WINTER Reading and Writing: 3 Primary Resources

Happy Winter! It's Lori here, from Your Teacher Assistant. Well, we are all now back to school and well on our way into the winter season. I actually love this time of year. Not because of the cold weather; it's the time when I get to see many of my primary students experience their own personal "light bulb" moments quite frequently. I'm not sure why, and I love witnessing it, but something happens in their little brains that cause the light bulb to turn on for those students who were struggling readers and writers prior to the Christmas Break. 

I vividly remember this happening to me personally in about the second grade with those oh so confusing vowel sounds! When the teacher first taught the vowel sounds I struggled to get the sounds straight in my mind. For some reason I just couldn't remember one from the other. Then all of a sudden one day when I picked up a book to read, things just clicked and "I got it!"  I'm pretty certain it was during the second half of the school year. There was no stopping me after getting this personal revelation of the short and long sounds. I remember being so excited that "I could read!"  I went on to become a very good reader once I experienced my first light bulb moment.

Side note: Oh, by the way. Kindergarten back in my day was only half days, and pretty much reserved for lots and lots of something called creative PLAY and learning something called MANNERS. Reading and writing was mostly taught in first and second grades. I know I may be dating myself here; just saying...Hehe!

Okay, back to the subject. Reading and writing begins to improve as a result of these exciting light bulb moments for primary learners. They become considerably more motivated and excited about reading because now they can read and understand what they are reading. Consequently, because they can read, writing is no longer a struggle and a chore. Rather, it is now an enjoyable experience.

In light of the great progress students are making at this point in the year, if you are a primary teacher, you may be looking for some fun reading and writing material that students can use to practice these newly acquired skills so that they are retained. 

1. Winter Writing Journal:

One way that students can practice writing skills in a fun way is with a Winter Writing Journal:

This Winter Writing Journal provides students with a variety of writing topics for the winter months. Pages can be collated and assembled into a journal about Winter. Two types of paper are provided for each topic including primary paper for kindergarten and first graders as well as non-dotted lined paper for more advanced writers. Each page includes a picture and title with ample lines for writing about popular winter topics including: January, February, snowman, winter clothes, penguin, snowflakes, sledding, ice skating, Ground Hog Day, Valentine’s Day, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Presidents Day. 

Images are blacklines that children will enjoy coloring, including an extra “January” writing page. Also included are blank writing papers without titles for additional topics. The last page of this file is a blank bordered page which could be used as the back cover of the writing journal. Stock your writing center with these pages and you will have a season worth of writing material.

2. Winter Writing Anchor Chart:

Another way that students can write about winter is with an anchor chart. Check out my Winter Writing Anchor Chart Freebie

Winter is a fun time of the year. There is so much fun to have outdoors. This colorful anchor chart can be used to build or draw upon children’s schema for writing about their winter experiences. Emerging writers can use the wide variety of pictures and words to assist with their spelling. Show the anchor chart right from your white board or print and hang it on your Writing Focus Wall or at your Writer’s Workshop for students to refer to when writing about Winter. This is also a great instructional tool to use with ELL/ESL students for building vocabulary about the winter season.

3. Reading Sight Word Fluency Practice with Dolch Sight Word Phrases QR Codes: 

Students will love practicing reading with these interactive Dolch Sight Word Phrases with QR Codes. It is a great tool for developing sight word fluency once kinders, first, and second grade ELL/ESOL students have mastered reading the Dolch sight words in isolation. Phrases from lists 1-4 are included.

Copy and put the sheets in a plastic page protector, or laminate and cut them apart and fasten together with a ring clip for fast fluency practice. Audio QR Codes are also provided for students needing the extra support to hear the phrases being spoken once they have read them, either with a partner or individually.

Free QR Reader apps are available at Apple’s App Store or Android’s Play store. Just download to your hand held device. {My favorite QR Reader is the QuickMark app--the fastest QR Reader I’ve tried}. Simply point your hand held device at the QR code and it quickly reads the code. Touch the link after it reads the QR code to listen to the sight word phrase.

Enjoy trying these great Winter themed reading and writing resources! 

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