Yes, I have switched blogging platforms three times now. Slow clap for me.
I think I’m finally content with this one, but don’t be surprised if I change it again.
OK, the challenge question is: How do your students start their day in your room? What is the routine they follow once they walk in the door? More importantly, WHY is this your routine? How did you choose it, develop it, refine it? What is the goal and purpose behind why your students do what they do? What do YOU do as the day begins?
I moved classrooms at the beginning of the school year. AGAIN. And, as luck would have it, my students enter the school from the door at the very other end of our hallway. Can you see it now? Tiny little kinders working their way through the hallway in their snowsuits at everyone’s knee level trying to make it to their locker. Yep. But that’s life so we’re going with it. We have shelves the students put their outside shoes on, they walk down the hallway to their locker, put their coat and backpack inside, and put their inside shoes on. They take their agenda book out of their bag and go inside the classroom.
On the floor there is a pink box. Their agenda gets placed in the box when they come inside.
They make their way to the Smart board, where this is waiting for them:
Sorry for the small picture. There’s a bath tub with their names inside bubbles on the Smart board. They drag their bubble into the bathtub, step off the box, and take a seat on the carpet to wait for our morning prayer and announcements.
Why is this the students’ routine? I like to make the morning as simple as possible for them. I have many students this year, and I find only having a few things to do helps us get organized a little quicker. You never know who’d having a rough morning and who’s going to be bouncing with energy. Also, when I go to an inservice with other teachers, I want to have a simple morning to! I like to sit, sign in, chat with my friends, and sip my coffee while waiting for our day to begin. Why wouldn’t students feel the same way?
How did I choose this routine? 1) My first year teaching kindergarten, I had little clothespin people the students would move on the whiteboard. It was a pain to change the name on them at the beginning and end of the year, the magnets would break off, the clothespins would break, someone would lose one by having it fall behind a basket or a shelf, and the students would forget to move it back at the end of the day, leaving me with that ONE EXTRA THING TO DO. It drove me CRAZY, so once we got Smart boards in the school four years ago, I jumped for joy and abandoned those frustrating clothespin people. 2) I like having the students waiting and ready for me in the morning so we can start to discuss right away. Or do our “morning meeting” as most of my tweeps seem to call it.
What is the goal and prupose behind the students’ morning routine? To get everyone ready as quick as possible in order to get our fun and learning started right away! My morning students only come to school from 8:30 – 11:00 so time is precious. We don’t have time to start our morning off by everyone reading a book or playing in an area of the classroom. Depending on the group in the afternoon, they might start off their day by playing or reading, and then we can regroup after 15-20 minutes. If we had Full Day Kindergarten, that’s definitely how I would do it.
My day begins by plopping by bags down by my computer, then going around the room and turning on the 14 lamps I have in the classroom. I also open the drapes of our 2 windows, all while my computer is booting up. I hang my coat up, take my lunch out of my bag, lock up my purse, authenticate to the wireless network on my iPad and then sign in to my computer. I walk my lunch down to our staff room fridge, say hi to everyone on the way there and back, and then primp the classroom for the day (what extra supplies should be out? What needs to be cleaned quickly? etc.) I check my email before school, turn the projector on, and then before I know it, the students have arrived. On Wednesdays, I have supervision outside from 8:15-8:30, so I need to be ON TIME and READY those mornings.