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The "Down-Low" on Digraphs!

Happy Thursday, Peeps!

I originally planned to blog at least two to three times a week...and wow...that has been pretty tough between teaching kindergarten, graduate school, and life!  But, I'm back...for a few hours tonight!

This week is fall parent-teacher conference week at my elementary school and although tiring, I just love getting to know my kinders' parents and sharing some good laughs! We have had so much fun looking at their writing over the past 9 weeks and noting their incredible of the many reasons I love my job!

Over the past two weeks, we concluded our letter/sound review and jumped right into consonant digraphs.  We started with the sh digraph and spent a few days on it...and then learned ch, th, and today, wh.  We are doing exercises similar to the exercises I mentioned in my initial blog posts (collectively brainstorming a list of words and then they create their own list with pictures...and read it to their pair/share partner).  I've also made additional graphic organizers for each digraph - you can purchase them by going to my TPT Store.  Check out the cheese, chick, chip, chicken (love the picture!), and Chuck E. Cheese (haha) below:

thief, thirsty, thermometer, and thermos

We are also "warming up" at the beginning of each LA whole group lesson by making a "window" (four squares) on our dry erase boards with words that start with each digraph we've learned.  These warm-ups have really been fun...I'm seeing more and more risk-taking and most importantly, more confidence!  See below (sheep, shop, chicken, cheese):

We have also been doing a lot of pair-share activities during whole group.  Each day, they pair up with a new partner and spread out all over our classroom and decide on a "note taker" and a "brainstormer." Once they choose their roles, they come up with as many __ words as they can (in the picture below, they were tasked with coming up with as many sh words as they could - I gave each group a large piece of construction paper).  One of their challenges is to come up with unique words that we have not yet discussed; I encourage them to whisper to their partner(s) during this activity because it's TOP SECRET until we regroup and share!  They loved this!  When we regroup and come back to the carpet, each group comes up to the front and reads the class their list.  One of the groups came up with 16 sh words!  They love these writing vocabulary/fluency activities...and, love reading their words to the class...again, building confidence!

I have 10 rotations in my daily literacy work station rotation. My kinders will go to 3 stations each day during the first hour (I feel like this keeps the stations "fresh") and I try my hardest to change them out each Friday...depending on what we're focusing on during whole group.  During literacy work stations, I pull my reading teams for small group guided reading  (I will talk more about my guided reading activities in my next post).

In one of their work stations this past week, I wrote letters on large pieces of construction paper, provided magazines, and tasked them with finding pictures that start with that letter...and, labeling them accordingly.  You will see in the picture below that one of my students used his th digraph to label the picture of the thermometer!  I was so proud of this student's "stretching!"

In the SMART Board work station, they can choose from various SMART Notebooks I've recently introduced in whole group.  Below, you will see the partners sorting pictures that start with t, h, or th (we are loving the dual-user feature).  Another group chose the Beginning Sound Parking Lot Notebook I downloaded from the Smart Exchange:

Below, you will see my kinders in the dry erase literacy work station working together to write sentences with ch words...they are relying heavily on their sight words at the moment...and that is great!  We talk a lot about how sight words are not just for helping us become fluent readers, but they also help us become good, solid writers!

In the station below, they made books that were all about their favorite digraph (note that this is completely different from Writer's Workshop in which they choose what they want to write about).  Below, you will see one of my kinders using her sight words to make sentences...andddd, she is stretching her words using her new ch digraph!  After they make their book(s), they read it to their station partner :-)

Each Friday, we have Show and Tell....and I e-mail the parents the night before and encourage them to have their child bring something that starts with the digraph(s) we have worked on over the past week.  Last week, they were encouraged to bring an object that starts with the sh digraph.  Below, you will see some of my kinders and their "dazzling digraphs!"  As you can see, one of my students brought shin guards, a sheriff badge, and Shamu...and one brought a seashell she was very proud of...and another student brought a transformer that transformed into a ship!  The class guesses the words before the "speaker" tells them what they brought...and I will often chime in, "Why do you think he brought Shamu?" (Because it starts with the sh digraph)!

On another somewhat unrelated note, in science, we started discussing matter and changes in matter last week...and, we made a class book about matter.  The students drew pictures of matter and wrote the corresponding word(s) of my kinders wrote ship!  As you can see, they are using their digraphs "around the clock," haha!  Love it.

Well, that's all for now, Kinder Peeps!  My bed is calling my name!  I hope you all have a "FABULOUS FRIDAY!"  We are wearing our pajamas tomorrow!


  1. WOW!!! What a great post Ashley! I am very impressed by all that your Kinders can do. I can tell that you are an awesome teacher. =)

    I have some Stretchy Snake *freebies* if you want to come and check them out. I also have several digraphs activities you can grab too!

    I am happy to be your newest follower.

    Heather's Heart

    1. Thank you, Heather! I will head over now! Love your blog!

  2. And...I love your "stretchy snake" boxes! Fun activity!