's Class

  24. This is why I love blogging! I have been racking my brain trying to decide how to tweak our typical morning messages to better gel with Common Core. I can't wait to try this!


  25. Morning message is one of my favorites too! I love the idea of having the kids write their own news during this time. Thank you for the idea! When I'm absent (like I was most of this week because of my sick kids), I always email in a morning message for them. They get a kick out it. I should take your idea and tell the sub to have them write me some "news" from the day while I was gone. Whatever gets them writing, right?! :)

    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  26. I wish my brain functioned like yours! Your creativity blows me away every stinkin' time!

    For the Love of First Grade

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  28. Just curious, why do you use blank paper instead of lined?

  29. I think blanked papers used professionally that's why he is using blanked papers instead of lined.

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