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October Read Alouds for Kindergarten

 


If I had to pick any month as my favorite, especially for teaching, it would be October! The weather 


starts to get cooler, pumpkin everything is officially ok, and the leaves begin to change colors! Each 


unit that I teach in October makes me so happy! I almost wish I had time to do two weeks for each,


but time waits for no one! Here are my fave read alouds and activities for October!


This post contains affiliate links, which means that I'll get a few cents thrown my way at no 

cost to you. That'll help me keep this old blog running!

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie


You may have guessed it already, but I love pumpkins. I need them in my life from the end of 

August until Christmas. Since it is my favorite, I save this unit for last. We continue our discussion

on the characteristics of non-fiction books, and what makes it great is that it's such a hands-on unit.

I also incorporate pumpkins into every area of our day for this week. It's perfect for not only literacy,

but math and science as well.

I Need My Monster

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for October! Your students will learn all about pumpkins, bats, spiders and monsters!

I have had this book in my class library for years, never realizing that it was a series of books! The

main character in this story needs his monster, but not for the reasons you think! When my students

realize that he LIKES to be scared before he goes to sleep, they sit there in disbelief! I use this book

Nightsong

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for October! Your students will learn all about pumpkins, bats, spiders and monsters!

Nightsong tells the story of Chiro, a little bat who is going out at night alone for the very first time.

Once he finds his song (echolocation), he discovers that he enjoys navigating the world around him.

As this story is a little bit longer, we really talk about the beginning, middle and end of the story, 

while still focusing on the characters and setting of the story. Perfect addition to my unit on bats!


Aaaarrggh, Spider!

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for October! Your students will learn all about pumpkins, bats, spiders and monsters!


I used to be a little iffy on teaching about spiders, but I gradually let my guard down. I am so glad

that I did! Spiders happen to be another unit that my students love. I've learned that if it's anything

creepy-crawly, they want to learn all about it! This book is about a lonely spider who decides that

he wants to be the pet of a local family! It's a nice fictionalized story of a spider, which I like to

weave into our non-fiction unit on spiders.


I absolutely love teaching in the month of October, and these stories are part of the reason why!

I love diving into non-fiction and these book companions make every topic come to life! You can 

find all of the books right here on Amazon, and all of the activities by clicking here!



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Created engaged learners with these read alouds for October! Your students will learn all about pumpkins, bats, spiders and monsters!


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September Read Alouds for Kindergarten

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!


September rolls around, and everything is rocking and rolling (well, usually). After spending the

start of school diving into print awareness, September means that we begin to put more of those

listening comprehension skills into the rotation. I also begin to bring more books in that cover

science and social studies standards as well. 


This post contains affiliate links, which means that I'll get a few cents thrown my way at no 

cost to you. That'll help me keep this old blog running!

Apples


Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!

So I have a secret. I do not like apples. Matter of fact, I hate them! When I moved to kindergarten

from first grade, I did not want to even teach this unit. One year I decided to, and it was the best

thing ever! My students had so much fun, and I've been hooked ever since! It's a great starting

point for discussing life cycles, and comparing and contrasting items (taste test anyone).  It's

also a fantastic introduction to non-fiction text.

Helpers in Your Neighborhood


Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!

We love to talk about community helpers! It's always a great unit of study because the people

that my students always recognize are our community helpers. It also opens up a conversation for

other community helpers that might not be in the book. When possible, it's also great to bring in

local community helpers. We often have our fire department come out, and when they see that fire

truck and ladder up close, they are fascinated with it all!

Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, Smell

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!

The five senses are also wonderful to teach about in kindergarten. I love that it can be such

a hands-on unit, much like apples. Each of the five senses will be introduced to the students,

they'll have a chance to learn what each one does and label the five senses for their weekly craft.

We also do a taste test during this week as well, such as salty, sweet or sour things, etc. 

Transportation

Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!

Your students will learn about the different modes of transportation with this book companion. 

Students will also have the chance to compare and contrast transportation today with transportation 

in the past. The vocabulary pictures for this book are awesome, and I love the discussion that it 

provides! It also has that visual component for students who need the support.


I love to bring these read alouds in during the month of September, and I love to use these resources

to bring them alive. Each resource contains headers that can be used to create anchor charts and 

each book companion contains a craft as well. You can find the book companions here, and you can 

grab the books from Amazon here.

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Created engaged learners with these read alouds for September! Your students will learn all about apples, the five senses, transportation and community helpers!


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Zoom or Loom for the Virtual Learning Classroom


There are many conferencing sites that can be used for virtual learning, but which one is right? Zoom or Loom?

Technology can be scary to dive into, especially if it's something that you're not used to. It doesn't

have to be this way! I used to consider myself a tech guru, but it's definitely something that if you

don't use it, you lose it! I find myself trying to keep up with all of the new tech things, and it's 

a lot! We all were forced to quickly adapt to being on video, and I want to share with you two 

platforms, one that I knew about and one that I just learned about! Both of them are a conferencing 

tool, but they have different purposes. 

What is Zoom? How can I use it?

Zoom is a tool that allows you to have a meeting live and in color. This kind of meeting has to be

planned, since everyone needs to be available. You can schedule this meeting in advance and send 

the link out to all participants ahead of time. Everyone can meet up and participate in the chat. 

You can also record this meeting and share the recording later if someone was unable to attend.

There are many conferencing sites that can be used for virtual learning, but which one is right? Zoom or Loom?

Zoom does allow you to share your screen with your students, so you can actively teach a lesson

and you can unmute your students so that they can respond to you. It really allows for the meeting

to be an interactive one, which is what you need when you're teaching virtually. You will want to 

review Zoom etiquette with your students, especially when it comes to muting and unmuting! Your

meeting will quickly descend into chaos if you don't!

What is Loom? How can I use it?

Loom is a tool that is not designed for meetings. It can be used to send a video message to someone

and you can also record your screen to share something with another person. Loom is great for 

recording read alouds and lessons, and then sharing them with your students. It is perfect if you are

envisioning a flipped classroom!

There are many conferencing sites that can be used for virtual learning, but which one is right? Zoom or Loom?


I love that as you record your screen, your students can still see your face if you wish to show it. 

It's perfect for littles who still need facial cues and such. If you intend to record lessons on

anything that's related to phonological awareness, students definitely need to see your mouth as you

model what they need to learn.

Which one is better?

It's important to note that the free version of Zoom allows you to have up to 100 participants and 

40 minutes of meeting time, which can be perfect for a lesson. You can also host as many meetings 

as you want! Loom has announced that their pro plan is free for educators! How awesome is that? 

If you already have a Loom account, they will switch it over for you!


Zoom and Loom aren't necessarily competing against each other, since their primary functions are 

different. They do have things that are similar, but I do believe that you can use both of them as you 

see fit.



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There are many conferencing sites that can be used for virtual learning, but which one is right? Zoom or Loom?

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A Beginner's Guide to Boom Cards in Kindergarten

Boom Cards are digital task cards that are just perfect for little learners!  If you need help in getting started, you've come to the right place!

I've always been on the lookout for new and innovative ideas for my students, though I try not to

get sucked into all of them. Which is probably why I didn't give Boom Cards another thought. I 

just brushed past mentions of it and completely forgot about it. When I had to quickly switch gears

for distance learning, I heard about it again and decided to look into it. I am so glad that I gave it

another chance!

What Are Boom Cards?

Boom Cards are digital task cards that are just perfect for little learners!  If you need help in getting started, you've come to the right place!
Simply put, boom cards are digital task cards that are perfect for little learners! Since they are digital,

they instantly become interactive, which is an important component for new skills. They are also 

paperless (because who wants to make more copies), so there will be no prep, and it provides 

immediate feedback for students. 

Getting Started With Boom Cards

If you're thinking of maybe getting started with boom cards, it's super easy! They are hosted directly

on the Boom Learning website, so you don't even have to worry about storage on a digital device

or anything like that! With boom cards you must be connected to the internet and students can play 

the decks on modern browsers. There's also an app available for Apple and Android devices such as 

the iPhone, iPad, and Kindle Fires. All you have to do is create an account and you'll be ready to get 

started! If you want to see what the fuss is all about, I have a free deck just for you!

Boom Cards are digital task cards that are just perfect for little learners!  If you need help in getting started, you've come to the right place!


Just grab your deck, and when you click the link you'll be prompted to create an account for security

and privacy reasons! Once you create your account this deck will be added to your library. Check it 

out!

Using Boom Cards in Your Classroom

There are a few ways that you can use boom cards in your classroom. You will always be able to

assign decks to students through the fast pin. You can add this fast pin in Google Classroom as well

as Seesaw. Fast pins are always free, so even if you choose to keep your Boom Learning account free,

you will always have access to your decks and so will your students. Side note, fast pin links are only

good for 14 days, then you would have to provide a new fast pin link for your students.

Boom Cards are digital task cards that are just perfect for little learners!  If you need help in getting started, you've come to the right place!


If you choose to upgrade to a premium account, you will be able to create a classroom and assign

decks to your students, as well as see their progress on the assigned decks. However, this is not

necessary. 


Boom Cards are a fantastic addition to your center rotation, and children love them because they

are interactive and they receive immediate feedback. I hope that you love them as much as I do!





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Boom Cards are digital task cards that are just perfect for little learners!  If you need help in getting started, you've come to the right place!

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What Is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

What is phonemic awareness and how does it transform reading? It is the most important

ingredient in the reading recipe, but it seems to be forgotten at times. Phonemic awareness

falls under the umbrella of phonological awareness, which is an awareness of every level in

the sound structures of our language.

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, or the phoneme, which is the smallest unit

of the language. It is an understanding of the structure of the language. This includes knowing

that the language is made up of words and in turn, words are made up of parts that we call

syllables in addition to rhymes and other sounds.  Before a student is able to understand written

language, they must have an understanding of the spoken language.

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

The simplest explanation is this......phonemic awareness gets the ears ready for what the eyes

are about to see. This is so true because if the ears are not ready, it does not matter what you 

put before a student. It will be a foreign concept to them.

Why is Phonemic Awareness Important?

Phonemic awareness is important because although children can know their letters and sounds, if

they are unable to understand and manipulate sounds, then they won't be able to do anything with

them. They will be unable to hear the parts of a word, nor will they be able to blend a word together.

Research has shown that the best predictors of student's reading success lie with their ability to

grasp phonemic awareness. When students arrive at school and their phonological awareness is

well-developed, then the probability of their success in making sense of how letters and sounds work

in print is high. It is necessary for students to be able to effectively use letter-sound correspondence

when it comes to reading and writing.

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

Phonemic Awareness in Whole Group

There are many moments where we can add phonemic awareness throughout our day. You can

definitely bring in phonemic awareness elements into your whole group time. I like to do

this during our read-aloud time. This is not a time to be very specific, as the children in your

classroom will likely have diverse needs. I use this time to introduce new concepts, and kind of see

where my students are in general. It's also good practice to incorporate phonemic awareness

activities into your daily reading time.

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

It is necessary to provide opportunities for children to develop their ear for language. Find all of

the stories that contain rhyming words and alliterations! As adults, we can be over these types of

books quickly, but they are a goldmine for students who are learning to listen inside of a word!

Include poems and silly songs as well. The good thing about poems and songs is that you can

put them on charts. Now yes, adding a visual brings in phonics, but for your students who are ready,

the visual aid is a good thing.

Phonemic Awareness in Small Group

Small group is where the magic happens! This is where you get the biggest bang for your buck. I

begin each small group with about 5 minutes of phonemic awareness. Now for my students who

have none, we spend more time on it. At the beginning of the year, we focus on it a lot, because

knowing where my students are helps me to know who is ready to begin phonics. The easiest place

to begin is simple and quick phonemic awareness routines. It gives me a fast snapshot of where each

student is.

Phonemic awareness quick routines!

It's so important that you don't go too fast. I know that pacing guides and the powers that be

seem to always rush students, but building up phonemic awareness in a student is just like

building a house. If the foundation isn't right, eventually the house will begin to crumble

and it will be an unstable structure. 

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!


To switch it up a bit, I begin to add in picture supports. I find that it helps students who 

struggle, because although they may not get all of the answers right, it gives them a bit of a

confidence boost that they can identify the pictures correctly.

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!    

Once again, if you find that initially, you are spending most of your small group on phonemic 

awareness, it is ok! They will make progress, and you will naturally see a path forward to begin

your phonics instruction.

Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

At this point, the picture supports begin to include the letters that we are working on. It is 

during this time that they truly begin to understand how the letters and sounds work are

connected. At this point, you will begin more of a traditional small group, and you will find

that your groups become more and more differentiated.

Phonological awareness in small group.

Phonemic awareness is the foundation of reading. If you have students who are struggling, go 

back and check their level of phonemic awareness. I guarantee that it is an area that they are 

weak in, and therefore it is affecting their reading ability! By building up their ear to "hear", 

their reading will greatly improve!



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Phonemic awareness is all about the spoken sound, and it is the foundation for reading!

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Back to School Read Alouds



One of my favorite times of the school year is back to school time. I love being able to make a book

come alive for a little one! That means voices, theatrics, and everything! I usually begin the year with

reading for enjoyment, and introducing concepts of print. Then I dive a little deeper into a book, and 

I begin to lay those foundational skills for comprehension. This takes a lot of continuous modeling,

but it's so worth it!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I'll get a few cents thrown my way at no 

cost to you. That'll help me keep this old blog running!

Kevin Knows the Rules

Created engaged learners with these back to school read alouds! They are perfect for introducing characters, setting and more!

Kevin Knows the Rules is a book that was unknown to me before last year. My sweet friend Keri

introduced this book to me, and I couldn't believe that I hadn't heard of it before. Any book about

rules and procedures in a classroom and I'm sold! I love how it shows Kevin actually obeying the

rules, so it is a model for the students to look at. This is a great place to discuss how we as the 

readers actually know that Kevin is following the rules!

The Little School Bus 

Created engaged learners with these back to school read alouds! They are perfect for introducing characters, setting and more!

Some of you might recognize this gem of a book if you were fortunate enough to come across a

certain reading program. It is absolutely hilarious and I will never part with it! It has a fun story,

and repeating text. I love looking at the pictures because they tell another story! Your students can 

practice rhymes and learn about characters and setting as well as sequence story events with The 

Little School Bus

The Recess Queen 

Created engaged learners with these back to school read alouds! They are perfect for introducing characters, setting and more!

Mean Jean and Katie Sue are the best literary pair this century. The Recess Queen is the perfect

book for discussing appropriate behaviors on the playground, as well as how we should and 

should not treat every person that we come across. With this book we focus on characters and 

setting of the story, as well as specific character traits for Mean Jean and Katie Sue.

What I Like About Me

Created engaged learners with these back to school read alouds! They are perfect for introducing characters, setting and more!

The children that are featured in What I Like About Me are as different as can be, and they are proud

to show off what makes them unique. The focus for this book is to introduce characters and settings,

and provides an opportunity for students to focus on what makes us all unique. In addition to writing

pages, students can also create a craft.


Each resource contains headers that can be used to create anchor charts and each book companion

contains a craft as well. You can find the book companions here, and you can grab the books from




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Created engaged learners with these back to school read alouds! They are perfect for introducing characters, setting and more!


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What is Phonological Awareness?

Students who are phonologically aware are at a great launching point to become great readers! So what's the difference between this, phonemic awareness and phonics?

There are so many terms that are used in education, it can definitely be overwhelming! A lot of times

they are used interchangeably (incorrectly so), and that adds to the confusion. We hear the words

phonics, phonemic awareness and phonological awareness thrown out there, but what do they

mean? Let's dive in!

What is Phonological Awareness?

Phonological awareness is like an umbrella term that covers the others. It is all about the sounds of

the spoken language. We must be sure that we don't confuse that with the word auditory. When we

talk about the word auditory, that means all of the sounds that are heard. Phonological means only

the sounds of the spoken language.

Students who are phonologically aware are at a great launching point to become great readers! So what's the difference between this, phonemic awareness and phonics?

When students have phonological awareness, that means that not only can they recognize different

sounds of spoken words, but they can also manipulate the sound parts of spoken words. This

includes phonemes (the individual sounds in a language), rhyming parts, alliteration, initial, medial,

final sounds as well as syllables, etc.

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is a type of phonological awareness. Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound

in spoken words. They are the smallest parts of oral words. When a child shows phonemic 

awareness, they are able to not only recognize but manipulate all of the individual phonemes in a 

word. It is important to remember that this has nothing to do with letters, not directly at least. 

Phonemic awareness is something that you can do with your eyes closed. 

Students who are phonologically aware are at a great launching point to become great readers! So what's the difference between this, phonemic awareness and phonics?


Students must have a very strong understanding of the spoken language before they will ever

understand the written language. Before they can identify the letter that makes a sound, they have

to first hear the sound. It is only when they hear the sound, that they'll be able to reproduce the

sounds that they hear, know the positions of the sounds, and then manipulate the sounds.

What is Phonics?

Phonics is all about the printed language. This is when letters are introduced, and the sounds that

are represented by those letters are discussed. It is during this time that students are introduced

to the alphabetic principle. They learn that the letters stand for sounds, and they begin to recognize

letters in all of the different forms (capital, lowercase, different fonts, etc.). They also begin to

visually discriminate between letters that look similar.

Phonological Awareness


Phonics is a skill that is done with your eyes open because it deals with visual input. Phonics

instruction helps students to be able to decode (read) words. This is important for encoding

(spelling) later on.


Research has shown that a child's level of phonological awareness when they reach the end of

kindergarten is a strong predictor of their future success in reading. When they are phonologically

aware, they are positioned to become great readers. When there is a focus on phonological

awareness, we can directly prevent reading problems. If a student comes to us with a phonological

deficit, then we can definitely address it!



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Students who are phonologically aware are at a great launching point to become great readers! So what's the difference between this, phonemic awareness and phonics?

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Developing Print Awareness Through Writing

We know that students can develop print awareness through writing! Shared writing, guided writing and interactive writing all play an important part of an effective literacy program!


There are many recipes in developing print awareness, but they all pretty much contain the same

ingredients. We can help students to develop print awareness through reading, but we can also

work on it during writing. Just as reading activities are crucial components of an effective literacy

program, writing plays an important part as well.

Shared Writing

Shared writing is similar to shared reading in that the teacher and students work together to create

a message or a story. During this time, the teacher is in charge of the writing and establishes how

writing works. The teacher also helps students to understand and see that print is an idea or thought

written down. Shared writing also provides a ton of opportunities for teachable moments. Teachers

can review letters, sound-symbol correspondence, and phonological awareness as well as concepts 

of print.

Interactive Writing

Interactive writing once again allows the teacher and students to work together. However, this time

the teacher is not the only one with the pen. Students are able to participate by writing letters or

words, and then the teacher completes the rest. This is a fun time for students because they really

feel as if they had a part in the activity. They absolutely love to share the pen!


We know that students can develop print awareness through writing! Don't forget this critical component of an effective literacy program!


Guided Writing

In previous years guided writing began more in first grade, although now it seems to have made its

way to kindergarten. Guided writing is normally what I do during our writing workshop time. It

consists of a mini-lesson, where the teacher takes the time to model and re-model everything. This

is when workshop procedures are reviewed, as well as the writing process and writing mechanics

among other things. In guided writing, the children are writing and you are walking around

responding to that writing. They could also be coming to you for writing conferences. Then

students have independent writing time, which we'll talk about next, and at the end of the writing

period, we have share time.

We know that students can develop print awareness through writing! Don't forget this critical component of an effective literacy program!


Independent Writing

It is necessary that students write on a daily basis. They need the time to explore writing and

concepts of print. If their writing time is sporadic, you will not see the necessary growth in their

writing. During independent writing, students are writing without input from the teacher. They are

however able to get help from their peers.

We know that students can develop print awareness through writing! Don't forget this critical component of an effective literacy program!



I think that writing is more difficult to teach than reading. There are a few things that I have

learned and I think that it makes all of the difference. Begin teaching writing as early as you can,

and as often as you can, preferably every day. It's as simple as that. The more your students

participate in writing, the better off they'll be. It makes a world of difference in their development

of print awareness.



We know that students can develop print awareness through writing! Shared writing, guided writing and interactive writing all play an important part of an effective literacy program!

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Concepts of Print

Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This set of free lesson plans will help you to know exactly where to begin!

Print awareness is an important component of a child's journey on the literacy train. We know that

the stronger their print awareness skills are, the higher their chance of success in reading. When 

students enter our classroom, we must be intentional in developing this print awareness. We can

definitely do this through reading, but what about those first days of school, when you are unsure

as to where you need to begin?


Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!


Before we ever pick up a book for comprehension purposes, we focus on print awareness. I like

 to begin the school year with 10 days of lessons that specifically focus on print awareness. The

first five days focus on concepts of books and the last five days focus on concepts of print. I also

like to take this time to talk about how a story made us feel. This can help to shape students' 

attitudes towards reading and writing in a positive way.


Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!

During this time we look at tons of posters, and we make some into anchor charts! It's a fun

way to introduce these to your students, because it is something that they will refer back to time

and time again. 

Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!

The awesome thing about this set of activities is that they do not require a certain book! These

lessons are applicable to any book that you choose to begin your school year. It is the perfect

way to introduce books to children, especially if they have not had exposure to them before.

Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!

It's amazing how much they learn in ten days and it makes learning enjoyable, which will

create positive literacy experiences for your students.

Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!

Print awareness is a crucial part of a child's growth in literacy and it's important that we




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Teaching concepts of print the first few days of school is a great way to kick-off your daily literacy block! This free resource will help you to know exactly where to begin!


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