Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gearing up for week 3!

After 2 weeks with my new kindergarten students I am still feeling exhausted! This week was better than week 1, but the improvement is slow. I certainly have a few little ones that are testing my limits! I think I just have a rambunctious group this year! This week I am planning to work a lot more on getting to know each other, building community, and developing social skills. Anyone have any good suggestions of activities or books for doing this? Here are two books I know I need to read because we have had a few little incidents!


Our class just doesn't feel like a family yet, and my kiddos are starting to get on each others' nerves by the end of the day! I did not have these challenges with my students last year, but I know each group is different. We have been working a lot on classroom behavior and learning our routines. I have always used a stoplight for behavior, like the ones below that have green, yellow, orange, and red apples and kids' clips are moved after a warning.

However, I felt like this class needed a bit of an extra incentive, and since we are working so hard on using quiet voices in the classroom, I made us a jar for "quiet critters" and whenever the students are working quietly, cleaning up quietly, walking in the hall quietly, etc. we can earn them.

So far it is working and the kids are very excited about earning "quiet critters" (they are actually just some pom-pom critters I happened to have lying around, but I told the kids they only come out when it is quiet-they don't like noise!). When the jar is full we'll earn a class treat. I'm thinking maybe some popcorn and watching the Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD. 

Even though my kinders have been a bit of a challenging bunch, one thing that has been going very well for us are our literacy and math work stations. These are my favorite times of the day. My kids are already pros at reading the work board and figuring out what stations they are assigned to for the day, and they have learned a lot of different station activities already. I have always done literacy work stations, but this is the first year I am doing math work stations. Honestly, I just can't believe I never thought to do math stations before, because they are so wonderful. My kids love their stations and are learning so much-and of course it is freeing up lots of time for me to assess kids (and hopefully I can start working with small groups soon).

I will have to post more on our work stations later in the week-I really need to get back to blogging regularly again - I miss all of my blogging friends! I hope the beginning of school is going well for all of you and that you're not feeling quite as tired as I am!


  1. I love the quiet critters! I am going to have to find some, I know my kiddos would love them, and let's face it, they're too darn cute! Thanks for the idea!

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  2. love the quiet critters-def using this...know anywhere I can find them?

  3. The quiet critters are super cute! I just bought "Words are not for Hurting," too!

  4. I love those two books you suggested. I also like Horace and Morris But Mostly Dolores by James Howe. It is a book about 3 friends and what happens when the 2 boys decide to exclude Dolores. Also, this is a great blog/website that has hundred of books suggestions and tags based on feelings or character traits. Click on the trait you want to solve and it brings up books and their description. It is
    Good luck...I love the pictures of your classroom!
    The Write Handed Teacher

  5. I got the pom-pom critters on sale at Michaels earlier in the summer-they might still have them though. I think catalogs like Oriental Trading also sell them. Hope that helps!