Sunday, August 10, 2014

Visual Plans / Sneak Peek


I am SO excited to hook up with Dee Dee Willis from Mrs. Willis Kindergarten for a sneak peek at lesson plans.  In fact, I learned how to do visual plans from her blog about a year or two ago.  It helps me because I am totally a visual person.  I need things in bright colors and neat, organized rows.   So when I saw her posting visual plans a while back, I was hooked!

If you don't know what visual plans are, here is a glimpse at an old one of mine.

Instead of writing out long, boring, detailed plans, I give myself a visual cue of what we are doing.  It saves me a lot of time to just glance at my book and know what to have on hand.

Each morning in Kindergarten, the kids arrive on a staggered schedule in about a 10 minute window of time.  When the bell rang, we started with work from my Kindergarten Morning Work packet.  It was great because the product starts off with some basic skills then progresses in difficulty as the year went on.  The kids could practice Literacy and Math / Number Concepts all on the same worksheet.  It gave me the necessary time to take attendance, address notes from home, etc.  The kids weren't just doing "busy work" either.  They were practicing the skills we were working on in class.  I included clipart and a border that the "fast finishers" could color while the others were finishing.

We would begin our day with Morning Meeting & Calendar Time, then we would get right into Word Work.  I loved this time of the day.  The kids were fresh and awake and eager to learn.  I would vary different word work activities, especially during the beginning of the year (VERY short attention spans!)  Early on, I would introduce our Sight Word Mini-Books.  We used these to practice concepts of print, letter identification, letter writing, and discrimination.....all in one cute little book! (We use the Dolch Sight Word list but I also made them for the Fry 100.)  I would use the remaining time to do a read aloud to work on Concepts of Print, fluency & comprehension.  The kids would go to Specials then lunch.

For afternoon Math, we'd start with daily routines {counting forwards, backwards, number of the day, question of the day, etc.}  During the first weeks of school, I would use my Number Practice pages.  These really helped the kids master each number: handwriting it and being able to represent it.  It also gave me time to work with struggling students with my RTI Math for Kindergarten program.  I always tried to address any struggling students as early as possible.  These activities really helped "catch-up" those students.

It was right around this point in the day I would start to lose some students.  We had a V.E.R.Y. long afternoon last year.  Most of the kiddies couldn't wait til rest time and would fall asleep!  I tried to keep them up and moving.  We would start our Sight Word Bracelets the first week of school.  The kids LOVE these things!  I would begin with our first three words....a, the, like.  I'd vary who got which bracelet so there were an equal number of each.  Then we'd meet up with our "teams" (the "A" Team, the "The" Team, etc.) and do brain break activities.  Some days we would build numbers using Play-Doh or something fun!

I posted my old schedule below so you could see how I laid out my day.  Like I said, I had to try to cram the learning portions of our day towards the morning since that was when they were at their best!

I hope this has been helpful to you!  I can't wait to get my schedule for this year so I can get busy making those plans!!!!

Head on back to Mrs. Willis Kindergarten to check out more great posts!  Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for linking up Lori!!! Have a great week!