Did you ever see the movie called "how stella got her groove back"? Today I'm gonna share how I got my groove back. I love teaching kindergarten and this summer, like many before this one, was a summer of unknown. Will I get to stay in K or will I be moved? Are numbers high enough? For most of the summer our numbers showed that I was moving grades. Then we hit teacher week, you know the week we go back and have meetings? I still couldn't make myself change classrooms. Then it happened... numbers finally got approved and I got to stay in K. I can't begin to tell you how much I LOVE this group of kids! They are funny and crazy and excited about learning!
During my time off this summer I did a LOT of blog reading. I mean a lot... big kid blogs, pre k blogs, and everything in-between. I started getting excited about teaching again. By the time I got my class list, I was ready to be a teacher again. Yea I was really that close to leaving the profession. Y'all ever have those years??? I did and it sucked! But I learned from it. I learned that I have to be first.... yep you read that right. If I am not taking care of myself then I am going to get down and I might not get back up. I worked hard to loose 30 pounds and over the summer I started crossfit. It's no joke and I don't love getting up at 4am. But being healthy is a priority! But back to my groove ...
After all my reading this summer I am changing how I do my centers. I read a lot of Kim Adsit and Mr. Greg blogs and how they do centers. I LOVE how choice reigns supreme in there rooms! But honestly neither of their ways were a perfect fit. I'm not sure if anyone's way is a perfect fit to others. I am using parts of how they do centers that have been tweaked to fit me!
Let's start with a peek at what my district MADE for me!! Yes I just requested the shelves and this is the beauty their brought me. I already had the baskets.
First we are calling our centers neighborhoods and my center groups are being called "families". The families stay the same all year. The neighborhoods are marked by forest animals (this years theme) and I have 5 this year. And the room has hanging animals over the area. Also all choices in that neighborhood is marked with that animal.
The kids are going to be doing a must do and can do baskets. A must do basket is for 1 person to do and will based on Mr. Greg's differentiated baskets. The can do baskets can have 2 friends working the "games" in the basket. They are also labeled with a #2. This tells the kids that 2 friends can work on what ever is in that basket.
Let's talk about these must do baskets. After reading and watching some of Mr. Greg's videos on centers and these baskets, I knew that I needed these in my room. That beautiful shelf that the district made me holds 24 baskets. There are 6 per color, but no more than 5 children per color. I have these color campers that I write the names of the children according to what color basket they get. This is how I differentiate! I love that I can group all of my according to what they need. For example, the blue group has several activities about shapes. They are working on telling the difference between square and rectangles.
Just look at how engaged these little ones are! And honestly, things couldn't be going any better!
And that is how I got my groove back! (if only I could get my blogging groove back)