Okay, so I am admittedly behind the eight ball on this one! My pal Tammy from Live, Love, Laugh in Kindergarten is hosting a Daily 5 book study FOR KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS and anyone else who thinks they may benefit from a discussion group like this! I totally missed chapter one, but, better late than never, right??
This book study will look a little different. Tammy is giving us time to read the chapter, create your blog post, and link up! Now, for those of you who do not have a blog...THAT'S OK! Please feel free to comment, or even email the host blogger for us to post! We can compile a list of helpful hints along the way!
Stop by Tammy's blog if you need to catch up like me for the Chapter 1 Linky Party:
Otherwise, here is my chapter one post with a couple of freebies that will help me stay focused on my new mantra for this school year:
1. How do I teach new behaviors?
We all know that kindergarten teachers are PRO-fessionals at teaching new behaviors and that is because almost everything we teach from day 1 is a "new behavior". The results of the first time you said, "Line up!" look a lot different than when a first or second grade teacher says it (ummm...not pretty!). The key is for us to never forget that what we are teaching them is foreign territory to them. I can only equate it to me sitting in a graduate level chemistry class (okay, who am I kidding..a high school chemistry class would be bad enough). It is NEW, it is the unknown and you have to take baby steps the whole way. The longer you take to instill a new behavior, the more successful your results will be.
There is such a pressure to rush everything because of the ever rising standards and expectations of our babies. What people (including myself) forget is that we need to SLOW down and really instill these "behaviors" before we can expect them to genuinely advance. This has been something I have been thinking about a lot as I wrapped up my year this spring: I want to slow down the pace and create a more developmentally appropriate environment as we begin our year next year and release MY pressure of meeting the standards. I expect the end result will be the same, if not better. If kids are allowed to be kids and provided with the perfectly (ha ha, who am I kidding?) balanced nurturing and academic, they will flourish at their own pace. Here is my mantra for school year 2012-2013, anyone else want to join?
trust the process.
|Click picture to grab this poster that will be hanging in my classroom this year.|
2. How do I teach expectations?
Expectations need to be taught in the same manner as behaviors: slow and steady. You cannot just state an expectation and expect your students to be ready to adhere to it (not with 5 year olds anyway). They need to hear it over and over and over. Repetition is the key here, but, going back to question one's response, do they know what it means? Do they understand the expectation set forth? Most likely, they don't, so you need to model with examples, as well as non-examples day in and day out. You need to chart the expectations (with picture clues, of course!), display the expectations and revisit them often. As soon as you start to think they "get it", you will stop verbalizing, modeling and repeating and then, guess what? They will start to slowly slip away from doing what they've learned, so you will need to revisit your expectations AGAIN.
3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
It's all about the expectations that are set forth and building their stamina over time to adhere to those expectations. You have to start SLOW and build STEADILY. If they can only maintain for a half a small group session the first time, that is where you build from. I cannot expect 5 year olds, with all of their new surroundings and new learnings, to be ready to maintain themselves for long periods of time in the beginning and we all need to remember this. The ideal classroom setting will not happen over night, it is a process that can only be successful with patience and practice.
4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
I use the Clipchart System, but I try to use it as positive reinforcement during times like this. Everyone who exhibits the desired behavior will clip up, those who do not, won't. So, I guess everyone gets one chance to adhere to the expectations and, if they continue to not do so, they will begin to clip down (oh no! they do not like this). Proximal seating is something I do for VERY undesirable behavior (someone who is disruptive to the rest of the students continuously). If a child cannot do what is expected of them on their own, s/he will lose the privilege of working in a group or by him/herself and need my guidance. Let's hope we don't have too many children in need of this extra, special attention! :)
5. Whose classroom is it?
I noticed this year saying, "That is MY book you just threw!" or "You are taking up MY time!". I would change it to OUR classroom, OUR time, etc...but, I always felt like the "damage" had already been done. It needs to be OUR room, OUR community and OUR time. We work so hard to build a community in our classroom and we need to reassure them on a consistent basis that it is indeed THEIR classroom, too.
7. Where are supplies stored?
I keep all of my Literacy Center supplies in one location, for the most part. I try to keep them labeled (I need pictures to help with this for early year) in clear bins if they fit, so the centers are set up for the children to be self sufficient (after the expectations have been SET, of course). My room is so small that it seems to make more sense for me to store them all in one place..but I'm anxious to hear what the sisters suggest because I am game for anything that will make my center time run more smoothly.
If you look in my clipchart photo, you will also see where I store my own teaching supplies for each theme/unit I teach. The orange drawers up on the shelf hold the larger supplies (books, center materials, etc.) and then the colorful drawers hold all of the paper files that correlate with themes/units and literacy centers. It has been the first system that has worked VERY WELL for me. File cabinets are just not for this girl!
|If items don't fit in a box, they will still be on the shelf directly|
Okay, not onto Chapter 2 hosted by Caitlin at Kindergarten Smiles.
Click on her blog button to find tons of posts linked up in reference to this chapter:
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?
Trust is quite a word to use in terms of 5 year olds! It actually seems a bit out of place to me. But, if you build the expectations accordingly (see my chapter one responses) and TRUST the process...you should get to a place that you can trust your students (as much as you can trust 5 year olds anyway). When I implemented my latest (and best, as far I'm concerned) literacy center routine, I had to give up some control. I never liked independent centers because I felt like students who weren't being monitored regularly just weren't getting what they needed. I guess, in a sense, I had to trust that they were getting enough of something in order to move forward with the PROCESS.
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?
Choice has to be a part of kindergarten (even if it is a contrived choice!). In order to build the community, we need our student to have choices in creating it. Students are always so much more willing to buy into your ideas, expectations and parameters if they have a piece of the decision making. (Hint: Always give two choices that will produce a result YOU want--they'll never know!).
The year I realized I needed a schedule was the year I had 3 children who had autism and a couple others who strive on structure. I had avoided it (in my early years of teaching) feeling like it was just another thing to manage. Boy, did I ever change that point of view! It changed the entire atmosphere of my classroom once I implemented the daily schedule and was worth every extra second it took to manage it.
Nowadays, I try to remember to quickly go over the schedule every day. If I happen to forget, have no fear, my structure-driven children will remind me...they need it, they strive with it. I always add "the clause" always subject to change and the children need to have or learn the ability to adjust to it as needed.
3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
|Teamwork, of course! Getting the children to see|
that it is much more beneficial to help each other meet
goals, than to let each other fail is my goal!
5 year old want other 5 year olds to follow routines and meet expectations which is why (I believe) they tattle all of the time. This is another expectation we need to create for them...I said this all of the time this year (and was still saying it at the end of the year): "Instead of trying to get your friend in trouble, help him/her out by offering advice or encouragement. Be a part of others success". Do they get this? Not really, but I think, with proper planning, lessons and repetition, they could and it could help even during independent work times. I know I can do better at this if I want each student to WANT success for their peers, as well as themselves.
|Teaching children to lift each other up, instead|
of letting each other fall. Visuals like this may be helpful.
4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
I think it is normal for 5 year olds to want to please or to want to succeed. How we, as their teachers, foster this provides the extent to which they will succeed. If we set them up for failure (unknowingly, of course!), their desire to succeed will minimize. Likewise, if we are always encouraging their success and allowing them to feel successful in all that we do in the classroom, we are giving them the tools they need to WANT to continue to succeed under our tutelage.
Differentiating is very powerful in gaining a student's ownership in learning. If you teach each child at their level, provide goals at their level, as well a work at their level, students are going to consistently strive to achieve and PLEASE (which results in success).
5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals? ...
Oh, lord! The catch phrase of my year. The only way that stamina can be built is over time and with lots of patience. Students do not come equipped with stamina for reading, writing and/or working independently...we need to build it....SLOW and STEADY.
|Go to our Daily 5 board (bottom pic in this post) for |
a pin that takes you to timers to be used on a projector/IWB.
As we continue reading, reflect on what your biggest challenges are going to be when you implement the Daily 5. Keep in mind what changes you are going to have to make and what you are still questioning about using the Daily 5 in your class (if you are not doing so already).
You can check out some great pins that our KD5 team has already pinned for you. It has some great things to help you get started with Daily 5!
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