Kindergarten Common Core Lesson Plans -ALL 10 Months Completed!


The 2014 Green Bean Kindergarten Curriculum Overview is Complete! Month 1-10 Lesson Plans are now updated, completed and now Aligned with the Common Core State Standards! I have designed these to be used as Public, Private or for Home School use! They are unique because they are created by me, a Kindergarten teacher and Curriculum Writer. They are based on how I have taught and still teach in the Kindergarten classroom- which is standards-based, as well as developmental-based. I have also weaved some Montessori methods into the construction of the order of teaching letters and sounds.

Since the emergence of the Common Core State Standards, I have re-vamped the Lesson Plans and made them better. I’ve caught errors and I ended up taking 2 years to complete the alignment of the first 8 months of school. So I have made them available on TpT. Each month can be downloaded by month or in a bundle, below. Just click on the link and it will take you to the TpT greenbeankindergarten little shop of mine! (However, the non-CCSS Lesson Plans of mine for Month 1-4 are still here on my blog for FREE. I never could find my jump drives with the other months, which makes me so sad. This is why I started placing my things on my blog and Tpt-since I lose jump drives so easily!) Month 8 Lesson Plans is a full month of Dr. Seuss themed lesson plans of Literacy, Math, Social Studies and; Science!!!!!!! Month 9 Lesson Plan Bundle (great for April) has great insect and animal activities weaved into each Literacy, Math, Science and Social Studies lesson.


Month 1


Month 2


Month 3


Month 4


Month 5


Month 12345 Bundle


Month 6


Month 7

dr seuss sitting added February 23, 2014!!!!

Month 8

hopping-bunny added March 13, 2014!!!!

Month 9


Month 10

Here is a FREE sample of the newly designed Common Core Aligned Lesson Plans for the Green Bean Kindergarten Curriculum. Month 5 Week 1 Sample lesson for GBK post

Website Cleaning taking place!



I’ve been cleaning up my website today!

Yep, that’s what I did on my day off and I loved it because I absolutely love to write and edit. Anyway, like my mom, I’ve moved some stuff around. But everything is still here and better organized. If you can’t find something, just ask me or use the search rectangle in the top right corner.

You may have noticed a new background, a new green bean logo and some new graphics……all from

I hope you like it more, like I do. Thanks for stopping by! -Andrea

Growing Readers & Writers using Predictable Charts!


When I began teaching Kindergarten, my mentor, Ms. Wynn (the AP of my school) insisted that I use this one piece of curriculum: The Predictable Chart. After using it for just one week, I saw why. The repetition of the sentences encourages fluent reading and sight word recognition. It is also a quick mini-lesson that can take just 10 minutes/day!

The Predictable Chart is simply written in front of the children, as you go, and on Chart Paper. It is a great way to make sentences with the sight words that we are focusing on for the week. Later in the year, I type the sentences for the children to see on the Smartboard, and I have them type in their word to complete the sentence!

This is an example of a completed”Predictable Chart” that I did with my class. “I” and “like” were the sight words that we focused on in this chart. 


Day 1 – 3:  To begin, the teacher writes the sentence and lists what he/she likes. As you can see, I wrote: “I like coffee.” Then, I wrote my name in parenthesis. Then, I let another student say their sentence, as I write down exactly what he says, emphasizing spaces between words, letter formation, capital and lowercase differences and correct ending marks. This would take almost 30 minutes to go through a class of 20 students, so I go through 5-7 students each day, taking only 3 days for everyone to have a turn.

Day 4:  Children (or I) cut apart the sentences and words, for each child and  the children put their sentence back together again. I check it and if its correct, they can glue it to construction paper. Then they read the sentence.

Day 5:  I have them write their sentence all by themselves. This is a great way to see if they have learned to read the words, as well as write them. Then, each child illustrates their own sentence. When finished, they read their sentences to one another.

This is one of the first Predictable Charts that we did at the start of the school year. I made it interactive and had the children come up one by one and write their own first name.


I usually do the Predictable Chart lesson at the end of my Phonics lesson. It is a good transition that goes right into my Literacy/Reading Lesson or Story of the day.

As I blog hopped over to some other great teachers, I found some more amazing examples of Predictable charts. You can even read the long version of the vital keys of P.Charts!  and  and


“The Teacher’s Guide to Building Blocks” by Dorothy Hall [this is also the book that my mentor insisted I use as the foundation for teaching Kindergarten! It did help me alot, even though it looks outdated and lacking some elements. I still recommend it!]

“Predictable Charts: Shared Writing for Kindergarten and First Grade” by Dorothy Hall

Click to access PredChartWriting.pdf

The Story Behind Sight Words – Why are They So Important?


Here are the questions and answers that you have been dying to know, but have been either afraid to ask or too busy to research (or you once knew and just plain forgot). As a parent or teacher of young children, you should become well versed in the story behind sight words and dolch words. Don’t worry….this will be easy reading and quick!

1. Why do children need to learn SIGHT WORDS? It is suggested that children should begin learning sight words prior to first grade and should be able to read most of the Dolch words by the end of third grade. These are typical expectations in many schools, to ensure fluency in reading.

2. Should sight words be “sounded-out”? No. They should be quickly recognized and read in under 3 seconds. Most of these words cannot be sounded out.

3. What are dolch words and are they the same as SIGHT WORDS? Technically, yes. Dolch words, are the 220 most frequently used words in children’s books. 50-75% of words in children’s books are dolch words.

4. Are sight words or dolch words research-based? Yes. Edward W. Dolch, PhD, developed the Dolch Word lists based on research documented in his book “Problems in Reading,” published in 1948. There are 5 lists: Pre-Primer, Primer, First, Second and Third. The list for “Second” does not actually mean that those dolch words should be exclusively taught only in Second grade. It simply means that in Second grade texts (in the 1930’s/1940’s books), those words were documented more in Second grade texts.

5. Why do some curriculum’s or State Standards/Textbooks focus on certain sight words more than others. [(example 1: Kindergarten students in Alabama are expected to learn less sight words than those in Texas).(example 2: I am going on a whim here assuming that Houghton Mifflin vs. Pearson do not present the exact same set of sight words)]….I don’t know the answer to this, but this is a great question to ask your Reading Specialist or Curriculum Specialist! I presume that the arrangement of the timeline of when sight words are presented is based on the textbook, book or Emergent book order.

In the Green Bean Kindergarten Curriculum, I have arranged the Sight Words, based on the Dolch Words, combined with how the Emergent Readers are presented as well as the letters, Word Families and Rhyming Words. It is arranged smoothly for ease of learning.

FREE SIGHT word list below:

Click here for the Green Bean Kindergarten Curriculum SIGHT WORD list: Kindergarten Sight Word List for the Year GBK

Download the Dolch Word List here: dolch_alphabetized_by_grade_with_nouns


“Why Dolch Sight Words are Important”

“What are Dolch Words?”

Brown Bears and “The Bear Snores On”


After teaching about Antarctica, Penguins and Polar Bears during January-I moved on to teaching about brown bears. My students were devastated to say good-bye to the penguins, so my classroom is a mis-match of brown bears, polar bears and penguins! However, they are beginning to love these adorable brown bears too! I showed an adorable video of brown bears in Finland, via YouTube. There were bears climbing out of their den to join their mom on top. We were able to count the babies on top and on bottom. It was a great Math lesson introduction. Next, as a whole group, the children took turns to act out the video.They placed some of the bears ON the den and some of the bears IN the den. Next, in Math Stations, each child was able to make their very own bear den, complete with die-cut trees (I pre-stapled these). This is a simple brown lunch sack with 3/4 of it cut off. I crumpled it and cut out the archway, then taped it to a foam plate. The bears are counters from the classroom. When I send home the den, I will send bear die-cuts instead.



My Bear – “Look at this bear.” This sentence displays the sight words of the week that we focused on: LOOK, AT, THIS. Here, Dominic sounded out his own simple sentence next: “My bear.” I provided the shapes and each child made their own bear based on an example that I had already completed.





Valentine’s Day is around the corner, so we made a bear Valentine’s bag (for our Valentine cards)!



We viewed books and short YouTube video’s about brown bears. Then, using our sight words, each child was asked to verbalize what bears CAN do, LOOK like, and HAVE. During this activity, we also learned some new vocabulary words: fur and claws!



Math Time – This is the Bear OFF/ON Game. You simply drop a given amount of bear counters down. Then, count how many land ON the bear and how many land OFF the bear. If you had 5 to begin with and 3 landed ON and 2 landed OFF, then you could say: 3+2=5. This is a great way to introduce addition. Children love this game!



This is a Guided Reading Book, Emergent Reading Book and Sight Word Reader- all rolled into one!



Here is a cute little BEAR poem that I wrote. This is great for a Poetry station where children can read the large poem, then circle the sight words.



When we transitioned to the Forest and Brown Bears, this is one of the first activity comparisons we did- a Venn Diagram. We compared Animals and Objects in the Environment from the Forest to Antarctica. Suggestion: teach what the FOREST is before this lesson!



I never got to this, but something I wanted to do was to make classroom bear caves. How? Place blankets on top of tables and have children climb inside their pretend dens. In the story “The Bear Snores On,” all the animals ate popcorn and listened to party music-so why not do that too, right?



Read With ME! Guided Reading and Emergent Reader Books

If you are lucky, you will have your own set of Emergent Reader or Guided Reading books in your classroom. If not, your school or grade level or hallway may have a book room that has leveled books for you to check out and bring to your classroom. From experience, checking out these books, day to day and week to week can get cumbersome. However, guided reading and small group instruction is so so important in Kindergarten.

So, I specially made these books based on the sight words and rhyming words that we were learning or had already learned. These sweet little books truly help our young readers learn to read with confidence, as they feature sight words and rhyming words. Parents love them too, because they simply cannot be found in stores. These books are special to children because it comes from the teacher-and they can keep it!

Enjoy a FREE Emergent Reader book, called “The iPad” by clicking the link below:

Here is What is in this set of 12 Books:

Book 1- “Mmmm…Jam” (-am Words) Sight Words: is, and, like,

Book 2- “My Cat” (-at Words) Sight Words: like, my, she, has,

Book 3- “Stan Can” (-an Words) Sight Words: ran, can, and

Book 4- “The Pup” (-up Words) Sight Words: is, up, my, has, he,
not, like

Book 5- “Presley the Pig” (-ig Words) Sight Words: can, see,
play, this, is

Book 6- “Hot, Hot, Hot!” (-ot Words) Sight Words: my, said, this, is

Book 7- “The iPad” (-ad Words) Sight Words: the, too, had, an,
was, it, are

Book 8- “He Ate Hay” (-ay Words) Sight Words: he, ate, and, too,
they, all

Book 9- “My Pet is Wet” (-et Words) Sight Words: is, my, why,
this, no, he, not

Book 10- “The Yellow Sun” (-un Words) Sight Words: she, can, in,
the, run, he, they, see, play, too

Book 11- “Penguin Pip” (-ip Words) Sight Words: not, can, do,
here, go

Book 12- “Bill and Will” (-ill Words) Sight Words: and, they, went,
up, the, this, is, are, why, be

Get the Full set of 12 books HERE:

Suggestion: Place the book on the left side of a pocket folder, with a reading log on the right side (I found these FREE reading logs on TpT!). Each time you read a new “Emergent Reader” with your students or small group, then send it home in this folder, along with the note explaining what an emergent reader is.



Here are the “My Reading Folder” labels for FREE: Reading Folder labels



















The Importance of Visual Schedules

A Pictorial or Visual Schedule allows young children (with special needs or typical) to know what is coming next in their day. It takes away anxiety because they can “read” pictures with ease. Just as we adults read the clock, or our Smartphones in anticipation, children feel the same anxiety. They just show their anxiety by rolling on the carpet, touching other children, talking and “not sitting still.”

Before I explain how to set up a visual schedule, I want to explain what can happen if you don’t have one. Children with Asperger’s, Autism or even gifted children can become upset when they do not know what will happen next or when the teacher changes the schedule. Or, if recess is cancelled due to the weather-this can truly rock some children’s world! However, when you ALREADY (the key word is already) have a visual schedule in place-then you can actually add new things to the schedule and it will NOT upset your students. They will actually already understand that they follow the schedule and “oh look, there is something new on the schedule that I will follow now.” I PROMISE-it works! This is why I capitalized it!

I actually met with a behavior specialist and asked him why it worked so well. He explained that it works because of its consistency. If you look through the pictures below, you will notice a tiny little die-cut of a fire truck, Santa Clause, Pumpkin and more. These were all special events at my school this year. I popped those pictures on the schedule and instead of anxiety from my special needs children, they said “what’s that?” I explained what it meant and what we were doing. The day before, I also explained, as well. As we went to that activity, I also gave them their very own die-cut to hold. So, when the fire truck visited, I gave them a fire truck die-cut as their “ticket” to see it. As we walked to the truck-they were excited!

Ok-moving on…..this is how I set up and use my visual schedule:

I placed a long velcro strip on the wall (yes-it will pull the paint off-eek! but it is worth it). Then, I made these pictures using Boardmaker Software. I laminated them and then added velcro to the back. Then, I place the pictures in my order of the day from left to right. There are 11 pictures total. As soon as we finish one activity, we sing the song and I take off the picture and place it in a little yellow pocket nearby the schedule. As I am doing this, I sing this transition song “Lunch time is finished, lunch time is finished, lunch time it finished, NOW it’s time for Exercise (of course whatever is finished, you change the word each time).” My students like to sing this little rhyme with me too! To keep order in the classroom, I teach them that it is the teacher’s job to take pictures off the schedule.

The Fire Truck visited on this day.



I also put the fire truck die-cut on the calendar to show when it would be coming. Earlier that same week, we went to the farm for pumpkins. It could have been a stressful, crazy week-but it wasn’t. It was fun for all! Oh, the yellow star is our Library day visual reminder.



Santa Clause visited our School on this day. We also made Gingerbread cookies on the same day. This was definitely on a Friday!



This was our Polar Express movie day where everyone wore pajama’s, watched the movie and drank hot chocolate.




The Little Blue Christmas present below is what I used for our “School Christmas Sing Along.” Finding a die-cut for that was impossible. The present worked just fine.



Christmas Party Day – See the green Christmas tree?



Santa Clause picture day!



I hope this is helpful and please send me any questions. I’d be glad to answer them! Happy teaching! -Andrea




I Can Build A Gingerbread House!

Gingerbread house making is so much fun, for my younger and older children and me as well!

We have made those houses and trains from the kits, but these homeade gingerbread houses are the best and the most fun! It is also fun to build in the classroom, if you have extra classroom help like parents or a teacher assistant. 

Step by Step Picture Directions of “How to Build a Gingerbread House”

1. Carefully open the Graham crackers, so that none will break.


2. Carefully snap the rectangle crackers into squares.


3. Get your work area ready. My daughter, here, is VERY ready!


4. Cut out cardboard bases for each gingerbread house from the Graham cracker box or any box you can find.


5. When you flip it over, no one will ever know.


6. Make a strip of icing on the base, so that you can begin “gluing” your first Gingerbread wall to the base. Hold it there for about 30 seconds, or until it no longer flops down.





7. Repeat. Add your second wall by adding more icing.


Pause for the most updated 2016 Pictures!!!!!


unpause—–Continue with directions……..

8. As you add more walls, the house becomes more sturdy.


9. Oh, look how cute the house is looking!


10. This part can be more tricky. If you keep your home or class a little colder than normal, it helps the icing stick better for some reason. The triangles were made by cutting one square in half.


11. Now, add the top of the roof. Be sure to add icing to hold it all together.





12. Or, you can just add a square on top and skip those other steps above.



13. Now, gather your candy. Eat some.


14. Now, go decorating crazy!







Here is our little Neighborhood!


Scroll down for the Recipe and Directions, so you can make your own Gingerbread houses too!

Sidenote & Reflection…..In 2011, I wrote: “This is the second year I will be making Gingerbread houses with my own children and my Kindergarten students. This is a fun way to incorporate Recipe reading and following directions step-by-step. Thanks to some other wonderful teachers, I was able to learn the basic rules of gingerbread mastery! Granted, it was a little stressful the first time, I am now ready to take on this tradition yet again. I also found so many other teachers & parents who are doing the same thing! It can be done with fun!” My, oh my, how my children have grown. These pictures here are from 2 years ago-wow! 

We put the candies into coffee filters, to keep them from rolling all over the table. Our children are 3, 5 and 7 here.


I made the base of the houses first and let the icing dry for one day. The next day, I let the kids add the candies with their royal icing. They dipped their candies into the icing then added the candy to the gingerbread house.


Our little one enjoyed adding cereal and marshmallows to his little house. Whatever you have on hand always works best.


Gingerbread House Ingredients:

Brand Name Graham Crackers – 1 box

1 pound of Confectioners Sugar

3 eggs

Vanilla (optional)

Cream of Tartar (for Royal icing-do not skip this)

Candy Suggestions -Red hots, gum drops, Spearmint leaves, Lemonheads, M & M’s, round mints


Choose a base, like a small paper plate or a piece of cardboard, to place the gingerbread house on. You will need 7 graham cracker squares for each house,  4 for the sides and 3 for the top. Allow time for the bottom to dry before creating and adding the roof with the icing.

To store and use the icing, you can choose either a ziploc bag, an icing bag with a decorator tip or a squeeze bottle. Just recently, I started using some cute little bottles from Wal-Mart, which are very convenient.

Royal Icing Recipe (Compliments of J.Thomas)

1 lb. powdered sugar

3 egg whites

1/2 t. Cream of Tartar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional) this adds nice flavor!

Beat egg whites until frothy, for about 7 minutes (I always beat it by hand). Gradually add sugar and Cream of Tartar.  The icing should be a little thicker than Elmer’s glue. Place in a bag or container. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week.


The ABC’s of Teaching Letters

The Importance of Letter Names and Sounds

What is the first step in teaching a child to read? Letters and sounds instruction is the key! In simple terms, for a child to learn to read independently and construct meaning from text – he needs to be able to identify words automatically. He can do this after he decodes unknown words. In order to reach this point, children have to first learn the 44 speech sounds of letters and more than 100 spellings that are made. So- first, identify letter names and then, produce letter sounds. Then, he will be prepared to read! The next step is to implement a carefully planned and systematic presentation of explicit letter/sound teaching.

Which Letters Should Be Taught First?

The hardest question for researchers and professionals to answer is – “What order should the letters be taught?” Although there is not one universal answer to this question, there is great data to give professionals guidance in creating and/or implementing the necessary systematic order of instruction.

When deciding the order to teach the letters, please keep in mind what research says.

What Does Research Say?

  • Some letters are harder to learn than others: U, Q, V
  • The following letters are most well-known by children, even if they have not been taught them: O, A, B
  • Children are most likely to learn the first letter of a their name more easily and quickly
  • Teach the letters in an order that allows a child to form many words with them (for example: C, M, A, T)
  • Begin with letters that make “simple sounds” that are easiest to stretch out and are easier to blend: M, S, F, R, N, L
  • Teach new sounds in small steps
  • Review previously taught letters and sounds
  • Introduce commonly encountered sounds before the infrequent sounds: For example, “A” occurs more commonly than “Q” or “V.”
  • Teach the letters that occur more frequently in most words. The most commonly occurring letters are: E, T, A, I, N, O, S, H, R, D, L, C
  • Introduce vowels early. A child must know the vowel sounds, in order to make and read words.
  • It is suggested to teach graphemes together, like C and H, C and K, T and H
  • Alphabetic order is not ideal because it does not address the needs listed above
  • Do not pair and teach together letters that are auditorily and/or visually similar: E, I and D, B
  • Introduce some continuous sounds early: M, S
  • One study suggests introducing lower case letters first, unless upper case letters are similar in shape: (Similar: S, s, U, u, W, w; Dissimilar: R, r, T, t, F, f) Note: I have always taught capital and lowercase at the same time: Ss, Rr, Tt, so I do not disagree with this study, I myself and just unfamiliar with its effectiveness
  • Do not teach similar looking letters together: b, d, p, q
  • Introducing letters in isolation may confuse some children about the purpose of letters in relation to words and reading
  • Some letters take longer to visually discriminate: t, a, e, o, s, i

The many resources below provides suggestions for the sequence of teaching letters and sounds.


Gingerbread Bakery-Simulated Field Trip!

Eating Gingerbread cookies is yummy and fun! Reading about them is enriching….but shopping for the ingredients and making them at school is MAGICAL and memorable!

I set up a “store” in my classroom where I put out every item needed to make gingerbread men (butter, molasses, the baking sheet, etc.). I then gave every child a large brown bag and $3. They shopped for and chose 3 items. A few students used a list that I made, which had pictures on it- and this showed them what I wanted them to buy. This worked wonderfully for my students with autism, as it gave them my expectations in pictures. After shopping everyone was seated at one table, I called out the ingredients and we placed them in the center.

We then read and followed the recipe. The mixing began! The flour flew and spilled and it was oh so much fun! After refrigerating the dough for an hour, the children had fun rolling it and using gingerbread men cookie cutters. They put them on the cookie sheet and then we all went to the oven, put them in- and waited. While waiting with our timer for 8 minutes, we read Christmas books in the library! The timer beeped and the students wondered if their cookies would run away?! I opened the oven and one student ended our lesson by saying, “look, they are gingerbread babies-and they are sleeping!” Our children are precious!

You can download more detailed instructions and printables for this simulated Bakery lesson
from my TpT “store” atby clicking on these words