I love to teach kids new "things"! My favorite way is to lead them on a path that allows them to discover new learning on their own. I typically straddle that line between coach and cheerleader depending on the situation and child.
The guiding principals that I hold near and dear to my heart are:
*all students want to learn *all students can learn, my job is to speak their language for learning *what I say and do MATTERS! Each and every decision I make will make an impact....either positive or negative...... No pressure! *kids learn when they are excited and engaged...Kids learn best when their teacher is also excited and engaged
This chapter asks you to reflect on how you know kids are 'getting it'. I think in kindergarten this is pretty easy! K kids are so open...Their faces say it all! I can literally see their eyes light up when they get it or get all squinty when they are confused. When they don't get it I try my best to see where the confusion lies.... Then it's game on! I feel like I would do whatever,whenever to get a kid to 'get it'. It's a mission! It may take just a simple rewording... maybe small group work.... maybe having another child explain it in their words... finding more real life examples..... extra practice.... whatever it takes to see the light in their eyes.
Taking a deeper look into all my decisions and practices to ensure they align to my beliefs is a somewhat daunting task.... imperative, but daunting!
I have not blogged in about umpteen years : ( Have a few kids and that happens!! But this summer I have a ton on my 'to do' list..... One of which is to start blogging again.... even if it's short, even if it's barely coherent...but blog for blogging sake! Last school year I found The Kindergarten Smorgasboard and if you haven't checked it out.... DO IT! Not only are Greg's TPT products darling, they are very meaningful and hands on... my three favorite things.... DARLING, MEANINGFUL, and HANDS-ON! So anyways, he's doing a book study and I thought to myself "get on it, girl!" So here it goes, my thoughts on Chapter 1 of Debbie Miller's Teaching with Intention Chapter 1: Debbie Miller asks you to dream big in her first chapter of Teaching with Intention. As a kindergarten teacher that seems easy enough! My dream classroom has students huddled together over iPads creating ebooks together, a small group of at risk students with me reading an above level book for the first time, a pair of students working on a script for a retelling they'd like to perform for the class.... It's easy to dream big in kindergarten! Oh, no! The realist in me is laughing... Those deep belly laughs that are challenging to stop anytime soon... The realist in me just pointed out that little Johnny is hiding under the table, little Suzy's glue is clogged, and little Tommy just had an accident..... Then the phone rings, the secretary calls to say little Jennifer will be picked up in five minutes. My actual classroom is never a dreamland but I look froward to Debbie walking me through the process of finding my classroom happy place!! Some of these dreams I am already working towards... others I'm working on a plan!
Well, the new year has begun! August and September are a big blur...... months you'd like to forget..... October can't come fast enough. I think it's simply a necessary evil as you start with this diverse group of 5, 6, and 7 year-olds (many who have never been exposed to what a 'line' might be and then there are some who can already read) and you slowly but SURELY mold them into your little kindergarten soldiers students. By the end of September you can begin to start teaching content and you start to feel like a 'real teacher' not a hen trying to keep her chicks from running around the farm!
We have started to use our clickers. I am fortunate to have Sparks this year!I just love them and would recommend them to anyone asking! Here's a news story from a local channel about my classroom use of clickers a few years ago. Click here!
It's amazing to think that this year's K class will be graduating in 2025! YIKES!
Check out these stats from LearnStuff: Notice the growth of Twitter and Facebook in 2 years. AMAZING! Speaking of Facebook...be sure to check out my class Facebook page here!
One of the math apps I love to use in Kindergarten with the iPads is KG Math. You can find it here. What I love about it is that it is actually geared towards kindergarten. It hits tons of standards and they keep coming up with new updates with more games. The game does cost $1.99 but I think it is worth purchasing. (I am not getting any kickbacks for recommending this app... I just truly love it : )
Here is a screen shot of some games the students can choose. It is a very simple format and extremely kid friendly. I love that they even included symmetry! How many symmetry activities do you find??? Not many! The only complaint (which I hope with one of the updates they will change) is that if a student gets it wrong there is not an explanation or teaching moment that helps the child. This is the one drawback I see. I'm hoping that feature will be there soon! Maybe if enough of us check it out and send that suggestion then it will happen......
What math apps do you love?