One thing that I love about reading blogs is getting to read and see a glimpse into classrooms all across the world. Since this year is very different than any of my other years teaching, I thought I would share a glimpse into what my day looks like. At the school that I work at we have three kindergarten classrooms; however, we all teach all of the kindergarteners. We each have a “primary group” of students and spend the most amount of time with them.
Every day, the kindergartners meet in the gym (at the main school) and then we walk over to our building as a group. The kids walk two by by. Normally on our walk we chat about what they ate for breakfast, their hopes and dreams, and any random conversation that you can think of.
We then get to our classrooms and the students hang up their belongings in their cubbies.
After they unpack, they get thirty minutes of exploratory centers. We open up all four classrooms and put out a variety of activities. Students can choose what they would like to explore each day.
When we were studying worms, I had a measurement center in my classroom that the students loved.
My students dug through the black water beads in search for plastic worms. In math class we had been studying measurement and they would take out two worms at a time. They would then compare the two worm lengths and sort them.
Legos are a huge hit as you could imagine. I bought a few community helper packs because we are studying community helpers. The kids have been loving putting together the police station, fire station and construction site sets. Each day they put them together and have the greatest five year old conversations about the people who work in our community. It’s amazing how much students learn while they are playing.
After exploratory centers, the students go to their primary rooms and we have our morning meeting. Each day I write a message to my students and we greet each other.
After we read the message I have my students come up and find things in the message. Sometimes they circle the letters or sight words that we are learning and other times they hunt for words with a certain number of syllables. After our morning meeting we have our calendar time, snack, and then we begin our literacy block.
In our literacy block I meet with every student, every day. I group my students into three groups. I meet with each group for 20 minutes each day. While my students are meeting with me, the other students are completing literacy centers. For centers I have found that students work well in groups of two. Once the groups get bigger, the behavior problems increase. In groups of two, both of the students are working and engaged and that means that they are learning.
The past few weeks we have been working on beginning sounds, ending sounds, letter naming fluency, matching capital and lowercase letters and putting the alphabet in order during our centers.
In this center I put up a fall tree and while my students were at this center they picked a capital letter and then had to work together to find the lowercase letter on a leaf. I gave them a special pointer so that they could reach all of the letters. Once they found the letter they colored in the letter on their recording page.
We have LOVED using the following packs of centers:
We love, love, love, love, LOVE Marsha’s centers! My students can NOT get enough of them!
We also have been using the centers from this pack of mine:
During my guided reading groups my students and I have been working on a variety of skills with my students. In many of my groups we have been working on letter names and sounds. We are also working on first sound fluency. Most of the time (right now) I am playing literacy games with my students which will then become centers. These games are helping us build the foundational phonics skills that they will need later on in the year.
We are also working on basic concepts of print while reading letter books.
After our literacy block, I teach a 20-30 minute Fundations (the phonics curriculum that we use) lesson and we play a language game. I use “game pieces” often to build excitement and also to get my students up and moving. In this game my students were looking for matching letters.
After Fundations we transition to our math block. During math this past week we were working on counting to 20, recognizing the numbers 1-10, introducing coins, patterns, and basic number concepts. During our math block I incorporate whole group instruction, small group instruction, interactive notebooks, and centers.
We have loved using plastic pumpkins this week to help us put the numbers 1-10 in order while also making sure we have the correct number of straws in each pumpkin. This was a FAVORITE this week and was so easy to make. I bought the plastic pumpkins at Target a few years ago for less than $2.00 and the straws I got last year. I’m not sure where I bought them though– sorry!!
Another center last week was our pattern center. Using our math tools, my students created their own patterns. The girls really loved making “rainbow patterns.”
They also loved making patterns with the pattern blocks.
After math we have recess, lunch, and then a 10 minute quiet time.
We end our day with one last rotation. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday our students rotate in their groups to either science, social studies, or writing. On Thursdays and Fridays we end our days with another session of group centers.