All about Centers! ( Organization and Centers in Action)

I love, love love  doing centers. As I have posted before I have 27 kiddos with 13 groups. I have two students per group. Each student has two group names, one for independent group stations and one for guided reading and writing. For independent group stations the students have jungle animal names and for guided reading and writing they have color names.
Here is a picture of what I use to display centers
Here is my center chart. I know its not all that cute but it is very functional!
Here is a close up of the chart. This are two of the kiddos groups. The Lions and the Hippos, the two number beside each picture tell what station the kiddos go to. The green number is the first station and the read number is the second station
At the top of the chart, the books show  the groups that I will meet with for Guided reading and writing.
Here is a pic of my station posters that I hang in each station
Under the station poster are the I can statement for each center
After the kiddos go to their station the center captain for that station is responsible for going to get their bucket. Here is a pic of how I store my center material for reading and math
I use crates for storage. These are located in the back of my room under a white board. I stacked two crates on top of each other. The top row of crates hold reading center materials and the bottom row of red buckets hold math materials. Each crate holds two center bucket. The first crate hold materials for station 1 and 2 the next crate holds material for 3 and 4 and so on.
This is a picture of the individual reading baskets.
I label each basket with the name of the station and all the materials for that station are included in the basket.
Now on to the acutal centers. Warning! It gets very messy during center times but the kids are learning sooo…………………………………………..

This is the alphabet egg station. The kiddos pulled and egg and found its match on the sheet and colored it the same color as the egg they pulled. The kiddos were working on matching upper and lower case letters

Word Wall sTation. The kiddos first got their baggies and the list and spelled the words on the list. Next the got their white board and marker then wrote the word on the board. Lastly the kiddos found the word on the wall and picked a chant to practice the word. * For a challenge the kiddos had to tell their partner why the word was a centain color. ( Red=Word Family, Orange=math, vocabulary=Popcorn Word Green=Popcorn Word and so on )
next is the journal writing station

We learned the words see, I  and a. The kids made I see a sentences using the fall words poster. I found this idea on here. Students wrote the sentence for each picture on the poster.

Library Station
Students picked a book from the book basket. On their sheets of paper I wrote a letter that I wanted them to find. Looked through their book to see how many words they could find with their letter
letter Build Station

Pocket Chart Station
Sensory Tub
Students used spoons to scoop out letters and match them to their sheet

Spelling station
Kids used their pencil or finger to write the word in the floor. Students then filled out their response sheet.
Word Fam and Listening

Click here to read a more detailed post about my center and get the printables that I used

Carpet Bags

So if you have been following my blog you know that I started the year off with 33 kinders! I have never had that many students and did not have room for all of them. I have limited seating with only 5 tables so I did not have enough room for all the kiddos and there stuff. I don’t know about you but I literally can’t function with clutter and junk thrown everywhere and we all know that kinders are very messy! One way that I cut down on the mess is to use crate seats, click here to read more, and the other way is to use carpet bags.
I love these carpet bags and the studnets have everything on hand that they will need. My plan is to have these grow with our needs. Eventually I want to have math manipulatives in them, flashcards for the skill that we are covering, baggies of money, (don’t you have having to pass out the conis each day when teaching money, IT DRIVES ME NUTS!!1),clocks and whatever else we might need.
Here is how I store the carpet bags
I got the black bucket from Walmart for $4.oo
The bucket sits on a bookshelf in my whole group area
A closer look at the bags. I got these from Walmart for .97 cent
Each bag is labeled with the student’t name. I could not find the badge clips so I used binder clips (the small ones were .88 cent for a box at, Wally World)
I made the name tags using decorative paper that came in a package of 7  different patterns for .97 cent.
I typed each student’s name in word, printed and laminated the sheet
* Here is a closer look*
Here is a look at what is inside the carpet bag at the moment.
folder, binders would be stronger but the kiddos bought 10 folders a piece so I just had to find a use for them, pencil pouch that holds their eraser, dry erase marker, sharpie, and pencils and their dry erase hand board.
I use these for word work on the carpet, spelling, sentence writing, math. These are a lifesaver b/c they allow me to see if the students are getting a concept and allows me to check their thinking while we are on the carpet.
 Student’s writing journals that I got with my Donor’s Choose grant
math Journals
Here is what I include inside my carpet folders
I put the papers inside the folder in the same order as we cover them during our morning meeting time. I find that it is easier for the students to get a concept like recognizing numbers 1-100 or the letters of the alphabet when they actually point along with me instead of watching me point. It helps them connect what they are saying to an acutal letter or number
Alphabet chart that we say each morning. One day we might focus on the sound, A-a apple, B-b ball and so on or we might do letters. We also play I-spy where I tell the a sound and they have to tell me the picture, or I will say a word and they have to find the picture with the same beginning, ending sound or rhyming words. These are laminated so the kiddos can just use their marker to circle the answer
next is the word wall of words we will cover this year
A 100’s chart where the students point to the number as we count.
Ten Frames chart where the students build the number of the day or mystery number from the 100’s chart. Later on the kiddos will get a chart with 10 ten frames on it.
Word Attack Strategies
* OUr traveling word wall. Sorry the pic is sideways*
Kiddos make their own word wall. They add the spelling/sight words to their chart each week. Kiddos use these during center time in the post office and journal stations
Word Family chart, same concept as the word wall chart. The students write the words from the word family in the box. The kids fill one box for each word family, we have gone over 3 word Families so the students have written in 3 boxes. The students also have a word family journal, I forgot to take a pic of it, anyhoo they draw a picture of each word family word in their journal during stations
Does anyone else use this idea? What do you put in yours?
Coming up next Reading Logs/take home books
Centers in Action
Letter Stations
Math Stations
Happy Teaching

A Quickie!!! Four Square Writing and Kindergarten Happenings

We use four square writing method for our writing instruction. Each day  we write in one square until eventually we have completed all squares. The idea behind the four square, at least in K at my school, is that the students will be able to write a paragraph by the time that they leave. Since this is the beginning of the year the students write what I write but as the year progresses the students’ four square chart will look different from mine. I will continue to model the four square and writing conventions but they will have to eventually come up with their own details for their writing. For example if we are talking about colors in our world, I will model how to write a sentence and detail about our topic but my color would be different from theirs. I might choose to write about the colors lilac,periwinkle or etc while the students write about more traditional colors. I am still modeling what and how to write but the students will have to come up with their own sentence to write in their square.
I have had great success with this method and the students got really good at write supporting details and sentences. I don’t know about you but my past students were able to write but their writing was very scattered because they would not stick to one topic. 4 Square writing has really helped my students.
Last week we read the story If You Give a Moose a Muffin and wrote about how to make muffins. Since the students are not very good writers we discussed how to make make and the process that it takes. Each day we wrote about one step in that process.
MY Four Square
 Students Four Square
These look the same right now but as the year goes on the students will be able to write on their own! It takes us about a week to complete a four square chart and we use the following week to edit our writing and pull the sentences and write a paragraph

*this is the book I use*

Kindergarten Happenings!

Happy Teaching

What do you do during morning meeting? A Blog Hop

What do you do during your morning meeting? I don’t know about you but I cover a wide variety of skills during my morning meeting. I don’t have a smartboard so I like to use my white board to cover my skills.
1. For Starters I, or the Top Banana, will start the Good Morning poem and everyone will move to their seats on the carpet! By the time that we are finished saying the poem everyone is seated and ready to begin
***Update***
I typed up the Good Morning Poems
Click HERE to get them 
2. After we say the poem the Teacher Asst, a student’s job, we begin our calendar. We do our months of the year, macareana dance, days of the week, Adams Fam song, count how many days we have been in school and review previous week’s sight words and word fam words. ( Pocket charts hold these words.
3. After the calander we then review our spelling words. We use magnetic letters and I pick a student to spell each word on the board. The remaining students writing  the words on their hands( a dry erase board) After we build the words on the board I use Mrs. Jones room to sing each word! She has songs for up to six letter words.
*** Carpet bags that house the students dry erase makers and hands, hundred chart and ten frame chart**** Students keep these in their crate seats
So that I have the letters on hand for students to build the words on the board I keep a jewerly thingy to store the letters in
4. After the spelling words we then review previous skills and do our fluency
Skills we are working on right now are letter fluency, naming and sound, number fluency and sequence, beginning sounds and rhyming words

View of one of our fluency charts!
5. We then play a quick game using words on our word wall and begin Jolly Phonics
During Jolly Phonics we go over the letter, practice writing it, I write in on the board students write on the hands and then we play a listening game.  Traditionally at my school the teacher reviews the letter and students go back to their seats and practice writing the letter. I could not do this because it was very boring so I created letter stations! I will post more on the letter stations at another time
So what do you do during morning meeting?  Link up and share This is a blog hop so don’t forget to grab the code and place it in your post! 
As Always thanks for visting my little ole blog

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A Go Chart for Reading!

Have you heard about Go charts?
 Before I came my school I had never heard of a go chart!
A go chart is basically an anchor chart of sorts that students use to respond to a story daily. At the beginning of the year the teacher writes down the ideas that the students come up with based on the story and as the year progresses and the students get better at writing they use sticky notes and write their own responses. These are really simple to make and helps the studnets gain better understanding of story elements.
In kindergarten we read a story each week and complete one section of the go chart each day. Here is a couple examples of a go chart. Since this is the beginning of the year they are fairly basic but as the year goes on they get more and more eloborate!

On Monday we take a picture walk through our story and the students make a prediction based on the picture walk about what the story is going to be about. We also review our vocabulary and sight words
On Tuesday we do I wonder…. The students tell what they wonder about the story. When giving a response the students began by saying I wonder……. For example when reading the Brown Bear story a student said I wonder where all the animals are going and why they are by themselves. Another student wondered if all the animals got along
On Wednesday we do Understanding which is the I noticed part of the Go Chart. On this day the students tell what they noticed. One of the students noticed that the animals had funny coloring and they were not that color in real life! Another student noticed that all the animals could see each other when they do not live in the same place!
On Thursday we do Connections and this is when the students make connections to self, world and text.
Lastly on Friday we do Retelling and the students act out what happened!
We do this with each and every book and display them in our hallway. This really helps my students and they become more aware of a book and the purpose of reading that book. The Go Chart helps my students become deeper thinkers and critical readers!