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Wow, the school year is rolling now! We are so busy every day I can't believe how exhausted I am when I get home!
I thought I would share my writing wall today. I write the kids' names on white tag board and they glue black beans to it. We let it dry overnight, then they watercolor the whole thing. They always love the colorful writing wall!
These are our initital writing samples and self-portraits.
I usually end up letting them do the black bean name activity again so they can take it home. I think we will do it again later this week! It's a very peaceful activity-- nice for a Friday. :)
So..... let's just say I've had a need to put a Positive Discipline Plan in place for a student who really struggles with rules and authority. So far, it has made a difference. Basically, since he needs more reminders than average, my regular classroom system was not working for him. He knew he would not succeed in following the rules all day so he really didn't even try. The whole day with him felt like a GIGANTIC wad of negativity...........so we had to try something different.
How it works: Each morning I write his name on the board and under it I draw 5 stars. He gets a warning, but if he breaks a rule, he comes up and erases a star. Having him be the one to erase the stars shows him 1) that I trust him and 2) that keeping/erasing the stars is in HIS POWER!
If he has any stars left at the end of the day, he gets the class reward. I usually give out stickers at the end of the day and prize box on Friday.
I have also included a communication sheet because his mom likes to get something in writing each day so she can follow through at home. So far, it's working and the whole room feels more positive.
Well I made it through Week 2. Barely! At my school our Kindergarten enrollment was down slightly, so this week we had to collapse a class. I got five, count 'em FIVE, new students on Wednesday, putting me at 25 students. I had 24 last year, so it wasn't a huge shock, but starting with 20 was so nice and so much more conducive to the learning that needs to occur. <sigh> But I guess the people who really need to know and understand that aren't paying attention.
So what did we do? More procedures and practice, practice, practice! We practiced tracing our names. I use the FREE worksheet generator found HERE. We made a Cheerio necklace (fine motor and snack time rolled into one!) We sorted bears by color and apples by size. And we sang and moved A LOT. (Did I mention that of my 25 students 17 are BOYS?!-- yes, we'll be moving a lot all year!)
Some of my favorite music/movement CD's are below.
We sing the Good Morning song and The Number Rock every morning. This one also has "Popcorn" and "The World Is A Rainbow." I've been using this CD every day since my first year teaching Kindergarten 12 years ago!
One of my goals for this year is to put all of my classroom music on an ipod so I don't have to dig through my pile of CDs looking for a song! (Or deal with scratched CDs!) I have a Donors Choose project going for the ipod. We'll see if it gets funded! If not.....I might just spring for one just to save my sanity!
Ok, I promised you a freebie, so here it is! I know it's only September, but October is just around the corner and this one is just perfect for a sight word review and to go along with a Spider unit. This will be free until Spetember 15, so grab it now!
If you download, please leave a comment and join my site! I'd love to know what you think! :)