Saturday, September 27, 2014

I HEART Instagram!

I don't want to admit how late I am to the Instagram party, but let's just say the app may or may not have just been added to my phone this week....

Regardless, I'm SO excited about using it in my classroom! I've already gotten several of my parents to follow me, and I know they're enjoying seeing pictures of how their kids are learning. My hope is that this will give parents new ideas of how to work with their children at home.

I also love how motivating Instagram is, so I'm teaming up with Joanne's fabulous motivation linky. I often take pictures of my kiddos when they finish a project or activity, and that encourages them to complete it (and complete it well). Once they get their picture taken, they absolutely BEAM!


The other Instagram-y thing I like is that parents can share pictures of what their child is doing at home. One of our homework assignments this week was to take pictures of 3D objects at home and share them on Instagram. How fun is that?! Here are a few pictures that my students and their families shared:

Apparently Batman came to help on of my kiddos with his homework. I DIED laughing when I saw this!!

I'm looking forward to a year of Instagraming (because, honestly, I think I'm having more fun than anyone else!).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Getting Started: Read to Self

I don't know about you, but my reading stations are this crazy mix of Daily 5 and Debbie Dillard. Both systems are good, so I've pillaged each one until I've made what works for me. The one thing that I've definitely included from Daily 5 is its focus on training students and building stamina. I never thought my kinders would be able to sit quietly and read for so long, but today we hit 15 minutes!

Not that everyday was a picnic. You can see that it took us a few days to get the hang of things. But now, we're reading like fish swim, like birds fly, and like Michelle Tanner eats ice cream!

One problem I've had in the past is that I didn't have a good system for giving my students books to read.
I just met these little guys.
What level are they on?
What are they interested in?
I DON'T KNOW!!!!!! 
Instead, of stressing, I raided our book room and made 5 sets of 5 different bags (each bag is labeled A-E). Throughout the week, I rotated which group had which bag. When we rotated through all the books, I replaced them with new ones from the book room. Easy peasy!
I hope beginning your stations is successful and smooth this year. Please post any tips you have to getting stations started!