7.4.17

Top 3 Ways to Reset Your Class After Spring Break

Ready or not, spring has officially arrived! I often feel an urgency to cover all the content I've missed, prepare my students for testing, and assess all. the. skills. for final quarter report cards. In so many ways, returning from Spring Break signals the beginning of the end. BUT, we still have six (or so) crucial weeks of instruction remaining! So, how can we refresh our day-to-day classroom operations to keep our students engaged up to the very last second of the very last day??? It has to be a teetering balance of consistency and freshness. Following are the TOP 3 ways to reset your class after spring break...

1. Share Responsibilities! Students of any age have become old pros at classroom routines by this point in the school year. Students will refocus on rules and procedures when they are in the driver's seat. Why not choose students to lead classroom maintenance like lunch and attendance or more complicated things like spelling and calendar time? Review classroom jobs and take input on things your students are ready to manage that could be added to the mix. It will be easy to finish the year strong when your class can take over and you can shift into cruise control!

2. Revive an Air of Mystery! Recapturing the magic of the start of school will help maintain engagement and behavior at any time of the year. In the beginning students wait anxiously for "what comes next," but by the end of the school year they may be bored with the predictable. Surprises of any sort will keep students on the edges of their seats. Using mystery as a motivation will be sure to revive anticipation and engagement.

3. Disguise Year-End Reviews! Whether you are prepping for standardized testing or simply reviewing for end-of-year report cards, students are bound to put up resistance. Disguising standards reviews in high-interest themes will satisfy students' inquisitive natures while completing the necessary task of reviewing. Use student inventories or simply your own observations about what interests them and choose engaging themes with which to disguise your reviews. Themes can be interwoven through teacher read-alouds, writing prompts, culminating projects, center activities, or simply through matchy stickers and reward/progress charts.


How else do you reset your class after Spring Break? Be sure to share ideas in the comments below!

29.12.16

Planning for Play: March - April - May

Making time for play in Kindergarten is important... even in the 21st Century! 

Grab my exclusive and FREE Yearlong Plan for Structured Play and follow along as we discuss themes for March, April, and May. 



Overview:
March is all about the Arts at my school. All students in the school are encouraged to create something involving one area of art (music, visual arts, drama, dance, and media art) to share with their class. Then, each class chooses a performance for a special school showcase assembly. This is a wonderful time for students to expressive themselves creatively and share their special talents.
My favorite TpT resource for March:

April is at the height of spring time and new beginnings. We often study animals during literacy and science time which makes it the perfect month for a Vet's Office! Students are able to develop and solve problems, show care for animals, and role play.
My favorite TpT resource for April:

May is my favorite month for play because it's the culmination of my yearlong plan! Through opening their own Pizza Parlor, students are invited to plan their play, collaborate, create, and execute their plan with organization, communication, and imaginative interaction.
My favorite TpT resource for May:


BE SURE TO CHECK OUT PLANS FOR EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR!

February - Writing: Post Office

Planning for Play: December - January - February

Making time for play in Kindergarten is important... even in the 21st Century! 

Grab my exclusive and FREE Yearlong Plan for Structured Play and follow along as we discuss themes for December, January, and February. 



Overview:
December is a wild and crazy time of year as students anticipate the holiday season. So, why not tap into their imaginations and incorporate engineering and science? With the gingerbread engineering theme students  can collaborate, create, and problem solve while having lots of holiday fun!
My favorite TpT resource for December:


January often brings cold weather and indoor recess. This is a great time to build on the engineering theme from December and incorporate force and motion concepts using marble runs, ramps and balls, and vehicles. Students learn about the effects of force and motion through exploration and experimenting.
My favorite resources for January:
February is a time when we tend to think about relationships and letting our loved ones know how much they are loved. In spite of major advancements in modern technology, written communication remains a skill all students need to develop. With the theme Post Office students are encouraged to write, communication, and nurture relationships.
My favorite TpT resources for February:


BE SURE TO CHECK OUT PLANS FOR EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR!