Here are a few pictures from our Fall Party! Thank you to all parents for your contributions. A special thank you to Sarah and Dana for planning an allergen free party to include all students! You really helped send the message that everyone in our class is equally valued and that each student’s talents and needs are respected!
Tuesday, November 4th is a teacher work day. There is no school for kids.
We have a lot of extra activities coming up this week. Mrs. Bricker will visit our class for a guidance lesson. We are visiting Bradford Farms to learn about how things grow and fall crops. We have our Fall party which is sure to be tons of fun. We also have a morning of science and social studies activities planned where the kindergarteners will rotate through all the kindergarten classrooms and do a special activity with each teacher.
Here are some of the learning goals we will be working on in between the extra activities.
Letter name, sound, and formation of “p” and “j”
Beginning and ending sounds
Words and word spaces
Predicting and asking questions when we read
Adding words to our drawings
Writing first name with a capital at the beginning and letters formed “the kindergarten way”
Rote Counting to 50
Concept of numbers 11-20
Counting objects 11-20
Comparing numerals 0-10
Writing numerals to 20
How things grow
Identifying and managing feelings
Solving problems with words
Stop, look, and listen when you here a quiet signal
October 28th Trip to Bradford Farms
We will be at the farm all morning. Please dress your child according to the weather. Tennis shoes only please!
October 31st- Fall Party
Our room parents, Sarah and Dana, have been working hard to plan a party that is fun for all. Please join us from 2:30-3 if you can.
November 13th and 14th- Parent Teacher Conferences
There is a from going home today for you to fill out with your day and time preferences. I look forward to sharing your child’s learning this trimester with you!
Yesterday we had a great time celebrating our amazing behavior. We earned 200 Behavin’ Ravens which means kids in our class were safe, respectful, learners 200 times! We celebrated by using marshmallows, toothpicks and uncooked spaghetti noodles to build and create. The kids had a lot of fun and made some pretty neat creations!
Many a professional book or PD session promotes offering choice as an effective behavior management strategy. This suggestion is usually accompanied by other vague but valid suggestions like avoid power struggles or help students calm down. What they don’t tend to tell you is how…
So here’s the how. Practical ways to offer choice that have worked for me. Teacher-tested and kid-approved.
~Offer Choices BEFORE Behavior Escalates
Choices, like everything, work better before kids get mad or defensive. It is always okay to offer choice but offering before behavior escalates helps kids be more responsive. It also helps teachers feel less like they are bargaining. A kid is making loud noises while you are talking? Say, you may sit quietly on the carpet or go sit in your chair. A kid is refusing to work? Say, would you like to write your name or read the directions?
~Plan Acceptable Choices in Advance
For those tough to handle students or situations, plan some choices out ahead of time. It can be tricky to think of choices in the heat of the moment especially when kids are less than cooperative. Building in acceptable choices can help teachers feel more in charge while respecting kids. For example, maybe kids can read alone or with a partner. Or they can sit on the carpet or their desk to complete their math page.
~ Use Choices to Distract
Choices can work wonders to distract and redirect kids to what you want them to do without nagging them. A kid isn’t cleaning up after writing? Say, Are you going to put your crayons away first or your paper?
~Offer Choices You Will Be Happy With
Offer choices that you will actually like if the kids do choose to do it. If possible you should like both choices equally. If there is clearly a right and wrong choice, you aren’t setting kids up for success. The same goes for a choice that is punitive. A kid is frustrated with work and starting to shut down? Say, would you like to ask a friend to help or get a drink of water and try again?
~ Use an Invitational but Firm Tone
This goes right along with offering choices you can live with. Present choices as awesome opportunities. A little firmness helps kids know that while they have options, their options are limited to what is safe and respectful. Your teaching style will dictate if you want to be super excited about the choices or more cool and nonchalant. Positive is all that matters.
~Keep it Simple
Offer two choices. It is not your job to dream up every possible action kids can take.
These strategies help both the kids and I be empowered in our classroom. We collaborate and I am able to set the boundaries and limits the kids need. Offering choice makes both the kids and I think and problem solve.
Our trip to Bradford Farms is in the morning of October 28th. If you would like to help supervise our class please return your form, email, or let me know in the comments. Volunteers will need to drive to the farm and meet the class there.