Assignments info(Archived)
"Star Words" - What are they?
Due Date: 5/31/2016

"Star Words" (as we call them in kindergarten) are actually known as "Dolch Words".  We work to learn 1 or 2 a week throughout the year to help children become good readers.  It is important for your child to practice these words at home each day.  They can be printed on index cards to be used as flash cards.  5 minutes a day is all it takes to help your child learn these important words.  Below is a little information about the Dolch Words and why they are important.

What are Dolch Words?

Reading is the most important skill a child will ever learn.  It is impossible for a person to live a productive life without being able to read, i.e.; becoming literate.  In most schools, children are expected to be able to read simple sentences and stories by the end of kindergarten.  By third grade, they are expected to be able to read almost any kind of text.  As well as being able to "sound out" (phonetically decode) regularly spelled words, children must also master reading basic, common sight words.

A list of English sight words, The Dolch Word List, was compiled by Edward William Dolch, PhD, in 1948.  The list was originally published in his book "Problems in Reading".  Dolch compiled the list based on words used in children's reading books in the 1930s and 40s.  The list contains 220 "service words" that must be quickly recognized in order to achieve reading fluency.

The Dolch Word List is also called Sight Words or The Dolch 220.  It includes the most frequently used words in the English language.  Sight words make up 50 to 70 percent of any general text. Therefore, teaching The Dolch Word List is a crucial goal of education in grades kindergarten through 3.

Many of the 220 Dolch words cannot be "sounded out" and have to be learned by "sight," that is memorized.  The list is divided into grade levels.  It includes pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and verbs.  The basic list excludes nouns, which make up a separate 95 word list.

Because fluency in reading the Dolch 220 and the 95 nouns is essential to literacy, a variety of techniques are used to teach them, including: reading Dolch literature books, using flash cards, playing games, and writing activities.  Repetition and practice are very important in making recognition of sight words automatic.  Once this core of basic sight words has been memorized, children read more fluently, with greater comprehension.




I         am    the      my     a        can     and    

that    is      little   said   we      go      like 

was     are    do       he     one     me     it    

at       she    has     with   not     yes    no

of       see    went   this   they   come  help      

look    on      off     will     our    all       for    






red           orange      yellow       green

blue          purple       brown       black

white        pink 




zero         one           two           three

four         five          six            seven

eight        nine          ten



Literacy Activities
Due Date: 5/31/2014
Subject: Kindergarten

Letter Recognition

  • Letters are Everywhere --Draw your child's attention to letters and words in his/her environment (signs, cereal boxes, toy boxes, menus, etc.)
  • Letter Writer--Have your child trace letters on/in different surfaces (sand, rice, cloth, etc.) Say the name of the letter with your child as they form the letter.
  • Letter Builder--Build letters with different materials such as macaroni, pipe cleaners, playdough, etc.
  • Print the Letters -- Practice printing upper and lower case letters. (one time each week)
  • Tactile Letters – Make a tactile letter for finger tracing.  Write a letter on large paper.  Trace with glue. Sprinkle with sand, salt, or rice. When dry, have your child trace the letter with his/her finger and say the name of the letter.
  • Rainbow Letters -- Write one letter on a large sheet of paper. Have your child rainbow write the letter by tracing over it with 4 or more colors of crayons or markers.
  • Letter Search -- Name a letter and ask your child to find as many different sizes, colors, and styles of that letter as possible to cut and glue onto a sheet of paper.
  • Which Letter? -- Write a row of different letters for your child. Say one of those letters and ask him/her to circle the letter you said.
  • Highlights -- Give some of your junk mail to your child and ask him/her to use a marker or crayon to highlight or circle certain letters. (exp. Highlight all of the Kk's orange, all of the Pp's purple, all of the Yy's blue, etc.)


  • Flashcards/ABC Picture Chart—Daily do a quick review of letters and sounds.  Show the card and have your child either…say the letter name and the picture name; say the letter name and the sound; say the sound and the picture name; or say the letter name, picture name, and another word that would start with that same letter.
  • Sticky Letter--Make 3x5 letter cards. Make several of the same letter. Work on one sound at a time. Have your child find an object in the house that begins with that sound and tape the card to it. Keep it up for a few days so that your child can be reminded of the sound each time they see the letter card.
  • "I Spy" letter sounds -- "I spy something that begins with the sound of b."   Or, say, "I spy a ____.  What letter do you hear at the beginning of that word." This is great for waiting in line or driving in the car.
  • Brainstorm--Give your child a sound and ask him/her to think of as many words as they can that start with that same sound.
  • ABC tub games--Get a butter dish or small bowl. Gather several household objects that begin with the same letter sound and a few that don't. Your child must figure out which items begin with the same sound and put them in the bowl.
  • Search the House -- Your child can search around the house for objects whose names begin with a certain letter. (exp. B- bananas, brush, band-aid, belt, etc.)
  • Picture Sound Collage -- Ask your child to search through magazines, etc. for pictures that start with a certain letter.  Have them glue all the pictures they find onto one sheet of paper to form a letter collage.
  • Tongue Twisters -- Play with tongue twisters-traditional or made up!  They are fun and emphasize the initial consonant. (exp. Pink pigs play with purple pegs.)
  • ABC Memory—Find 1 picture that starts with each letter of the alphabet.  Also, make flashcards, 1 for each letter. Play memory by asking your child to match each letter to it's corresponding picture. (exp. An apple with the letter Aa)

How can I help my child succeed in school?
Due Date: 5/31/2014
Subject: Kindergarten

How can I help my child succeed in school?

1. Read to your child.

Children who have been read to from the time they were small are more likely to be earlier and better readers than those who were not read to. Listening to a story helps children understand how written language works. They realize that, to a certain degree, written language is spoken language in writing. However, they also come to understand the differences between spoken and written language so that both make sense to them. For instance, how often do you start telling a friend about an incident in your life by using the words "once upon a time I..." This is a phrase that is mostly limited to literature. As you read, you'll see that authors use a slightly different form of the English language to get their point across.

Reading helps children learn to love books, and kids who love books are usually better readers. Yes, it may get tiring reading the Where's Spot for the 100th time, but each time you read it, your child is learning something from it. Some days it may just be key points of the plot. Another day, your child may realize that there are letters under the flaps; then that many of those letters are the same - "no." She might see a letter that starts her name, realize that pages must be read in a certain order to make sense, notice you tracking the words with your finger from left to right, or simply understand that words and letters are two different things and that you can't "read" pages without letters. And just think, in a few years or even months, this little one of yours will be reading stories to you!

P. S. - Even older children (who can read to themselves) often enjoy listening to a book read aloud. Don't stop reading to your child just because she has learned how to do it herself!

2. Play games and do puzzles.

Games and puzzles provide a wonderful opportunity for young children to develop their critical thinking skills. When doing a puzzle, toddlers randomly try to put the pieces together. As they refine their skills, young children learn to note the color and shape of the puzzle pieces. Careful questioning from Dad or Mom can help the child understand why two pieces do or do not belong together.

Games also teach children. Many games have an academic focus to begin with: Candyland - colors; Memory - identifying the same object and remembering where objects had been; Go Fish - color, number or letter skills; War - greater than/less than; Hi Ho Cherry-O - numbers... It's kind of like a tricky way of teaching - the kids think they're just having fun, but really, they're learning something!! In addition, games teach children social skills. Taking turns, sharing, and following rules are very difficult for young children, but essential to the games. Above and beyond the benefits of puzzles and games (and books) the kids just love having your attention!

3. Turn of the TV an hour each day.

Now, this has to be an hour in which the family is awake and around the house to have any impact! :-) By the time the average child is 18, he has spent more hours watching TV than he has spent in school! Turning of the TV for an hour a day allows family members to do many things instead: Go for a walk. Play a game. Sing songs. Do homework. Bake cookies. Do dishes. Draw pictures for grandma. Clean bedrooms. Play ball. Rake leaves. Read books. Do a puzzle. Build a Lego house. Put on a play. The list could go on forever; so could the benefits. Family members could be in better physical shape. The house could be cleaner. Kids' schoolwork could improve. Families could feel closer. Mom or Dad could enjoy peace and quiet (by kicking the kids outside to play for a while!) Think of the possibilities!


A few more tips... for those interested:

*Visit the library often.

*Provide paper, crayons, scissors, pencils, etc. so your child can draw, color and cut.

*Sing songs and say nursery rhymes together.

*Let your child help around the house, especially with tasks that involve counting, sorting, measuring, and cooking. Your child can learn from these experience and they make her feel like she's an important member of the family.

*Spend time every day discussing school activities and sharing about your day.

*Listen to your child. Ask your child to listen to others. They're never too young to start.

*Establish a morning routine. Be sure your child eats breakfast, brushes his teeth, combs his hair, washes and is wearing clean clothes every morning. Pack what you can the night before to save time.

*Be sure your child gets plenty of sleep.

*Most importantly: Be patient. Remember, they are children.