Wow, back-to-school kicked my butt this week! I haven’t been to bed later than 9:15 since school started on Thursday. I am finally feeling (mostly) rested and recovered now, after a couple of nights of 10-12 hours of sleep! :)
I also have what is shaping up to be a really great group of kinders again this year, which is making my transition from a K/1 split just a tiny bit easier (I was sooo spoiled in September of last year, when my grade ones just guided my new kinders along wonderfully!), although this year I have FOUR kids who don’t speak a word of French. Eek! As we are a francophone school, I teach only in French and our outcomes are based on the assumption that all students can already speak and understand French. We will definitely have some work to do to get those four up to speed as soon as possible!
Here are a couple of pictures from our first day. My group is really excited about school and keen to learn. And guess what?!?!?! I had ZERO CRIERS on the first day! ZERO!!! I don’t think that has ever happened for me before haha.
We started our day by colouring our first day crowns. I had a crown too, but forgot to get a picture! They were seriously Dead. Silent. while colouring. I was almost worried about them! I also provided stickers and… no one used them. How weird is that?! haha
You can download the first day crowns HERE. They are free and 100% editable!
We read “David va à l’école” and made our very own silly Davids! I used THIS free download for our templates.
Ours didn’t look quite the same, but we had fun ;)
By the way, if you are not using glue sponges in your classroom yet, YOU HAVE TO!!!! Go look it up on Pinterest as soon as you finish reading this post! This is the first time I have used them and they are surpassing all of my expectations! I have never had such wonderful gluing experiences so early in the year haha.
We also coloured our birthday cupcakes! I always make a super huge deal out of these and tell them that they HAVE to colour them their very best so that I know when their birthdays are, so that we can all sing to them and I can give them a little surprise. Gets ’em every time ;)
I also informed them that in primary, they are now able to choose where they would like to get their work done, to help them stay focused and comfortable. Not always working at the table was definitely a mind-blowing idea for some of them!
We hung them up on the wall when we were done (fire code be damned!) so that we can see whose birthdays are coming up. I got my cupcakes from Art With Créations Claudia Loubier and my month headers free from Mme Émilie French Resources. Not everyone had time to finish, but that’s okay!
|Next summer’s project… paint over where the paint has peeled haha|
We also had lots of time for free play! On the first day we didn’t do anything too crazy, but on Friday I let them bust out the costumes. I will definitely have to get some pictures of that next week, because they were ADORABLE! Thanks to Reddit gifts for teachers, this is the first year I have been able to have paint actually in our easel. It has been a huuuuuuuuge hit and I am so, so grateful to my Santa!!!
Since I spent all day yesterday resting and recovering, I spent this morning putting the finishing touches on a new game in my store!
I have realized very quickly that I have a huge range in abilities again this year. One of my little sweeties is already trying to sound out new words, and one had trouble recognizing her own name. I want to start pulling small groups asap so that I can make sure everyone is practicing the skills that they need to work on. Roule et couvre is a super simple, low-prep game that I plan to use in my guided reading groups. If you have been reading my blog, you know that I think that learning through play is suuuuuper important, and a very effective way to get our kinders learning and practicing new skills. This collection includes 16 different game boards and corresponding dice, to help students work on associating upper and lowercase letters, identifying beginning and ending sounds in words, identifying “sons composés” and vowel sounds, and also counting syllables in words. By having all of the games printed and ready, I can be sure that when I start pulling my small groups, I have a skill to practice for EVERYBODY.
|My dice all ready to go!|
The game is super simple. Students play in partners, and need a game board, the corresponding die, and 10 counters each. The first student rolls the die, and finds a corresponding image on the game board (for example, quelle image commence par la lettre T? Tracteur!). Sometimes there is more than one right answer, and students can choose which they cover. Sometimes, there is only one right answer. If a student rolls a sound or a letter they have already covered, too bad! They have to wait until their next turn to try and cover another image. The game ends when one partner covers all 10 images.
This game is pretty straightforward and you could definitely use it as a literacy centre. However, I didn’t laminate my dice, and I don’t quite have enough confidence quite yet in my students’ abilities or vocabulary to run it as an independent centre, and will be only be using it during guided reading, at least for the first half of the year. I am excited to use it to both work on phonological awareness and as a vocabulary builder – there is a pretty big variety of images that they will have to say out loud a lot of times!
Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!