|Heidi and Kimmie at La Verne's Independence Day Parade|
|Roynon School's "Float" and the Kids|
|Parade Participant Honest Abe|
I even got to meet and get my picture taken with a local "Abe Lincoln Presenter" named Robert Broski, whose picture you see at the right. He told me that he does school assemblies and presentations at libraries and things like that. His favorite question from children is, "Hey.... aren't you dead?" :)
National I Teach K! conference in Las Vegas, Nevada! I am soooo excited; it’s like going to a great, big, four day Kindergarten teacher party! I am looking forward to a fun and educational week in Las Vegas! (Well, okay; I’m mostly I’m just looking forward to the FUN part!) I am planning on leaving on Sunday and staying until the whole thing is over on Thursday, and then driving home on Friday. I’m hoping to connect with my fellow presenters, meet some new friends from all over the place, and put some real-life faces to names from the internet world! If you are going to be there and would like a chance to “meet and greet” over lunch, my and the HeidiSongs Facebook “group” have decided to meet for lunch at the entrance to the Crystal Springs Booth in the exhibit hall on Monday at the beginning of the lunch hour. We’ll wait about ten minutes or so, and then make our way over to the concessions and eat lunch together while we chat and get to know each other in person! Sounds like fun to me! Everyone is welcome, so come on down! (Okay, don’t get TOO excited; we’re all buying our own food, LOL!) But I think it will be a fun way to get to meet some people, especially for those of us who might be attending the conference alone and would like to meet some friends. The downloadable I Teach K! catalog is available here.
Now back to business! The questions and answers below are posted in response to some questions that arose after last week’s blog post on my center rotation. The person that asked the questions left them as comments on the blog, and after I answered them, I thought that with a little bit of clarification, they might be good general blog entries rather than just comments on the blog that few might think to read. I hope that the questions and answers are helpful to you!
Question: It sounds like all of your class rotates through to the teacher table each day. Does each rotation last 15 minutes?
|Puzzles are a nice, easy center!|
- looking at the chicks
- watching the tadpoles or insects
- playing with the Number Pattern Blocks or the Alphabet Pattern Blocks - doing a puzzle, or playing with a selected manipulative that I have put out, etc.
|Alphabet Pattern Blocks|
|Number Pattern Blocks|
Question: I'm really seeking to improve the structure of my centers this fall. I will be going from a half-day program to a full day one. I hope to have groups in the morning and groups in the afternoon. I will have an aide for most of the day--but no volunteers that I can count on to supervise a center on a regular basis. Do you think I could make your system work with 2 centers really being independent? With RTI requirements, I need to meet with some students every day. Do you meet with every group each day that you do centers?
|Math Center Table|
|Art Table Center|
|Language Arts Table|
As far as making the rotation work without regular volunteers, it is certainly not as easy, but it can be done. I have done it many times! At my school, there are five K teachers, and there are always days when some of us have no volunteers at all. We learn to get by. There are years when we have volunteers maybe two days per week and never any on the others. And the days that we do have them, there is only one person, not two.
|An Easy Art Center Activity|
|Sight Word Splat Mini-Center|
I would highly recommend this type of center rotation if you lack volunteers but do have an aide. That way, you can let them do some art independently, then do mini-centers independently, and then you can do reading groups, and your aide can do math. You can always switch back and forth with reading and math as you wish. I almost always do reading and let my aide do the math, but then might do some more whole group math lessons in the afternoon (or in the morning before groups start) to make sure that my kids are getting some math instruction from me. It helps a lot!
|The Original Sight Word Splat Frame|
More Sight Word Splat Frames!
This summer, a teacher friend of mine is tutoring her granddaughter, who was actually in my class last year! We were brainstorming some more ways to help her little sweetie remember the word “what,” which was "deviling" her in particular. My friend had her watching the DVD for Sing and Spell Vol. 2, which has the “What” song on it, and also asked her granddaughter to sing her the song many times “to teach it to Grandma.” I also suggested that she take the child outside and have her write it several times with sidewalk chalk, and maybe build the word with playdough, which always seems to help kids remember pretty well.
|A New Sight Word Splat Frame|
If you remember from reading about this activity in a previous blog post, the children trace around and around a sight word many times with markers. (It’s really just a large scale version of sight word rainbow writing.) We used highlighters to make it fun, and then later we got out some scented markers too, just for fun! But the thing they loved the most were definitely the bright highlighters! I’m going to watch for them when the school supplies go on sale in August. And last year, I got my "smelly markers" free with a rebate from Office Depot when they went on sale, too. I'll certainly be watching for that deal again!
Homework for the First Week of School!
I am experimenting with using Microsoft Word on my Mac, which is something I have really NEVER done before. My goal is to be able to upload documents on my blog or on my website that you could actually edit easily if you use a PC and use Word, as so many people seem to do. So today I am posting my homework sheet for the first week of school as a free download. I am hoping that many of you will be able to download, open, and edit it on your own computers easily. So this is a test! If it works or doesn't work for you, I would love it if you could let me know with a comment on the blog or on my HeidiSongs Facebook page. If it doesn't work, I don't know if we will be able to get it fixed or not, so there are no promises here, because I'm a Mac, not a PC! (And I LOVE my Mac, and I wouldn't have it any other way!)