Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Daily 5 in Kindergarten: Chapter 1 & 2

Blogging Book Study...what a wonderful way to collaborate with other educators on books and grow professionally!  This book study is on Daily 5 {it is like a dream come true}!! Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten is hosting the book study for kindergarten.  I cannot wait to learn with everyone!!!!!  Off to review Chapter 1!
1. How do I teach new behaviors?
Model, Role Play, Model, Role Play, did I mention Model!!

2. How do I teach expectations?
Once again, I use a lot of role playing to teach expectations of students.  I like to use the challenging students to demonstrate inappropriate behavior like the sisters suggested in the book. As a class, we discuss why it is wrong and how we should fix it.  In the past, I have put together photographs of expectations in to a book for the students in various areas of the classroom and school.  I strongly discuss why it is important to have certain expectations.

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
Once the students know behaviors and expectations, they are held accountable for their actions.  Positive reinforcement works well for many students. During each day, I have a team huddle, which is like a community circle, and the students can talk about issues that might be going on in the classroom and how we can fix those problems.  I am going to incorporate the check system that was mentioned in the book.

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
I will talk with that student to see what the issue might be.  I will make accommodations for that student if they may not be ready for a certain aspect of learning.

5. Whose classroom is it?
I believe the classroom is our classroom, meaning the students and the teacher.  I create a community in the classroom where everyone is responsible for what happens in our classroom.

6. Locus of control?
I want to try giving the student more choice and control.  Before, I had given them a few choices, but I would like them to be in control of their own learning.  I believe that will create life-long learning, however it is just getting to that point of trusting them with choice.

7. Where are supplies stored?
My supplies are organized and stored where they are easily accessible for myself and my students.

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?
 I trust most of my students, and I want to trust all my students with control of their learning and the classroom.  I want them to be independent learners throughout the day.  I build that trust by treating them as people, who are part of a community.  The few students I have that are a little bit harder to trust, I need to find better ways to guide them.  When setting up routines and letting the students on their own, it is always difficult staying out of their way.  I do know that it is what I need to do.  When setting up Daily 5, I may model read to self to help me stay out of their way.

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day?  Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?
I give my students some choice throughout the day, but I need to work on giving them more.   Although, some teachers have all the students work on read to self, then they switch to the next component together as a class.  I am not sure if that is what I would want to do in Kindergarten or not.  It would be limiting their choice.  I post a daily schedule and that is one of the very first things we go over in the morning.  I have found some children needed a schedule and it only takes a few seconds to create and go over.  Some years it can make a world of difference in student's behavior! {On a class schedule, do you call it Daily 5 or do you use a different name?}

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
At the start of the school year, building a community is an important task I work on with my students.  I try to teach the students they have a job and they need to be accountable for themselves and the choices they make affect others. I love doing the team huddle, because it gives the students to share positives and negatives in the classroom.  It helps to create a community in the classroom.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
I have started sharing with students WHY we do specific things in the classroom or WHY we learn about particular things.  Last year the students asked how I know what needs to be taught.  I showed them the two large binders of standards I have to teach.  They were shocked :) .  I also think that by giving students control they will be able to take ownership in learning.  I have to work on giving that control.  Last year, by April, all the students enjoyed reading on their own.  After reading The Book Whisperer, I realized how important it is to expose the students to various genres and books.  I thought this would be difficult with kindergarten, but I found a lot of books that I did not know about that the students loved.  I incorporated many author studies last year.  It gave ownership to the students to choose books they wanted to read.  I want to see that ownership in all aspects of learning! 

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? ...
First, I will explain stamina to my students.  We will set expectations and model.  With a lot of modeling we will start building stamina.  I will use a timer, but I do not think I will show the students.  We will set a goal and celebrate goals met

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kindergarten Grad Buddy/Keepsake!

I was so sad to see my class go this year {and every year}, but I am excited that I have a little free time to work on new and exciting projects for NeXt YeAr!!  As a gift to the wonderful kiddos, they created these graduation buddies and glued them to an oatmeal container.   Inside the container, I put the DVD that I create filled with pictures and videos from the year.  This space could be used as a keepsake for the diploma and other items.  On the back of the container it had a title saying "My Friends", and during the graduation party the students could get each others autographs. They looked adorable around the table waiting for our presence after the graduation ceremony.  This idea is a take off of what our art teacher did.  She was wonderful at taking pictures and printing enlarged photos of the students.  Instead of the paper head and cap, she took an enlarged picture of the student's face and cap and glued it on the body.  Either way they turned out soooo cute!!!