We did it!!  We survived ABC BOOTCAMP!  And we’re now letter superstars!  So how do superstars celebrate?  With a fashion show of course!
Yes people, we had an ABC Fashion Show in kindergarten and it was epic fun!  
We sent home a paper bag vest with each child.  Each bag was labeled with a letter.  It just so happens that we have 4 kindergarten classes with a total of 52 students.  That meant 2 complete sets of ABC vests!
The ‘staches worked with their families to find pictures that started with their letter.  They returned the vests to school so we could walk the runway.  I loved the creativity in each vest and loved to hear the positive comments from parents and kids about the project!  

While I loved all of the vests, this one won the most creative award.  They took a picture of this little stache passed out in the car after school (Mr. Greg is EXHAUSTING people…), in his ocotopus hat n less and included it on his Z vest for ZZZZZZZs!  How stinking awesome?!
During the fashion show, the staches walked the runway.  And let me just say, RuPaul would be proud.  These little ‘staches WORKED!!!!  And some of my most reserved staches had the most attitude on the runway.  People, it was epic!!!!

Each stache recieved a camouflage dog tag and certificate and a helmet!  The helmets came from the Dollar Tree!    We also dressed in camouflage for the day!
And of course, I had to get all dressed up!
I’ve had a ton of questions about the effectiveness of ABC BOOTCAMP!  Well, the data speaks for itself.  Today, we did a letter/sound assessment for all of the letters.  Not only did we show tremendous growth, but 11/12 scored 93% or higher!  The errors I saw were g/j errors, y/u/w errors which we will focus on in small groups!
This picture shows the growth (this was actually a week ago….) but you can see how much growth we’ve made!
For more on ABC BOOTCAMP, you can read my post on the details of BOOTCAMP by clicking the picture!
And I have to share my two newest creations!
My newest black line only creation!  It’s all about the leaves! 
And it’s included in my new FALL BUNDLE!  The fall bundle is a 25% savings over purchasing the creations separately.  300 pages of fall math and literacy centers and activities!
My birthday is Monday (September 22) and I have a huge party planned for all of my friends!  Amazing give aways from ESGI, Creative Teaching Press, a TPT Gift Card, GoNoodle and TeacherShirts.com!  

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Howdy ya’ll!  Happy Tuesday!

Buckle up…grab a Mt. Dew…or coffee…or grown up libation…this is a wordy post…I have a lot to say…imagine that…me, with lots to say!!!  Hopefully this helps answer all of your questions about our ABC BOOTCAMP!  Ya ready?!?!  Get. Set. GO!

So you’ve probably seen my posts on Instagram or Faceboook or Twitter about our ABC BOOTCAMP!  You’ve seen it mentioned in my lesson plans….and you’ve had TONS of questions about ABC BOOTCAMP!  So today I wanted to share some details about our ABC BOOTCAMP!  (And I have a fun give away!)
Where Did The Idea For Bootcamp Come From?
The idea came about during our team planning last May.  We were….gasp….a letter a week crowd.  I KNOW!  I KNOW!  We were tired of still “introducing” a letter in April or May.  It didn’t work.  It doesn’t work.  And it really doesn’t make sense.  We decided to try something new.  We decided to do all 26 letters in 26 days at the beginning of the year.  We decided to call it BOOTCAMP because it was going to be fast and furious!    So BOOTCAMP was born out of necessity for us to try something new that we hoped would be better for our students.
By introducing the letters/sounds this early we can move our focus to reading and writing words and more!  For students who need more help, they get extra help during small groups, one on one instruction and centers!
Another benefit of bootcamp?   EXCITEMENT!  The ‘staches are excited to come to class.  How do we know?  Our literacy coach (who has cafeteria breakfast duty) tells us the kids are excited to come up to see what the letter for bootcamp will be!  Even the hesitant little ones can be coaxed up stairs when asked about bootcamp!  My ‘staches are now talking about the letter for the next day as we leave to go home. It’s brought a new excitement to our learning.  WAIT…WHAT?!  Fun?  Excitement!?!  Kids are excited about bootcamp?!  YES PLEASE!  Where’s the glitter?!  Someone throw some glitter!
DOES IT WORK?
YES!  We did an assessment last Friday.  9 of my 12 (yes, I have 12 students!) students scored 100% on all the letters and sounds we have learned so far.  The 3 who did not are my 2 ELL students and a student with an IEP!  They got more than half of the letters and sounds correct so they still knocked it out of the park. 
HOW?
The how is pretty simple…nothing big and fancy.  Each day of BOOTCAMP we work on a letter.  We started with A and we’re working through the alphabet.   The letter is mentioned in the morning message.  As part of the morning message, I model how to write the uppercase and lowercase letter.  Then each child comes to the message and writes the letter (upper and lower case!).   
During our morning literacy routine, we do a circle map.  The circle map features the letter (Um, I made GLITTERY LETTERS!).  We brainstorm ideas for words that begin with the sound of the letter.  WE DO NOT INCLUDE VOWEL SOUNDS at this time.  If a student suggests a word with the vowel sound, we talk about how the letter makes that vowel sound….and we say we will remember it when we come back to the vowel sounds!  
When they suggest a word Mr. Greg attempts (very badly attempts…) to draw the picture!  After I draw the picture, they name the picture.  I ask them what sound the word begins with.  Then I ask them:  “HOW DO WE SPELL (the sound)?”    Then I write the letter for the sound.  Then I spell the rest of the word.    Finally, we read the word again and identify the sound!    (At this point we’ve also added in counting syllables…but we did not do that in the beginning!)

The circle maps are being displayed on our anchor chart rope.  When we finish all 26 letters, I am going to take a picture of each circle map, have it printed in an 8×10 photograph at Walgreens.  Then laminated and bound into a book!

Our “ticket to centers” is handwriting.  Each child gets a handwriting page and practices writing the letters.
Our handwriting pages come from my iLetters and iSounds creation!
HATS
One of the highlights of ABC BOOTCAMP is our silly hats.  For each letter we make a silly hat.  Everyone makes each hat, including me!  In fact, you might walk in and find me laying on the floor making my hat with the ‘staches.  Some days I have my hat prepared ahead of time as a model, but I really like to get down on the floor and work with them.  THEY LOVE THAT!  We usually have 15-20 minutes for the hat.  If your hat isn’t finished before time, it goes home.  No excuses!
We make the hats in the morning, usually right before lunch.  We wear them all day!  However, we do have some rules for hats!  Rule 1:  on your head or in the trash!  We don’t play with them and if they’re a distraction they get trashed.  The ‘staches can choose to put their hats in their backpacks but most wear the.  Rule 2:  We do not wear them to lunch, recess or specials.  This is just to avoid issues!  Another benefit to the hats?  I can pull a child or a small group while the others are hard at work on a hat.  
We do this to re-inforce the sound and have some fun.  The hats are great for cutting and gluing practice, following directions and fine motor skills!   It also reinforces the letter sound of the day in a fun, meaningful way!    And they’re silly and fun.  We get lots of giggles from the hats!  The ‘staches love to look up and see me wearing my hat.  They’re also great for getting other adults involved.  Every day at t dismissal, our gym teacher asks my ‘staches about their hats!  They’re recalling the sound and letter and explaining why we did a certain hat.  
People, the hats are EPIC fun!  My ‘staches love them.  I love them.  We wear our hats proudly all day!  And yes, I make a hat and wear it proudly!
And finally, I have been asked if this is the only time we will learn the letter and sound….NO!   We review every letter and sound every day during our morning literacy routine!  We use letter/sound chart every. day.  of. the.  year.  BOOTCAMP is just introducing the letters….it’s not the only time we see the letter and work on the sound!  
Click the picture to get your free copy of our alphabet chart!  Thanks to Graphics From The Pond for the amazing clip art!
Now, you can watch the video to see a quick peek into what ABC BOOTCAMP looks like!
And finally, to celebrate the end of bootcamp….each child will get some dogtags and we’re having an alaphabet fashion show!  Each child will get a vest made from brown grocery bags.  Each vest will feature a single letter.   The ‘staches will take the vest home and work with the family to decorate the vest with pictures for the letter.  Then we will walk the runway with our vests!  (For certain letters we will send home clip art for the letters to make it easier….and the vests are required to be returned 2 days before the fashion show so we can help anyone who might not have completed the vests at home!)
How about a freebie?!  Who doesn’t love glittery letters?!  (TEAM GLITTER!  And this isn’t the kind of glitter that makes a mess!!!!)  Of course they’re glitter….have you met me?!

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  • Reply Kelly McFarland September 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    Love this idea! What fun 🙂

  • Reply Maureen Lawson September 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Love this! Do you seriously only have 12 students? I have 27!

  • Reply Ms.M September 21, 2014 at 1:42 am

    That fashion show is beyond precious.
    Mels

  • Reply Kim Penland September 28, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    I love this!!! We are about to wrap up our own ABC bootcamp! I would love to have a copy of your bootcamp certificate! It is so cute!!!!!

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