Back to School
With three weeks under our belt kindergarten is really getting into the swing of things. We're getting our schedule down as well as our rules and procedures. Our class is big this year which can pose problems but I am happy to say that the students are getting along well and are a very happy and kind group. I think our biggest challenge this year is going to be talking. These seventeen kids have A LOT to say! However, talkers are usually also great at sharing their thoughts and ideas so I will gladly listen to their chatter.
Our daily routine remains the same as previous years for the most part but I am very happy to say that I have gotten rid of the paper and pencil morning work! It was such a struggle to find something that aligned with what my kids were working on at the moment and wasn't too difficult for a beginning kindergartener or too easy for an advanced student. But the class still needed something to work on in the mornings until we are ready to start the day. After noticing the decline in fine motor skills over the years I have implemented fine motor morning work. Many children, even ones with several years of preschool, are coming to me unable to cut, hold a pencil, open a glue bottle or drink bottle, and many other basic tasks. So after searching high and low I finally found an idea for fun, engaging tasks that strengthen those important fine motor skills, require minimal prep, and are open ended so that they don't have to be finished in the fifteen minutes we have every morning before school officially starts. The class is having a great time rotating through the 12 drawers, or bins and they are interesting enough that I will only have to change them out once a month! In just three weeks most of the class can come into the room, find their name and drawer number on the chart, and pull the correlating drawer out to an appropriate location in the room. We're still having a few problems with getting the drawers back in the correct order but my attentive students are starting to notice when the numbers are out of order and fix them for me without being asked. I've included a few pictures of our "morning work" in action so you can see how much fun they are having while still learning and working those hand and finger muscles!