Hey, 2017! It’s been half a year with my cutie pies in kindergarten. I’m feeling (MOSTLY) refreshed and ready to tackle the second semester.
I’ve decided to create some personal classroom goals for myself as a teacher. Three simple goals that I hopefully can accomplish by May.
- Stop wasting their time. A lot of times this semester, I have found myself being lazy with updating center activities or finding more challenging work for the kids. This is a smart bunch so I don’t want them to miss out on challenges that they can definitely handle. I hope to improve in searching for more teachable moments and in creating more challenging activities that will get their creative juices flowing.
- Re-teach expectations. Last year, it took a while to get my class back into the “school flow” in January. I found myself getting frustrated with them for being chatty in the hallway. My plan this year is to spend the first three days reminding them of hallway expectations and other simple routines that we may be slipping on…center rotations, bathroom behaviors, etc.
- Listening to what they want. Every week on Fun Friday, it is really tempting to just put on a movie for the last few minutes of the day so that I have time to prepare for the next week. I realized that this may not be enough of a motivator for them throughout the week. I’m going to start discussing a plan with them early in the week so that we can work on earning a reward for Friday. I know they would love some more time with our Play-Doh, Legos, or a dance party on YouTube! 🙂
As a class, we discussed goals and things we would like to learn in the spring. We did a writing activity and I loved some of the things the kids wrote!
Today was too fun! It was our last day before our Thanksgiving Break and we celebrated big time.
The kids looked fabulous in their Indian costumes (made from pillow cases). We started our morning off by creating the Indian headbands. (Feather hats as they called them. )
We don’t use markers everyday so this was a treat for them!
For math today, we created these ADORABLE decomposing 10 turkeys from One Sharp Bunch. We introduced the craft yesterday and went through the game to get comfortable with it. Today, the kids got to make their turkeys. I love them!
Our feast was pretty fancy. Parents worked so hard this year to make things the kids would love!
I love how our kindergarten hallway turns into a big banquet hall. We got to make these placemats to dine on. It all felt very fancy. You know, for kindergarten.
It was total chaos in a good sort of way! I hope I’ve helped to create some good memories for these sweet kids!
I wanted to share something new I’ve been trying this year! Being a new teacher, my children are often the guinea pigs to any new Pinterest idea that I find interesting. We try it and sometimes it sticks… and sometimes it’s a huge fail! This one will most likely stick.
I felt like my kids weren’t getting any time to just explore and be free to play with no “rules.” I found this post by the Brown Bag Teacher and decided to try out morning work tubs.
Every morning, I pass out a tub for each table. After the kids have completed all their morning routines, they can start playing quietly. They know that when the announcements start, they stop what they’re doing until the moment of silence is over! In the meantime, I am taking attendance or taking up forms/money.
When morning time is over, I play our clean-up transition song (the Rugrats theme. Hehe) and then we begin our whole group reading lesson!
I’m loving the results from this! Similar to the blog where I found this idea, I have noticed that this group of kids wastes no time getting unpacked and sitting down. I had a lot of kids who lingered last year, taking an extra long time to get started on their day. Morning tubs get a positive jumpstart to the day!
I’m working on finding new manipulatives to put in them that line up with what we’re working on in math or reading. I especially love the Scrabble tiles because the kids are beginning to make sense of the letters and love to make them into sight words!
And of course, I had to incorporate some Play-Doh! This is by far the most popular tub. The kids cheer if they come in and see the Play-Doh at their table. This is why I’m trying to get more in my latest Donors Choose project!
I love trying out new things and seeing what works best for my 17 little ones!
Wow, I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks! Technically, a week and a half. But those first three days sure feel like a week!
With this being my second year teaching kindergarten, I am really trying to be conscious about teaching procedures. I know that I rushed through it last year because I felt pressured to get the routines down. Because of that, I felt like they weren’t solid enough a few weeks in! So this year, I’m drilling those routines!!
I can already tell this is going to be a sweet bunch of kids. They love to share and love to help each other out. I see my kindergarteners from last year and feel some serious jealousy! They are so big and mature. But then I remind myself that they were once this little and my current kids are getting bigger by the day!
The first day of school. I actually had them sitting still for a few minutes! Notice that one (wearing green) is FAST asleep!! He slept through the whole day. Y’all, kindergarten is exhausting!!!
We’ve practiced lots of new things.. Including partner talk. Still working on that because sometimes they just kind of sit awkwardly and giggle together. 😂 We’ll get there.
I took the time this year to teach them how to cut–something I never thought of last year! I got the idea from Tara from Little Minds at Work, who I am KINDA obsessed with.
My favorite new thing I’ve been trying… Musical transitions! And of course, I’m picking music that brings everyone joy, including me. 😉For carpet transitions, we have the Office theme song. I was inspired on Pinterest by this blog
, and I’m planning to share my Powerpoint slide soon! The kids LOVE it. As soon as my Smart Board is installed, I plan to teach them to play the songs when I give a child a signal.
“The Mindy Project” theme song is our quick clean up song. I also started teaching the Rugrats theme for longer clean-ups, like when we begin centers.