Nature Play On Vancouver Island

Nature Kindergarten On Vancouver Island

The Daily Five In Kindergarten

Launching Cafe

This has been a very busy month. We have finished our final anchor chart for writing and I have been taking pictures of the students doing the different components of the daily five to add to the anchor charts. This week I chose a permanent home for the anchor charts to prepare for our first round of students choosing a component to work on. 

As I reference the anchor charts every day it is very important to chose an optimal display location. This was one of the most difficult decisions because it is prime display space and often used to showcase student murals or work.

Offering Choice
There are different ways to structure Cafe. Some Kindergarten teachers put students into groups and have all five components run at the same time. My students will make their own choices, beginning with two well established and popular parts; read to someone and word work. Students have practiced these two components and are very independent during this time. We will meet between the rotations to do a check-in and then go to the second choice. The check-in is a quick thumbs up or to the side. Because this is a new routine I plan on standing back and observing  them. Then after a few days I will work with students.

Students Tracking Their Daily Five Choices
There are many different examples of tracking students doing the Daily Five components. For myself I want it to be simple, explicit and independent. I have small cards which students will put beside their name. This provides a concrete and visual tracking system.  Later in the final semester I will probably move to a pocket chart which will free up the white board for other learning initiatives. For now my younger students still need the photos. I also introduced a graph where we add a dot for each strand chosen. We have begun with colour groupings but will move to individual name cards (with photos) when they are making all of their own choices.

Anchor Charts
Here is a picture of our our anchor charts before student pictures were added (I am not including current ones because of student privacy).

When we created the anchor charts they were quite messy. Once we were finished co-creating, I re-wrote them so that they were easy to read and had room for student photos. This display is alongside where the students sit during classroom meetings which makes it perfect for revisiting expectations. 

Student Book Storage
I use magazine boxes for students to keep classroom books in because it fits my space. Last year I used plastic tubs from the dollar store but they were not big enough and the plastic was noisy. 
I used pink labels for the girls and then colour coded the rest because I have some younger boys and wanted to make it easier for them to find their names. As you can see there are four yellow name tags and four blue while there are ten pink. All classroom books are available for choice.

Student Book Swap
Currently students do Book Swap on Friday mornings. As they are using picture books they can have between six and ten books. 

Reading Anchor Charts
Here are pictures of two different anchor charts for reading. There are also many different models on Pinterest. My colleague Margie uses the number three and has the three key phrases on it. Her Book Nooks chart is wonderful!  Last year I used a pocket chart but this year the smaller anchor chart is working well. The students and I created our book nook chart together. Because it includes pictures of students I did not provide a full image.

Once of the perks during January is that students know their job which allows greater independence. This enables me to work in small groups or individually with students. During quiet centres I meet with students to discuss their writing, word work or to do assessment including assessment for learning. During active centres I teach new games or play literacy games like Go Fish or Alphabet Slap with younger students who need extra support. 

Literacy Work Stations
I have sorted my students into colour groups for word work to differentiate the activities. During word work students can choose any of the tubs with their colour sticker on it. Here are two pictures;  my colleague Margie's display and mine (green tubs). We use the same strategy; coloured stickers to differentiate instruction. In January I generally have nine tubs on the go and students choose from a range of three. The range encourages students to work cooperatively sharing materials and space.  Earlier in the year I had about twelve tubs and students worked with one partner which I chose. We then moved to colour partners and finally to a reduced number of choices.

Differentiating Literacy Work Stations
Like everyone I have a range of needs in my Kindergarten class and  this is reflected in the word work tubs. For example the red group are using wiki sticks to build target words, play Boggle or word puzzles. The green group are working on letter names and sounds. They are playing games such as matching the object to the letter (beginning sound), stamping small words in playdoh or playing games like Go Fish. The yellow group is working on letter identification and are playing games like abc bingo (using target letters), sensory printing in Jello or roll an abc die & print target letters. I also have a listening centre and a alphabet name/sound pocket chart.

Preparing and Storing Literacy Work Stations
I prepare my literacy work stations well in advance, storing them in literacy strands like rhyme or sound. Each activity is in a ziploc bag. My story telling felts are stored separately but often used as a centre. When it is time for a switch I put the old centre into the new centre bag and put it away. This system allows me to do a quick switch. Here is a picture of my storage tubs.

I hope that my learning journey is of use to you. Thanks for stopping by.


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