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Arrival activities?
Old 02-20-2019, 11:43 AM
 
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Several of my students tend to arrive late, so I decided that I would give some choices when the other students arrive instead of trying to begin morning group time and constantly be interrupted by kids arriving late. What is your arrival routine like? I don't want to have to give directions for seatwork type of activities but provide independent activities. Ideas? What do you do in your classroom?
Thanks!


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Old 02-20-2019, 02:48 PM
 
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We have 15 minutes for arrival. When my students arrive, they have certain jobs they have to do first like getting their B.E.E. Book out of their backpacks for me to check for notes/putting it back in their backpack, ordering their lunch, putting away coats/backpacks/lunch boxes, using the bathroom. Then they can pick a quiet activity while they are waiting for the bell.

Each table has a small caddy with things like small Jenga game (from Dollar Tree), 25-piece puzzle... Quick Look game (cards with different arrangements of dots). Students can get paper to draw/color. They can read books from their book boxes. They have a small can of Play-Doh in their zippered pouches. They can sit and talk with friends. They have a dry erase board in their chair pockets that they can use, too. The activities are quick and easy to clean up.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:13 PM
 
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My kids play for the first half hour of the day. It's amazing!! The best way to start the day.


I usually put out 5 or so toy choices plus a free art table. Most of the toys are geared towards helping them strengthen fine motor skills.



I love our morning play for so many reasons. If anyone has had a hard morning it gives me time to help them transition. If parents have a question I can answer. I get a chance to check in with everyone before the day starts. They have a chance to talk and socialize and share before our academics start. Our day has gone so much smoother since starting the day with play, rather than ending it that way.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:22 PM
 
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It varies depending on the group or time of year.

Often there are tubs on the tables with things such as linking cubes, bristle blocks, pattern blocks, etc.

We also do partner practice and students grab a partner to practice high frequency words, letters/ sounds, subitizing, etc.

In the past I've had them write, read, or do an academic program on a Chromebook.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:35 PM
 
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My kids came in,put their DOG books on the table and went and got a book box to peruse at their tables. They could choose any box as the boxes were either fiction(yellow) and non fiction (green)


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Read to Self
Old 02-20-2019, 04:46 PM
 
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Read to Self--Independent reading bags.

Each student has a bag with books that are based on his/her reading levels.

Students are able to read pictures, read words, look for letters, etc. independenly.
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:25 PM
 
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100% because of Sbkangas, I do what she does now. My entire school schedule was changed because of her!

Self selection (what we call free play) is now first instead of last and I will fight tooth and nail to keep it this way.

Behavior is down. Bickering is down. Timeliness is up--kids don't want to be late and miss Self Selection. Cleaning up is faster. Kids finish playing and come together ready to learn. It is absolutely amazing what moving it from end of day to start of day has done for the climate.

I am forever grateful to you, Sbkangas. I truly believed it was best to teach math first. I was wrong. Thank you.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:36 PM
 
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Like several other posters, I start my day with morning choice (play). I put out six or seven choices, from play dough to legos to coloring to beads, and the children settle in and play for about 15 minutes before morning meeting. I used to do morning work and believe me, morning choice is a game changer! I have time to check in with individual children for a quick chat and the children get out some of the nervous energy associated with transitioning from home to school. It's one of the most impactful changes I have made in my scheduling in a long time.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:18 PM
 
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Quote:
I am forever grateful to you, Sbkangas. I truly believed it was best to teach math first. I was wrong. Thank you.
Awww, thanks. I still have yet to convince my teammates but I'm glad it has had a positive impact for you!
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:21 PM
 
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I'm sooooo jealous of sbkangas5's play time! It's absolutely how I would start my day if I could get away with it.

I start my day with 45 min+ of independent time. Arrival spans about 15 minutes. We always have stragglers and kids eating breakfast. I spend the first chunk of time greeting students, taking attendance, etc. Then I have 5-10 minutes to do assessments before I start meeting with small groups.

Students write a morning message (starts with copying mine and builds up to them writing their own). Then they choose a station. They can work on Lexia on a computer, read, write, listen to a book on cd/tape (yes, I still have cassette tapes. The kids love them because they're "new" ), play a word game, or a few other choices depending on the week. All of activities have very well established routines and procedures.

Then we have our morning meeting 45 minutes after our start time. I changed to this schedule a few months ago and it has wonderful! We have calm, relaxed start to the day and we get so much more accomplished.


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another question
Old 02-22-2019, 01:12 PM
 
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Hi Sbkangas5,
I am new to proteacher and I thought I posted a question after you responded to my issue of morning arrival- not sure now if it went through Here are my questions about your arrival time-
I was wondering if you change the choices each day or do you have the same ones every day. Also, is this their only play time in the morning or is there another time later in the morning?
Thanks!
JCM
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question
Old 02-22-2019, 01:16 PM
 
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Do you change your activity choices every day or weekly?
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:09 AM
 
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jcm, I know you weren't asking me, but my free play time is exactly that. They can play with anything they like. I have known teachers who "assigned" play areas on a rotating basis, which I think is terrible. If there are too many kids in the play kitchen, well then they have a fabulous opportunity to practice negotiation and compromise skills.

My kids can play with blocks, in the play kitchen, puzzles, games, creative area (art supplies now named MAKER SPACE ), etc. I have bins of fine motor stuff (tweezers, beads, etc) and manipulatives. Two huge totes full of No-Ends (big connecting tubes they can use to build anything).

Self Selection is the most important part of my curricula.

In addition to Self Selection, my kids have an hour of recess a day, broken up into 3 recesses.
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Old 02-23-2019, 11:32 AM
 
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Quote:
I was wondering if you change the choices each day or do you have the same ones every day. Also, is this their only play time in the morning or is there another time later in the morning?


I tend to put the same things out during the week and switch on Mondays. My room is tiny so they can't have free reign of everything. But I'll have something on every table (4 tables) plus a couple of choices on the floor. They can choose from anything that is out. The art table is always the most crowded!


At the beginning of the year we also have some play time at the end of the day. Now we don't, but Friday afternoons are also reserved for play and they get the run of the space I share with our neighboring class - things like play kitchen, painting easel, creation station, large blocks and builders, science table, sensory table, etc. We have about an hour to and hour and a half of uninterrupted play on Friday afternoons. They also have an hour of recess throughout the day.
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Arrival
Old 02-26-2019, 04:14 AM
 
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We used to have morning tubs with games and fine motor activities. I changed it to free choice time and I won’t go back. Kids who used to straggle down the hall from breakfast come in on time. Play is what my class needs to work on social skills and verbal skills.
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