Sunday, August 30, 2015

On Our Way to Week Three!!

WOW!!! Tomorrow we start week three!! It's a little bit scary that it feels like the weeks are already starting to fly by. We have successfully made it to the point where the tears are gone and we are able to just hug our moms and dads goodbye. I had no idea what to expect with the first few weeks of kindergarten, and let me tell you, I was scared!!! Thankfully, I have an amazing team and mentor who keep me sane! One way I am looking to continue my professional development is to focus on one area of my day that I love or need to work on and write about it! I feel like this will help me to hear other ideas as well as show what works for my kids! This week it is going to be fine tuning our Morning Routine!

I know it has only been two weeks, but I can say with confidence that my kids are AWESOME! I am so fortunate to have such an crazy and fun group of kiddos. They have worked their little tails off the last few weeks and I am so proud! We have managed to almost perfect our morning routine. I did not like how my morning routine went last year and changed it a few times to try and find the best fit. The constant changing did not help us to have a very strong routine. Sometimes I had them work on stations, other times we wrote, sometimes we just went to the carpet. Without having a strong start to our morning, we tended to be a little off! I was NOT going to start this year like that.  I spent a lot of time this summer thinking of a way to start our morning and as of now, I love it!!! When I bring my little rays inside, we line up in the hallway and show we are ready for the day. Then they enter the room, unpack their backpacks and put them away. By the time I am in the room, most of them are ready to go! I always have a morning message on the board. We started the year with a typed page that they copied but I was really feeling like notebooks would be better, so we have moved on to those! Each kiddo has a bright yellow Morning Message Notebook. I have a message written in my notebook that is put on the SmartBoard for them to copy. Originally, I was going to type the morning message, but then I decided that it would be easier if they saw handwritten notes that would have the same layout that theirs were going to look like. My rays love having their own notebooks to record in. I explained that at the end of the year, we will be able to look at our first week and our last week and see how much we have progressed (that realllllly got them excited!!!) They have about 15 minutes to copy their morning message and watch our morning broadcast. If students finish their writing before it is time to transition, they can draw a picture of the weather outside (makes for a great connection!). At around 8:45, they transition to the carpet. We start our carpet routine with calendar. As they get more used to the year and we get more familiar with the SmartBoard, we will use the Starfall calendar, but for now we sing the days of the week/months of the year, discuss what day it is, and talk about the weather! We jump right into our Heggerty (phonemic awareness) Book! They already know my incredible love for the big blue book :) It is like my school bible!!! We work on repetition, rhyming, segmenting, blending, and beginning/ending sounds! I make sure to add enthusiasm to this part of our morning because it can kind of be a little dull. I make sure to always have them kiss their brain and celebrate how smart we all are. It may seem like something small, but their confidence soars and they are way more active in their learning :) Always remember, with morning routine: BE CONSISTENT!!!!!!

I am excited to get the day started the right way because I think it will really help my kids to be prepared and focused for the rest of the day!

Check back next week to see how week three went AND to catch my next focus will be whole group math

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