Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A little change

Have you ever read anything - like on a blog - and said to yourself, "Yeah, that's something I need to be thinking about?" 

 Forever In First

Well, Tammy at Forever in First has had several posts about transitions, but this one really hit it. She speaks about all of us wanting more time in the day, and that we need to make every minute count. And then she talked about transitions. {crickets} Yup, I probably need to tighten up my transitions, and other lag times during my day, but I just don't want to think about it. 

And then this year, I got some extra time, just because of something I didn't do. You see, in the past, I've had my attendance on my Smartboard. It was really fun. I'd put their special number on an object and they would move that object to show they were at school. I had snowmen for January, and pumpkins for October, and when we were studying dinosaurs,you got it - they had little dinosaurs with their number on them. So this was all good - and the kids liked the cute little objects. But I would notice that it was kind of slow going. And as they were waiting to come into the room to move their object, the back of the line would start getting silly and maybe loud.

But this year, because of the way my life was going {big smile} I just didn't get that done before school started. I thought to myself I'd just do it later and introduce it then. But I realized, I got everyone in the room WAY quicker. And after everyone got in their seats, I just quickly scanned the room for absences and asked if anyone brought a lunch from home. 

I remember when I was reading Teaching with Intention, Debbie Miller said, "Once I developed my belief statements, the next step was to align them with my classroom practices." I'm not 100% there, but one of my beliefs is that I want readers in my classroom. Now I have this extra 10 minutes at the beginning of the day {before we go to reading interventions}. And I remembered something I read in The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller - well, I can't find it exactly, but she said that instead of finding something for kids to do - like workbook pages, or practice pages, etc., she just had them read. What?!? What an idea!

 So I've made this 10 {extra!!} minutes of the day a reading time. I'm a little more relaxed during this time and let the kids share things from their book with their buddies sitting close to them - as they transition into the school day.

I've been wanting to share this idea for a while, and since I woke up at wee morning time today, and already got all my cutting done on the cutting board {what a teacher nerd}, I just had to share. Have you changed anything this year? Has it made a big difference?


  1. I love the idea of having kids read in the morning. So much more valuable than the worksheets we sometimes start the day with. Thanks for sharing!

    Carolina Teacher

  2. That is a great idea! Don't you love it when you think of something that actually works out?! :) I usually have a simple morning work paper- and then book boxes on the table for the kids to read and share. Our buses come in any time between 8:40 and 9 so there is some TIME in there for some of them! My schedule changed this year, too and I am still working it out and fitting it together like a puzzle. Almost there! Have a great day!
    Kindergarten: Holding Hands and Sticking Together

  3. Sara, so sweet of you to mention me. Of course, Debbie and Donna are brilliant. They both challenge me to think twice about what I'm doing. By the way, when my kids finish something early, they know to automatically head to our library. No reason for the "stuff" that teachers make up for kids to do when done. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First