Teaching Comprehension

There are many ways to support comprehension in listening and reading.

These skills compliment and strengthen each other. Comprehension is something that actively needs to be taught.

Children do not develop it all on their own without assistance and guidance.


Introduce your students to rhymes on a regular basis as it increases awareness of rhyming words.

Repeatedly reading and retelling rhymes to each other helps children develop their memory retention and active listening skills.

Who doesn't like a kid who can listen and remember what you say?! Not only that, it also helps children with their comprehension abilities when they are reading and what they hear others say.


A fun way to help your child with comprehension is to teach them one joke per week that they can share with family and friends.

Retelling the joke will have the same benefits as rhymes as it forces your student to use their recall memory!

Reading {Questions and Prompts}

Before Reading

Do a picture walk first.

Ask what they predict is happening in the story and what they wonder about when they look at the pictures.

What does it remind them of?

During Reading

Help them make connections to the text. Whether it is to their own lives, another book or the world around them. For example:
Text to Self - "I have a dog that looks like this dog. She does tricks like sitting for treats."
Text to Text - "The boy in the story reminds me of the kids in the book we read last week. They both love to go to the beach and build sand castles!"
Text to World - "This is a cool cat. Did you know that a lion is also a cat? Just a much bigger cat. I think they are one of the biggest cat in the world! Did you know that a tiger is a cat too?"
This story reminds me of...
This story is funny because... (change the adjective up)
This story is just like __ because...
Do you remember the time...


Get your students to retell the story in their own words. Exposing them to the words first, then, next, after that, and finally. Eventually, try to get them to use these words in their retell.

Discuss with them what they liked and what did they not like in the story. Add a twist, if they were the author, how would they change the story?

Daily Activities to Support Reading, Writing & Oral Communication

This list will help you support reading, writing and oral communication in young children.

Pick a couple of activities a day and let them become a natural part of your day.

Kids will learn a lot from these activities!
  • Do alphabet puzzles together with your child.
  • Become a detective in your home. Look for multiple items around the house, that are meaningful to your child like when they are learning their name or that begin with the initial sound you are supporting your child in learning.
  • Discuss with your child how their day was at school. Ask what centres they went to, who they played with and what story they read.
  • Review the sounds of the alphabet that they have learned at school. Look for items around your home that begin with that sound.
  • Practice sight word vocabulary games like Memory, Lotto, BINGO, ZAP! or BANG!
  • Read signs and other environmental print around your neighbourhood. When your child recognizes a STOP sign or the Tim Hortons sign they are reading!.
  • Read to your child and listen to your child read.
  • Provide opportunities to count using food, toys, furniture, friends etc.
  • Talk with your child. Ask for their opinions,.respond to their questions. Promote retelling of events and stories of what you do throughout the day or at the end of the day as a reflection of the good things that they remember.
  • Go on a word hunt. Pick a word and look for it all over the house. Check out books, magazines, cereal boxes, etc.
  • Newspaper Word Hunt: Look for some words in the newspaper and circle them with a marker once you've found them!
  • Eat your words! Use alphabet cereal or pretzels and make popcorn words. Once you have made them, read them, and then you can eat them!
  • Use pudding or shaving cream to practise writing their name, letters, and popcorn words.
  • Use markers, glue and sparkles, and paints to practise their name, letters, and popcorn words.
  • Put the letter of the week or high frequency words (whichever level your child is at) on the fridge and throughout the day have your child tell you what letter/word it is or what sound it makes. For instance, as you go to get a drink ask your child, "What letter is this?" Have them practise this on a regular basis so they realize that letters, sounds and words are all around them!
  • Go on a letter hunt in old magazines and flyers and have your child look for pictures or words that begin with the letter they are learning. Cut the pictures and words out and make a collage!

In my kindergarten classroom we use a wide variety of fun activities to learn sight words. Click here to read my blog post about how we "Cheer for Sight Words" in our class which includes a link to a freebie to help you play a fun active game to help learn sight words in an engaging, kinesthetic way!

We also play interactive games like Bingo. We start the year playing the game in small groups to teach independence. Once the children have mastered the rules of the game they can play cooperatively together, we can provide a variety of different Bingo games with a variety of different topics for students to play independently.Listed below are some of our favourite Bingo Games to play in Kindergarten.


Poetry Activities for Primary Students: Reading, Writing & Math Connections

If you were to be a fly on the wall in my classroom you would notice our literacy centers are engaging and fun. 

In our school board, kindergarten is a play based. 

As a result, I like to incorporate play in our literacy block by tying in our shared reading poem into the various provocations that are available for the children to choose. 

These are some of the various ways I incorporate play and literacy!

Roll a Word

Roll a word is a fun interactive way which targets multiple curriculum expectations.

Building number fluency, learning numbers, subitizing, graphing, reading and writing.

Roll A Word Variations

Play until you have rolled each number.

Count how many rolls it took!

Which word will have five first? Or a lesser number as an adaptation for young learners.

Which word will be filled to the top first?

Fill the chart! *This, strangely enough, is the class favorite!*

Word Towers

Making a word tower out of the sight words we use is another fun way to incorporate writing!

It is differentiated in that I provide multiple cups with the sight words from the poem which allows the children to build different heights and complexities of tower building.

Each cup has a word and the associated image on it which is really important for the non-readers in my classroom. This supports their learning by providing meaning to what they write. Even when they cannot "read" their friends think they can and they feel very proud!

Some children even will draw the images of the clip art beside the word, just like is on the cup!

Bean Bag Toss

It is amazing to see the pure pleasure that a simple game of bean bag toss will bring to a class!

Provide a safe location to throw in a classroom and kinesthetic learning will flourish.

There are many skills needed to play:

* developing organizational skills as I let them set up the game as you can see in the image above

* gross motor skills by aiming and trying to land the bean bag onto a word

* fine motor skills as they write the associated word down to track which words they have landed on

* interpersonal and social skills as they negotiate turn taking and sharing the bean bags

Tip: If you play a game like this, laminated and reuse the pages to repurpose by putting them in sheet protectors and switch them out each week as our poem changes.

Write the Room

I always like to incorporate a write the room activity as a writing provocation. 

I hide the words or I allow my students. I strongly believe that  every word should have an image beside it for our non-readers to support their learning. 

Kids love to find things and feel very proud when they are successful at it! Finding words is just as exciting. Usually when we are putting away this activity I'll have to ask the class for an "expert" in the class to find a missing word. They love this ownership and responsibility!

Interested in some original poetry that include fun activities?

The poem used in this example is actually a freebie in my TpT store! It doesn't include all of the activities I use but will give you a 'snapshot' into what it feels like and it is a sampling of the bigger products below. 

In these there are differentiated visual prompts. This supports my ELL students, young readers and higher reading students. 

Included with each poem:
3 poems - plain, fill in the blank and lots of visual supports
Read, trace, write and draw activities
Word hunt
Cup tower building
Write the room
Word wall words
Roll a word graphing
Bean bag toss

Redeeming Credits on TpT

It is never too late to leave feedback and earn credit within Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Check it out! 

I am always surprised to hear that most teachers do not know about this amazing feature on TpT! 

This is how TpT explains it:

"How it Works: Earn TpT Credits for purchases on TpT. You get one TpT Credit for every $ you spend on TpT. Thing is, you only get Credits after you provide feedback -- both a fair rating and a fair comment -- on the items that you purchase. We will round up for you, too! If you provide fair feedback on a $.75 item, you will earn 5 credits. Every 100 Credits is worth $5 that you can apply towards future TpT purchases, but there is no need to wait until you have 100 to redeem them. 50 credits is worth $2.50 for example.

The program is retroactive to feedback provided on purchases since August 1, 2011

How to redeem TpT Credits
You can keep track of how many credits you have accrued here or on the top of the site after login. When you check out, you will be given the option of applying your TpT Credits to your purchase, thereby discounting your purchase price accordingly."
All you need to do is click on the arrow beside the words Redeem TpT Credits and a drop down menu appears where you enter the total amount that you want to use. 

I loved originally learning about this as I was able to buy a few products for free immediately! 

Now I try to rate my products immediately after I purchase them to make sure I don't have to go back and rate them in the future to earn the credits! 

Happy rating!


Start a Walking School Bus in Your Community!

Walking school buses have many benefits to both yourself, your family and your community!

They are organized to help improve safety in your neighborhood and to build community as everyone is looking out for each other. There is safety in numbers!

Walking school buses encourage having a healthy lifestyle by making it normal to walk to school everyday.

As an extra bonus for schools, they reduce parking issues at school which are serious safety hazards for children's safety. 

How does it work?
Parents organize taking turns walking to school with a group of children of all ages who live in the community. Agree upon a time and location to meet to either walk or kiss and drop your child with the other parents! It's as simple as that!

Consider visiting www.walkingschoolbus.org for more information!
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