I got our school a subscription to readinga-z.com . And since the teachers at the Early Childhood Center cannot print I printed some at the elementary....and organized them into a binder (yes, my desk is a mess!).
I used index dividers to tab them by reading level. One thing I want teachers to remember is that a child can be reading on more than one level at a time--for example level M, O and R. Also, they move up and down the levels--hopefully more up than down but leveling should be flexible and not static.
Look at this fun Peeps! science experiment one of our Kindergarten teachers did! The class put the Peeps into different liquids to see which will make them dissolve the fastest.
Then they charted the materials used and tallied their guesses. Everyday they checked on these little guys. I believe the fabric softener won.
Try it for yourself (especially since Peeps are on clearance) and see!!!
That second grade teacher is just so stinkin' creative! I love to see what her class is always up to.
Now let's walk on over to PreK. They are studying dinosaurs.
We have the awesome volcanoes made from newspaper, flour and water, then dried. Then the kids painted them. I love how they made white dough dinosaurs with cookie cutters and painted them. The best part of course is the "explosion" of baking soda, white vinegar and some red food coloring.
Their teacher's sister is a science teacher and she got a box of dinosaur bones the kids could look at and touch! Our local science museum of natural history has all kinds of stuff like this available for checkout. So I suggest you see if you local one does the same!
And I wanted to share some PreK letter/word stuff. Here is their word wall. I am so proud there is a visual with the word (for the words you can do that with).
Also, we always did a creative letter for the one we were studying and this is the one they did for Uu and Tt:
So I was able to visit another school in a separate district. I love being able to do that but I love bringing stuff back to share even more.
This school had the sight words color coded by grade and in the hallway so the kids could practice reading them while waiting in line. Genius!
One of the Kindergarten teachers there used dog dish bowls to hold supplies because they are non-skidding and she says they have lasted like 18 years! Genius!
School-wide they had a simple rubric for great writing. The teachers hung examples of great writing so the students had a guide. This was in Kindergarten.
My biggest pet peeve as an educator is when people say "But Kindergarteners can't read or write!". Um, yes they can. I have taught them! So can PreK and in some cases three year olds can be taught to identify letters and simple sight words. If your expectations are high the kids will truly astound you. I had to learn this first hand by working with Prek, K and 1st that they can do so much more than what is even normally expected of them! Okay, rant over....
My next post will be about Common Core and after that--how to make your literacy centers RAWK.