Saturday, December 28, 2013

Two Quick Tips for Those Who Teach Our Little Ones!

Ahh!  Winter.  The time of year that many preschool and primary teachers dread... at least those of us who must battle broken zippers, dirty slush tracked into our classrooms, and the rat race of getting a group of little ones dressed for the cold and out the door on time for dismissal.  (On second thought - do I really want to go back into a Kindergarten homeroom?  Haha!  Just kidding.)

Anywho - here are two quick tips to help with the insanity:

1 - Bundle-Up Buddies:  I have my students choose one partner to assist when it is time to bundle-up.  They are taught to focus on one another and then line up.  This really speeds up the process; you can even make it a race of sorts.

I highly recommend allowing the students to CHOOSE their own partners.  The first time I did this, I assigned them partners based on my observations:  one student who was able to dress themselves quickly, paired with one student who struggled to get the job done in a timely manner.  Welllll - the buddy system goes down the drain if they are not truly motivated to help their (assigned) buddy.  So then, what's the point?  Just let them choose.  For those little ones that still struggle or dawdle, that is where you come in (or your educational assistant, if you are lucky enough to have one).

2 - "Put the banana in the monkey's mouth." - Ha!  Do you have students who say, "I can't do it!" when it comes to zipping their coats?  (I am sure you do.)  Turn it into a game.  You know that little metal, skinny piece on the zipper?  Well, that is the "banana."  The open part on the bottom of the zipper is the "mouth."  (Do these parts have names?)  Anyway, most students eat this idea up.  Give it a try!

(This is totally not my picture, by the way.  I take no credit for it; I snagged it from my BFF - Google.)

Hey, do you have any other tips to help our little ones get out the door faster?!  I would love to hear what you have to share!  As always, thanks for stopping by!  :)

Friday, December 27, 2013

A Freebie that Kinder Teachers Will NOT Want to Miss!

Happy Holidays!  I guess you could say that I am "in the spirit" because I have a goodie to share with all you awesome Kindergarten teachers out there.  I think you are going to LOVE it!

Is your school district using Standards-Based Grading?  Or are they (and you) moving in that direction?  Well, our school district is doing just that and I want to be prepared for the change.  So - I created this bad boy!

Kindergarten ELA Standards-Based Gradebook

All you need to do is print, 3-hole punch the papers, insert them in a binder, and then you are ready to go!

The anchors are organized by color.  I also inserted page dividers with tabs between the anchors. 

I will be keeping this binder within arms reach at all times.  Anytime that I observe a student demonstrating that he/she has met a standard, I will:
- locate that particular page / standard in my binder,
- write the date,
- write a brief activity description,
- and then check which student met that standard.

I still have not yet decided on a coding system.  This will likely depend on what my school district decides.

I even included a binder insert to give it that "cutesy" look.  :)

Click on the link below if you want to snag this great FREEBIE:

This is my first time attempting to share a file publicly via Google Drive, so please let me know if you have any trouble.

(By the way...I tried again and again to upload this document on Teachers Pay Teachers, but it!  I was going insane!  I followed all the rules (PDF, max file size under 200mb, no punctuation in the file name, etc.) and yet it would not upload!  I continually received an error messaging stating, "Please upload a supported product file."  Grrr!  Anyway, if you have any insight, it would be much appreciated.  Thanks!)

Keep your eye open for a Kindergarten MATH Standards-Based Gradebook in the upcoming months!

Well, I guess that is it for now.  I hope you are able to use the freebie and that you find it useful!  If you like it, I would love to hear how you plan to use it in your classroom.  :)

As always, thanks for stopping by!