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"Morning "seat Work"
Old 12-01-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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What do you do when kids first come in ? I have a half day program, so my time is so limited. Add in late busses, snowsuits, the normal "business" and I am not seeing go as smoothly as I would like.

I have about 10 minutes I like to give the kids to get adjusted, but with all the doings, it is turning to 15-20.

On top of that, my class is very low (more than half ELL), so most are not independent and with no ps experience we are still working on school expectations. Then, I've just added 3 more ELL kids this week (20 kids) and their work areas are getting cramped.


Any ideas? Right now I am following a routine of Monday color sheet, Tuesday- color words Wednesday-Name work Thursday-nothing routine-Friday-playdough.


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cutting ...
Old 12-01-2010, 05:27 AM
 
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Lego etc
read to a partner
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tub centers
Old 12-01-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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I've read about a tub center system for AM work-can't remember whether I read it here on PT or at Kindergarden workshop. Maybe someone else has more specifics.

The teacher created one tub of materials for each table in her classroom. Tubs were different and rotated each day. Tubs included things such as: wordless books to read, pattern blocks, color sheets, puzzles-basic Kinder materials that children can always use more time exploring. If you keep it basic you would only have to change materials every other week or so and some tubs wouldn't require changing as frequently. You could make tubs focus on reviewing concepts you've been working with. Since time is a little short I'd stay away from messy things and things that children might not finish.

I like the center idea because it moves away from paper and pencil activities and isn't dependent on a child arriving to do the work. Less work for you to check while still giving the children valuable practice with skills.
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Morning Work
Old 12-01-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I have baskets one for each table of Unifix Cubes, bottle tops--a huge assortment of milk tops, soft drink tops and other plastic tops for sorting and baskets of pattern blocks. I've taught the children how to quickly pick up (put your materials in a pile, we pass the basket, put it on the chair and push the items in (chair is pushed under the edge of the table)
I have Heidi's alphabet patterns to use with the pattern blocks.
I also put out my large collection of bears--some sort by colors, others make patterns.
I also put puzzles on the tables, one at each spot and 3 or 4 extras at each table so they can trade for a new one. They must stay in their seats.
My students arrive at 7:50, but breakfast kids don't come in until after 8:00. We have a special at 8:15, not enough time to use well, but too much time to not have something to do. I don't like to give paper projects because we start calendar and morning message when we return.
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Old 12-01-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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Thank you friends! I knew I could rely on you. I think I will try using the tubs again. I used them at the beginning of the year with manipulatives and then got away from it.

Less paper, more social interactions, but still lots of structure.

Keep the ideas coming!


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worksheets
Old 12-01-2010, 06:58 PM
 
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This is the one time of the day I use worksheets. We do the same type for a long time so that they get really used to it and don't need much help.
Ar the beginning of the year, we do an ABC coloring book. Each day, the kids have a page with the letter and several pictures that start with that letter to color.
When they go through those, we have a book called "Hidden Pictures." There is one for each letter. It has the uppercase and lowercase letter about 20 times on a picture. Kids have to trace, then color by code to make a picture. After we go through a-z, then the book has ones with letters that look similar (m and n, P and q, b and d). It is great letter ID and fine motor practice. When we are done with those, we do letter pages again, this time a set of cut and glue beginning sounds ones. The kids get the hang of each kind of sheet after a few days, then we are doing the same type of page for like 6 weeks, so it becomes independent.
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Dry erase boards
Old 12-01-2010, 07:08 PM
 
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We practice writing on dry erase boards first thing in the morning. I have a board, marker, and child size sock (eraser and marker storage) at each place when the children come in the room. They sit down and write after they get unpacked and make a lunch choice. Sometimes they write whatever they want, and sometimes I'll have them write sight words, capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, word family words, friends names etc... This gives me a chance to go through folders, take attendance and have some of them read their writing to me. I have them share their writing with others at their table before we clean up. Works great for me and clean up is quick and easy. They are writing for about 10-15 minutes.

I only have about 10 "official" dry erase boards. I bought a sheet of shower board type material at home depot and had them cut it for me. They charge by the cut, but it was easier than trying to cut at home!
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Bee Folders
Old 12-01-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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I am grateful to those who shared the idea of BEE Folders [Bring Everything Everyday], I really need to take pictures of mine, but there are several photos available on J. Meacham's site and other K sites. Some folks call them a different theme name, but the concepts are pretty much the same.

Inside each one are multiple resources, differentiated for each student. They have a work bag that includes sight word and current decodable flash cards. They have a handwriting page that is slipped into a sheet protector and can be changed as you want kids to practice different things: 1st names at beginning of year - 1st/last names - family and friends' names, numerals and number words with a space to draw matching quantities, sentences that need to be fixed, sentences with current high frequency words, numerals to 30, etc. I give the kids a piece of dark colored felt and a dry erase marker and these go into a ziploc bag that is kept inside the Bee Folder [hole punched baggie].

They will have word wallets and alphabet cards for building words soon. I'm a little behind in getting them switched out as we just finished conferences and had several snow days that prevented us from having our full conference schedule.

These folders also contain mini-offices and a take-home journal for kids to practice writing at home or during their morning work. They contain their disposablie emergent reader books so they can choose to read also.

The Bee Folders lay open on their desks and I can check homework, check for notes, and provide feedback, connect with each student while they are working in them. My kids LOVE getting something new for these folders and love working in them each day.

This time period is limited as we start Reading Groups right after this. I find working in these is low maintenance and gives a great deal of 'bang for the buck' in that there is very little clean up and the practice is all relevant to each individual child. Some who can't write their name get the letter part shapes to practice, etc. Kids who are very high can have paragraphs to work on that have errors they need to fix-up.

All the work in their folders is at their independent level so they don't need support, allowing us to have those morning conversations/touching base in a relaxed atmosphere, take attendance and lunch count, etc.

Hope this helps! I get photos soon and put them up on my website and let you all know if you are interested.

Bee Happy



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Old 12-02-2010, 05:37 AM
 
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When the papers are in the sheet protector, do they use a dry-erase marker on it and then do the same sheet for several days?

Again, some great ideas....thank you!
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Yes, they use a dry-erase
Old 12-02-2010, 06:14 AM
 
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marker and they rarely seem to get bored with whatever I put in the sheet protector! I think it is BECAUSE they get to use the dry erase marker that they LOVE the practice. If you have one of those fonts that does the dotted lined [available from Donna Young free for reasonable from Lettering Delights - you can put 'blank' lines on the paper so they can trace something 'above' on the sheet a few times and then write it independently on the lines 'below' on the same sheet.

The felt erases it quite well and so far most of my sheet protectors have lasted since the beginning of the year! Some kids are harder on their 'stuff', but I've only had to replace one Bee Folder so far because it got wet. The kids bring them every day - which is an amazing accomplishment of organization all in itself. They bring their backpack every day as well because of these and last year I really had trouble before implementing this program with these necessary items!

Bee Happy


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Old 12-02-2010, 07:03 PM
 
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It would be nice and save your sanity as well as your students if your morning work was always the same, every day. Kindergartners are comforted by very predictable routines, and even though we may get bored, they don't, they like the repetition and being able to count on things being the same, this is especially true of your ELL students.

My students have 10 minutes when they come in. They have to sign in by writing their name (or tracing in the beginning) on a laminated name plate with a vis-a-vis pen and place their nameplate in a bin right there at the table. Then they get a baby-wipe and go to the class library to read a book...quietly. I enforce this stringently in the beginning and it runs like clockwork after that. This week we completed building our hundreds' chart and now I will remove one number and write directions on the board for them to follow. The directions will vary slightly each day---"Find the missing number. Add 1. Write that number on a post-it note and put in the bin." I will vary whether they add 1 or 2 or subtract 1 or 2. The discussions as they do this are wonderful. They try to convince each other why the number is what they think it is or not....and their proof is sometimes hilarious yet accurate. Then they go read a book. Mine go read a book anytime they finish early too...it becomes just a given and they never ask me what they should do.
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half day
Old 12-03-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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I also have a 1/2 day program. I would love to share schedules and ideas with you!!! This is only my 2nd year and this year our district has changed to a 4 day week so my time feels even more limited. Would you please share your schedule and what types of activities you do throughout your morning?
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:04 AM
 
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I wil PM you later. See my post above about needing support and you will understand why it might be later this week.
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