Letter Recognition

I was recently asked, "What do you do to improve letter recognition?"

For letter recognition, I...
host Alphabet Bingo!
go to the dollar store and buy flashcards for my struggling kids and send them home to use with a note.
use cookie sheets and sugar to have them write specific letters in the "snow" (great sensory activity).
(we) sing and dance to Dr. Jean's "Alphardy".
(we) say the ABC chant every day.
use a LeapFrog DVD, "The Letter Factory".
use whiteboards and play, "Simon Says." Simon says write a G.
line my kids up by first letters of their name. "If your name starts with A line up."

That's all I can remember for now... The red activities are links to blog posts and more details.

What do YOU do to improve letter recognition? Leave a comment!


Play-Doh Letters

About twice a week, I hand out small pre-made balls of Play-Doh, so the children can make our letters, shapes, and numbers of the week.
This also prepares them for Play-Doh center. They learn how to clean up the Play-Doh, stay on task, and keep it off of the floor!


Who does this?!

Who thought it would be a good idea to give you less border in a package than a standard bulletin board amount?! :(

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Entry Tasks = Buying Some Time

Our morning routine entails "moving the children's names"and sitting down to an Entry Task. (Sigh.) I love Entry Tasks because the kids are doing something productive while I collect notes and complete lunch count.
Over the summer, I created 180 Entry Tasks in a single Word document. Each Entry Task is a half sheet of paper with a REVIEW topic. Today the kids were asked to draw their shoes (since it's only Day 6). As they come in the Entry Task is always at their seats and they are trained on what to do.
Entry Task topics I created were drawing shapes, forming letters, name practice, writing words, drawing pictures, and writing environmental print found in the room.

Centers Details

As I begin to incorporate structured centers, I thought I'd share what works best for me...

For the first two weeks of centers, I do not try to pull kids for a small group since I'm constantly getting up to assist the kiddies. I circulate the room until my feet hurt. When I finally assign centers groups by ability level, I send home a note to the parents listing their child's group, so the parents can help them remember the group name.

I have six groups of 4-5 children in each group. They are the: Yellow Suns, Red Apples, Orange Fish, Blue Cars, Green Turtles, and Purple Stars. Since moving to full-day K, I have two 40 minutes centers sessions, one are Math Centers and one are Reading Centers. During the 40 minutes, I do two centers stations for each group, so the kids visit a total of 4 centers a day.

practice finding their centers, walking to their center quietly, completing the center, and then CLEANING UP the center the way they found it. I include pictures of what the centers look like neatly organized for my visual learners.

My Math Centers include: blocks center, board games center, computer center, small group with me ("Mrs. Payne's Round Table"), whiteboards, seatwork, puzzles, manipulatives, etc.

My Reading Centers are: reading group, computers, listening center, LeapPads, whiteboards, file games, mailbox center, friend center (where they match each classmate's picture to their written name), write the room center (writing environmental print), journals, teacher center with the overhead, alphabet puzzles, art center, etc.

Here's a link to a previous year's half-day centers.


Lesson Plans

Here are some generic plans that I use...
Full-Day, Page 1
Full-Day, Page 2 (I put the pages side-by-side in a three-ring notebook, shown here.)
Half-Day, Page 1
Half-Day, Page 2

Thanks, WalMart!

I would just like to give a shout out to WalMart and their Teacher Rewards program. Two managers from the school's nearest WalMart visited our school this morning during our staff meeting. Not only did they bring EVERY baked good for breakfast including fruit platters, but they also brought TEN $100 classroom giftcards... AND I WON ONE! So, thanks WalMart for buying my kinders some extra-special things for our room!


Day 3

Full-day kindergarten makes such a difference. The children have had so much more time to adjust to the routine. My aide is fantastic! I have also noticed that most of the children have had exposure to pre-k material, so they have done great on the assignments thus far. I'm so pleased and grateful!

First Day Greeting

Each year, on the first day of school, I wheel out my table and set up nametags and a basket of notes for the parents. The children find their name tags and the parents take a note. I posted the note here. I use the nametage for the first week of school. I remember their names by day two, but now we have Specials (P.E., Music, Library, and Art) each day and it helps out those teachers.