Yesterday was another great day in KB! After hearing in class last night how some teachers are not as open to us being there and the other complaints, I must say how thankful I am to be in Mrs. Lacey's classroom this semester. It is such an incredible group of kids with even more incredible teachers. The teacher and the assistant teacher work so well together that I often wonder if they rehearse every morning. I am not exaggerating. With that being said, I do think there is a lot to learn from the not so great teachers/classrooms. Sometimes seeing what you don't want to do will stick with you for much longer. I would love to visit the other Kindergarten classrooms this semester and see different styles of teaching.
There seems to be a version of No Opt Out technique. During time on the rug, there are many chances for the students to be called on. When someone gives the wrong or not completely wrong answer, nothing negative is said. Someone else is called, but I have noticed that the child that gave the wrong answer is always called on again dealing with the same subject. I think this i a great way to incorporate a technique like this in to an early childhood class. While using it how it is explained in the Lemov book might work for older classes, it may be a little harsh and/or embarrassing for the Kindergartners.
Yesterday began with us meeting the class at lunch and then recess. It is great to have recess at the beginning of our visit because it gives us a chance to catch up with the teacher. She explained to us that they had been having an "off" week, but I didn't see to notice! The students seem to love her and are always wanting to come sit with her and talk to her. She has a great way of interacting with them but also encouraging them to enjoy their time outside. After letting them sit with her and tell them what they want to, she says I will count to 3, then you can blow me a kiss and then run off to play. It works every time.
Last week after writing, Mrs. Lacey mentioned that she ran out of time and was not able to show an example like she usually does. This week, she was able to do this. On the SMART Board, she wrote her name, the date, drew a picture, and finished with a sentence. As she was writing her sentence "I see butterflies in my yard." she asked for help sounding the words out and spelling. Often when teachers model, they do it quickly and with no help from the classroom. I think its great to work together and remind them of the processes and skills they know, but have not used since the morning. This can be referred to as Technique 14 Board=Paper. As the children began their own writing, they modeled writing their name and date as shown. Mrs. Lacey also encourages them as they illustrate and write to add details. As she reminded them, she returned to the board to add details to her own example and the children did as well.
The one thing I have noticed in my classroom that I am curious about is the absence of any dramatic play. There seems to be no time in the schedule or area for it in the class. Some of the other classrooms I have peeked in have incredible set ups for it. I plan on asking my teacher if this is part of their day when we are not there or not. I am interested to see what she says! I am looking forward to going back next week!