Hope you all are having a great week! This week's What Worked Well Wednesday is coming to you from Kirstin at Hip Hooray in K.
Since I have only had my kiddos for about week, we have been working hard at setting routines and classroom expectations. I absolutely LOVE this time of year, although crazy, it grounds you.
Yes, they will walk in a line someday and they will be reading someday, but today amidst the shouting, sleepy afternoon eyes, questions, and chaos they are just little ones. We expect so much of them, but they have only been on this earth for 5 years - isn't that crazy to think about?!
I try to remind myself if it is a little like herding cats for the first month, that's ok as long as I am setting up routines and procedures that help my little ones eventually be successful in our classroom and school. Here's a taste of some of my classroom routines and procedures that work for us!
I can be a Kindergarten starThe second day of kindergarten, we talk about what we learned the first day. How we walked in the hallway, how we raise our hands etc. It's a great time to see who is recalling routines and who likes to participate in group conversations. I create a anchor chart that is mainly pictures with five components that I want us to practice:
-Safe hands & feet
-Mouth, nice speaking words
-Bubbles, in our mouth and around us when we sit on the carpet
-Listening ears & thinking brain, we turn our ear volume up and are always good listeners
-Happy heart, we make good choices that make us and our friends happy
I leave this up as part of our focus wall for the morning for the first month of school. Not only am I helping our kiddos create routines but also introduce them to using anchor charts.
Bubbles & BreathingMany of you probably use "bubbles" when you need your kiddos to be quite. As in, "Alright everyone, catch a bubble in your mouth!" And your kiddos hold their imaginary bubble in their mouth in the hallway, while you are giving directions, etc.
I like to add in an important breathing component as well. When we are practicing catching our bubbles, we take three long breaths before we hold our bubble. This is how I start training my kiddos to use their breath to calm down. Later in the year we will use breath much like in yoga to calm and recollect. When we practice letting our bubble go, we will use different techniques such as blowing the air though our nose, or out a straw, or even blowing our bubble as far away as we can! This doubles as a brain break! And its FUN!
Show Me Don't Shout ItI probably say this 23974978 times a day. We teach the kiddos to give us hand signals for everything. If the kids agree or want to say yes in a group setting, we nod or give a thumbs up. If we have to go to the bathroom, we pull on our ear. When my little friends shout out I always just remind them, "Let's say it not shout it!" And they immediately do so -well most of them :o). Teaching your kiddos that you can validate them easier when they show you helps manage the classroom as well as helps you get to more kids at once. When I ask for a hand signal and get one, I always give a responding signal back.
Take Home Tool Book as part of these procedures. Students have a take home folder that is filled with resources they can use for their homework & extra practice, iPad passwords, and information for parent helpers.
This is key for us though. I will text things like, "Please remember to review the lunch choices with your student so they know what to order when they get to school!" So I am sending the reminders to the parents, but asking them to give some responsibility over to their child as well. You could also text Johnny, Jordan, and Jaime's parents specifically to remind them that field trip forms are due tomorrow. It's seriously great.