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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back to School

My little one headed off to kindergarten this week! She was so excited and so ready! I am so happy for her. Sending these little people off unto the world is filled with mixed emotions. But so far she is LOVING school! 

Our school district has what they call a staggered start. This is amazing especially from the teacher perspective! Each teacher only has 6 kindergartners per day for the first 3 days then they all return on the 4th day! What a great time to build community and make them feel comfortable! So on day 2 we headed to the beach!! 

Now that my little lady is at school all day it has given me time to finally really work again! So you can grab this Olympic color packet for just $1!! There are color by sight word and color my number pages!

I also got a chance to spruce up our Close Reading on Labor Day. It includes a color passage to project for the class, student passages to make notes on, alphabetical order page with vocabulary from the passage, vocabulary cards with pictures, writing paper, and a label the dates on the month page! 

And finally this is my little lady preparing us a snack! She said mommy I just want to spend time with you! Melt my heart! So we played all night in her play room! 

So overall a pretty good week!  

Monday, August 8, 2016

So many supplies!

At my school there are 2 extremes! You either get very few supplies or you get LOTS of supplies. Well there were several years that I spent running around very chaotically trying to get those without supplies a few things and then trying to figuring our how to store the over abundance of supplies. I have finally found the best way to organize it all. Well, unless you have unlimited help in your classroom and if that is your case then just let someone else deal with the headache!

STEP 1. Before anyone arrives in your class take a gallon size zip lock bag and put each students name on one. Then I put the bags on their spots at their table.

STEP 2. Have large buckets, containers, or at least spots for the supplies. I always have a large rubber maid container for the individual supplies(this is where the zip lock bags will go). Then I have the other containers for the community supplies. ie wipes, kleenex, bags etc,

STEP 3. Collect all the community items or have each table group go deposit each community item in the appropriate spot. I also suggest writing on your board what you want where. I always start with the items I want in their box then the items that go in the bag and finally the items that are community supplies.

STEP 4. Fill their box with Crayons(for K I prefer only 8), 2 pencils, scissors, glue/glue sticks. The extras of these items should then go into the bag that has their name on it.

STEP 5. I always have multiple boxes prepped and ready. I always have 2-5 kids that come in with no supplies. So this way I can say here is your box. I also keep a few ready for children that show up mid year!

Hopefully you can learn from my struggle! Let me know if you have a tip that works that is tried and true!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Make this the best year ever in Kindergarten!

There are so many things that you have to get done on the first day of school. Many years of teaching kindergarten has left me with what I found to be the 10 most important things that you HAVE to do the first day!

1. Bathrooms! I was lucky and always had bathrooms in the classroom, but I still pointed out the girls and the boys. We also went over closing the door, flushing(I had one deathly afraid of flushing), and washing hands. Lots of kinder kids are use to using the bathroom with the door open and a parent or care giver near by. So yes all of those steps are necessary.

2. Transportation! Many times the way a child goes home the first day is different than what the parent put on the enrollment form, so make sure you know how each child goes home. Nothing ruins a first day like a momma that thinks you lost their baby!

3. Line up! Many of my students come in with NO prior school experiences so the idea of lining up was totally foreign to them. I prefer an assigned line order starting day 1. I always have a girls line & a boys line. Then everyone has a spot. At the end of the week the line leader goes to the end and the next student is the new weeks line leader. You may have to make minor adjustments but it's so much easier than the first to line up argument. 

4. Call Roll! Make sure you start the day with all of the children you are suppose to have. Also I like to call roll and have them respond. This is the quickest way to help them learn your name and leave the HEY teacher behind you. So I would say "Good morning Mike" and he would respond "Good morning Mrs. Gill". You will always have a couple of teacher pleasers that can do it right away.

5. Let them use a pencil! They have all those wonderful supplies and beautifully sharpened pencils. Let them use them. The sooner the better. Great time to find out who can write their name!

6. Let them use crayons! More important than a pencil.....Yes, they must use those waxy smelling pointy crayons on day 1!

7. Read them a book! Even children whom aren't use to being read to have them sit and listen to a book. Then discuss a bit. I usually say make sure you tell your parents about this book. I try to say this a couple times in the first few days. This gives them something specific to tell their parents about kindergarten.

8. Say your own name TOO MANY times! Back to calling roll. Yes, it is ok to speak in 3rd person a bit. They want to remember your name and it so helpful to the whole school for them to know who's class they are in. 

9. Greet the parents! Make sure you greet each parent. You want them on your team!

10. Repeat lining up & bathroom several times! If you can make sure they know when and how to use the bathrooms and line up then you can accomplish just about anything!