Bell Work?

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mrsrooney, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 5, 2011

    I am teaching kindergarten again after a teaching older grades and a mat leave. This past years teacher did bell work (alphabet worksheets...) that I don't really think are meaningful. I have always done a personal sign in book (allows myself, students, parents to see progression and i know I have several students who cannot write their name well yet) and then independent reading at the large group area or at desks during arrival time, but was wondering if other teachers are doing Bell Work in Kindergarten. I know they will be expected to do it the next year so maybe I should at the very least be introducing some form of it by the second or third term. Ideas, opinions, feedback...appreciated:)
     
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  3. MandaNicole01

    MandaNicole01 Habitué

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    Jul 5, 2011

    Wow! I don't feel that is developmentally appropriate either! My students can enter the room at 8:05 and class starts at 8:30. When they enter the room, they have several tasks to complete. They have to answer the question of the day, make their lunch choice, unpack backpacks, return any papers/notes/excuses, put snacks in cubbies, sign up to take AR tests, etc. Then after they have completed these tasks, they may play with blocks, paint, read, draw, sand table, write on white boards, computer, etc. I also use this time to listen to sight word rings.

    The children are free to talk to classmates and do "whatever" they wish... No one is assigned a station, it's all first come first serve. The children LOVE this free time. They are free to talk with friends about the day. I find this helps in beginning when students sometimes cry. Also, many students don't want to be tardy and miss out on the fun!:)

    My school/district has one recess. My kindergarten children have the same amount of playtime as a fifth grader. If I didn't have free play in the mornings, my children would not have the opportunity to play inside...paint, sand table, etc. I have also found by allowing them to talk/play in the mornings they are more focused when our day starts at 8:30 and I have fewer behavior problems during the morning instruction time. I understand where you are coming from...I taught fifth grade and the children had bell work...they were quiet doing work until the day began. With kindergarten, I don't feel this is appropriate! I know you mentioned preparing for next year. Don't get me wrong, we still do worksheets (I'd rather not do so many...but it's our curriculum). So, I feel my children are prepared for first grade. When the preschoolers come into kinder, they haven't done any worksheets and have rarely wrote their name on lined paper! So I think by completing papers throughout the day/year, I'm preparing them for first grade. I hope this helps!
     
  4. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 5, 2011

    Well, I think it's great to have something for your K students to do, but it definitely needs to be something appropriate for their age. My kids are in 1st, but because we have an extra year between K and 1st (pre-first, for language reasons), they are really the age of 2nd graders. My kids have to have something to do. I give them fix-it sentences (DOL, basically), a journal prompt, and then reading. My kids come in anywhere from 7:30 to 7:55, when the late bell rings. For the early arrivals, that's a long time with nothing to do. I also check hw during that time, but I am not sure if your K kids have hw or not. Sorry I can't actually give you any advice, since I am not a K teacher.
     
  5. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jul 5, 2011

    I wouldn't start the year with any kind of bell work. It just is not developmentally appropriate for a 5 year old. You could transition to something more towards the end of the year, but you will have a better idea of the kids and if they are ready for that yet.
     
  6. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    Jul 5, 2011

    I've done independent/buddy reading and free centers.I feel that worksheets to start the day in kinder is not DAP. I'd still have a structure no matter what they do - not a free for all. But my kids come in put things away and then make a center choice. We only have about 10-15 minutes before we have to get started with our day so this works well.
     
  7. backtoK

    backtoK Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2011

    I don't start the year with bell work but as we learn letters I use bell work for handwriting practice. What ever letter we are learning, they practice their handwriting. By spring we are practicing writing sentences. This has really worked well for me.
     
  8. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    I love the way you start your day. So developmentally appropriate!! Lucky kids!
     
  9. map

    map Companion

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Clay is an easy activity for K students. You could have a small bag for each student. Very easy clean up and good fine motor activity.
     
  10. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2011

    Great idea:) thanks
     
  11. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 14, 2011

    I was going to suggest fine motor activities that strengthen their hands and muscles for writing: playdough, beads, waterpainting on a vertical surface (water and brush on construction paper - no paint).
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2011

    This last year 3 days out of the week we went straight to specials! They came to the room @ 8:00, put their things up, including folder, and then @ 8:10 we would leave for the special. The other 2 days of the week I would have the tubs out and they would play. I have tinker toys, snap cubes, bristle blocks, puzzles, etc.
     

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