Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Wednesday WoW! (and a tour of my new space)

Today I’m going to share one of the best parts of my week!

My Wednesday WoW is teaching KINDERGARTEN- and it actually going well so far! (Don’t worry- I am still teaching grades 2-5 in the mornings!)

I’m trained and certified in kindergarten through sixth, but the bulk of my experience lies in 2nd or 3rd grade, so I was a bit apprehensive about the little guys. I don’t know how many kindergarten teachers read my blog, but you all have my everlasting respect. Kindergarteners are SO active, and SO excited, and SO new to everything school that it scares me a bit! You have to teach them everything, and have so much patience!

My friends who do teach kindergarten, my new teammates, and my Title/ Reading Specialist friends (especially those over at Adventures in Literacy Land!) have been so helpful in giving me ideas for my afternoons.

I started my first day with the kids by reading a book together to tell them a little about me.

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I kept it really simple, but the kids really liked it. I just used a Google image search to find my images (which of course I wouldn’t do if I was sharing it, but since it was just for my room, it worked well & was for educational use!)

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Like most of their books, it followed a pattern that changed slightly on the last page.

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I also used it for some basic assessment- I could see if they noticed the exclamation mark on the last page, or if they noticed that “peanut butter” had two words instead of one, or if they noticed that the page with a picture of a camera said the word “pictures” which starts with p! I learned a lot about where my kids are from just reading this one book.

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Since then, I’ve been getting started with some simple letter-matching activities, lots of letter- sound correlation, and using the white boards and their writing notebooks to tie in writing as well. (Above, it says “I can skateboard”)

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I absolutely love the way our room is set up, too, especially the brilliance of using seat sacks. I never thought of using them in an intervention setting, because my kids don’t have as much stuff- but it is the perfect place for them to put their book envelopes while we meet, and it stores white boards so that I never have to pass them out.

When I want to pass out markers, I just have a little basket of markers and erasers and the “marker train” drives slowly across the table once. They have to pick their marker and eraser before the train passes them, and we clean up the same way.


The two teachers that set up this room also did an amazing job of making all of our resources for each group readily available. (Each group’s journals and name puzzles are in the colorful bins above.)


Plus, we have this incredible reference wall behind my teaching table- and a ridiculous giant gorilla in the corner. So fun, right?

IMG_3964  My kindergartners are so much fun. Exhausting, but so much fun- and I finally feel like I have a little bit of a routine going. It is definitely going to be a little tricky teaching them because I see them by class, not necessarily by reading level or skill need, but because they are kindergartners we keep moving from thing to thing very quickly and we fit a lot in!

I am so, so grateful to finally be full-time again, and to be stretching myself to work with a different age group. It’s new, it’s different, and I love that I have a chance to help these kids grow from the very basics of reading! It’s just exciting- especially now that I feel less overwhelmed!

So- my WoW for the week? I am finally settling into my new position, with the help of a super-supportive staff at my new school, and some amazing friends online and in person who have given me lots of tips and resources. As I find things that work, I’m excited to share them with you!

Before I go, a few quick notes- I posted over at Adventures in Literacy Land the other day about one of my favorite sessions at the National Reading Recovery Conference. If you are interested in digging deeper into data to really diagnose your readers’ needs, be sure to check out my post and a book recommendation!

finding a reader's story

Also, February Text Detectives was posted a few days ago, if you’re interested! They are perfect for our learning about Black History Month this week!

Hope you are having a great week (and not getting a cold like me)! Be sure to link up with Curious Firsties to share your Wednesday WoW!


  1. Hi Jenny,
    I enjoy reading this kind of post because it gives me a glimpse of how things work in American elementary schools.
    Hope you haven't come down with a cold and I wish I could send some of our warm weather your way :)

    1. I love seeing other teachers' classrooms, too! I don't know if this is super representative of things in all American elementary schools, because I'm so new to this age group and I just teach small groups for extra reading support, though.

      Thanks for your well wishes! We are finally on a warm streak this week and it's about 50 degrees Fahrenheit today- and will be a little warmer tomorrow! I am sick, but on the way to feeling better :) Have a great week!

  2. I'm a Kindergarten teacher this year and have read your blog FOREVER! I actually love it more than I ever expected only having subbed in kindergarten before. I love my kids and their energy but routine is everything it seems and they work well with it! You will love your new position!


  3. Great post! I love seeing where you teach. What an inviting space! And your book was a perfect way to start your week off! I look forward to hearing more about your K experience. Thanks for linking up. This made me smile.

  4. Welcome to kindergarten! It is the best! :)


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