Crazy times right now for Kindergarten teachers isn't it? =) I absolutely love teaching Kindergarten but any K teacher has to admit that the first six weeks of school is incredibly exhausting. I am so excited this year to have one of our Title 1 teachers helping me with my beginning of the year baseline testing! This is SUCH a HUGE help! I've also had the luxury of having one of our beloved retired Kindergarten teachers come in and help out in my room several times...she even stayed ALL day on the first day of school! I couldn't ask for more....I'm so lucky! Now because I've been blessed with all of this help I've actually had time to get the ball rolling on a few little projects. We've only been in school seven days now but I'm the type that likes to jump in and get started right away with my regular routines, etc. It's sooooo hard to slow myself down and have the kids practice routines.
I just want to get started.
But in order to have success with 21+ five year olds following my procedures and expectations we must go s-l-o-w-l-y and practice.
So on Monday of this week we did begin discussing our Daily 5 (Daily 6 in our room) routines. I am calling it our ABC Centers with my kiddos. I just like that name better for them. So far they know that we will be having ABC centers and that Mrs. M can't wait to get started! They know that I will be working with groups of kiddos on reading. I have told them that they will be working on reading and writing activities when I am doing this. So far so good and they seem excited but are a bit tired of discussing rules, blah, blah, blah.
You get the picture.
I HAD to get them started DOING something so we began by making an "I" chart for read to self. We practiced two days in a row for very short periods of time. They did great! Today we created our "I" chart for read to someone else. We practiced one round of sitting "knee to knee" and reading. We discussed the different types of ways to read a book first. The books I used for this practice round were our pre-decodables that go with our reading series. Two sets do not have words and two sets include our popcorn words "I" and "can." The kids did an excellent job on the first round...the second round not so much. Looks like more practicing tomorrow. I'm hoping to squeeze in a round of practicing working on abc work....fingers crossed!
This week I also sent home our parent communication journals / homework journals. We are not completing homework just yet in the journals. I'll be posting more on that later in September. For now I'm including a copy of our news letter and their child's reflections from the past week.
This past week I had the kids draw about their favorite centers that they were able to work in. My high school helper and myself labeled their work for them. I have one little one that attempted to do the labeling himself! Yay!
The kids also drew pictures of their friends that they played with either at lunch,recess or quiet time. It's so hard for them to get to know everyone's name at the beginning of the year. It was so cute to see them go ask what their friend's names were so they could draw/write about them in their journal.
During the school year the children will be completing two homework options in their journals each week and then each Friday we will be writing our reflections in class. As the year progresses the goal is for them to begin WRITING and DRAWING about topics that we have learned about and skills we have worked on in addition to the social items like center time and friends we play with. Parents in some of my past classes have really enjoyed these journals. Some will write in them themselves. They may ask me questions about school work, etc but often they write sweet little notes to their children about how proud they are of them and what a good job they are doing! Too, too cute!
We just had a our first fire drill today! So this week in our journals we will be reflecting on the fire drill and on another page our CHICKA CHICKA BOOM BOOM activities.
I hope everyone is hanging in there during these first busy, busy weeks! I'm so looking forward to that six week marker when there is a noticeable difference in the calmness of my class, our routines and school life in general. =) Have a great rest of your week!