Today at the end of the day my tiniest little friend Dianita was trying to stuff her fluffy pink jacket into her tiny pink Dora backpack like she does everyday. She always needs help and calls me over, but today another little girl was helping her. She called me over to tell me that Sabrina was filling her bucket. Love it!
Many of my students participate in extended day Letters class. That means some AM Kinders stay late and some PM Kinders come early and they all eat lunch together in the cafeteria. While they are there, I have my daily prep time so often I walk through the cafeteria on my way to the teacher work room or the office. My students make me feel like a rockstar every time I pass by. They call my name and wave like crazy and I love it.
On Wednesday we had a staff meeting that focused on cooperative learning. We were told to incorporate three cooperative learning activities into our day on Thursday. During my writing time, I had the kids "stand up, hand up, pair up" which is a strategy to get the to partner up. Basically they stand up and put their hand up in the air and then high five someone who becomes their partner. The kiddos got with a partner and talked about what they want to be when they grow up. Then, I had them share out what their partner had told them to reinforce good listening. After that, I asked them to write a sentence telling what they want to be. One of my cute little guys wrote,
"I wont to be a paleein tolojist."WOW. Love it.
I went to observe another Kinder teacher yesterday to get some ideas and I loved the behavior management system she uses. I went out right away and got the supplies to make it and it worked like a charm today. My students really have been way to talkative and I guess I have been too much a softie and have not laid down the law enough. So, I introduced this system where each kiddo gets three sticks that they need to "guard" during the week. They can keep their sticks by being good listeners, not talking when I am talking, and basically following the school rules. (stuff they should be doing, but that has been lacking lately!) therefore resulting in my principal checking in with me a lot. If kids keep their three sticks, they earn a choice time on Friday afternoon and also a sticker to put on the sticker chart next to the stick pocket chart, so they can count and keep track of how many times they kept all three sticks. I told the kids that sometimes we might have a popcorn party or a short video instead of choice time and they were really excited to have the chance to earn those fun things. We also talked about what kinds of behaviors result in having to move one of their sticks and lose it from their pocket. A few kiddos had that happen, but overall I was really impressed with how much better they listened on the whole today. I hope it continues to work that well, but if it goes anything like today....it's another LOVE IT!
I am driving to Seattle tomorrow to visit a friend from high school. I haven't seen her since my wedding about 3.5 years ago. Her fiancee is currently deployed in Qatar, so we are in the same boat missing our men! I can't wait to see her and catch up. It will be nice to take a break from homework, although I will have to buckle down and work hard on Sunday after my run.