Saturday, August 31, 2013

Building stamina and learning procedures!

WHEW! I am exhausted BUT loving my new sweet kinders. Thankful for this 3 day weekend!
Several other kinder classes in my building have been implementing Daily 5. We are still launching Read to Self but I will admit, this is the first year that I have felt that my ELA block is rocking strong! My kids are begging to read longer and are loving competing with other classes. (Side note: one of my sweet babies stopped a THIRD grade teacher and asked how their class was building stamina during Read to Self! I am loving them using the vocab and really "getting it!")

Here is an overview of the first 2 weeks of school!

We started the very first day creating anchor charts and reading lots of books! This was the very first anchor chart we created bright and early on the first day of school.  After coming to the carpet and reading a favorite, "Pete the Cat, the Wheels on the Bus'" we talked about what our carpet time should look like and sound like. I rephrased what they were saying with my expectations already pre-made. As they each come up with an idea, a friend would come to the chart and tape it to the poster board. This is how I like to create anchor charts that will hang in the room because my drawing and writing just cannot compare! This chart then works perfectly with the behavor clip chart system. Ready to Learn is where my children start everyday and before they were introduced to the behavior chart they were already learning the expectations. (I actually did not introduce the clip chart system for 2 more days and instead we really focused on what "Ready to Learn" looks like. (This anchor chart is from Kim Adsit's 1st Reading Unit.)

Click here to grab Kim Adsit's Unit!!!

One of the first read alouds I read is Brown Bear, Brown Bear which fits perfectly for the 3 ways to Read a Book. I showed my students this book and asked my students how can I read this book. Of course, one answers you read the story, DUH! (Gotta love our babies!) So I answered with of course you read the words on the page. (I then flipped to the book to point to the words on the page for that visual effect for our ESOL and visual learners.) I led to them to the Read the Pictures. They thought this was so cool! So we went through the book and Read the Pictures. They loved it! Then we went back and Read the Words. I taught Retell the story, the next day. Every book that we have read since making this anchor chart we always touch and read the part on the chart to show how we are reading the book. This really helped drive in home for my slowing to grasp learners and really build their confidence!  (This is a chart I made myself and is being added to my Reading Anchor charts. It will be for sale soon. If you are interested in it, please let me know and we can work it out! :))

Then the fun part began! I introduce my sweet babies to their very special book boxes! We practiced, practiced, practiced and then practiced some more on how to walk and get our book boxes and put them away. We did not touch any books just simply how to carry and put away. It is all about baby steps to get to the Big Goal. They were so excited about their book boxes so we then read the fun and favorite book, "Maybe a Bear Ate it." This is a perfect read aloud to teach how to take care of books. My kinders loved it and we still sometimes go back and read this book. They then helped me build this anchor chart to remind us how to take care of books and have visual in the room. We then practiced, practiced, practiced and practices some more taking books out and putting books back in their book box. We practiced each part A LOT and talked a ton about being a Book Lover! (I even tell my little friends, that in my old and dirty storage closet I have books that are torn and gross and known as boogie books. And if they cannot be a book lover they will have to have a boogie  book! They work really hard to not have a boogies book!

They were loving being book lovers, having their very own book box that now it was time to teach Read to Self/ We read, "Reading Makes you Feel Good." and talked about how much fun reading is. They were eating it right out of my hands. It is all about the delivery, folks!  They already had their confidence built to the clouds that they can read so they were ready to show me! We then created our I-chart for student-teacher jobs, what it looks like and sounds like and then created this chart to be our visual reminder in our room.  (This picture was taken before it got hung in it's special spot so please ignore the chart behind it.)

While talking about Read to Self, I always touch the Read to Self sign on my Daily 5 board. I want them to hear and have a visual of exactly what we are doing. They know this is something we will do every day but they are not aware of the other choices they will begin to learn. EEK cannot wait to share!!

We also been working on reading in our Reading Nooks. (I do not have a picture of this chart but will try to remember to take one.) Right now, I am choosing their spot but moving clothespins down to each picture of a spot in our room. But they do know that when they reach 10 minutes of  reading stamina that they will get to choose their very own spot. I am just LOVING our reading time!! I have been able to read 3-4 books every morning, focusing on 3 Ways to Read a Book and cover so many mini lessons. It have been a great start to the year!!

Now before I sign off, I don't want you to think we are not doing Math in room 117 because we ARE! I just do not have pictures and my Math block is not rocking as much as I would like at this point. I am going to have to work a little more with our afternoon schedule. However, we have created anchor charts for numbers 0-3, begun making a sticker book that will eventually have every number through 10, working on making is all about the Counting and Cardinality in kindergarten!

Next week, we are still building stamina, introducing Word Work, reading left to right,top to bottom, tracking print, demonstrating the difference between letters and words, charting numbers 4-5, organizing shapes largest to smallest and so much more. It has already been a jam packed year full of fun!


  1. I would love to observe in your class. You could teach this 'old dog' some new tricks. They want us to implement Daily 5 but said kinders are not ready yet. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It would be so neat to get to go and observe many different kinder classes! Believe me, I am NO expert. I am very thankful that a group of us in kindergarten believe this is the best for our students and are all working together to plan out the lessons. It is definitely doable in kindergarten and I can honestly say my reading block is stronger than ever! If you would be interested in seeing how we started our launch for the first 2 weeks, I can send you our plans. Just let me know!


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