Saturday, August 13, 2011

 I have spent the last week in my wonderful and bright new classroom. I arranged the furniture, put up bulletin boards, created center areas and a variety of other small things that make a class room a classroom. It was so nice to be able to go in to my room a week before planning week and get a jump on things. I find that the more preparation I have invested in a project the less stress I feel later. I know that next week will be busy but I don't have to worry about that because I have already done all the heavy lifting.

I am so excited about this coming year. Last year I discovered two awesome movements that really work well together. The first one is Whole Brain Teaching. I was frantically looking for better ways to manage my classroom full of outgoing personalities and I just didn't like the "change your color" approach. In fact I distinctly remember disliking that approach in college.That is what is done so that is what I did, until I found WBT. Whole Brain Teaching has changed my teaching life. Where I was getting tired of constantly being the kindergarten police, I can now enjoy students making positive choices and policing themselves.

At this point I am sure you want to know more about Whole Brain Teaching so I am going to add a link to their website. I encourage you to check it out. It will revitalize your teaching life and encourage you to be more creative and fun in the classroom. Not to mention you will be able to teach more content because you will have more time and your students will be primed with base knowledge. It is awesome and I get so excited every time I talk about it. My family is probably tired of hearing about it but it rocks the house! Oh and by the way all of the information and most of the materials are FREE and you know I love that!

The next amazing movement that I discovered is The Daily Five. I have seen a lot of postings about The Daily Five and CAFE and I love that so many teachers are using this. I am sure that I "discovered" it by blog stalking. So, The Daily Five teaches students to become independent and self evaluating during reading/language arts time. The cool thing is that they learn the word stamina and it carries over to every other part of the school day. Before I started using TDF my students couldn't sit still for 5 minutes before someone had to use the bathroom or get water or was bleeding (from a book I have now idea how). After I began to use The Daily Five my students were able to sit for at least 20 minutes reading to themselves. I am talking about kindergartners here! It was so amazing that I knew The Daily Five would become a permanent part of my teaching tool box. It doesn't stop with reading to self, after that you implement read to someone else, then work on writing, work on words/spelling or listen to reading. These five things become your center time and the beauty is that every student is engaged for the entire time and the teacher can conduct meaningful small groups. Ahhh, doesn't that feel good!

So because of those two movements I just can't wait to get started and to see how far my students can go. I love teaching, but it is so much more fun when you have solid tools that work for you and that you can be consistent with. Check out these two sites and let me know what you think!

Hallway wall where I will hang student work.
Welcome to Ms. King's Room!

1 comment:

  1. I love Whole Brain Teaching too! I am enjoying your blog and share your excitement for a new school year!!!