Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Off To A Great Start!

Kindergarten started so quickly this year I'm still processing all we've been through in 3 short weeks!  Our classroom is coming together as a community and with kinder kiddos, that's sometimes hard for them to understand how to do.  With the help of The Responsive Classroom techniques, we're building our classroom from the ground up, everyday.  Not only are we learning letter names, sounds, numbers and words, we are learning how to solve problems, how to talk to our friends and get along.  Here's what our class came up with when it came to our classroom rules:

One of the important jobs of the first few weeks of school is for the children to make classroom rules together.  TO make the rules, the children had to first think about what they hoped to do in Kindergarten, the figure out the kind of rule that would help us all accomplish these hopes.  The rules that the children created are:
1.  Be a super Friend everywhere, everyday to everyone.
2.  Take good care of our school things.
3.  Listen to your teachers.
4.  Do your best!
These rules are broad guidelines that will take lots of attention and practice throughout the year.  We expect mistakes and, as I told the children, it is not the mistake, but how you learn to fix it, that counts.  My job, as the teacher, is to help children learn to fix their mistakes as well as to understand the consequences of their actions.  On Fridays, we have what we call our DW3 time, which stands for Do Whatever you Want, wherever time.  Students can choose from the variety of instructional play items we have in the classroom to explore with.  We have been using this time to also

reinforce our rules and procedures with what we call reminders.  Reminders are social stories we read to the students who need extra help remembering what to do during certain situations during the day.   We use the beginning of DW3 time for reminders.  After the story has been read, we ask for the students to draw and explain a picture showing us they know what to do the next time a problem or situation arises.  Examples of reminders are in the hallway, rest time, lunch, carpet time, listening to the teacher, etc.  If your child needed a reminder that week, you’ll see the reminder drawing in their blue folder on Fridays.  If our ultimate goal is for children to become independent, life-long learners, then it is important that they learn how to make good decisions in settling differences and taking care of mistakes in constructive ways.
You can support your child by reading over these rules and talking about them.  It’s important that your child knows your expectations, too

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