What's Working? plus a freebie! - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

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What’s Working? plus a freebie!

October 17 Deedee 3 min read
New things that are working this year in my classroom.
Daily Calendar
Click on the image to go to Growing Kinder’s Calendar Book.
I love Growing Kinder’s calendar packet.  I love that I don’t have to put planning time towards making this and planning my calendar activities. On our 38th day of school, I am pretty sure I could take a nap and my sweeties could do it on their own.  I show my calendar on document camera and they just zoom along.  AND they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  I just have to say, my kiddos have never been this comfortable with 10 frames this early in the year before.  We! Got! This!
Shared Reading!
I love having my poems interactive. My students enjoy manipulating the poems.  I also love this pocket chart that I borrowed from my teacher neighbor!   So cute…not sure if I will be giving it back!

Click on the image to go to the October Shared Reading Poems
Literacy Station Task Cards
This is my pocket chart station.  I am often asked if I give students options.  I sometimes give them open choice, but sometimes I want them to do one task first, then they can do other tasks.  These task cards are perfect.
In this example, I want my students to first sort the cards by beginning sound.  Then they can put the poems in sequential order.  
I have the poems hooked together on binder rings.  They hang next to the pocket chart.  I have the Frog Street Press poems on here (sorry I can’t post them because of copyright rules) and I have the October Poems.
Click on the image to go to the Literacy Station Task Cards
We are almost done with Unit 2!  I have felt pretty good about my writing instruction in the past years.   Tonight I just scored my writing prompts and my results were better than last year… I am excited!
From Unit 2
From Unit 1 and Unit 2

From Unit 2
Writing Unit 3 will be posted within the next day or two
I am often asked how I motivate students to give me their best work.  I am also asked if I “grade” their station work. I do not “grade” their work, but I do review every page they do at stations.

Here is the deal… I want their BEST work.  Now some of my student’s best work right now needs some serious interpretation. Not every student has the same fine motor abilities. However, they all have the ability to try their hardest.
After 38 days, I had better know what each of my students are capable of (or I am not doing my job correctly).

So, when my students finish a station, they put their response page in one of these bins (they coordinate with their table shape).

 Several times a week I have my students take this bin to their table and sort out the papers.  I quickly come by and look their papers over. I add a smelly marker smiley face to those who look like they gave it their best try.  REALLY, REALLY good examples go on the ALL STAR wall.

Each smiley face paper earns a punch on their card (they keep these in their crayon boxes).  When they get 5 punches they get a Jolly Rancher!!!

Grab your own punch card FREEBIE by clicking on the picture.

Whew!   So this is what is working in my classroom.

Parent Teacher Conferences tomorrow!  Gotta Go!


  • Sarah Cooley October 17 at 2:44 am

    LOVE the station punch cards! SMART!

  • Crayons and Curls October 17 at 2:51 am

    I love your punch cards!!! What a great idea to get them to always give their best! If only we could give candy – but mine will do anything for a smelly dot or sticker! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Crayons and Curls

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:28 am

      Isn't that the truth. My kinders also love the gushing praises. This age is the best!

  • Mrs. Payton October 17 at 3:11 am

    I like this idea! My kids tend to rush and not do their best. I try to move their clips up when they do great work and make a big deal, but this is a great cumulative way to show it. Thanks!

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:30 am

      I'm glad you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to comment!

  • Laura Park October 17 at 3:16 am

    Just love the way you do everything!! Thank you for sharing!

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:30 am

      You are welcome! Thank you!

  • Gretchen October 17 at 3:43 am

    I love SO much of what you do. I've begun to incorporate your Math Stations, your Writing Stations and your Writing Units this year!! I'm about to start using your Poetry Unit as well. You, along with a few other awesome bloggers, are making me so much better at my job. Thank you for your inspiring ideas, resources and excitement. And I'm dying to know (although I'm running behind on Writer's Workshop…) what's the next unit of writing on?!

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:31 am

      Grethcen! You know how to make me smile!

      Our next unit is on procedural writing. So we will be writing "how to's" and recipes!

  • Carrie October 17 at 4:03 am

    I was an avid reader of your blog last year (my first year teaching kinder) and I haven't kept up as well this year. After reading this post, I have a renewed energy to get back in my classroom to try this stuff out! I just started doing literacy stations this week and they are working out amazingly well. I am totally going to start doing the punch card and smelly marker on their papers. I can't wait to start this stuff. Thanks for helping me make my teaching better!

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:32 am

      You are welcome Carrie! I know it is hard to get around to all of the blogs. I am sure glad you stopped by mine! Thank you for your sweet comment!

  • robyn October 17 at 10:15 am

    Hi DeeDee!
    Another amazing blog entry! You are the best! I hope that conferences go well! Have a great rest of the week.

    • Deedee October 17 at 10:33 am

      Thank you Robyn! I think I am ready for the conferences!!

  • Jodi October 17 at 10:40 am

    Everything is absolutely wonderful!! I love the Story Hand chart ๐Ÿ™‚
    Fun In First

  • Learning with Mrs. Brinn October 17 at 11:13 pm

    I need something to get my kids motivated to take time with their work. I need to reward them a bit more- love the punch card. I'll try it out in my room! Thanks!
    Learning With Mrs. Brinn

  • Sarah October 18 at 1:17 am

    I tooo LOVE Growing Kinders calendar Packet!! Its AMAZING! I LOVE how early in the year my kiddos are working w/ fact families!! AMAZING!!

    I LOVE the punch card!! I may have to "create" something like that….unless you already have (*wink wink)

  • kcal88 October 18 at 1:28 am

    Thank you for the punch card!!! I think it's exactly what I need to motivate my kiddos to give me their best work ๐Ÿ™‚ I am also going to 'borrow' what they do with their response papers…that will make me a little less crazy!

  • justhave2teach October 19 at 12:04 am

    I love everything about this post! I too struggle with them doing their best work, so we may just start small with the wall, and then go from there. I also liked a previous posters idea of moving clips up.

  • Carrie October 19 at 4:48 am

    So I am starting the Amazing Work wall and love your clear pouches. Where did you get them?

    • Deedee October 19 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Carrie, These are the same ones I have had for a million years. I also use them in my intervention group, so I don't have to waste a lot of paper. We can just write on them and erase. I am not sure if they make them anymore, but Amazon has something similar. Just type in "Dry Erase Pouch" in their search field and it should pop up.

  • justhave2teach October 21 at 10:47 pm

    DeeDee I love that you have "expectations" next to the wall, so they know what they need to get their paper up there, but I am struggling to read them….can you share what that anchor chart says??

  • Danielle October 30 at 12:53 pm

    I am sure you have blogged about your daily calendar so could you point me in the right direction to read it? Otherwise, do you have all the months stapled together for the whole year? I couldn't tell from your picture if you used binders or just stapled them together. I want to start the daily calendar in November and looking for the best solution. Thank you!

    • Deedee October 30 at 10:20 pm

      Hi there. I did not make up the whole year yet. I am taking it one month at a time.

      I have Novembers copied (not in binders) and they are stapled along the top. The students put keep them in their desk, then bring them (and their crayon box) to the carpet during our calendar time.

      My students watched me during the first 8 days of school, then they started with their own in September. This worked pretty smoothly. I still have a few who just are struggling with adding the numbers to their calendar, but the majority of my sweeties are PROS!

  • Karen Stamp November 12 at 9:28 pm

    LOVE everything I have seen about your writing units… it's on my wishlist right now!! Thanks for showcasing your ideas so well!

    PS I noticed that on a few of your pictures your web address is listed incorrectly. Just wanted to let you know since I'm sure ppl will be pinning!!!
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

    • Deedee November 13 at 1:36 am

      I KNOW… Darn it! I did not save the editable version, so I just have to go with it… CRUD!

  • Unknown August 16 at 4:15 am

    I love your punch card (actually I love everything you create!) and would love to use it in my class but when I click on the link it shows and error. Would it be possible of you could email me the file?

    Thank you,
    [email protected]

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    About Me

    About Me

    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More


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