I Survived Week 2 How About You?!

Well…I did it.  I survived the 2nd week!  HA!  In all honesty, I have a pretty sweet little class.  I feel like they’ve picked up so much in just a short 2 weeks!  I’m so excited and anxious to see how much they progress this year.  This is one of the reasons I love Kindergarten so much.  They all come in with such different abilities and it’s amazing to see their growth…even after just a few short weeks! 

This past week we hit the ground running and started focusing on name recognition.  Not just our own, but the names of our friends, too!  I usually wait ‘til the 3rd week to start our name unit, but I could quickly see that we needed lots of practice in this area and because their little names are the most important words they know, we needed to start with that first!

I used a lot of activities from my Say My Name unit to start out our name study.  We’ll continue with a few more this next week, too. I added a lot of new ideas to the mix and the kids had SO much fun.  We sorted names by the beginning letter, practiced writing the names of our friends, dug through rice to find the letters in our names, and SO much more!


Speaking of names, we started our predictable chart on Tuesday…all about the names in our class.  On Friday, we finished up our chart and then I had the kids come up with a title for our book.  I absolutely LOVE doing this with our predictable charts.  It gives me the chance to talk about the main idea of our “story”.  The kids get to come up with titles and then the class votes.  As you can see, we had quite the range of ideas for titles!!!


We talked a lot about why certain titles would be good for our book and why others would not.  As you can see, my kids voted for a very fitting title for our class book!  I hang all of my predictable chart books on a little command hook in the library center so that the kids have quick and easy access.  The best part about these books is that they can read them INDEPENDENTLY!  Talk about feeling successful!  Great way to reinforce sight word/name recognition!  I left the cover of our book in the art center for a fun Friday activity and the kids got to take turns illustrating it {if they wanted}.  This week we only had one illustrator and she was SO proud of her work!  Now I’ll use this sentence prompt for my pocket chart activity next week.  My kids will have to read the sentence and match the names to their classmates’ pictures!

week2p  week2q

I found this GREAT idea on Ketchen’s Kindergarten and knew I had to add this to our daily routine.  Each day I pull a new name stick and the kids get to practice working with their friends’ names in various ways.  I love that this activity can be done quickly and pretty much fits in anywhere in my schedule.  And it’s been a great way for my kids to get to know one another!  We’ll keep up with this until I use each of their names.  I’m also using this for our sight words!!!  I LOVE IT!!!


Our poem of the week was “Everybody Has a Name”.  Each of my little friends took a turn repeating the last part of the poem using their own name and they thought that was pretty cool. 


We also got to work in our poetry journals for the very first time!  They were SO excited!


We’re getting ready to work on a poem from Deedee’s August/September Poetry packet and we started collecting environmental print to get ready for it.  We talked about our growing collection and the kids thought it was pretty cool that they could actually “read” the words.  They didn’t even realize they were reading!!!  Too cute!


Speaking of my dear friend, Deedee, we also started our Writer’s Workshop this week.  Deedee & Deanna have an AMAZING set of comprehensive, thoroughly planned out writer’s workshop units of study.  Y’all.  I can’t say enough good things.  After reading Engaging Young Writers {Matt Glover} and In Pictures & In Words {Katie Wood Ray} this past summer, I totally changed the way I do writer’s workshop.   These units go along *perfectly* with what I read!!!  I was SO excited to implement these this year!  So far, so good!!!


Speaking of writing, I’m THRILLED to finally have a monthly assessment of my kids’ writing growth and progress.  Precious Kathleen {Growing Kinders} has these AMAZING Primary Writing Portfolios and we started our first couple of pages this week.  I can’t tell you how excited I am to track my kids’ growth every single month.  I keep their writing portfolios in a little tub behind my teacher table so they don’t get lost in the deep abyss otherwise known as their desk ;)  Such an amazing resource!!

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I can’t forget about math!!!  We hit the ground running here, too!  We’re practicing identifying numbers, tens frames, tallies, patterns, and so much more!  We’re working on our subitizing skills….up to sets of 5…and we even talked about the point of origin!!!  My kids are loving working with the number line and life sized tens frame :)  Our anchor number this past week was the number 1.  We learned different ways to make & identify the number and we even learned and sang the number one song {Frog Street Press}.  Woot, woot! 


The number anchor charts are from my Don’t Forget My Number packet!  It includes all numbers 1-20.

Our anchor shape was the oval and the circle.  We talked about vertices and how a circle/oval has none!  We even identified objects in our environment that have this same shape.  On Friday, the kids made these fun oval shape monsters from my sweet friend, Cheryl at Primary Graffiti!!  LOVE!  We’ll be making a shape monster at the end of each week we learn about our new anchor shape. Seriously…are these not the cutest?!  I also love how they assess lots of other skills, too…especially listening and following directions…a BIG objective in our TEKS!

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Graphic courtesy of Mel from Graphics From the Pond

Now when I tell you we have a number/letter/shape of the week, that doesn’t mean I’m teaching in letter/number/shape of the week style.  These are just our anchors.  We still hit and teach the others as well and work on many activities that include various letters/numbers/shapes.  These are just our *focus*!!

And let’s not forget about character and behavior management.  Being that it was the 2nd week, you know we hit those concepts hard, too.  We read Chrysanthemum and each time a character said something hurtful about her name, the kids crumpled up the smooth heart.  Each little friend took a turn.  We tried to smooth it out and straighten it at the end of the book when everyone is saying nice things to Chrysanthemum, but as you can see, it’s hard to fix a wrinkled heart.  Such a great, hands on activity for the kids to really think about using words the right way!


And ya wanna know the best part of my week?!  I went out to dinner with one of my friends and her two kids {and my two boys} on Friday night.  We went to pay for the tab, but it was already paid!!!!  Someone bought the meal…for ALL 6 of us!!!!!  There are such GREAT people in this world!!!!  I was overwhelmed with gratefulness and couldn’t help but cry!  I’ve NEVER had this happen to me before!!!  Now I’m off to pay it forward!  What a GREAT end to  busy week!!!


  1. Your wrinkled heart is adorable! Thank you for your sweet words!!! Love you!

  2. Whew!!!! Busy!! You are such a great teacher!!

  3. Your week looks fantastic! Wow! So inspiring and I now have so many ideas for my 2nd week of school. Thanks for sharing.

  4. You already paid it forward! I am thankful for each of your posts. I use you as "my team colleague " to spin off of and treasure your creativity and love for teaching! I'm so glad you're on my team! :)

  5. I do a similar name activity. We call it the "name game." I cut up the letters and keep them in an envelope with the students name on the front. These live in a pocket chart and the kids can play with them all year long!
    Thanks for sharing such great activities!

  6. Oh my goodness you've been busy! I love the activities especially the poem about names. I think I'm going to create a flipchart so we can do that in getting to know you. This would also be cute to pair with Chrysanthemum. Ah the more I read everyone's blog the more I keep changing my lessons for next week. I wish I could use all your ideas. They are wonderful!
    Fantastical Fun in First Grade

  7. What a successful start to your school year! I am not surprised though...I can sense the passion and love you have for you students and your calling in every post you write. Thank you so much for being so inspiring :)

    Mindful Rambles

  8. Your so inspiring! Your blog was my very first blog I became addicted to. I know your a busy and very popular lady, but THANK YOU!! :)


  9. Whew - I am exhausted just reading your post! What an engaging and fun week you had with your kidlets. I've taken so many amazing ideas from this post - I'm bookmarking it so I can refer back! Love those number posters. :)

    Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep!

  10. Love the ideas in the pocket chart to practice names - I am definitely going to use it to practice our weekly sight words! But one really dumb question - how do you do "Count It"????? Hold up a finger for each letter as you say them?

    I can't wait to use these fun ways to practice spelling our sight words with my firsties!

  11. I love everything! My littlest is in pre-k...and they've started working on their names and numbers...I'll be telling her about your Say My Name Unit...and Don't Forget My Number packet...they're just too cute! :)

  12. You are amazing! I love the letter hunt in rice... there's nothing like (or as great) as sensory exploration :)

    Granny Goes to School

  13. We do everybody has a name too! Great minds think alike. I think we taught the exact same things last week. Love ya girl!

  14. Will you continue to post the plans for each week? I am a homeschooling mom to a 1st grader and when I feel I am hitting a wall I look at your posts and get inspired all over again! Please keep them coming!

  15. So excited to start some of these ideas in the fall!

  16. That was super cute! I am excited about this upcoming school year!