Thursday, January 14, 2016

Illiterate happy kindergarteners in Finland

Well so much for my New Year's Resolution to blog every day... but a few times a week is better than nothing I suppose!  Before I do my review of the day, I just wanted to mention a lot of my inspiration for the week.  Over the weekend, I read an article titled... the Joyful Illiterate Kindergarteners of Finland.  It is about how kindergarteners have fun and learn to play and academics are not pushed as much.  It made me really reflect on my classroom.  I only teach half day kindergarten so they are only with me for 3 hours and there is a lot of stuff I NEED to cram into the day... and not much time for things I WANT to do.  I tried adding a few things this week to try to add more fun into the day!  Here is my review of today... er I guess week.

3 Things I liked about today:

* In an attempt to create more time for creativity and exploration, I opened up the Creation Station yesterday.  Its now an extra on my Daily Five rotation and as of now, students can visit it once a week (I choose the day to make sure they get everything else in).  The kids LOVED it.  I actually had a student in tears this morning because she wasn't assigned to go to until next Tuesday :(  I simply put a bunch of craft supplies over there and told them the only rule was to clean it up when they were done.  They have created so many different things... you can see the kiddo today made his house out of popsicle sticks :)  I think this is going to be a keeper for the rest of the year!
* Another way to increase fun in the classroom is I am finally implementing Go Noodle.  I had seen so many bloggers/instagrammers talk about it in the past, but never actually looked it up.  We are using it for transitions.  I was tired of timers and countdowns so when it's time to transition to the carpet, I put up a 2-3 minutes video and the kids get cleaned up and to the carpet FAST!  Its also nice for me to get a little more exercise in during the day :)  Will keep you posted if the novelty wears off... but I doubt it!

* Yesterday I asked my kids what they knew about Dr. King.... crickets.  I'm use to teaching first grade and they come in know something about him.  This was honestly my first opportunity to teach them something that no one had a clue about or any prior knowledge.  Its hard to get all of the facts across to five year olds, but we focused on Dr. King wanting to make the world a better place and one of the ways he did so was by giving a speech to encourage people to be fair and nice to each other.  The kiddos drew a picture of their "dream" for the world and then I took a picture of them "thinking" to put at the bottom.  I'll post a picture tomorrow of the final product!  They really want a world where people are nice to each other!

2 Things I am looking forward to tomorrow

* Last week, I mentioned our Skittles Science experiment and how the students used their science minds to question what would happen if we did the same thing to M&Ms.  I took it a step further and bought a few different types of candy at the store today to put in water to see what happens to the color.  Tomorrow we will test sweet tarts, M&Ms and gobstoppers (I'm very curious about these!)  I'll post pics of our results!
* We've been working really hard on letter writing, but its been a slooooow process as I only have time for Writers' Workshop 3 times a week... for 20 minutes.  Tomorrow we will finish our first "guided" letter and then after that they will be able to write more letters at their own pace.  I am excited for them to "mail" their first letter to a classroom friend tomorrow!

1 Thing a student did to make me smile

I am in the middle of mid-year DRA testing.  When I asked a student his favorite book today he told me The Bible.  He then told me about why he likes it and that he knows God loves us and will one day give us a mansion.  Adorable and so heartwarming that he chose this book!

My goal is to do a Five for Friday tomorrow!  Happy Almost 3-Day Weekend!
Article about Finland:

1 comment:

  1. Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful.