Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 2

Hi there!! I just finished the second chapter of the Daily 5 book! Here is my response: 

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way? ;)

This chapter made me think a LOT! I do trust my students and allow them to make their own choices. If someone makes a bad choice we talk about it and how we can change it and prevent it from happening again. I do struggle with trust because we have such a language barrier in our classroom. I speak English only and my students are almost all newcomers and speak Russian or Ukrainian. I am lucky if I have 1 student that speaks English or is able to help translate lessons. This makes it difficult for my students to be independent. I have to help them and model for them for much of the day. As the year goes by and their vocabulary increases it does get better.

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? (would love for you to share some examples!) Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?

I love choice and try to always give my students a choice in their learning. Sometimes I feel it’s a very guided choice but at least they get to choose what they want to do at the time! We go over our daily schedule every morning during our morning meeting. I always let them know if there is going to be an assembly or something that will change the schedule such as the dentist coming and checking teeth, the eye doctor coming, or hearing check ups. This way its not a surprise to them. If I happen to forget the schedule, my students will point it out to me. We also have Russian and PE twice a week and students will change the card so it reads the correct activity!

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?

I teach in the beginning of the year for students to check each other. When they feel that their friend is not being a good friend they check them by showing them a thumbs down signal. When you are shown the thumbs down signal you need to apologize for your action and tell your friend 2 positive things about them. We talk about quality positive things too.

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?

I need to work on this. I have a lot of students that want to complete the tasks so fast. I don’t think they are getting everything I want them to out of the activity. Many students are quick to copy their friends work and turn it in so they can go to a new activity in hopes of playing with toys.  I love the idea of teaching the children “why” they are learning everything! It is so important for them to know why they are learning. That was my favorite part in this chapter! I love that the little girl told the men to leave so she could learn. I constantly have people in my room and I would love if my students were into their work that much! That is a BIG goal for next year!

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? ...

We will start out with the tasks for shorter time periods and increase the time as students become more engaged and tasks become more challenging. Eventually I will have a timer. My students seem to do well when they know they only have a little bit of time left. I like to give 1 and 5 minute warnings.

One of the biggest challenges I see for myself is having a place to post my anchor charts and have places for students to work independently. My classroom is only 12 ft by 25 ft and holds 23 active 5 year olds. We also have a lot of charts up for GLAD and need to have it accessible for students to interact with.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study!!! Chapter 1

Hi there!! I am so excited to join the Daily 5 Book Study hosted by Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten! I have some catching up to do because my book just arrived! 

So for the book study, we were asked to answer some questions from Chapter one! We use our classroom as our reference. Here are my responses: 

1. How do I teach new behaviors?

I teach new behaviors by explaining the behavior and then modeling it. If I am lucky enough to have a video or picture to also show the behavior I show that as well. Once my students have enough English vocabulary I have them demonstrate the desired behavior as a skit and then have another pair of students demonstrate what not to do. We have a class discussion on what is the correct behavior. We also discuss as a class what the consequence should be.

2. How do I teach expectations?

I teach expectations in nearly the same way. I explain what I expect to students. Then I have a couple of students translate it to the peers that need it translated. We also recite our expectations throughout the day and on our T chart for behavior. Our class expectations consist of, “Show respect, Make good decisions, and Solve problems!” Our T chart has two columns. One is for what you would see and the other is what you would hear. We use this with our character traits and can save them for reference throughout the year.

3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?

I monitor student behavior in a whole group by walking around the classroom and proximity! By mid year students start “checking” each other for their behaviors. Small group is harder for me. I try to pull small groups and end up watching the other students. The scenario in the book reminded me a lot of my classroom. I really need to strengthen this part. Individual student behavior is easier to monitor. I try to stop undesirable behaviors immediately and either stand near the child or speak with the child to change it.

4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?

If a student is not exhibiting desired behaviors I try to ignore it first. If that doesn’t work I ask them a set of questions that I recently learned in my Capturing Kids Hearts training. Here are the questions I ask: What are you doing? What are you supposed to be doing? Are you doing it? So, what are you going to do about it? What do you think will happen if you do it again?  As a teacher you don’t move on to the next question until the student has answered the one asked.

5. Whose classroom is it?

I try to make sure that students know that the classroom is their classroom just as much as mine. I do have a desk area but it doesn’t have much that students can’t touch. Students know not to touch my water bottle and to open the drawers. I have a mailbox where students can place pictures and letters for me. We work together as a class to clean up after projects and at the end of the day. I don’t assign jobs. I have a helper of the day that is rotated and helps with tasks.

6. Locus of control?

I give points to groups that have earned them. There is a chart on the wall that has all the group points. There isn’t any party or reward for having the most points. We merely stand up and clap for the group with the most points each month. Students can also earn awards throughout the day. These awards can consist of a sticker with information on it or bookmarks. Students also earn stickers for their homework packets.

7. Where are supplies stored?

Supplies are stored in labeled containers in the classroom for student use. Students also have crayons, pencils, and markers accessible at their tables. They have seat sacks that hold their work books, white boards, and clip boards. 

Reading this first chapter has me thinking a lot about my class! I love that! I love to reflect and improve! 
I can't wait to start chapter 2! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Monday, June 18, 2012


Hi there! Welcome to the very FIRST post of my "Kinder Garden" blog! I created this blog to share my experiences in the classroom, techniques, bulletin boards, and participate in book studies! I have a classroom blog as well but chose to keep that one for my Parents and Students!

So I am currently on Summer Vacation! Woo Hoo!!! I have been so excited to start summer vacation and what do I find myself doing? I am constantly looking at Classroom stuff on Pinterest and checking out other Kinder blogs! I feel like I have hit a gold mine with all the wonderful and amazing Kinder blogs out there! I came across a Book Study for the Daily 5 and went right out to buy the book! I had looked at the book before but didn't buy it. Bad decision on my part! On the other hand, it is scheduled to be delivered by the end of the day tomorrow!!

I just completed my 5th year teaching Kindergarten and am so excited to start my 6th year! I know this blog will grow just like my teaching career has! I love teaching and I really LOVE learning new techniques that will help my teaching and student growth! 

I also just started a Facebook page! Id love for you to become a follower of both! 

Happy Summer!