K/1 combo help!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by RugRats, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Aug 25, 2008

    Hi all! I could use some advice, tips, input. You name it, I need it. My class will become a k/1 combo starting Tuesday. We are currently in our 3rd week of school and my students are finally getting the swing of things. I'm bummed, but it's for the best.

    Anyway, I could really use help from anyone that may have done a k/1 combo before. All my teaching is with 3rd and 1st. I've subbed with K back in the day, but other then that.... Nada :)

    Thanks!!!!
     
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  3. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2008

    Blame your team teachers for letting you take the fall. J/K :)
     
  4. RugRats

    RugRats Companion

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    Aug 27, 2008


    It's really only this one teacher's fault! She's in room 308, not that you'd know who that is....... I really should blame it on her huh? I think she went out hunting down extra kinders from around the neighborhood and told the principal the give them to first instead of k. :)
     
  5. JamTeach

    JamTeach Rookie

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    Aug 27, 2008

    Little miss 308 sounds like a piece of work. That sounds like something she would do. I bet from the beginning of the year she was telling the principal that you don't have enough to do and doing a K/1 combo would be just the ticket to keep you even busier.
     
  6. flowers

    flowers New Member

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    Aug 27, 2008

    Hi, I am also starting a k/1 combo on Tuesday and I work for mesa school district. What school do you work for? I was thinking of using the first grade curriculum most of the time. The the kinder kids will get reading interventions (dibels) in their grade level. I just feel i have to teach with the 1st grade curriculum so the 1st graders don't get behind.
     
  7. Goldie

    Goldie Companion

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    Aug 28, 2008

    Look at science and social studies standards to integrate those into whole group lessons and activities. My first year of multiage (K-2) I concentrated on 2nd gr as they were moving on after one year and I kept the K-1 as they moved up. Math...look for common standards. I taught math with whole group mini-lessons and guided groups (like reading.) Writing...mini lessons and writer's workshop. Reading...big book, mini-lessons, and small groups with centers. PM me if you would like more information.
     
  8. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 19, 2008

    Hello!

    I am joining the multiage K-1 class revolution. I took over a class that had a new teacher quit Friday. I have been in the class since Weds.

    My only other experience was teaching 1-2-3 in a self-contained EH classroom in 2006-7.

    Two of my children go to the school where the teacher quit, but I did not know the routines of the classroom.

    I really need HELP! Right now the principal is handling alot of the work, but now Monday, she needs to get back to her job and I need to take off and do my thing with my 16 K-1'ers.

    The teacher that left did no assessments, no observations, no antedotal notes. I came in blind - and the walls are blank, empty. I have no lesson plans. Last years lesson plans are available for my use so that I know what the 1st graders have already been exposed to, so to choose something else! Yikes!

    For the past two days, we have figured out reading groups and math groupings. My intentions are to whole group the topic using mostly 1st grade instruction, and then break out into small groups for instruction in both math and reading tailored to the skill levels.

    I really need help with independent work in small groups, while I am working with one group. The kids seem so needy that I cannot concentrate on the group I have, because the others are out of their seats, finished their work early, or need help. What should my plan be?

    What is the best way to let students rotate through centers? I have 16 children. How do I post where the children go? Color code? Change names, change center?

    We have science 2 days a week and social studies 2 days a week and my hours are 8:30 to 3:00 full time for both K & 1st.

    I am up for the challenge! How much can I do this weekend so that I can fake it to make it through the week!
     
  9. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 19, 2008

    Tell us a little about your classroom- are the students coming in and out or are you completely self contained? What groupings of students do you have (grade/ability)? What does your day look like (do you have to have specific subjects at specific times)? How independently can your students function? Do you have an aide?
     
  10. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 19, 2008

    Hi, thanks for answering!

    The students leave for specials at various times of the day each week (Spanish, Health, PE, Art, Music) and they also leave the classroom for lunch (usually eaten outside at the pavillion).

    I have 9 - 1st graders and 7 - Kinders. Reading groups divided into 4 groups and math groups divided into 3 or 4 (I forget). I have two K's not reading letters and 1st grader who is in his 3rd year in the class, having repeated K. The others are performing on grade level from what I have observed in the three days I have been there.

    My schedule is:

    8:30-8:45 morning meeting
    8:45-9:30 specials
    9:30-9:45 snack
    9:45-11 reading
    11 - 11:45 writing
    11:45 - 12:25 Lunch
    12:25 - 12:45 Recess
    12:45 - 1 Quiet Time/Cool Down
    1 - 2 Math
    2 - 2:30 Science/SS
    2:30 - 3 Ready for Dismissal, read-aloud

    This is not exact, I am doing it from memory, but it is close.

    I do have two great aides (at different times, not together) during reading and math, as well as good parental volunteer support. I have always had a mom in my class the past three days. Several because of the teacher leaving last week, they are all concerned about their children not having a teacher.

    I have 4 out of 16 that can work independently (all 1st graders) with little instruction after modeling once. On the other hand, I have 3 or 4 that need lots of one on one to get through an activity. The majority of the others can get started after I model my expectations, but it just depends on the activity. Of course, again, i have only been in the class 3 days, but I tried to get in as much observations and notes as possible!

    Thanks!
     
  11. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 19, 2008

    I forgot to mention that I am free to use whatever materials I need to, there is no dedicated reading or math programs (this is a charter school). The previous teacher (last year) used EVERYDAY MATH 1st Grade and Reading A to Z readers. So that is what I have to work with. I think I saw Lucy Calkins writing?? program too. There are no textbooks or workbooks at this school. They practice the Multiple Intelligences model, using hands on as much as possible.

    The whole school follows a Year One and Year Two theme since all of the classes are multiage (K-1, 2/3 and 4/5) to keep the material fresh and non-repetitive each year. So we all have themes and just differentiate to our grade levels/abilities.
     
  12. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 20, 2008

    Everyday Math is a PAIN IN THE NECK in multi-age classrooms. I am ALWAYS stressed out about it. The program really needs 90 minutes per day to do everything they want you to do, and I have 45 minutes to teach both. I do have an aide to help during that time.

    It sounds like you might just be using one level though? If you are able to use other materials, it might be great to look into something a little more hands-on. MathUSee maybe?

    LOVE the Lucy Calkins writing program. I think it works very well in multi-age. I am only in my first month of using it, but I already see great growth in my students!

    I wonder if your students would benefit from the Daily 5? Have you read posts or the book? The program teaches the behavior and skills for independent tasks to have in place while you're pulling guided reading groups. The CAFE menu also would be great for your students for strategies.
     
  13. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 20, 2008

    Thanks again for your responses.

    The last teacher (before the one who quit) used Everyday Math last year, so it is difficult (at least for me at this time) to really use it since the now 1st graders were exposed to the lessons last year (although I don't know exactly how it was used). It would be OK to use it again next year using the former teachers lesson plans I guess? For this year, I reviewed the Multiage Correlations in the front of each unit and it helps to blend the K and 1 lessons. The whole school is working on tallies, graphing and weather, so as long as I gear my plans and lesson towards those areas, the program or text I use is really not an issue - except that I need it RIGHT NOW! LOL!

    I have not looked into the Daily 5 and have never heard of the Cafe at all!

    I also admit to not even looking at the Lucy Calkins books yet, but as soon as I can, I hope to get it implemented.

    I just need to put some plans together for next week and I am so overwhelmed.

    I went to the FCRR.org website to get some Phonemic Awareness and Phonics center ideas, so I printed some and laminated them to introduce to center rotations this week.
     
  14. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 21, 2008

    The Lucy Calkins books have teacher-student conversations written out in them. You can either teach the concept to your students or use the exact wording. Some days, that makes it VERY easy.

    There are a lot of phonemic awareness things that you might be able to do- what about creating an alphabet/sound chart? That would help with reading and writing and is very appropriate for K or 1. The kids that are more advances could start on a blends chart. There's one if you scroll down on this page.
    http://images.google.com/imgres?img...bet+chart&um=1&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:*&sa=N

    There are TONS of graphing and number sense activities that are in EDM- look at the games and teach some of those. The kids love them! The directions are WAY too confusing if you copy the sheets in the EDM series, so I just explain the game to the kids and occasionally end up writing my own directions.

    The kids could work on creating number books (1 page for each number).
     
  15. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 21, 2008

    Just did some Googling of the Daily 5 and it looks like it could be a fit with my classroom. Checking out other teachers websites and learning lots on how they handle the rotations/rounds.

    Is it something that would work without a basal? I am leaning more towards Reading A to Z at this point. I checked out the CAFE as much as I could.

    Awesome ideas from you. I do need to take this week to get a behavior routine in place, with lots of modeling and consistent direction and redirection. So far I am using Hips & Lips (as a way of quieting down my lines), but in the classroom, 123 eyes on me is not really working. Just a bit too much freedom with the feet and mouth in the classroom, as well as hands on each other (mostly it is too much love, instead of pushing, shoving or hitting). Any suggestions on a behavior plan to follow? Signals? Positive responses to negative behaviors?

    Also, where can I find a list of Songs & Poems of the weeks already planned out for this age group? Don't want to reinvent the wheel.

    Thank you!
     
  16. teacherpippi

    teacherpippi Habitué

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I am using the Daily 5 without a basal. :D

    I am still responsible for the skills in the basal, so I am putting those skills into the mini-lessons between rounds. For example, we may start things off with a comprehension mini-lesson of cross-checking the words and pictures. The next mini-lesson, I have the kids still identifying letter sounds working with me on that while my aide is working with the rest of the kids on blends. Our third mini-lesson might be on retelling the story (although "Read to Someone" is great for that once you have it up and running). Oh, and often one of our mini-lessons is Daily Language Review since that is required.

    The CAFE is just a way of organizing the strategies that you're teaching to kids- it makes it very visual. Their "Pensieve" (thinking book) is the Sisters' way of recording what they do in small groups and individual conferences. It helps keep both me and the kids accountable.

    Have you looked at any of the Power Teaching posts? Although I'm not using all of PT, I am using some things I think would work with my students (and isn't that the joy of teaching... being able to manipulate and change things for your own classroom). We use "Class-Yes" and I will be introducing "hands and eyes" this week. We had a sub last week and she LOVED class-yes. She raved about how well it worked with the kids. I just keep changing it up-
    class claaaaaaass
    yes yeeeeeeeees

    class class class
    yes yes yes

    oh cla-ass
    oh ye-es

    I use Love and Logic in the classroom for my discipline plan. The book is WELL worth a read. I've found my students take more responsibilities for their behaviors. I don't follow it perfectly, but I know what will work for my students.

    If I were you, you might consider slowing this week waaaaay down. Model the ways you want them to do EVERYTHING. Take digital pics and make a procedures book together (writing). Have your kids who are really struggling model it the wrong way and then immediately the right way to retrain their brain and body muscles. Let the kids PROVE to you they know what to do. I do everything from how to push in your chair and walk to the circle to how to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom to how to ask a teacher for help.

    I am not sure on the songs and poems. There are a TON of teacher resource books on Amazon and I am sure there are some teacher sites on the internet. I really would love to teach w/ songs and poems, but it is something I decided I had to put off until next schoolyear. I am at a new school (charter school too!) and I can't put everything I want into place the first year here.
     
  17. thechangingtabl

    thechangingtabl Companion

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    Sep 21, 2008

    I have the Teaching with Love & Logic book here. Yea! I have started it many times, just not finished it. But it reads easy.

    I will google Power Teaching. I have read several posts this weekend about it.

    There is so much to learn. I will go in tomorrow ready to go over rules, procedures, modeling my expectations with the children together. The book is a good idea too!

    I still have to give her (the principal) some plans, but I will let her know that my focus will be on rules, procedures and how it will lead into our unit on citizenship and responsibility (which is the school's theme on-going through the election.)

    You are a wonderful resource! Cannot wait to learn more from your experiences and your resources.
     

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