Kindergarten Teacher

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Using the Calendar Like a Calendar

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Last year I wrote about changing the focus of calendar time. The goal was to have the kids actually using the calendar. You can read about that change here.

Using the year-round calendar was a major success in my room. The kids used it daily and we referenced it often. It was common to see a kid counting how many days until the next big event, using the calendar to discuss past events and referencing the calendar in their journal writing. Since they had access to the entire year of dates they were able to use the calendar like adults us it, which is my goal.

If you want to give it a try I have the 2014-2015 file available for download below. As you can see in the picture above I simply cut sticky notes in strips and used those strips to add dates to the calendar on the side. The main reason for not writing directly on the calendar is so the words can be written larger and seen easier.

These calendars go from Aug 2014- July 2015. I display that as one full year.

2014-2015 Word Document

2014-2015 PDF Document

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2014 Update: Apps We Use in Kindergarten

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RED Links- New Apps to the list

Underlined Apps– What I consider MUST HAVE apps for Kindergarten!

Storytelling/Creating:

Lego Movie Maker, Aurasma, Venn Diagram, Write About This, Tell About ThisBalloon Stickies, Audioboo, 30hands, Magnetic ABC, Hello Crayon, Pic Stitch, Pic Collage, PicPlayPost Chatterpix Kids, ToontasticFelt BoardLittle Bird TalesEducreationsSock PuppetsStoryBuddy 2, Explain EverythingDoodlecast Pro, Book CreatorStrip DesignerToontastic JrDraw and Tell HDMy StoryPuppet PalsKid in StorySkitch, Popplet

Creativity/Play:

My PlayHomeToca Tea PartyRobot LabWhere’s My WaterToca KitchenSticker WorldLittle Things

Books: I started using the iPad as a listening center, here are my all time favorite books…

Collins Big Cat Books, Monster at the End of the BookDr Seuss ABCCat in The HatGreen Eggs and HamGo Away Big Green MonsterThree Little PigsThe Kissing HandThree Little GatorsThe LoraxGroovy Story of Tortoise and HareCountry Mouse City MouseTeddy’s NightMiko Goes on VacationThe Chalk Box Story

Apps for all areas:

Teach Me KFeed MeJumpstart PrePirate Phd, Princess Phd, Teach Me 1st Grade

Letter ID/Letter Sound:

Touch and Write, All About Letters, AR Flashcards,  Starfall ABCIntro to LettersInteractive AlphabetLetter of the DayAlphabetimalsAlphabet TracingEndless AlphabetLetter SchoolAlpha TotsMontessori Letter SoundsAlpha MazeFlashCardsAlien Buddies, Wet Dry Try

Letter ID/Phonics/Word Work/Writing:

Alpha WriterSpell AnimalsSound SortingPhonics Fun ( I use phonics fun 1-4), Letter SoundsABC Magic 5Cimo SpellingMonkey WordWord WonderlandSentence BuilderWord BingoFlashcard Maker

Science/Geography:

My Incredible Body, Google Earth, Brainpop Jr, AR Space DinopediaPlants HDPocket Zoo,  Barefoot World AtlasStack the StatesABC Mouse (Set 1-3)World Book Animals, InstaWeather Pro

Math

Todo Time, Todo MathRWT Timeline, Maths Toolbox, MathDoodles, Base Ten Math, Adding and Subtracting, MyScript Calculator, Blokify Intro to MathHungry FishCounting BoardMath BingoPattern Recognition K, Math MagicLet’s Make ShapesSimple SortHaiku DeckNative NumbersMarble Math JrMonkey MathSplash Math KNumber MazeTallyTotsMontessori Number BoardGeoboardiSequencesHungry Guppy,

Programing/Coding/

Tynker,  Daisy The DinosaurHopscotchMove the Turtle

Art/Music:

colAR Mix,, iLuv Draw AnimalsGaragebandDrawing PadMoMA Art LabKid ArtEverything Butt ArtiLuv Drawing DinosaursWhiteboard,

BONUS: iPad Management Resources:

75 Resources for Management and Setup

Introducing Apps to the Class

Turning A Website Into An App Icon

Puffin App,

Using Flash Website on the iPad

iPad Headphones ,

Regulating Yelling with an App

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GoNoodle Gets Kids Moving!

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Do you GoNoodle? I shared about this wonderful free website over at WeAreTeachers. Click the link or picture to read more about it.

 

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20 Great FREE Apps for Elementary

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The video below is from a webinar with Region 10 where I discuss FREE apps. This is one topic in a series of hangouts I will be doing with Region 10. You can see the full schedule here. I hope you enjoy the presentation and will check out the other topics!

Watch the Video Presentation Here: Includes a brief intro to each app

The apps in the presentation are listed below…

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Using Class Dojo for Work Management

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Many teachers have been using Class Dojo as a behavior management system. If you are familiar with me you know that I avoid using these systems or any kind of reward in my classroom (read here.) However, I have been trying to find a system to allow my students to keep track of their completed work each week that would also give parents access to this information. Teaching management skills as well as time management are very important to me, even in Kindergarten. Until this week my class used a paper printout of all the jobs and colored in a box each time they filed away a job (yes, we use files)  This system has worked really well except we are wasting paper each week and there is no easy way for parents to see how much work they are completing. Enter Class Dojo. What I did was take all the behaviors they have built into the system and changed them to the names of all of our literacy centers. As the kids finished work they would pick the correct center and give themselves a point for that job. Since this was our first week I kept the iPad at my teacher table and assisted as they added their points each time. My hope is that after two weeks of working with them I can set up a computer or an iPad in the room specifically for Class Dojo and let the kids do this independently. I will update this post if that does not work out for some reason but I think it will after watching the kids use the system this week. I have pictures below to show some of the process of using the app this way.

One surprise benefit I realized is this app will give me important data about my centers. I can easily see what stations are being visited most frequently or first in the week (meaning favorite.) I can also look at each student and see what centers they are doing most often, or the ones they are avoiding each week. Since I give my class complete control over what centers they want to work on this data could really benefit me in planning stations.

Positives: Free!, easy to use as teacher, easy for kids to use, parent sign up is simple, web and app based, data for centers

Negatives: Cant add kids pictures instead of avatars (update below), can’t customize behavior icons (job icons), kids can see how many stations other kids have finished (wish there was an option to not display total) *please note these are negatives mainly because I am using the app for a different way than it was intended.

*Update: They have added a new feature this week  to allow you to customize the avatars with your own images (explained here)

This is what is displayed on the iPad for the kids to enter their points. When they tap on their avatar a menu pops up with all the center choices for my room. As noted above I don’t like that they can see the points for their friends.

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The image below is a sample image of an individual child’s progress during the week. This is what parents can see. The app shows what jobs they finish each day as well as the time those jobs are entered. The time stamp isn’t crucial to me at this point but I can see where it could be helpful given individual kids. Are they working better in the morning vs afternoon, etc. I should also note there is a pie chart above this info that shows how many of their points are positive/negative. I told the parents to ignore that part of the app and focus only on the completed centers.

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The image below is from the Dojo account on the web. I am able to see what parents have connected their account and even enter a parents email to encourage them to join. My understanding is the app will send parents a weekly update which is nice in case they forget to check. Parents can login online or use the free app to keep up with the progress in real-time.

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So how do parents sign up? Once you enter the students names into Class Dojo you can then download a pdf with the access codes for the parents. For my kindergarten class I did not worry about the student account. I just asked parents to join.

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Overall I was very impressed with the simplicity of getting my class setup and the design of the app and website. Hopefully they will consider others that might want to use the app this way and give more options that would make it more successful for that use.

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Dramatic Play: Bakery and Ice Cream Shop

Check out the amazing dramatic play center the parents at my school created! I can not claim any part of this but wanted to share the great idea. photo

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The image below shows the space. It is located in the hallway. We have four of these “pods” in our hallway that we use for our social centers (science, art, home living and blocks.) All the classes take turns rotating through these centers each day.

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