Guest Post: Introducing Writing through Labeling by The Gypsy Teacher

I am so excited to share the second guest post on Sweet for Kindergarten! Today, we are sharing all about introducing writing in the classroom. Allie from The Gypsy Teacher is here to talk about using labeling to start writing with your Kindergarteners! She is currently the Academic Coordinator for a small international school in Tanzania, East Africa, but has lots of experience teaching Kindergarten, First Grade, and Fourth Grade. She shares about her life in Africa, teacher tips, and all of the things she loves, like her family, coffee, books, and handlettering. You can find her as The Gypsy Teacher on her blog, Instagram, and Facebook!

Hi Teacher Friends! 

I am so excited to be a guest on Sweet for Kindergarten today! I love all of Kristina’s teaching ideas and tips and I hope you can use some of my ideas in your classroom! I love teaching literacy; it thrills me to see our students grow throughout the year and become readers and writers! Today I hope to inspire you with some ideas on getting your students writing!
When I teach Kindergarten, I love introducing writing through labeling. I do this at about this point in the year – once we have mastered most of the letter sounds, and know which letters make which sounds. To kick off my labeling unit, I have my students label the TEACHER! Here’s how it works:
I start by writing different body parts and clothing that I am wearing on sticky notes and stick them to the board before class. Then, I tell my students that we will be working together to read the words on the sticky notes, and then they will stick the words on ME! Depending on your class’s abilities, you may have to do more scaffolding for them to be able to read the words, such as, “What is the first sound in this word? What do you think the word may be?” And, as the students read the words, I choose one student to come and stick the word on the correct part of my body!
They LOVE this and think it is HILARIOUS! It is a simple, yet engaging way to introduce labeling to your class. By the end of the activity, you’ll have sticky notes all over, and the students will have had a hands-on experience labeling!
Then, the next lesson, we will make a labeling anchor chart together. This transitions them into using labels on paper, and we work on writing down the sounds we hear in words. I don’t have a picture of this, but I got the idea from My Crazy Life in Kinder. I think it’s really important that our students practice the labeling with us, so that we can talk about bow we try our best with writing the words. If you don’t know how to spell a word, you try your best to stretch the word out and write the sounds you hear!
After we have worked on labeling a picture together, I will use one of my Label and Color resources for the students to try this independently! I have made these to use all year long in my classroom and have found them to be so useful in my writing centers, and as whole-group and small-group writing activities!
For each of the themes/pictures, I have three differentiated printables – Label the Beginning Sound, Trace the Label, and Write the Label. This way, each of your students can practice at their levels. Once the students have labeled all of the parts, they get to color the picture! (Their favorite part!) If you’re interested in using these in your classroom, you can click HERE to find them in my TpT store! I have a bundle of twelve for the whole year, or you can purchase them individually! It is so exciting to see the students’ progress from the beginning to the end of the year with these Label and Color activities!
Once the students have gotten used to labeling pictures that I give them, we work on writing our own stories by drawing a picture and labeling the important parts. It is so exciting to guide our learners to become detailed writers, and this process helps them do that!

I’d love to know how YOU teach your students to write! Leave a comment below with your best tips! And a BIG thanks to Kristina for having me on the blog today! I have loved sharing with you!

-Allie: The Gypsy Teacher

Find Allie here: 

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