Free Kindergarten Monthly Writing printables I hang these in a proud place in my classroom! Throughout the year as they complete the monthly writing, I place the newest piece on top. During our writing conferences I can easily pop the stack off the board and…
How to easily record growth and learning in Kindergarten
I make a giant grid on google- I usually put an overall expectation at the top (I make one of these sheets for each overall expectation that we are planning on reporting on during the term) and I put the specific expectations at the bottom for easy reference. I also make these for our specialist teachers at the beginning of each term so they know what they are responsible for reporting on. Each student’s name goes in a box, alphabetical by first name. I actually have used sticky notes on it when I have lots to say or to store exit tickets from some guided reading activities. Each adult in our classroom is given a clipboard with these charts on them and when they hear or observe something applicable that can go in the box, they can jot it down.
They look like this when they are freshly printed:
This ensures that throughout the term we get anecdotal notes on these expectations without having to scramble at the end towards reporting time. This works really well for our term. Hopefully it will work amazingly awesome for you! Click the g+ below to make yourself a copy of my template!
If you want to see other ways we record learning and growth in Kindergarten, check out this article that includes free google templates to create your own record keeping superstar- your class lists!
If you want to know how I break down the Kindergarten Document so I’m not trying to record progress on every expectation all the time, sign up for my Newsletter and a link to my two- year long range plans will be automatically mailed to you!
Class Lists for Kindergarten You might be surprised that I do not have a super complicated organization system in Kindergarten- but there is a fantastic reason for that. My students need ALL my time. There are typically a LOT of them. Many of them have…
What to send with your child for their first full day of Kindergarten Going off to Kindergarten has always been one of the biggest milestones for both children and their parents. Your school may send out a supply list before school, or after, but these…
Don’t Panic- Here is What You Need to Do First.
Whether you are excited or terrified- it’s going to be okay. Kindergarten is the most amazing place to teach. I know so many teachers that ended up there accidentally at first, and now they will never leave! I decided to teach Kindergarten when I was eight, and I was right- it is the best. This article will guide you to a great start to the first things you need to do to get yourself ready to teach Kindergarten.
Step 1: Know what you will be teaching.
Find your province, state or country’s Kindergarten Curriculum document. Most are available to be viewed online, and they make it tricky to get a hard copy mailed to you. But do it! You should be referring to it all year. Ours is HUGE- and has some great information, but if you are starting in days- or hours- flip to the expectations part and read through to get the gist of what they want you to report on. These are the documents that we use right now in Ontario.
Step 2: Know what you will really be teaching.
You will be teaching things that most curriculum documents forget that you need to teach. Our Ontario document actually focuses ¾ of the program on non-academic skills, which are vitally important to the development of the whole child. But with most curriculums, it is best to just accept that most of your focus at least initially will have very little to do with what we are mandated to teach. You will be teaching things like a) why we don’t lick our friends b) how to not stab your classmate with a pencil accidentally or on purpose even if he is making an annoying noise, and c) what does a quiet line actually mean. It’s a lot. And these things are really important if you want to teach any of the things you read about in your curriculum document! For more on this, read what I teach in Kindergarten the first Day including a free printable teaching checklist for the first day and first week.
Step 3: Make contact with your team.
I am so fortunate that in addition to having the loveliest Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) as my teaching partner in my classroom, I also work with 5 other Kindergarten teachers, and 5 other RECE’s, not to mention fantastic specialist teachers. Meet yours! Find out what has worked well at the school, areas for improvement and the culture of the Kindergarten department. Flying solo? Find out who teaches prep with you or the Grade one teacher and see what you can learn from a chat with them. Our colleagues are one of our very greatest assets. If you don’t have any colleagues, I’ll be your proxy teaching partner.
I’m so happy that you are getting to be a Kindergarten teacher, too. I hope you love it as much as I do.
How to make an alphabet garland for your classroom I love having my students create most of the decor for my classroom. However, I don’t love the idea of them walking into a room that looks like it could really use some love. Now you…
I love to work in an organized, calm, and purposeful classroom and those first minutes walking in have sometimes stopped me in my tracks! I share the first 10 things I do in my classroom to take it from summer disaster to ready for September!
How to clean toys, loose parts and manipulatives in Kindergarten
The big trick to keeping things clean is you basically always need to be disinfecting something! Our basic routine in the morning is to fill the teacher sink that is out of reach of the children with hot water, and add some bleach. We give items with obvious soiling a good scrub with dish soap and water in their own bin. Then the first batch of hard toys gets added in to soak in the bleach water. They sit until we can pull them out- usually at snack time! We give them a rinse with clean water, then we lay them on a towel to air dry on the counter-top. And we refill the sink again… we try to wash three batches of hard manipulatives a day. At night we take home the towel to wash and dry it and bring it back for the morning to start again! This is also a fantastic task for parent volunteers if you have them. This year I think we will also be using a lot more Lysol wipes on all our high touch surfaces. I’m waiting to hear if we will be allowed to share manipulatives and books this year.
Here are the official details from Public Health:
- Remove toys from the play area after use and place them in a collection box for cleaning and disinfection
- Clean and disinfect the collection box at the same time that toys are being cleaned and disinfected
- Clean toys in hot soapy water prior to using a disinfectant
- Use a brush to clean crevices or hard to reach areas
- Rinse toys well under running water as soap may neutralize the disinfectant
- Soak toys in an appropriate disinfectant for required amount of time (contact time)
- Use a solution of 10 ml (2 tsp) sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) per 1 liter (4 cups) of water as a disinfectant. This solution requires a contact time of 2 minutes. Only mix bleach with water and never with other disinfectants or cleaners
- In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be reasonable to instead use a mixture of 20 mL of bleach with 1 litre of water (or 4 tsp of bleach with 4 cups of water) to disinfect hard surfaces with 1 minute of contact time. It is important to remember to make a fresh bleach solution each time you disinfect, or at least everyday. *Note: The contact time, also known as the wet time, is the time that the disinfectant needs to stay wet on a surface to make sure it can kill all the germs. It is the length of time you leave the solution on the surface before wiping it down.
- Rinse toys with clean water to remove any disinfectant solution, if indicated on the label; bleach does not require rinsing
- Clean and disinfect dishwasher-safe, hard plastic toys in a commercial dishwasher with a sanitizer or a hot rinse cycle
- Completely air dry toys before they are returned to use
- Keep a record of when toys were cleaned and disinfected
Cleaning and disinfecting soft, porous toys or dress up clothes
- Launder fabrics or plush toys in a washing machine with hot water, and dry in a clothes dryer on a hot cycle
- Avoid using disinfectant products on porous surfaces
Cleaning other items
- Clean and disinfect other items (e.g., scissors, puzzles, storage bins, etc.) when they are visibly dirty
- Items such as books and some craft equipment may be difficult to clean, so consider discarding them once they are soiled
- Avoid sensory play during an outbreak, such as activities using play dough, sand or water
- Clean and disinfect computer keyboards, mice and other electronics between uses
It might be tempting to mix cleaning products to make sure your facility is germ-free — but don’t. Mixing some cleaners and disinfectants (like chlorine bleach and ammonia) can be harmful, even deadly. Others can irritate your eyes, nose, or throat and cause breathing problems.
There you have it! I hope this helps. Please check with your Public Health Office for updated information as our knowledge about avoiding Covid-19 (and colds and the flu) are being constantly updated. Stay safe, teacher hive!
Setting up your classroom environment is one the most important ways to ensure an amazing year in Kindergarten. There is a reason that your classroom is known as the third teacher. Your classroom set up can either help you all year or make the whole year a struggle. I don’t want you to have to struggle your way through, when I already figured out the hard way what NOT to do- and what really works. Here are the first things you can do to get ready to set up your classroom