Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

Launching Daily Five In a Reggio Inspired Program

Launching the Daily Five 
In a Reggio Inspired Program

Like most Kindergarten teachers I want my Kinders to be independent and successful with this learning framework. My job is to guide them through the different strands slowly and build stamina with them. I don't want to manage behaviors, so it is important to take time so that they understand their jobs and have the skills for success. I believe that they are curious, capable and competent and know that with the right tools they will be joyful and engaged.

I use anchor charts to provide explicit instruction and take the time to practice with them. I collect the Kinders between the strands to do a check in and then they move to the next task. However once the framework is established the children move without being collected. This only works if the children are independent and on task. 

I do assessment every day, meeting with two target students while they eat lunch. In the afternoon the Kinders have Quiet Play and this provides time for additional assessment or guided teaching. 

Having up to date assessment allows me to plan literacy activities and small group tasks. I may introduce a new activity during morning exploration working with small groups and playing with them. This is done a lot more in the fall while the Kinders are being introduced and guided through the Daily Five Framework. 

This organization takes up space on a white board and I only have two but it is such a big part of our literacy work that I commit to a dedicated board. In the beginning I spend time at the organization board modelling and scaffolding how to use it. My goal is that they will do this independently to free me up to work with small groups. If I have a student teacher I will have her work with small groups so that she connects with the students and becomes comfortable in the classroom.

I create magnetic name cards so that students can track their activity and use anchor cards for each strand which are free on tpt. (tip you can shrink them down to a smaller size). Even when I begin with one strand I use the anchor chart and anchor card with student names so that it is familiar to them. Each time a strand is added the anchor card goes onto the wall.

Word Work
In the beginning I use multiples of the same literacy activity and sort students into flexible grouping. The groups are assigned a colour coordinating with the organization board. Each activity is in it's own bin so that the partners can carry it to a table to work alongside each other. Over time once I am able to work with small groups and increase the rigour. but in the beginning weeks I am focused on the routines within this framework. When they are ready I colour code the baskets with a dot sticker for the groups so that they are working on tasks to move their learning forward. 

The Students complete their word work activity and then move their name on the organization board to the next strand.

Read With A Friend
In the beginning we co-create a anchor chart to make it explicit to the students what their job will be . They choose a book basket and sit side by side to read together knee to knee and elbow to elbow. 

The students read 2-3 books and then move to the next strand. These are multiples of the books which I have been reading with them during the first month of school. 

Read to Self
In the beginning we co-create an anchor chart to make it explicit to the students what their job will be. I model 3 ways to read a book; words, picture, retell. Each child has a book tub and in the beginning have two books which they read. Twice a week they can switch out their books. Eventually they can have up to ten books and we do book swap once a week.

Work on Writing
In September we alternate writing workshop with direct drawing. The direct drawing is a pre-printing program and provides practice in drawings lines and circles. We co-create criteria and the children develop writing habits beginning with a quick sketch, write a caption then finish with adding more details to the picture and then colouring with pencil crayons, markers or crayons. 

My program is from Lucy Calkin's Writing Workshop series and is student led. This means that they choose their own topic and write until they are finished.  When the Kinders are ready they transition into journals and write less frequently on loose paper. I use blank journals and draw word boxes for the children. 

I do an interactive write with the Kinders every day which helps them to develop story writing structure, criteria and is an opportunity to model ideas, words and story details.

Listen to Reading
I try to read at least five books each day and include choral reading, interactive reading and a listen reading. We use big books, small books and video books. We re-read the books many times and have book talks, do a lot of turn and talk during our interactive reads

I also do Heggerty each morning and Jolly Phonics in the afternoon or a fun phonics video. These are only about five minutes each however research shows that any systematic program is important and contributes significantly to a child's literacy.

Additional Literacy 
When we have transitions I alternate between math and literacy. For example we may play Rhyming I have Who has or Word Hunts  or an alphabet game before the Kinders head off to recess. 

During September and October we sing the alphabet song using different tunes every day using a anchor chart as well as doing quick letter hunts in our pocket chart poems/songs. 

I make a Kindergarten Alphabet chart using their names which I reference every day during our interactive write i.e.:  "rrrr like in Rowans name"

Small World Play
I begin with small world play using a dedicated table in the classroom much like they would have experienced in preschool and probably in their home. 

I use a framework, Story Play, and introduce it in September 2-3 times a week If they are low then I will use the framework more frequently and use lots of storytelling to model language and story structure. 

This framework helps Kinders with oral language, story problems and story framework- beginning, middle, end. I support them by using themed tubs with familiar topics like dinosaurs, robots, space, farm, ocean and forest. Some of the tubs are based upon familiar stories like The Three Pigs and Red Riding Hood. I gradually move to loose parts with more open ended materials, leaving one on the small world play table usually January but it really depends on the Kinders.

Because we are a nature class and much of our learning happens in the forest or seashore i often bring a word work kit along for small group work or assessment. The photo below is a flexible group playing bingo with me while their friends enjoy self directed play. They join me for the game and then return to play while I work with a new group.

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