Let's share ideas that work in our classrooms

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by zoey'smom, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Jun 22, 2011

    I haven't been on here lately, but I notice there are a lot of new Kindergarten teachers on here. First of all congratulations. Kindergarten is a fun grade, You are going to love it. This is also a great place to share ideas and ask questions. To help out the new K teachers, maybe we can post something that works well in our classroom or questions on how to change something that does not work.

    I will start:

    One thing that I do that works out is the use of B.E.E notebook. This is a notebook that goes home daily. It has a pencil pouch that parents put money or notes, a folder for work that is done and homework, a behavior calendar, a list of words we are working on. BEE stands for Bring Everything Everyday.

    I will post more later, but I must bring my son to swimming lessons.
     
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  3. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jun 22, 2011

    Well, as a new kindergarten teacher myself and having just completed my first year teaching- I thought I would add my favorite part of our morning routine. As soon as the kids come in before putting their stuff away in cubbies- they come right in and sign in. They find their name under the boy or girl sign and sign in under our We are in school today. sign and answer the graph of the day posted under the sign- so I know at a glance who is here and who is absent and we use our graph constantly and review it during morning meeting and since we do it every day, we really mastered graphing by the end of the year- the kids even surveyed their classmates, created a graph, counted, tallied, and interpreted their data. It was fun, definitely something we always looked forward to. We also love brain breaks and just having those times to get the wiggles out. Finally, we loved writing time with classical music playing to help us focus and get our thoughts down on paper.
     
  4. Silmarienne

    Silmarienne Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2011

    Must reads, preferably before starting: The First Six Weeks of School and The Morning Meeting Book.
     
  5. MrsM7

    MrsM7 Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2011

    I was thinking about doing a sign in next year to help practice name writing. I was worried that it would cause too much congestion waiting for their turn. Did you find that a problem?
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2011

    I was concerned about that and it is an issue- you might just pass around a paper and have them sign it as it gets to them during morning work- which also poses some issues, but it can be taught. Or even have a boy sign in and a girl sign in to avoid the congestion a little bit. Overall, I found that recognizing their name in print was just as important- that is why I have so much with finding their name and using name tags to sign in and do milk choice and all that. They do get a lot of practice writing their name on their morning work and really any paper they touch. Towards the end of the year we started signing for milk- so they did write their name under their milk choice. So they wrote their name a lot without having to actually write their name to sign in. Plus, I also had a monthly booklet where they wrote their name using their very best writing on the first day of each month or whatever day I decided- unfortunately I was not that good at it and some of kids managed to sneak off with their booklet without getting caught- so some of them were MIA when I went to use them again the following month or check them out whatever- that is definitely an area needing improvement for me. Each month had its own sheet with the date and space for their name under a heading- so it was a great idea and nice to see the progression. Really impressive.
     
  7. mom2kkj

    mom2kkj Rookie

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    Jun 28, 2011

    We do a daily sign in sheet as well. The previous teacher did this and I loved it!
    At the begining of the year, we have paper with wide lines and have them sign in only their first name, or whatever they can sign.
    After a while, we use paper that is less wide. We do this for a while.
    Eventually....we use even smaller lined paper and have them do their first and last names with upper and lower case.
    It was great!
    There is a bit of a back log but if you use 2 sheets, it goes more quickly and when you show the kids from the first day to last (or close to last), it is SO fun to see their reaction and even more, to see their parents' reaction :)
     
  8. MrsM7

    MrsM7 Rookie

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    Jun 29, 2011

    Thanks for all the insight!
     
  9. MzMooreTeaches

    MzMooreTeaches Cohort

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    Jul 1, 2011

    Something that I started incorporating with my calendar and weather time was to make predictions about tomorrows weather. We would use the temperature for that day and predict if the temperature would be more than, less than or equal to todays temperature. We really got to discuss a lot of math as well as higher number recognition, discuss patterns in weather, greater than, more than, most, least, equal. This was also a great time to discuss seasons. The children really enjoyed seeing if their weather prediction came true as well as which one had the most votes. Great counting practice for the number of students in your class as well.
     
  10. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 6, 2011

    For signing in what I am going to do is have individual notebooks for each child (probably cut in half to save paper). This way each child has their own book that they can take to a table to avoid congestion. Also, I don't think it's appropriate to share student work with other parents (and some parents tend to be competitive). I like that I can give them their child's name book and they can see the progression without seeing everyone else's (or lack thereof). For this same reason I will not be doing a stoplight behaviour chart like a lot of kindergarten teachers do (and I have before). I had parents complain that it was very obvious to anyone coming in the classroom that so and so was having difficulty behaving and they didn't like that. I have to agree now that I am a parent, that if my son turns out to be a little rascal like his dad, he would be in red all the time and that can be a little damaging on the self-esteem. Something I have done before and will do again is Survey of the Day at arrival time. There will be a board with a yes or no question and enough clothespins for all students. They clip their clothespin to the appropriate side and we can discuss and analyze at math time. Great ideas everyone:)
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Jul 6, 2011

    I do a homework calendar that I send out every Monday, and they keep in their house all week. It works nicely. Some teachers have the kids write their hw in agendas everyday, but I find that to be time consuming, plus some of the kids' handwriting isn't the neatest, so the parents can't read it at home.

    I use a hw folder where loose hw papers go in, and is returned in the folder the following day. I love it.

    These are just some things I do, but I am 1st grade teacher, not K. I hope it's ok to have shared anyway.
     
  12. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I use scraps of paper that I will recycle. I cut it into strips. That way I don't have the congestion of waiting for turns in the morning and it's good to put in the child's porfolio to share at conferences.
     
  13. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I don't know if any of you use the Whole Brain Teaching Techniques, but let me tell you-those were some lifesavers!
    I started them with day one, and by October they had it down packed.
    The techniques I used were, recital of class rules w/ gestures, class/yes, teach/ok, and spelling words "with your hands". I'm not sure if these techniques had anything to do with it, but I was told my K class had one of the best test scores the school has seen on their annual Stanford 10 test (some tested on a 3rd grade level in some areas). Needless to say I will be using these techniques again this upcoming school year.
     
  14. zoey'smom

    zoey'smom Cohort

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    Jul 12, 2011

    I was thinking of using whole brain teaching techniques this year, but I wasn't sure. I was going to at least do the rules. Thanks for sharing. I think I will give it a try. Did you do the rules everyday, even after they got it or reviewed it when they needed it.
     
  15. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2011

    They recited the rules every morning (unless it was a hectic/or sub day). That way when I referred to a rule #, they knew exactly what I was talking about.:)
     
  16. mrsrooney

    mrsrooney Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2011

    I usually do a clapping pattern that students have to repeat back to me as an attention getter. I also have used seasonal words, for example: I'd say, "pumpkin!" and then the kids would say, "patch!" Do you think this is accomplishing the same thing as class, yes is?
     
  17. WestCoast Teach

    WestCoast Teach Rookie

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    Jul 13, 2011

    One thing I like to do to dismiss the kids from the carpet for recess or to earn their choosing stick for centres is get them to answer a question: i.e. I might have each of them think of and tell me a word that begins with the letter of the week, or say a word and have them tell me how many syllables they hear, or ask what number comes before/after a certain #, etc, etc. A great reinforcer of skills!
     
  18. dxj6482

    dxj6482 Rookie

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    Jul 18, 2011

    The one thing I found worked for me, later in the year, was to have extra things for the kiddos to do after they were done with center work while I was doing Guided Reading groups. I had a notebook for each child with their name on it. They knew after they did their work for the day, they could get their notebooks and do a 10 word challenge for a prize out of the prize bin. They would copy words from around the room, but it kept them busy until I was done with Reading. As the year went on, they actually wanted to do 20 and 30 word challenges. I made sure to show them off at the end of the day before letting them choose a prize. They were so proud!
     
  19. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2011

    Is that all they wrote, just their name? I do something similiar, but it's all on one sheet. This year I had the problem that some of the kids tried to go back & fix previous months. I'm thinking if it was a booklet they wouldn't be as tempted to go back and fix it! Plus it would give them more room to write, my sheet only has space for a first name!
     
  20. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jul 21, 2011

    Kpa, I'm impressed that your students wanted to go back and correct their previous work. You are doing something right! If possible, I would copy their work each week and let them go back and edit to their little heart's content.
     
  21. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Jul 21, 2011

    Yes, it was a booklet- each month had its own page with just that heading and then space for first and last name as the year progressed- we just did first name until December, then I required date and full name. (I had like three on one page and cut each page to make three different booklets- I don't know if that makes sense, its been a crazy time lately)
    I ended up creating my own booklets towards the end- I can see if I can find it and send it to you- just quick and easy.
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 21, 2011

    I really like the idea of the booklet!
     
  23. ncruz000

    ncruz000 Rookie

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    Aug 2, 2011

    Hi:

    I am not familiar with brain teaching techniques. Can you please tell me what they are specifically? Do you know of a reliable source of where I can learn more?

    Thank you,
    Naomi:)
     
  24. MrsM7

    MrsM7 Rookie

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    Aug 3, 2011

  25. mom2sands

    mom2sands Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2011

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