Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Non Worksheet Morning Work

Hi guys! I am so excited about getting back to blogging. I'm excited to share some good ideas and strategies with you as we near school starting. School starts in one month for me. I'm so not ready to leave my baby but I'm excited about a new start. Speaking of new things to be excited about, have you checked out periscope? It is so much fun chatting with other teachers on this great new platform. I've only gone live once but I'm planning to do another one tomorrow. I just haven't decided on my topic. I'm thinking either something related to books or something related to technology. What would you like to see? You can check me out at Ms. Kerri's Krazy Klass on periscope.
I have been doing some thinking and reading about early childhood education. I read a post the other day from Pre-K pages about worksheets in the early childhood classroom. I tend to think that the more hands on we can be with kids at this age the better they are. In fact we all probably learn better when we are hands on. I definitely learn more by doing. I've been wanting to read the book Worksheets don't grow dendrites since I saw the book study earlier this year. But I was knee deep in mommy hood and not thinking about school at the time. It is on my wishlist on Amazon (Maybe I'll get a good deal on it on their big sale tomorrow). But until then, I'm examining my own teaching practices. I think there is a time and a place for a worksheet and since TPT I'm finding a lot better resources.  But I'm rethinking my approach to morning work.

My kids can start coming into my room at 7:50 and the bell rings at 8:00. After the bell rings, we have announcements, the pledge and such. It takes me a few minutes after those announcements to get started with my day. I need to take attendance and do the lunch count. So I need something engaging for my students to be doing during this time.  On the first day of school, I have always had the kids play with play doh. It is open ended and gives me a chance to talk to parents if needed. But after that, I have had the kids do a coloring sheet. I'll admit that this is what the other teachers do and I didn't really question the practice. Last time I was in Kindergarten I changed this some. I had the kids do a phonics sheet on our letter or words for the week. I feel like this was a better use of our time rather than a coloring sheet. But I've changed my mind. There is nothing engaging about a worksheet period. I want to come up with some better activities for my students. I asked some of my kindergarten teacher friends and they had some good suggestions.
What I am thinking is that I will have a different activity each day. Like on Mondays we do play doh, Tuesdays will be all about math, Wednesdays will be all about writing, Thursdays could be for name practice, Fridays for puzzles and fine motor. I want it to be pretty easy for me but I know for that to happen I have to do some planning. I think having a theme for the day will help some. I think at first it will be a lot of exploration and then as kids get more experience with school and the activities we do, the work will be a little more challenging. Another thing I'm thinking is to let one group of kids each day use our iPads and iPods. This could be a rotation.
I've started pinning some ideas. You can check out that pinterest board out here.
I would love to know what you have your kids do when they come into the classroom. Please leave a comment and let me know. (This reminds me of my great great Aunt Jenny. She would call companies on their 1-800 numbers on the back of their products. She always said, "They love to hear from you.") I would love to hear from you!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I start the school day with a Table Time activity which is usually 20-25 minutes. Things like playdoh, dry erase boards, alphabet matching games, floor puzzles, watercolor wash over sight words, etc. I try to do a variety of activities but keep the focus on fine motor and something that can easily be done within our time frame. I've kinda done the routine of same activity on the same day of each week but then something would come up and I'd need to change for one reason or another. But I'm going to try that again this year.

    Learning at the Teacher Table