1. Establish a gathering place for brain and body breaks.
I just call it our meeting area. I've also called it "the carpet". I do like the idea of giving it a name. Perhaps, my new students will help think of a name for our meeting area.
2. Developing the concept of "good fit" books.
The shoe concept is a great visual for teaching "good fit" books. I also like Tammy's (from Live Love Laugh Everyday in Kindergarten) suggestion to use Goldilocks and the 3 Bears concept too. Click on her linky party link above to go to her site. If you haven't been there yet, you're missing out. She has some great freebie visuals on this concept.
3. Create anchor charts with students. How will these be visual in the room? Where will you store them? What about small spaces?
After creating an anchor chart, I usually hang them on the whiteboard or up on our lights. Sometimes I create them on the computer and display them on the tv screen for students to reference during the time they may need them. Some anchor charts I send home with my students when we are done with them. Some anchor charts are put on hangers and put in my poetry/chart center. In the past, I have taken pictures of my math charts and put them into a classbook. If I did this with my all my charts, then I would have a reference of what I have done in the past.
Here's a picture of my poetry stand. It is like a clothes hanging stand. I do not have a side view... sorry! It shows where we display the main poem or anchor chart we are using at the moment. Behind it, is a wooden bar that holds all my charts. I have them categorized. My students know they may use the charts at the front, near the hanging place for the chart. This is where I keep my student of the day charts, poems, and anchor charts. Separating the front from the back is a bunch of empty hangers waiting to house a chart. At the back, I keep all other poems and charts for the year, waiting to be introduced.
4. Short, repeated intervals of independent practice and setting up book boxes. (How are you going to keep track of stamina? What will you use for book boxes? What are you going to put in those book boxes on the 1st day of school?
I haven't officially kept track of stamina with my students. At the beginning of the year, we discuss and work our way up to 15 minutes, then as they matured and learned to read, they were capable of reading for longer periods of time. Last year, I purchased white book boxes from IKEA for each of my students with the intention of following Daily 5's recommendation of book boxes. Then my class quickly grew from 18 to 32 students. So, I did away with the book boxes and used ziplock bags instead. I have had chair covers in previous years be their "book boxes". In addition to book boxes, I also have group blue baskets of books. I use a "DEAR" (Drop Everything And Read) concept, following a 4 Blocks "Self-Selected Reading" for Daily5 Read to Self. At the beginning of the year, I gather books from my personal stash, Harcourt resources, and the library. There is a variety of books, ranging from easy readers, magazines, and picture books that I place in the baskets. I do not put any chapter books in kindergarten, until I see a need for it. My kindergartners make many easy readers at the beginning of the year. Those are the first books that are placed in their book box or ziplocks (which are kept in the group blue baskets). I do like having group baskets. Even though some children are not reading words, they can read pictures. After a reading group, I usually put our guided reading books into the group baskets. After reading a book to my class, I put copies into each group basket. My students love to reread these books.
5. Calm Signals and check in procedures. Do you already have a signal? How will you handle check ins?
I use music for transitions. Dr. Jean has some great ones. I also play the xylophone or sing a tune to get their attention for a quick moment when needed. When I first start off teaching Daily5 concepts to my students, I am usually monitoring and checking in with my students. I start weening off after I have helped them learn "ask 3 before me", use anchor/direction charts, and how to get my attention for a problem that hasn't been solved. I discuss with my students they may interrupt me for an emergency. If they have a problem and the other ways did not help, they may stand by me and I may be able to answer them. We role play different situations and discuss ways to solve these problems. So besides that, I don't have calm signals or check in procedures, unless it was something discussed with one particular child needing that extra support. I am looking forward to reading what others do in this area!
6. Using the correct model/incorrect model approach for demonstrating appropriate behaviors. I do not keep track of inappropriate behavior, unless I need to for RTI. Instead, I have to think about why the child is misbehaving: attention? work too hard? work too easy? enough or too much choice? social issues? Then we discuss ways to solve our problems or I adjust materials available to my students. If a child needs attention, then usually I have them on some type of positive behavior plan. Sometimes, I may pair a child with a partner.
On a different note, I just spent 3 days in a Got Mimio? workshop. I am excited about being able to do more with my Mimio software! I don't have the interactive part just yet, but I hope to get some updated technology in my classroom soon! They have a great piece where students record themselves to demonstrate their understanding. I think this could be used for small groups to work in creating anchor charts for Daily 5. Just wondering how you would tie in using an interactive whiteboard with Daily 5?