Here we go with Chapter 3. I am really enjoying this study and reading everyone's answers to the questions. It's nice to know that I'm not alone in my struggles with my kindergarten kiddos. This book has been an eye opener and I am kicking myself for not jumping on the wagon when I heard about it a few years ago.
Tammy at Live, Love, Laugh is our hostess with the mostest this week. And she has posed a few questions about this weeks chapter. Here are my findings:
1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.
Do you call your gathering place anything special?
We have a gathering place in our room, but it's simply called "the floor". It's where we come for all of our whole group activities, lessons, calendar, morning meeting..everything! Maybe next year with my Hollywood theme, I'll call it the "actors table" or the "cutting room floor" or maybe the "actors guild". Ooh, talk about a vocabulary lesson =)
2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books:
Okay...so here was my one problem. Since I'm new to this concept, I'm having a hard time converting what they say about "good fit" books and IPICK for my kinder kiddos. To give you an example of my classroom make up here are last years stats: I had 17 students (at the beginning of the year), 3 could not even tell me the letters in their name, 7 were not familiar with more than 15 letters in the alphabet, 5 were able to least sound out letters, 1 was putting CVC sounds together and 1 was reading on a 2nd grade level.
Do you just give them choices of leveled readers and picture books in the beginning? Do you wait until their reading skills have progressed? Does it matter if they are reading yet or not?
What I usually do is choose books that go with our letter of the week and theme and have them on a shelf for students to look at. Sometimes they find words that they know, sometimes they write words that they don't know and bring them to conference time, sometimes they just look at the pictures for fun. I knew it wasn't a great process, but I didn't know where to go to from there.
So, my kinder friends who have done this before, what do you do if you want to get this started at the beginning of the year?
3. Create anchor charts with students
How will these be visual in the room? Where will you store them? What about small spaces?
I am so excited to make my Anchor Charts this year. I've used them in the past but have not been consistent with them. I am also excited that I am getting a smartboard this year which will free up a lot of space on my chalkboard. That means I can put them all up on the board for everyone to see!
4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes
How are you going to keep track of stamina? What will you use for book boxes? What are you going to put in those book boxes on the 1st day of school?
I have always taught in micro lessons, ever since I learned about Whole Brain Teaching. I think this will translate well to the short, repeated intervals needed for independent practice. To track stamina, it will be a lot easier with the cute signs that I found on Pinterest that other bloggers made. THANK YOU!! I already have my book boxes in mind. I have a cubby cart that I've used for their "mailbox" in the past. It can easily be converted to their book boxes! Not sure about the first day of school yet though. Guess I need to make friends with my local library ladies and let my school librarian know ahead of time what I'm up to! Going on last years make up, I will definitely be including easy to read books like Brown Bear, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, books with color words, picture books and level A readers. This year I will do something different though. I will have my chapter books out for the kiddos to read and not just the teacher. You know you've all done that before, had the kid friendly picture books out there for them, but kept your precious chapter books to yourself for whole group reading time. Not anymore!
5. Calm Signals and check in procedures
Do you already have a signal? How will you handle check ins?
I do have a signal already, but I really like the idea of the chimes. In the past, I've used a rainstick which is nice and calming, but not always loud enough for them to hear. So, I have a bell that I use. It's not harsh, it's easy to hear and I only ring it twice. It's worked in the past, so maybe I'll continue to do it until I can get me some neat-o chimes!
Have you seen this pin yet? Love it! It's an old Playskool Xylophone. The bars were taken off and hung to make a hanging chime!
6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors.
Will you keep track of inappropriate behaviors? If they are not doing what is expected, then they are calling out for attention...what other ways can you give them some extra attention so that they can be more independent during D5?
Our school is incorporating PBIS this year. We are modeling correct/incorrect behaviors in EVERY area of the school building. This will be great when working in our classroom as well. We are also giving out "Panther Paws" for positive behavior. PBIS leads right into student actions in the classroom. If those calling out for attention see the others being rewarded for doing what's right, maybe they will change those behaviors. If that doesn't work, let them be the helper, let them show the other students the right way, let them be the star they want to be without calling them out or getting them in trouble. Also, with PBIS you have to keep track of inappropriate behaviors. This is going to be the best thing for me. I've not always been the best at documentation. Now I HAVE to be!
I'll be interested to see what others have to say about Chapter 3 and would LOVE thoughts from you Kinder teachers who are already using D5!
Next week, we will be heading over to Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten for Chapter 4! So excited for this one!
And lastly, please go check out my blog buddy Greg's site! He's having a 100 follower giveaway! I'm so excited for him!