Tuesday, January 26, 2016

New Ideas Just Keep A'Coming!

So I have been taking some webinars online for PDUs for my teaching license. This one I am doing today corresponds to one I did last week and I just had a great idea I wanted to share.
Todays is about using blog and wikis in the classroom. Well being a Kindergarten teaching, I think it is very difficult for the little ones to use a blog or a wiki since they can hardly type their name on the computer. So I'm going to be starting a new blog or different section of this blog for my little authors to have their stories published online! How am I going to do this you ask? Well I'm going to be using AudioBoom (a website where you can record things) and also use text to speech on a mac so the kids can read their story and it will type it out for them.
I'm pretty excited to try this idea. I am out sick tomorrow but I'll be telling my kids about this idea on Thursday. I'm hoping it will get them excited about writing. I love writing but I've just been struggling with how to get the kids excited in Kindergarten because so many of them just either "don't know what to write" (even though they can tell you the most amazing stories verbally) or those that just want to copy what you write.
I'll be sure to write about how it goes once I get it off the ground.

Update: If you would like me to post one of your student's writing publications, please feel free to e-mail me and I will be happy to post it! It should be full of lots of kinder authors, not just mine. It could be a picture, or a picture with an audio recording (I will figure out how get it on there).

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Year and Still Making Changes

Do you ever get to that point in your year where you just want to change stuff around? I've never been a huge fan of my room. I've moved rooms in my building about 5 times and this last room that I am now in, I've never been able to set things up where I think "wow this is great, I love it!" This year I've come close, but of course there are still things I'd love to change. My cubbies for one, the kids don't really use them except for storing things in there that won't fit in their chair pockets. But of course things still fall out and it drives me crazy. The other reason I'm not a fan of them is that the way I put them this year is they cover up the sight line to the entry and I can't see when kids come in. It forms a great little nook for my reading corner, but I'd love to see the kids as they walk in. My thought is to get those plastic drawers that are fairly big, put baskets inside for them to put their writing journals, science notebooks, headphones. Then we they need them, they simply pull out the basket, bring it to their table, and use em! Oh did I mention I would just have everything labeled by their table group? So in my head of course this sounds awesome and I really think it could work. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm getting close.
The other thing I have finally done, is made reading groups. Yes I have gone for almost 80 days this year and only been pulling kids one or two at a time that really need help. This has been great for me, but for my parent helpers who really want to help, they don't know and they need more directions. I've been giving them a list of a few kids to pull and read with, but this has been more work for me and hasn't been consistent and even. So I hit up my local dollar store and $33 later I have bins (and prizes) for groups! I printed off my cute little animal cards and matched them to the color tub, then laminated the card so I can just take my sharpie and write kids' name on there and change the groups when needed. I'm pretty excited about this. It seems like every year I'm able to get things just a little but more organized.

(I will edit this post to put in the pictures. This organization amazing-ness just happened yesterday and I was so tired from the night before I didn't even think to take pictures.