Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 3!

Hello Daily 5 Friends,
This book study has really kicked off! It has been nice to go back through the book and reread and rethink about what I have done in my classroom and what I could do better. I have enjoyed the pace of this book study a lot because it gives me time to think and reflect. Isn't it always true that when you read something a second or third or even fourth time that you take something new away? I have learned a lot from all the teachers that have linked up for this book study as well. So let's get started!

1. Do you have a gathering place and what is it called?
I have a gathering place in the front of my room. This is our central gathering place for almost everything. I have a seperate area for Math and Science. I have never called this anything but our "group." And now after reading all the wonderful posts, I am really thinking I need to change the name! It really never occured to me to officially name this space something fabulous. As I was talking to other teachers about this, the term "family room" came up and I really liked the idea. I let it just simmer in my head and kept trying to come up with something I liked better but I couldn't. I actually like the word family room because we are like a family for the year in Kindergarten. So, I might have just adopted this term. Some of my Daily 5 blog buddies gave me the idea of adding family pictures to this area and I loved the idea. I will just have to figure out a way to incorporate that.
2. Do you have a favorite Good Fit Books lesson?
I like the example that is in the Daily 5 book. I stick close to that. What I need to work on is having more available "just right" books for children to browse through. I am still working on that as I think about what my classroom will look like next year. What I am LOVING right now are the things that Tammy has shared with us for picking Good Fit Books!

I will definately be using what she has shared.
At the end of the post a link to her blog will send you to these fantastic freebies for you to enjoy too.
Help-Yourself Book Boxes
I need more of these for my book browsing.
3. Do you use anchor charts and how do you use and store them?
I think anchor charts are essential to the lessons. And I probably do mine a little different than most people but I can explain... First, you have seen all those wonderful looking anchor charts all over blogland. I admire those. I want those. I love those to pieces. In all reality I am not able to create those "with" the childdren. I do not have the physical space to put up a life size poster and I do not have the time to sketch out a perfect drawing while the children wait AND I am not perfect when I record their responses. To be honest, I don't want to be bogged down with all that worry of perfection when I am trying to teach something to a class full of five year olds.
My Compromise!
When creating anchor charts I use my white board or presentation station. Yep, old school style because (are you ready for this?) I have no Prometian Board... But let's not go there today, we can leave it on that note. Anyway, the children and I create an anchor chart together and I explain that I will take this information and create an anchor chart. Here is where it gets even better... I create the chart on the computer adding the infomation the class provided and then I print off a paper sized anchor chart. Yes, I said it. It is letter sized. Why you ask? Because this is more manageable for me. I use the chart for several lessons and if we need to add to it or change it, no problem. I just edit and reprint. Once I know it is final and complete, I laminate and tape it to the back of a child sized hanger. I can hang it anywhere with a thumbtack and it takes up just a little room. What I love about this? Since the anchor charts are smaller, I have space on the walls for MORE, more, more! And I have a pocket chart stand that these can also hang on. And the best part is... I can grab as many or as few as I need when I am ready for a lesson BECAUSE there is nothing WORSE than having to refer to a chart that is hanging on the ceiling, stapled to the floor or across the room! I need my stuff right where I TEACH the lesson not around the corner and down the hall. And what about the "authentic" writing? We have the authentic writing when we create the anchor chart together. The children do see that process and help with it.
4. What do you use for book boxes?

I use book boxes from Really Good Stuff. I have had them for years and I love them. I have seen similar boxes at the Target Dollar Spot but they are not as sturdy.

5. What do you use for a calm down signal or procedures?
I have used music for signals ever since I can remember. I have several songs copied from my own Dr. Jean Cd's that I made for transitions. When I burned the CD I ordered the songs accroding to our schedule. I play whatever song is appropriate and the children respond accordingly. I teach the expectations to the songs in the first few days of school. It does not take long before the children just know what is coming next and if they see me walking towards the CD player they automatically start doing what they need to do.

I have never really had a "calm down" signal but I found this when I was packing up at the end of school this year. I had forgotten I had it. I am going to use this as my calm down signal. Last year I found these at Mardel's during the Back to School sales. Mine was given to me from a sweet teacher friend and it makes a beautiful calming sound so it is perfect.

6. What check in procedures do you use?
After a work session, we come back to our group area for reflection. We talk about what went well and what we could do better. I use the system The Sisters talk about in the book because it works like a charm. Thumbs up close to your heart if things went well or thumbs sideways close to your heart if you could do better. What is most important is that this role of reflection is included as a part of each lesson.

Live Love Laugh
Now get ready and hop on over to link up your thoughts and grab your freebies!


Mrs. B said...

I can relate when playing music for my students during transitions. They are so cute when they respond before I even get to my ipod player. I like how your anchor charts are computer generated and letter sized. I think they would fit into a notebook as well. :0)

Mrs. K said...

Using hangers to display the anchor charts is a fantastic idea - I love creating them with my kiddos, and they're utilized so biggest issue, though? Finding room for them!

Not anymore...thanks :)

Ashley said...

I also have the problem of not having enough room to hang all those anchor charts we make! However, if your charts are so small, how are your students seeing them and using them when they work around the room? Isn't that the point of making them? Just curious!

Mrs. C said...

If they need them they just go and get them where they are hanging. We carry them around the room as needed. Also if you have push pins around the room they can hang them on those as well. Nobody is ever but a few feet away from an anchor chart so it is no problem!

Sarah said...

I like your anchor chart ideas. I have just about zero wall space and have been guilty of making my whole class get up and move to another area on the other side of the room to look at an anchor chart...

Marla Granger said...

I really love the anchor chart idea because I had some issues on where to post mine last year...
That is so helpful for me and I think I'm going to try that this year....:)
Thank you again for the wonderful thoughts you posted...

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