I really like how my cooperating teacher has a lot of the procedural/behavioral sayings that she always says twice. She often says my friends my friends to gain their attention. As I have said before, we have a lot to learn from her!
Thursday I started by walking the kids from lunch to recess. Since Lindsay was teaching that day, she and Mrs. L went to talk for a few minutes so it gave me a chance to catch up with the assistant teacher Mrs. White, who in my opinion is great! Mrs. L agrees with me that she should be a lead teacher. She taught in an LD classroom of mixed ages (preK-5th grade) the last couple years and I think that she has brought a lot of great techniques and patience into the Kindergarten classroom. At recess that day, several of the students were KISSING each other! Ha! I couldn't help but laugh. Of course, at this age, it was the girls chasing the boys. I thought Mrs. White handled the situation so well. She had each child involved come speak to her individually. Not once did she say the word "kissing" but was still able to make her point very clear. She asked the students "whats going on" to which most said "nothing", but she proceeded with asking them if she needed to bring the school policy book out and reshow them the rules. She also reminded them that this was their warning and if it continued, a call home was the next step. Every single one nodded their head no no no and promised "it" would stop. Problem solved! Without even having to discuss the details. She said its the same as having teenagers. I guess some things never change!
After coming inside, Lindsay took over and taught her lesson on counting from 1-5 before we broke up into small math groups. Mrs. L said she often tweaks the math lesson plans to accommodate what her students need to be working on. The group I worked with was folding a piece of paper into 4 sections. In each section they were to put 0-5 stickers and then label how many they had put. I think the students enjoyed this center because it involved a craft project, but many were getting frustrated with the stickers. They were really hard to peel off, even for me! Many were not able to work as fast because it was taking longer to peel the stickers off, even when I was able to help them. Other than that, I think that it was an appropriate and engaging activity and suitable for their level. I really enjoyed center time that day!
While Lindsay was teaching a group lesson in her center, Mrs. Lacey was pulling children aside one at a time to work on related tasks. I have noticed she really takes the time and effort to spend one on one time with a few children each day which I think is so crucial. As we talked about in class, it is not easy to get to know your students on an individual basis. Each week, there is a Lacey Bug of the week. This student fills out an information sheet with their favorite color, favorite food, favorite hobbies, and who their family includes. They also send in pictures of their friends and family and get the spot light on the bulletin board. Along with being recognized, they get special opportunities such as line leader. This is a good way to get to know a little bit about students home life, not only for the teachers but also for the other classmates.
Last week I blogged about the Cold Call technique. In KB, they also use a similar technique that I like and that Lindsay used in her lesson. It works when there is a series of questions that need to be answered, one after the other. The teacher calls on one student to come up to the front and answer and then that student is allowed to pick a friend to answer the next one. The students really enjoy it and surprisingly, everyone seems to get a chance!
At the end of the day as the students were working on their writing, Mrs. Lacey stopped the class to share one student's realization. He was asking how to write the word "yard" and realized that the "ar" in yard is the same sound in the word "car", which he knew how to spell already. He was able to sound out the y and the d in yard to spell it correctly. I think it is a great idea to stop and share with the class something like this. I love seeing kids this age have such exciting realizations!