1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks. (Do you call your gathering place anything special?
I never really called it anything special. I used the one carpet we had in the room for so many different things I never thought about giving it a name. I will think about that now for this upcoming school year though. I can’t wait to see what some other people call it.
2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books.
I can see this is where I have more to learn than to offer anyone. I have worked with Pre-K for the past 5 years and before that special education Resource Room so I never had a group of kiddos that could read or read at approximately the same level (as a Resource Room teacher I had kiddos K-6th). I have been thinking a lot about finding good fit books and I have been searching garage sales and on-line teacher sites grabbing up everything I can!
3. Create anchor charts with students How will these be visual in the room? Where will you store them? What about small spaces?
Funny thing about this. I train adults in early childhood and as an adult trainer I used anchor charts, I just didn’t know that they were called that. I am struggling trying to figure out how to display these in the room this year. My mentor teacher keeps them all together on an easel as she creates them so she can refer back to them all year. The kids can go through and find the one they need. I like that idea, but I would like to have them in a really big stable book type things. Maybe I will take cardboard and fashion my own book that is free standing to store them in so the kids can always have access to them. As an adult trainer I used a lot of books about Mind Mapping and Visual Thinking. As soon as I read this Chapter I knew I had to dig them out. I highly recommend anyone using anchor charts get these. They will also help the children in visually capturing their thoughts before they can write. I am also doing the In Pictures and In Words book study and will be sharing this there as well. Do check out these books. I really think you will love them. I need to practice drawing with these again. They make it so easy!
4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes (How are you going to keep track of stamina? What will you use for book boxes? What are you going to put in those book boxes on the 1st day of school?)
I am frankly going to steal all of the good ideas that are being posted by you wonderful people to set up my book boxes. I have several old book shelves that I am painting black and I bought tons of plastic bins at the dollar stores to use to separate my books and activities for each of the Daily 5 stations. What am I going to put in these boxes the first day of school? Lots of alphabet stuff to see which kiddos recognize the letters and can make the sounds. I will have tons of books on tape/CD to listen to for them as well. Keeping track of stamina will be tricky at first, but I love the idea of the class setting a goal and keeping a timer on the Smart Board so they can see how long they have gone. There is a Smart Board program I believe that has a runner on it showing how long they have read. I am still stalking blogs and pinterest boards looking for more ideas.
5. Calm Signals and check in procedures (Do you already have a signal? How will you handle check ins?)
I have always done a song (such as, come on over, come on over, come on over, it’s time for morning meeting……………..I need to see your eyes……….it’s time to come to the carpet). I love the idea of a wind chime or some other musical instrument to use as a signal. I am searching garage sales now to find the perfect thing!
6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors. (Will you keep track of inappropriate behaviors? If they are not doing what is expected, then they are calling out for attention...what other ways can you give them some extra atention so that they can be more independent during D5?)
I really don’t like to give a lot of attention to negative behavior. I love the role playing of positive and negative behaviors as a class. I am a big believer of giving children sensory input to help them with wiggly bodies. I don’t mind gum chewing for my more oral kiddos (I know, I am weird). I keep lots of fidget toys for large group time. I put smelly stuff into my play dough to keep more than one sense engaged at a time. I let them write in glitter pens, I let them pick the music to have on in the background (usually they can pick from a composer we have studied or a genre we have explored). I just think the more senses that can be engaged during an activity the less likely negative behaviors will occur. I also schedule a sitting activity immediately followed by a whole body activity. Sometimes I think we set the behaviors off by forgetting how long they can actually attend to a single activity. Really, if I had to sit all day long and listen to someone talk at me I would act out too! Now you know why I teach young children. I am so much like them!
Well that is it for me. I hope you will follow my blog so I can find you. I can't wait to read what everyone has to say about this chapter. And again, special thanks to Live, Love, Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten for hosting this awesome study! You Rock!