Classroom organization made easy. Really!

July 16, 2016

There are some people who are just naturally organized.   Everything is in its place. It comes to them instinctively. If that’s you, you’re lucky. I envy you. I’m not that person. I have to work to be organized. I have to be intentional. After all these years I feel like I’ve tried everything. I start out great; I’m committed. But I have to confess, I don’t follow through. I don’t put things away. It just becomes a big mess.  I’ve found there are some things I’m good at and some things I’m not. For all those things that I struggle with, and organization is one of them. I need help. Since I work alone, the only other people who can help me are the kids!  They are my saving grace. I NEED them. My favorite trick I’ve learned is to delegate. Once I learned to do this we actually starting having less (I wont dare say none, but less) missing glue stick caps. Honestly it was the ban of my existence. Constantly having to throw out perfectly good glue sticks gone bad,  because we couldn’t find the cap. I hear you, “Oh I just keep a little baggie full...

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4 tips to actually having reading groups the first week of kindergarten

July 10, 2016

 There will be those who tell you don’t have reading groups before Halloween unless you have an assistant, 4 parent volunteers, and a death wish. Not true. There will be those who tell you, you won’t smile until Christmas. Not true. I honestly believe the longer you put off starting groups the harder it will be. So rollup your sleeves and let’s figure this out.                                                So last week we talked about my biggest secret to successful reading groups in kindergarten if you missed it, check it out here. The kids are at fun centers; blocks, water table, dramatic play. You’ve  just called 4  kids to the table for our very first “reading group”. But as soon as the 4 little sweeties sit down. There is a problem at the water table. Billy stole Emily’s teapot. Jason knocked down Sarah’s castle. Caitlyn needs to go to the bathroom. Yikes, you can’t even begin with the 4 in front of you because the class is falling apart. You abandon the group and just try to “police” the larger group.  You go home...

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What’s The Secret To Sucessful Reading Groups In Kindergarten?

June 27, 2016

                                         They say that teaching kindergarten is a lot like herding cats. It is! But it doesn’t have to be. Getting behavioral control of a class is the first step to a successful year.   Who doesn’t love a new beginning. One of the best things about teaching is the clean slate every fall. Sharpened pencils, crayons that have never been used. Caps on EVERY glue stick. It’s also a time to look at what has worked and what hasn’t. The first few weeks are when I spend that extra time estabishing routines. The routines that will make my life and the kids’ learning so much easier. I honestly think the most important part of a guided reading group has nothing to do with reading. It has everyting to do with structure and routine.                                              The best teachers can get their class to run like a well oiled machine. It all starts on the first day. Lots of people will tell you...

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