Classroom Management: Focus Wall
When my administration first brought up the subject of a focus wall, I had to work REALLY hard to not roll my eyes in the back of my head. I mean…REALLY?! However, after the first week of using it, I knew they were right… dagnabbit! It really DID help me keep my teaching objectives clear.
After the first month or so, my students noticed it AND read it. “What are we working on this week, Mrs. Wills?”
The “I Can” cards stayed constant throughout the year, but objective cards took only a few minutes to update each week. I sure like easy! (NOTE: The “I Can” card are editable, so you can add your own district objectives)
Classroom Management: Anchor Charts
If you find that you repeat yourself about routines, then it is worthy of an anchor chart. Some charts stay up all. year. long. Here are a few that never come down.
ALL STAR WORK
This is especially helpful at the beginning of the year. Those first few weeks, there seems to be some sort of student-led contest. They call it, “I am the first one finished, but I did not put any thought into my work.” The goal of this chart is to slow them down and have them make choices in the work they are completing. Since meaning is conveyed through illustrations in kindergarten (especially at the beginning of the year), I want my students to be thoughtful illustrators.
This thoughtfulness carries over to their writing in writer’s workshop. As you know, they don’t all come in with the same set of skills. What is considered “All Star Work” for one student, may not be the same for another. You are the teacher. You know when you can nudge a student to improve and when to applaud their attempts. BONUS: Small motor skills improve as their hand strength and coordination improves.
MORNING ROUTINES AND PACKING UP ROUTINES
This chart SAVED my life! I used to feel like the end of the day procedure was like film clip of an ER. I was barking orders like a triage nurse in a trauma center. I sincerely HATE to repeat myself… so why was I? Why does it have to be stressful? It doesn’t. Have a concrete routine planned out. Practice it over and over. I have a similar chart for our morning routine. BONUS: If you are out for a day, the substitute knows EXACTLY what it should look like.
OY! That is all I am going to say about this routine. Tired of repeating yourself… then don’t!
Station Management ~ Center Management
Literacy: homogeneously Math: heterogeneously I try to put a boy with a girl… less drama that way.
If I have an odd number of students, I will either put 3 in a group (IF they work REALLY well together). But usually, I have a student who does his/her best work alone, so have them partner with my dog, Dexter (insert image of a stuffed animal here). As long as this child does not view this as a punishment, that usually works just fine. As teachers, we have to look closely, don’t we. Their hearts are fragile and we have to take care of them.
The task card shows them what to do.
The paperclip allows me to attach the “I Can” Card to the station sign if I want to.
Deal of the Day
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