At the beginning of the year, I focus on building community to get my little kinders to become a "family". I use morning and afternoon meetings. My morning meetings follow a combination of Dr. Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline and Roxanne Kriete's Morning Meeting. After our morning routine and Read to Self time, we start our day with a morning meeting.
- First, my kinders stand in a large circle at our meeting area.
- Next, I play a community building song that has my kinders doing actions together. Some of students' favorite songs are by Dr. Jean (Hello Friend or Ride That Pony).
- Then, we sit in a large circle and pass a morning greeting around.
- Last, we discuss our goal for the day to help our classroom become a better place.
- After that, we move on to our morning message and word work goal.
In addition to my classroom meetings, I use Kagan cooperative learning strategies to build classroom community. Sometimes, we have a meeting during the day to discuss any problems and ways to solve them.
Choice is such a deterrent to behavioral problems. I remember sitting in one of my early childhood classes, and Dr. Becky Bailey was telling us that giving children choices would help with those who wanted power. I applied this technique one night watching my nephew. This three year old cutie did not want to go to bed. Instead of arguing, I told him he was going to go to bed, but he had a choice in how he went: piggyback ride or horseback ride. He choose piggyback (tired me out with him on my back). He went to bed without any issues. The next night, he looked forward to trying the horseback ride to bed. In class, I have had children who do not want to draw or write. So I gave them choices depending on their needs. Sometimes it is the writing materials (markers or crayons) or place (carpet or small table). I apply this to the Daily 5, in a way that works for me and my kindergarteners. My students choose their books to read during Daily 5. They choose from one of the 3-4 word work choices at their assigned area.
Transitions seem to go smoothly as I use music to signal clean up time. I use my ipod with pre-made categories to help with transitions. Dr. Jean has some clean up songs that my students sing along as they put away materials. After word work, I like to use my whiteboard and overhead to display HeidiSongs singing and moving to a sight word song. My students know that they must clean up before joining, so they get right on task and join as soon as they can. They love to sing and dance!
Check out my previous D5 posts for some freebies. Have a great week!