We’re off and running for the 21-22 school year! I am excited to share some new additions to the kindergarten program and take an opportunity to go into more detail about some of the “oldies but goodies” that are tried and true! Let’s start!
This year, I decided to really focus on strengthening the social side of our classroom family. One of the things I wanted to try was implementing a morning greeting daily. When students enter the classroom, they choose a greeting.
It is fun for me to try to anticipate each student’s selected greeting. Fist bump continues to be a fan favorite!
Another new part of our day is the addition of a daily question to our Morning Meeting. Each week I assign students a partner. This week the partners are avocado and toast.
After I ask the question of the day, students find their partners and share an answer. I found these cute question cards that help me keep this portion of our morning meeting interesting. (First Grade Lemonade, TPT)
To practice truly listening to our partners, I encourage pairs to share the other person’s response.
I also wanted to add a quick practice skill to our Morning Meetings. The addition of pocket chart rhymes and songs is something I am looking forward to using daily to teach literacy and math skills. In the example below, students sort cookies according to the number of syllables the image on that cookie has.
Each year, inevitably, markers become estranged from their caps, Morning Exploring manipulatives fall out of their tubs, and crayons roll away. I end up having random items all over the classroom. This year I decided to create a “Found It!” bin where students can put all the items they find! Hopefully, the items will be reunited with their owners!
Our “Found It!” bin
The current contents of the bin.
I also went crazy with crayons! Students each have a set of 24 crayons in their desks.
Isn’t this teacher hack the best? What a perfect container in which to store crayons.
I spent waaaayyyy too much time at the Dollar Tree this summer collecting crayons. I found pearl crayons, colors of the world crayons, neon crayons, unicorn crayons (!) Of course, I had to have them all….and they are all organized into these perfect little containers. You need a specific crayon? I for sure have it!
This year I also decided to change up Literacy Centers, aka Literacy Workstations, and have a two-day rotation where students complete three centers a day. (I will post about Literacy Centers soon!)
The classroom setup has evolved. I moved my small group table to the other side of the room, utilizing the space in this strange corner where a student desk could never be because of a door. (My classroom has a grand total of seven doors!)
I also moved our Read Every Day! station and Mrs. Riley’s work area to the opposite area of the room. This space was also awkward and unusable as a location for students’ desks because of the wall that would block their view of the SmartBoard.
I added a bright, colorful carpet to the back of the classroom for students to use as an inviting place to create, build, and work. I am excited that I can have a space in the front of the room to welcome students to sit on the carpet. Currently, there is room for about half the class, so the students who are seated in the back of the room have the first option to come up and sit on the rug.
I gave my crate chairs a makeover, using this fun owl-themed fabric.
I created a new birthday display.
Late last year I requested new iPad charging stations from our Tech Department. My wish was granted when I received four charging stations to house my 19 brand-new iPads.
The bins sit atop a solid shelf and are at the perfect height for students to be able to grab and go. Each iPad has a number that corresponds to each student, so students will be able to remain logged in on specific apps…yippee! I have iPad expectations clearly posted.
Each year, I read the book “How Full Is Your Bucket?” We really work hard to fill one another’s buckets daily in a variety of ways. I wanted to make this idea more concrete, so I created this interactive bulletin board. Students customized their buckets, and I hung them, along with their bucket filler tag ring. Now, each time a student is caught making a positive learning choice, we can easily add a tag to the ring!
I love how bright this display is!
Here we go! What an exciting year I have planned!