Happy Summer teaching friends! I hope everyone is enjoying their time off. I love Summer! It gives me time to reflect on the year before and think about the year coming up. What worked? What do I want to change? What do I need to get ready? Well, one of the BIG ROCKS that I want to tackle is station organization and planning.
I want what my students are working on, while I am working with small groups, to have meaning and purpose! I don’t want to grab something at the last minute and throw it in a station. I want to have a PLAN. I want to know what my on level kids, below level kids, and my above level kids will be practicing.
So, my first step is to decide which stations I want to use in my room. Now, I have gone back and forth from Debbie Diller style work stations to Daily 5. This year, I am morphing the two. I don’t need to make one style fit. I can take what I have learned from both and put them to work for me and my Kinders! It’s Ok! There are no D5 or LWS police coming to get me.
I needed to give my very old station set a major facelift!! I love bright colors! I like polka dots, chevron, and stripes…..I don’t discriminate. I love all patterns and love mixing them. HOWEVER, I tend to have a method to my madness.
The one thing that I loved about DD LWS (Debbie Diller Literacy Work Stations) was how she introduced and practiced each station. I think to have station/center success, your students must know what they can do, and what is expected at each station.
The first station that I introduce is the ABC Station. Within the first few weeks of school, I do a baseline assessment to see where my students are. How many letters do they already know? How many sounds do they know? ABC is the easiest station to introduce because you can use ABC books, ABC puzzles, ABC games to start with. Once you establish some station routines, then you can introduce specific learning activities.
I will use this sheet to help me plan what I will use in each station and how I can differentiate for each of my students.
My teammates and I sat down and talked about where our kids should be each month. We used our district and state standards to help guide us. It took a long time, but it will be so worth it. NOW, we can go in and fine tune what we should have in our stations and what we can be teaching in small groups. We use Reading Street so we needed to align with that also.
For the first 26 days of school….ok, well…maybe NOT the first couple of days…. If you have taught Kindergarten before then you know that it is liking herding cats those first few
weeks days! 😉 We do a brief introduction of all 26 letters. We introduce a letter a day. We talk about the upper case letter, the lower case letter, the animal that goes with it, the sound, and then teach the action that goes with it.
This is our ABC Chart. You can download that for FREE by clicking on the chart.
The phonemic awareness portion of our map will be included in my morning message and word study station.
I hope to have monthly sets for: Morning Meetings, Word Study and ABC Stations.