Saturday, September 1, 2012

What a Week!

First week with kids is complete!  I.AM.TIRED!  I think I went to bed at 8 every night this week!  I'm definitely feeling the stress of teaching a k/1 combo right about now.  I forgot about what a beginning kindergartner is really like.

This week was full of anchor charts, teaching rules, practicing routines, modeling behaviors, and making more anchor charts.  I love anchor charts! :)  I forgot to take pictures in all of the craziness, but I will take some next week.

Here is a look at some of the activities we did this week.  The first picture is showing one of the ways that I differentiated for the kinders.  We read The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill on one of the first days.  We read it once to focus on playground rules and how to be a friend.  Then we read it again the next day to focus on characters for the kinders (Common Core Standard RL.K.3. With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.) and we focused on "who, what, where, and when" for the first graders (Common Core Standard RL.1.3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.)

Click here or on the picture below to grab your own copies of these differentiated response sheets:
I had the first graders do a fun little writing prompt about how they would help a kindergarten buddy this year, and their responses were adorable!  They have really gotten excited about helping.  It makes them feel so mature ;)  Some of the responses include "helping them make a lunch choice," "writing them stuff," and "showing them around, helping them with their work, and having fun!"  The picture on the top left is my favorite.  Notice how big the first grader drew himself compared to his kindergarten buddy!  So cute!

The last thing I want to share is our first attempt at CGI this year.  If you do not know about CGI (Cognitively Guided Instruction), you should invest in this book. It is mathematical GOLD!  CGI is not a program, but rather a framework for teaching children's mathematics.  I'm definitely not an expert by any means, but I attended training last year and tried it out with my kids and I saw some amazing growth in math!  I'll post more about CGI in the future, but here is a little peak at what my kiddos did on the first day.  I gave them a word problem that required them to join two sets (5 and 3).  I set out some manipulatives and let them go to town.  The whole point behind CGI is to allow students to explore on their own to figure out problems, then share their strategies.  This is what a few of them came up with:

That's all for now!  Happy teaching everyone!!!


  1. This is great! I am embarking on a new journey. I will be teaching a 1/2 combo class. Do you have a certain way you keep up with your lesson plans? How do you write them? Will you send me a template if you don't mind?

  2. I'm teaching a k/1 French Immersion class this year so I hope you keep posting!