August 2019 – Della Larsen's Class

Tips for Logging Kindergarten Students onto a Chromebook

August 16, 2019

  The hardest part about using digital resources in the primary grades is getting your kids logged in. You don’t need to be an early childhood expert to quickly figure out that getting to log into Google Classroom is the biggest challenge. If you have spent any time with young children and Chromebooks you know they can maneuver around Google Classroom pretty easily. That is IF they can get logged in. Google Classroom is a powerful tool that teachers have for differentiating instruction and engaging students. However, the first step is the most difficult – getting them on.  Spoiler alert – it’s going to take them a minute. I have some tips and strategies to help you help them get onto their Chromebooks. Spoiler alert – it’s going to take them a minute. Just like everything with young children it takes repeated practice. But like everything else, kindergarten students need to know about school the time you put in upfront pays dividend later on. Here’s my first tip. Look at the keyboard. What do you notice about a Chromebook keyboard? It’s all lowercase! Now look at your keyboard – it’s all capitals! If your kids have been using a keyboard at...

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What is everyone else doing during reading groups???

August 10, 2019

What is the rest of the class doing during reading groups?   When I started teaching I had a pretty good idea how to run a reading group. It was clear to me what my students needed. Whether they were in my low group and just learning to identify and match uppercase and lowercase letter, my middle group starting to blend and read CVC words, or my highest group working on reading for comprehension. Having a reading group wasn’t a problem. The problem for me was figuring out what the rest of my class should be doing while I was running uninterrupted (hopefully) reading groups. This is the unspoken secret of kindergarten. It’s really hard to take a small group of kids for a reading group and hope that the other 18 kids in your class will remain engaged and quiet, and doing something meaningful. Some teachers may be lucky and have an assistant or a parent volunteer, but I’m afraid the vast majority of us are on our own. I’ve seen lots and lots of strategies for managing the whole class during groups. These tips  (turning on a light to let kids know not to interrupt, wearing a...

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How do we differentiate instruction?

August 5, 2019

If you have spent any time in a classroom recently you know that teachers are constantly asked to differentiate. So let’s talk differentiation in the classroom. What exactly does it mean when we say we differentiate our instruction to meet all our learners? I have yet to go to a classroom where all the students learn the same way and are all on the same level. Chances are you teach in a class that has a wide range of learning styles and levels. So we are going to have to meet the needs of every child in front of us every day. No small task. The good news is,  you are probably already doing it. When we talk about differentiation what exactly do we mean? Content  If one of your students is already reading you want to push them to read more fluently or at a higher level. You may have others who are still struggling to identify letters. When you teach both students you are differentiating the content based on their levels. Using Google Classroom helps teachers easily differentiate because while multiple students are completing word work, they can all be working on vastly different skills. Google has...

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