Archive for April, 2011

Easter Break!

Posted on April 20, 2011. Filed under: educational, Kindergarten, teaching and learning |

I am so excited for Easter.  It is a well deserved break after a long winter here in Regina, Saskatchewan.  Why is it that the months of January to June go so fast, but yet September to December seem to move so slow?  My Kindergartens have made leaps and bounds after Christmas, and I can’t believe that in two months I won’t have them anymore!  It’s so sad.  We really have grown together and learned to love each other.  I am going to miss them, although I am excited for them to move onto grade 1.

Now that we are rounding the “last corner” of the school year, I am beginning to look at things that the grade one teacher is going to need to do to help them be successful.  I want to make a list for next year’s teachers, not because they are incapable, but because fluidity and smooth transitions are so important in school.  In my list I am going to put:

Self regulation locker/area:  We have a self regulation locker in our classroom where the children go if they are feeling happy, sad, mad, anxious or tired.  It gives them a place to be alone, sort out their feelings and thoughts and take a break from the chaos that is Kindergarten.  On the front of the locker we have a sign that has a movable arrow.  This arrow is the best.  It’s a silent but powerful voice for the children to express how they are feeling.  They don’t need to shout or yell when they are mad.  They can go in there, put the arrow to mad, and everybody else knows how they are feeling, and can react accordingly.

Daily schedule: Most early childhood teachers have a daily visual schedule for their students, but I’m going to include this anyway.  It’s so vital.  The Kindergartens have security in their day, and they don’t have to bother me with asking what comes next.  They know where to look.

Centres pocket: Depending on if the next year’s grade 1 teachers gives the kids time for play or “centres,” it is so important that they give them an organized centres time.  Our centres pockets list all of the “open” centres in the room at the time.  One person is allowed to go in the centres that are on the top row, two people are allowed in the middle row centres, and 3 people are allowed in the bottom row.  The children are allowed to switch centres at any time, but this pocket gives the children a visual, and a “home base” to come back to to help them in their decision making.  It also keeps the room organized and less crazy.  If I want a centre to be able to have more then 3 people in it, I make two pockets available.  (Note the medical centre on the bottom row.  6 people are allowed to go in this centre this month.)

Daily 5: My students have grown in their ability and love for reading because of the Daily 5.  We have really worked on “read to self” this year, and the children have really developed a stamina for reading to themselves.  Quite a few of my kids are actually reading, but for the ones who aren’t, they have learned how to read the pictures or re-tell the story.  These strategies, if encouraged, will blossom into even more reading strategies next year.

“I love you’s”: I know not every teacher is comfortable telling their children they love them, or maybe not every teacher does love their students, but I can’t tell you how much this has built a relationship between myself and my students.  I try and tell my students I love them at least once every couple of weeks.  When I need to discipline a student, they know that I am doing it out of love.  I tell them I want what’s best for them.  The children have been able to talk to me and know that I am safe because they know I love them.  The biggest thing I want to pass on to next year’s teachers is not to just tell their students they love them, but to really do it.  THIS will allow them to be successful.

Can’t wait to see what grade I will be teaching next year, and to see what new students will change my life.  But first, I want to finish off strong with this year’s students.

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