Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Class Mission Statement

I start each year by having my students write a class mission statement.  It is so important for my whole class to understand our classroom expectations, and I like that they are the ones that create it.

I start by having students give me ideas of what makes a good leader.  I have them share what our class should be doing in order to be good learners and leaders.

I take those ideas and place them on post-it notes.

Then, we group them by looking to see which ones are similar or talk about the same topic.

Then, with support from me since they are 5, ;] we form our ideas into three sentences for our class mission statement.  I think anything more than 3 is too much for my little ones.  Once we have come up with our statement, each student colors a picture of their face and writes their name to promise to follow this mission each and every day. 

We recite this mission statement every morning!  I often refer to our mission to help remind students how to act.  It helps us stay on track and be great leaders every day!

NO David!!

No David is one of my favorite books to read to my class, especially at the beginning of the year. It is a great book to teach voice and classroom procedures.  I read this book over and over to help my kids also learn the story so that it can become one of our emergent storybooks at the beginning of the year.

If you are wondering what makes an emergent storybook?  Well, it is a book that you read over and over again to allow students to remember the story.  Then, students take the books and read them on their own using their own words, but making it as close to the story as possible.  It is a great way for students to begin to know the process of reading a story, they practice comprehension skills, and practice fluency/voice while reading.  

After we read the story, we make our very own David.  Students love being able to cut and glue.  The best part is that we make a huge mess and clean it up when we're all done.  This way we're not worried about throwing trash on the ground and can focus on making our David.

I always take the paper and cut it into the size that they will need, and then the student make it into the correct shape.  Giving them a large sheet of paper is too difficult for them. 

Go buy No David today and do this in your classroom.  Trust me the kids love and it is perfect for teaching behavior.  Outside I hear my kids say, "He's being a David." when a child doesn't line up immediately.  It is too cute!

Monday, August 29, 2016

First Day of School Plans

I can't believe it is back to school time already!  Summer flew by, but honestly I am so excited to be back in school!

Every year I feel like I forget what to cover in the beginning.  I thought I would share with you what I did on my first day with my new kinder babies.  I used this Jitter Juice packet by Mrs. Law's Kinders to add some fun to my day.

I started by having kids play with pattern blocks while I sorted through supplies and folders.  I wanted to make sure I had everything squared away.

I had students decorate hats for the first day of kindergarten, and color a self portrait.  

While they colored, I pulled them one at a time to take a picture of them on the first day of kindergarten.  They turned out so cute!

I forgot how long it takes my students to complete tasks, so our day wasn't filled with too many activities! 

We also reviewed our morning routine procedure, morning meeting, and began our calendar routine.  I learned that I must start these routines on the first day and it helps the students learn quickly what to do.  By the end of the week things are usually running pretty smoothly. :]

We read the book First Day Jitters.  It is my favorite!  We discussed what happened in the book, and then we made our own jitter juice!  I had students add "jitter-free sprinkles" to their juice to help them get rid of their jitters.
We wrote about how we felt on the first day of school, and each kid decorated their own jitter juice.  I used this activity for my hallway bulletin board display!

Our day flew by!  We had some tears, we had one get sick, we learned some lessons, and we had lots of fun.  That is a successful day in kindergarten, and trust me each day just gets better!