Thursday, January 15, 2015

It is Snowing Winter Activities!

Whew!  Sorry we haven't been posting blogs lately!  Since we have gotten back from Christmas Break, we feel like we have been running non-stop!  We have been working hard on getting this unit together for everyone!  I hope you will check it out on our TPT store!

 In class, we have been working on winter activities and New Year's activities.  We have implemented a new way to do our centers, and we began our writing workshop.  Last year,  I experimented with starting it later in the year, and I learned that my student's writing was better if I waited to begin writing workshop.  Now that I think about it, it only makes sense!  If they cannot recognize letters or write letters, what in the world made me think writing was a good idea?  Yes, they could draw and dictate to me, but I felt like the focus needed to be put elsewhere.  I put a lot of focus on handwriting, phonics, and phonemic awareness the first semester; this really helps students prepare to become great writers.  Also, by waiting until 2nd semester to begin writing workshop, students are more mature and eager to write.  There is not any crying and whining, and I don't hear "I cant do it!"  Students want to try to write and actually ask for it!  Of course I am not saying that I didn't do writing at all the first semester.  We did shared writing activities, and I did a lot of modeling.  I do not expect them to be independent writers until after Christmas. Here are my students enjoying WOW time (Work On Writing). . .
Students LOVE working on the floor!  I even took out some of my tables and chairs! (Thanks to Greg Smedley of The Kindergarten Smorgasboard for sharing that idea and letting us visit his class in action!) 
They LOVE using their "Writer's Toolbox" to help them write!  You can hear a pin drop in my class during writing time.  IT IS SO QUIET!! 
Just one sample of MANY awesome stories!  I still write the correct word/spelling on the student's work.  Some say that is a BIG NO NO, but I want to be able to remember what they told me when I am looking back at it.  I have never seen any harm in doing that, as long as you are not changing their thoughts or words. 
OH!  Let's not forget all the testing that has to be done this time of year!!  Sometimes all the testing gets overwhelming!  Thanks so much to other bloggers sharing ESGI!  This assessment site has saved me a lot of time and stress!  I will NEVER teach another year without it!! It is awesome and worth every single penny!!

These students are hard at work during our center time.  I am loving our new center rotations!  Many thanks to Greg Smedley (AGAIN) for sharing and allowing us to visit!  Just one visit in his classroom, and my whole outlook on teaching kindergarten has changed, for the better! 
Needless to say, there is A LOT going on this time of year in kindergarten!  I am loving all the changes in my classroom that the new year has brought.  Don 't hesitate to ask any questions, I will be glad to share what works for me.  Hope ya'll are having a wonderful week....It is almost FRIDAY!! :)

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