On Tuesday I was fortunate enough to get to go see a fabulous teacher in our district during her reading time. She kept what our district calls a 'perky pace' and kept kids engaged at all points in the lesson. These are things I strive to do all day long so it was inspiring to see another teacher pull it off successfully! She has inspired some changes that I am really excited about! (Whenever they say perky I think of the Plump and Perky Turkey!)
One quick tip I picked up was integrating those fun finger plays and rhymes into transitions. So, she would have her kids clean up and then say their turkey poem. It gathered their attention listening wise immediately and has been working great with my kids all week! I have always wanted to do those and just never really had time to fit them in but now I do. =) Then, ironically during our Wednesday staff meeting we were presented on the idea of doing something quick to capture listening attention first and it all made perfect sense! I even added a place on my lesson plans for the Quick Management Rhyme to ensure I continue to do it!
Another thing I have really been thinking lately about centers! I have not been allowed to do centers for about 4 years and so managing it has been a challenge for me this year. How do I group kids? How many centers? What centers? And what do I put in them? Ugh! We have centers in our teachers manuals but they are NOT rigorous at all and so not useful to me.
One thing that I implemented this week was center folders. This will help my student collect work and reflect on learning. On the outside of the folders I taped on these alphabets and a set of Alconan boxes so kids can practice if they have a spare moment while waiting for me to start a group or something. I plan on putting something on the other side (maybe sight words or letter naming fluency) but I am not sure yet. I will share that too when I create it!
Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business is having a linky party about behavior management systems. This too is a very challenging part of teaching. How do you apply the rules fairly and consistently when all kids are different. Here are some pictures of what I have typically done as a kindergarten teacher, but I have been inspired to change by that classroom observation (I will share that a little later.)
First thing I do is the stop light system, except we move clips. Through the years I have added picture clues, timers, and a positive place to land behavior wise. Overall a good tried and true system.
Next thing I do is team points. This works great for getting cleaned up and working at tables because you reward what is expected and the other follow along.
Last thing I do is treat points. This is for outside of the classroom. At recess, specials, or anywhere we go students have a chance to earn treat points as a class. When they get all 10 treat points they get something special. Sorry I don't have a picture... it's just a sentence strip with numbers and a paperclip to move up.
A key element is my good listening anchor chart. We made this (or copied it from Pinterest) about a month into school. Many times throughout the day I will ask students to look at the good listening chart and think about what rule they may be breaking or what rule they may be doing well.
Outside of the classroom I have been working on my Kindergarten Checklist Assessment Pack! I am really excited about this because it is a fantastic comprehensive sit of checklists for kindergarten! I have used checklists my entire teaching career and feel like they really help me to focus on what gaps the students need filled in. I can quickly pull groups and really target in on skills they are missing!
Included in this set thus far is: Letter Names, Letter Sounds, Lower Letter Sounds, Upper Letter Sounds, Writing Letters, Number Idenfication (0-10), Number Idenfication, Math Writing Skills, Can Count To, Counting Objects, Concepts of Print, Colors, Color Words, Shapes, Drawing Shapes, Shape Words, Oral Language, First Sound Fluency DIBELS, Phoneme Segmentation Fluency DIBELS, Non Sense Word DIBELS
So I have preloaded this set with over 20 checklists and will update it as the year goes on! I hope you will stop by to see!
So I plan on posting like this from now on. Hopefully you found something of value!