Friday, September 14, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up -> Sept. 10-14

This week was all about establishing our daily routines.
We have routines that we follow for the week.  For example, every Monday morning, we start with our weekly poem on chart paper.  I read it to the students, pointing to each word as I go, and then I have the students chime in.  You can get your own copy of the poems I use each week in my 
Rhyme and Chime pack on TpT.

We also use "Lucy Letter" and "William Word" (fly swatters with cut out "mouths") - an idea I got years ago from my friend Kim Adsit from KinderGals.

I also introduce the provocations around the room.  We kept it simple still this week as we are learning how to use the materials properly and clean up after ourselves.

Can You Build It? - using Lego
Lego is always a huge hit so we left this open to see what our students could create!

Letter Formation Cards
These boards are one of my most favourite things ever!  They are called Buddha boards (I got mine from Chapters/Indigo bookstore) and you paint on them using water.  After a few minutes the water disappears!  I set these up each year for students to practice writing their name and printing letters.

After posting this picture on Instagram I have had many requests to download the letter formation cards.  I just uploaded them to TpT and added various sizes to the pack as these cards can be used in so many ways! 
You can download the cards by clicking on the picture below.

Felt Board - If You Take a Mouse to School
We read this story last week and the students loved it so I set out these felt board pieces for them to retell the story.

Science/Discovery Centre - Sunflower Inquiry
It was so nice to start the year with an inquiry all about sunflowers!  The students are loving these sunflowers just as much as I am.  We have been picking the seeds out of them, painting them and painting with them, and comparing them to other flowers I picked from my garden.

Write the Room - Back to School
We introduced our Write the Room centre - with words all pertaining to school!
The group I have this year (particularly the Year 2 students) LOVE to write so this was an instant hit!
I printed a few of the differentiated worksheets for them to choose.

You can find this activity here:
Only One You
I saw this activity on Primary Graffiti's Instagram and knew it would be perfect for our Religion Table!  This is one of my very favourite books as it encourages children to just be themselves.  After reading the story they each painted a rock (or "fish" like in the story) to resemble themselves.
We placed these altogether at our Religion Table.

Roll and Cover
We started some small groups this week and in my math group I introduced the game Roll and Cover.  It can be played in 2 ways.  Since we started with the concept of Number Sense I wanted to see if children were able to identify numerals and dots on the die.  Mrs. Petrone (DECE) worked with students on 1:1 correspondence by bringing them to the Math Centre and exploring some of the hands-on materials there.

*You can download this game for FREE by clicking below on my Week-at-a-Glance plans*

As I mentioned in the last few blog posts, I plan on making my Week-at-a-Glance plans available here for all of you to see and download.

You can download the above Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.

I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download):

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 07, 2018

Weekly Wrap Up -> Sept. 4-7

I survived Week 1 in Kindergarten!
Although this is my 14th year teaching, all in Kindergarten, there is one thing that doesn't change each year...I'm still BEAT by the end of the first week!

It certainly was busy but we had a great start to the year as the children enjoyed exploring the room and getting to know one another.  We sang a lot of songs to know each other's names, played co-operative games inside and out, and my favourite - I partnered the Year 2 students with the Year 1 students to act as mentors and assist them with working at centres.

If you read my post from last week, you will know that I made a new goal for myself this year.  I am planning to post my weekly plans here for other teachers to get ideas and for parents to know exactly what we are doing each day.  
You can download (and even edit!) these plans here.

This week was all about routines right from Day 1!  We spend a lot of time reviewing with the children how to handle the materials (we use the phrase "gentle hands"), clean up, share, and transition to other areas of the school.
They each receive a special "golden bag" on the first day which they will take to and from school/home daily.
You can find the editable labels for these here

Here's a closer look at what we worked on:

Sunflower Provocation
I didn't realize how many children would be interested in the sunflowers this week!  The RECE that I work with, Mrs. Petrone, collected these from her mother's garden.  And look at what we found inside...seeds!
They were very curious about the seeds and wondered how many they collected.
I think for next week we will ask the children how they can find out the number of seeds they picked out.  

We set out a few provocations for this week.  We didn't have very many as we keep things very simple and easy as we focus on handling the materials with care and cleaning up after ourselves.  I like to keep things open ended and see what the children know (or if they have any interest in something).

I've had a lot of messages about downloading these ABC mats - I posted about them last year also - but I'll leave the link again if you'd like a copy.  

First Day of School Crown
Each year our students make a crown to celebrate their first day of school.  They are all so eager to decorate them and wear them, all day long!

Roll and Stack
We worked with our Year 2 (SK) students in small groups playing this math game.  They rolled the dot die, counted that many cubes and used them to build a tower to match the number on their mat.  During September we spend the first couple of weeks on number sense - working with numbers to 5 and 10.

I've been getting lots of messages regarding my long range plans.  I'm just tweaking a few things and then will be more than happy to share!

Enjoy the weekend!!!

Friday, August 31, 2018

Back to school - Week 1 (with lots of FREE downloads)

It's the long weekend before school starts (which is next Tuesday) and I'm putting the final touches on my timetable, week-at-a-glace and paperwork to send home to parents.
I set up my classroom this week and, although the set up is primarily the same as last year, I know that it changes often as students express interest and co-create the learning environment with us as the year goes on.

Here are a few pictures of what it looks like for the beginning of the year:
Dramatic Centre - the small ceramic plates come from Ikea

Science/Discovery Centre - large sunflowers will also be added to this centre for children to explore the seeds

Light Table - the shelf to the left (not in picture) holds a variety of transparent materials and loose parts which are perfect for this centre

Math Centre - a variety of materials focusing on early numbers (1-10) are on the shelf
Do you follow me on Instagram? @mrsalbanesesclass
I posted a virtual tour of our entire classroom which shows a much better picture of our class.

I decided to try something different this year in terms of my day plans.
I have always used a "Week-at-a-Glance" document to plan out the week rather than day by day.  With the Ontario Kindergarten program, provocations and materials set out are intentional and rather than change things every day, we like to keep them out for students to explore for at least the week (although we might tweak something as we go).
*Side note:  The schedule below may change (i.e. library) during the first few weeks of school *
I got the idea for this template from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.

You can download the above Week-at-a-Glance PDF version{here}.  
If you would like the editable version to modify this for your own class click {here}.

I used the following fonts if you wish to keep it the same (free to download): 

Here's a closer look at some of the provocations and centres I set out for the Week 1 of school.

All of the Year 1 (JK) students will be making a crown to celebrate their first day.  We have been doing these for years and I think they are so much fun!  If they can, the students write their name on the line and decorate the crown with foamies, stickers, alphabet stampers and crayons.
It reads "I started school today!"

Can you match the letters?
This is another provocation I like to start with each year.  The alphabet pebbles are from Quality Classroom.

What do you know about numbers?
We set out simple materials for children to explore and show us what they know about numbers 1-10.

Routines - from day 1
We start our daily routines right away.  We gather on the carpet once the children get undressed and listen for announcements.  The Helper of the Day is revealed, one letter at a time - we start by showing only one letter and if your name starts with that letter you stand up.  Then we show the next letter, if you have it in your name you keep standing, if you don't you sit down.  We continue until the children are able to guess and the name is revealed.  We also look closely at the Helper's name - how many letters does it have, how many syllables, what smaller words can we find inside, etc.

We also teach the children the Alphabet Song - which we sing every morning when the Helper of the Day and a friend take the attendance down to the office.
Click {here} if you would like to see this product on TpT.

We also begin with a new poem each week.  For the first week, we will be introducing the Welcome poem.  You can find this poem and so many more to last you the entire year in my Rhyme and Chime pack on TpT.  You can click {here} if you would like to see that product.

New centres are introduced the first week so that students are familiar with where they are but we really like to leave things as open-ended as possible for students to explore the materials.

We also start by explaining our Daily Schedule to the students.  This helps children with anxiety as they can visually see the things we will be doing for the day and when it will be home time.
You can find this {here} in my TpT store or by clicking the pictures below.

Getting Organized!
We have been using the same system for organizing our students for years - a simple zippered pouch from Dollarama!  They are durable enough to last the entire year (for most students!) and the zippered pouch means that notes and money won't get lost.

I made these editable mail bag labels that fit perfectly inside the zippered pouches.
You can find these {here} on TpT.

We send home a few papers the first day including a Parent/Guardian Questionnaire and Back to School Flip Book.

Download the Parent/Guardian Questionnaire for FREE by clicking {here} or the picture below.

You can find this Back to School Flip Book on TpT if you are interested.  Click {here} to take you there.
It's editable but I did add the information we share with our parents if you would like to use that!
Note:  I blocked out the name of our school for privacy reasons.
We can't wait for another amazing school year to start!
Happy long weekend everyone!