Bear Snores On Literacy Math Unit

My goal for this coming year is to create more literature based mini-units based on specific literature selections.  The one I created over the December break was based on the

Color Version

Color Version

literature selection “Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson.  I felt this would really correlate with the concept of hibernation and what animals do in the winter.


Shared Reading

This mini-unit includes an emergent reader that is a simple retelling of the literature selection.  It is offered in both color and black and white.  I use these readers for both shared and guided reading.  I project the color version on my Smart Board, enabling all the students to view the print.  I model the reading process on specific skills as outlined in the unit.  A page from the color version of the reader is displayed on the right.


Guided Reading

I would generally have five students within a group completing the guided reading activities outlined below.

There is a black and white version of the reader that I use for guided reading.  I always like to include an interactive component in each reader. The interactive component in this reader has the students cutting and pasting the correct animal that joined bear in his cave. The students are required to match the words found within the reader to those displayed on the picture.  It also requires them to apply what they know about beginning letters and sounds.

Black and White Version

Black and White Version

I like doing this during guided reading because each student finishes the interactive component at different times.  This allows me to have an individual student read the selection to me, once they have finished cutting and pasting the correct pictures.  During this time, I can assess what skills they have acquired.


Literacy Centers

I have four Literacy Centers with duplicate games. There are two to three playing partners at each center playing the same game.  The students would rotate to each center. The entire process takes around 30 to 40 minutes.


Literacy Center One – Letter and Sound Identification

The playing partners would take turns rolling a die.  They would move around the game board accordingly and print the initial letter sound represented on the picture that they landed on. They could use the dotted printing sheet provided. There are also picture playing cards that can be used.  The playing partners would take turns drawing a picture card and print the letter sound represented.  Again, the dotted printing sheet could be used.

Alphabet Game Board

Picture Cards

Dotted Printing Sheet










Literacy Center Two – Rhyming Game

In this Center student partners take a turn spinning a top.  They will place a bingo chip or another object on the picture that rhymes on their game card.  Once their game card has been completed, the game is over.

Rhyming Game

Rhyming Game


Literacy Center Three – Letter Naming

The playing partners take a turn rolling a die and moving their game player accordingly.  The partners must name the letter they landed on and print this letter on the printing sheet provided.

Letter Identification Game

Letter Identification Game

 Sight Words








Literacy Center Four –  Sight Word Identification 

Math Ten Frames Worksheet

Math Ten Frames Worksheet

The teacher would print the focus sight word(s) on the game board provided. Again, the students would roll a die, move their game player accordingly and say the name of the sight word they landed on.



The students would cut and paste or print the correct number that correlates to the ten frames displayed on the sheet.


Location of New Mini-Theme 

The new mini-theme is found within the Winter theme unit.


Bear Snores on Mini-Theme


Indicate What Other Literature Mini-Units You Would Like to See Developed?????

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Pre-K Curriculum

I have been asked to create a Pre-K curriculum that addresses the “National Standards” but also meets the needs of ESL learners.  I am excited about this opportunity, but I know it will be a considerable amount of work.  The resources will be reproduced in hardcopy and distributed to places that do not necessarily have access to quality resources.  This is the reason for the different books.  I will also have an online version.

Note:  The curriculum only includes activities that address learning outcomes.   It does not include play center a ideas, which should still be included in the bulk of the curriculum.

Teacher's Guide

Teacher’s Guide

Teacher Resources

Teacher Resources

Student Workbook

Student Workbook

Student Resources

Student Resources









Your Input After Viewing Free Resources

I have created the first unit of study which is based on greeting each other and becoming familiar with names within their learning environment.  Please view and use the free resources.  I would really appreciate your input!!!


Pre-K Curriclum

Pre-K Curriculum


Teacher’s Guide

Teacher’s Resources

Student Workbook

Student Resources




Future Units of Study

All About Me

My Five Senses

My Body (taking care of it)

My Emotions

My Home and Family

My Family

My House



Food and Nutrition

Zoo and Animals



Numbers and Shapes


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Valentine’s Theme Suggestions

I absolutely love this time of year because many of my students are ready to begin the writing process and implement what they have learned about letters/sounds and a few high frequency words.  This gives me a really good idea Writing-Progression-pre-kas to where each student is at.  Students in the early years develop their writing in stages.  Understsanding this progression helps us understand at what stage our students are at and what to expect from them.  More importantly, to appreciate where they are developmentally and celebrate their efforts and accomplishments.  The picture on the left outlines this progression.

Evolution of A Child’s Writing

In the link below you will find a more detailed description of this process.


Child’s Writing Stages


Valetnine-Book-Photo 2Valentine Writing Project

During the month of February we focus on the importance of friendship and write about it.  Each day they are at school, my students will be choosing a different friend to write about.  This will be written in their heart-shaped writing book (a sample page displayed on the left).  If you are a member, the templates to complete this project is provided for you in the Valentines theme unit.


Preparing for Writing Success and Independence

Modeling any activity you wish your students to complete prior to assigning it, is the key to success.  Together as a class we would brainstorm for ideas and I would model the writing process.  I would also model how I would plan what to draw.  We would also brainstorm for possible high frequency words that could be used and I would ensure these are readily available for the students to use as a reference.


Letter Formation and Picture Guide

Alphabet-Formation-Picture-Writing-GuideIn observing my students I also learned that they need a letter formation guide with a picture clue of what sound that letter makes because they forget when required to transfer this to a writing situation.  I frequently saw them referring to our wall where the letters are posted alphabetically with the picture that is related to that sound (the characters found in the alphabet readers and animated song video).  I realized they needed something that they could place beside them for a quicker reference.  A photograph of this guide is displayed on the right.  If you are a member, login to your account and access this printing and sound guide from the link “Alphabet Program” and the “Alphabet Pictures”.


Student Names and Pictures

Writing Center

Writing Center

I also supply each writer with a list of class names with their picture posted beside it.  This allows for greater independence.


Another Writing Activity

The templates below could be placed in your “Writing Center” where the students would be writing to each other.


Writing Center Valentine Cards


Valentine Fabulous Freebies


Children will enjoy creating heart-shaped animals in relation to the Valentines theme.  This activity will allow the students to let their creativity flow.  Provide them with a heart-shaped template provided for the body and allow them to create a animal shaped face to attach to the body. The photograph to the left is an example of what they can create. If you are a member, you will have access to these templates.


Heart Shape Template


paintbynumberChildren will enjoy improving their fine-motor skills and extending their learning of number recognition, color and word recognition to complete this activity.  There are two versions of this activity.  The first version requires them to identify colors in order to complete the activity.  The second version requires them to identify the color words in order to complete the activity.


Valentine Bear – Color Recognition Activity


Valentine Bear – Color Word Recognition Activity


Valentine Card for Students
In the link below you will find a card I created for my students.  Copy, fold and sign.


Valentine Card for Students


Valentine Mouse Maze
After reading the emergent reader “Valentine Mice” as a shared reading experience,  the maze worksheet below would be a great follow-up.  The children will help the mouse find the cheese.


Valentine Maze


For more ideas click on the link below:


Valentine Theme Ideas 



In planning for the future, I would really like to know what forms of technology are you are implementing most within your classroom (Desktop Computers, iPads, other tablets, Smart Board).  You will need to fill in the captcha information first and then I must approve your response.  I do apologize for this but I constantly get spammers writing automated responses and this is the only way I can prevent this.


Please Comment About What Forms of Technology You Are Using Within the Classroom!!!  This Helps Me With Future Plans.

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Ocean Theme Weekly Plans

This blog post focuses on my weekly lesson plan for my first week back in January related to the Ocean theme.  For the month of January we bring warmth into the classroom by discussing ocean animals and warm ocean places.


I teach two days this week so this plan will extend over that period of time.  On the second day I will be doing similar activities but they also include show and share.  I do a modeled writing activity where we outline positive points about the “Student of the Week”.  We also have libary on that day.  I will also introduce the letter “f” for fish and its related sound.


8:28-9:00  Circle Time

Phonemic Awareness Warmup Activity – Mystery Word(s)

I have small little whiteboards that I print the letters that represent the phoneme. A child is assigned to each phoneme and holds the letter(s) that represents this sound.  We say each phoneme sound (usually review letters) several times as a review of the sound/letter and how it corresponds.  We talk about what makes the beginning, middle and end sound.  After, I place the students closer together and we blend the sounds together.  The students have to guess what the mystery word is.  I do this activity throughout the day as a review of letter sounds.

Mystery Words This Week:  sip, sap, rip, tip and dip


 Introduce New Theme

Dicuss how they will be learning about ocean animals for the month of January.


Connection to Literature

Read the book “Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister.  Discuss how Rainbow Fish felt after he shared his scales.


Shared Reading

Display the emergent reader on the Smart Board “Rainbow Fish Retelling”.  If you do not have access to a Smart Board cut out the pictures and place the sentences beside them on a pocket chart.


Rainbow Fish Retelling Color Sample Version


Rainbow Fish Retelling Black and White Sample Version


Prior to Reading

Display the title page and read it.  Discuss how this reader is a simple retelling of the book.  Preview the pictures and have the students predict who Rainbow Fish shares his scales with.


Read the Story Together Modeling the Reading Process 

Possible Discussions and Concepts

1.  Introduce the initial sounds of “Rr and Ff” heard within the story.  You could also introduce the sound “sh” makes.

2.  Discuss use of capitals used within names.

5.  Possible sight words:  with and a


Guided Writing About Ocean Animals

Display a picture of a sea star and discuss facts about them.


Sea Star Photograph


Facts About Sea Stars

Sea stars move very slowly along the sea bed, using hundreds of tiny tube feet.  They eat clams, oysters, coral and fish.  Most sea stars have five arms.  If one is cut off, it will grow back again.  They do not have a brain


Guided Writing Activity

Have students help you generate the sentence for the writing activity that will be done at the “Writing Center”.  This activity is outlined in the video below.  The students will help with initial sounds for the sentence I can draw a sea star.  Have them come forward print sight words “I and a” on the correct line and other initial sounds.  Have students sound out the word “can” and a student come forward and print it.


I  can  draw  a sea  star.


Demonstrate how they will print the sentence in the Writing Center and connect the dots.  This will be demonstrated on the Smart Board.


Note:  These resources are found within the Ocean theme unit.


View Smart Board Ocean Activities on YouTube


The video demonstrates alphabet review activity, ordering and suggestions for the Writing Center


9:15 – 9:45 Play Centers

Rainbow Fish Template

Rainbow Fish Template

4-5 Students assigned to “Craft Center”.  My assistant works with them.

Students will make a rainbow fish.  They will color the scales and mouth using felts.  The shiny scales could be made using heavy weight tin foil or sequins.  After, the students will sponge paint the fish blue.  After the fish dries, an eye and shiny scales would be added.


Guided Reading With Emergent Reader 
4-5 students will be reading the black and white emergent reader  “Rainbow Fish Retelling” with me.  The focus will be on tracking words, coloring the pictures according to what is inidicated in the text. This integrates a comprehension component into reading.


Rest of Class at Play Center with Parent Volunteer

Each month we change the Play Centers.  The Play Centers outlined below relate to the Ocean theme.  The rest of the students will be at the play centers while my assistant and I work with a small group.


Christmas Play Centers


1.  Sand – Treasure Island

Place treasures in the sand for children to count and sort.


2.  The “Housekeeping Center” becomes a “Travel Agency” – Incorporates Math and Printing

Students look through travel brochures and print a list of places they would like to travel to.  They would prepare for the trip by packing clothing in a suitcase.

Incorporating Math

They must determine how many pieces of clothing will fit in a suitcase.  What arrangement is best.   Compare weight of the different suitcases.


3.  Writing Center – the students will be printing the sentence I can draw a sea star and connecting the number dots to complete the picture.


3.  Big Blocks, Social Studies and Science – Students will be working together to create a puppet stage and puppet play using the aquatic puppets.  They would be telling information about the different sea creatures.


4.  Computers – I have downloaded the  Smart Board activities outlined in the Literacy Centers on individuals computers and the students can work on this.


5.  Paint Easel has stayed the same.


6. Playdough and Lego


7.  Creative Craft Center – Paper, cards, tape, scissors, glue, all types of decorations and odds and ends are placed here


8.  Water Table and Science – Floating and Sinking

Experiment with floating and sinking as outlined on pages 33-37 in the Science Focus curriculum on the member site.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________9:40 – 10:15 Get Ready and Go to Gym


10:15 – 10:35   Bathroom Break and Snack 


10:35 – 11:20 Literacy Centers

Circle Time

Practice Sound In Song

Sing “Head and Shoulders” original version then replace each word so it starts with a “Rr and Ff” sound.


Rolling Dice and Sorting Games – Watch Video


View Games on YouTube


This is a review of the letters “Aa, Cc, Bb, Ii, Uu, Gg, Tt, Ee, Dd, Qq, Bb, Pp, Rr and Ff.  The students roll the die and move their players accordingly.  They must say the name of the letter they landed on and say the sound that is related to it. They can collect a bingo chip if they are able to say the name of the letter and another chip if they are able to say the initial sound.  The object of the game is to see who can collect the most bingo chips.  There is also a sorting game demonstrated on the video.

Letter Formation

Introduce the correct letter formation of “r and f”.  Students practice in the air, on each other’s backs and in the palm of their hand.


Literacy Center Time – Rotation System

Center 1 – Alphabet and Print Awareness Center – Teacher Monitoring

Pairs of students will play the “Rolling Dice Game” as demonstrated in the video.  I will be monitoring this station (6-7 students).


Center 2 – Phonemic Awareness Center – Parent Volunteer

Sorting Objects Game

The students will be pulling objects from the rice tub and mystery bag and determining which letter/sound it begins with.  They will be placing the object on the sorting mat under the correct letter.  Focus on sounds Rr, Pp, Ss and Ff.


Center 3 –  Printing Center

Students will be practicing forming the letter “r and f”.  The students will be practicing printing the letter “r” on white boards.  After, they would print the letter(s) in their printing book.  The version I use is found in the link below:


11:20 – 11:35   Music

Introduce and sing song “Funny Friendly Fish” from the Alpha Tunes CD


Animated Alphabet Video from link below:


Animated Alphabet Video


11:35- 12:00  Writer’s Workshop

Students will draw and picture and tell about their favorite part of the Christmas holiday.


11:55 – 12:00  Bathroom Break 
12:00 – 12:25 Eat Lunch
12:25 – 1:00  Lunch Recess
1:00 – 1:10 Bathroom Break

1:00 – 1:20 Circle Time 

-Calendar, count days on calendar, count how many days they have been in school, add this many straws to the 10’s cup.


1:20 – 2:00 Play Centers

Groups are switched from this morning so all students have an opportunity to visit the Play Centers during the day.


2:00 – 2:35  Math More, Less and Equals Concept

Students will play the more, less and equals game as outlined on the video above.  Partners will roll a die and take turns displaying that many bingo chips.  They must determine who has the greatest amount and mark this off on their game board chart.


2:55-3:10 Bathroom Break and Dismissal


3:10  Bus Students Leave


3:15  Walking Students Leave

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