Week in Review: Calendar and Centers

This week was only a three day week for us, but it felt like a month!  Last week we had shortened days because of the heat (and non-air conditioned buildings), so going for full days this week was tough on my little babies!  Not to mention back to school germs are spreading rapidly! Unfortunately, they’ve also made their way into my body! Here’s hoping for a relaxing weekend to kick this summer cold!

This week was all about getting used to centers.  I have a larger (25) class this year, so I had to do a little bit of rethinking on how I am running my centers.  I knew that having 5 kids working at 5 centers would be too  much to handle!

So, here’s what I do:

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One chart is for math centers, and one if for literacy centers.  They both have the same kids in each group, but I know that I will not always be able to get to both math and literacy centers in one day, so I wanted to keep them separate.

I divided my class in half.  So, during math centers, half of the children will be working at centers (with a max of three per group), and the other half will be at the carpet during a whole group lesson with me.

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The kids are also divided in half for literacy centers, but instead of a whole group lesson, they will be writing.  I learned this strategy from my super smart friend Traci – it works so well in her classroom, I wanted to try it in mine.  It’s still a work in progress, but I think we’ll get there!  My literacy centers are scheduled for the same time as my RTI support time, so eventually more kids will be pulled for intervention at this time, so I may need to slightly rework it when that starts.

So, these centers are all about getting used to working quietly in partnerships (or small groups), working the whole time, cleaning up centers, and switching groups. So, the items in my center drawers are pretty basic.

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Here’s a peek inside:

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From left to right:

1. Exploring with geoboards

2.Trace a Shape from Julie Lee

3.Simple roll and cover game

4. Pattern block puzzles

5. Unifix patterns

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1. Letter hunt from Shari Sloane

2. Alphabet writing from Lakeshore

3. Alphabet Puzzles

4. Pete the cat roll and write from Jamie Chamblee. (I don’t think this is available anymore!)

On to Calendar…..

I was just slightly nervous to start our calendar binders with such a large group of young kinders this year.  But, I am so happy to say that it is going FABULOUS!  I start off very, very slow!!

I know quite a few of you were concerned with the amount of paper for my calendar pages (bummer that some of you have such a tight budget!), so I wanted to test another version that you can use that uses less paper. So, here goes:

I use 1/2” clear view calendar binders that I buy from Sam’s club.    I like the clear view so I can slide in my calendar songs (sorry this unit is taking SO long!) and alphabet song. I label the spine of the binders with a different color of electrical tape (I use this stuff for everything!).  I train the kids to put them away with their name up and with their color, so they can easily grab it when they come in in the morning.

IMG_7469 The first month, we always sing the Alphabet Sounds song by Barbara Milne.  The children love it, but it drives me a bit batty.  It is about 4 minutes long, so it gives me just a couple of minutes to enter in my lunch count, and do any quick morning jobs I need to do.

I teach the children to use their pointer to track the pictures and letters as they sing the song.  I LOVE seeing them do this!

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Remember that smart friend that I mentioned above?  She also created this original version – I recreated it an uploaded it so you can use it too! Just click the image below to download it for your calendar binders.

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After we sing our  monthly song, we fill in the pages of our daily calendar.  Good news! I’ve updated my Daily Calendar packs to included the versions you see below – and more! I’ll continue to update the calendar pack until all of the skills are included. If you already own the pack, go ahead and download again to get the additions!

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I hope you enjoy the additional pages/options.  As I complete each new page, I will upload it to the file, so keep checking back each month for more skill pages!

If you are interested in purchasing this pack for your daily calendar, you can purchase it by clicking the image below:

calendar book cover

You can find other posts about my calendar book by clicking the calendar and calendar book labels on the sidebar of my blog.

I’ll try to be back again tomorrow with my plans for the week!

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the peek into your centre boxes. It was really helpful to see how these are organised. I love your calendar work. I must have missed this post and I want to try this with my class next term. I have holidays in two weeks to get it organised - excited!!
    With thanks
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

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  2. Nice peek into your center organization.
    BTW, I have smaller class this year...25! :)
    Jayne
    Smart Kids

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  3. Hi thanks for sharing- it can be challenging to find best fit organisation with a larger class. Do you have the children on centres just doing the one activity per day or do they rotate to more than one centre?

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  4. Wow, you had a busy week but it sounds like you are off to a great start. Where did you find your unifix pattern cards? Thank you.

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  5. Where did you find that awesome storage unit that you use for your centers? Love your calendar!

    Elisabeth
    www.missdelk.blogspot.com

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  6. @Jayne - ugh - I don't want to ask what a bigger class is for you! I tell ya - 25 is tough when your used to 18-20!

    @Donna - they go to one center per day, but I'm going to try something a bit new this week....

    @Isabel - I believe the cards came from Jessica Meacham's website

    @Elisabeth - the storage unit is from Ikea :)

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  7. How does it work with some kids in centers and some in whole group? My kids rotate centers in literacy and math but because of our aide time, I'm wondering if this might work better.

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  8. I also use the Sounds Like Fun - Alphabet song everyday. But I change the last sound to the letter so it sounds like this...apple, apple, /a/, /a/, a. This way they associate the picture, word, sound, and the letter all together. It really helps when they're trying to figure out which letter goes with which sound during writing!

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  9. I purchased the Calendar book to do with my kinders - do I need to print the calendar page ever how many days we are in school? I am a little confused - sorry.

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