I'd like to share some of my favorite ideas that I learned from the I Teach K! conference in Las Vegas, NV. I will credit the presenter as the source, and share how I could use the idea in Kindergarten.
Helping English Learners
Source: Vanessa Levin
I got so much information from Vanessa's presentation I was super excited! Her presentation was my favorite of all the ones I attended. First, she stresses that when interacting with ELLs you need to make sure your body language is appropriate (expressions match what you're saying, eye contact is culturally appropriate, your are friendly, you speak clearly not too slow, and you avoid using slang).
I am certainly going to play one of her games that works on positional words. It is played like this. In a pocket chart put several different pictures (whatever you want). Hide a picture of a cat behind one of the other pictures and ask students, "Where is the cat?" They will say something like: "Is it behind the bird?" Then you'll prompt them to be more specific - and they'll have to say something like, "Is it behind the blue bird next to the scissors?" The game goes on and on until the students find the cat. They can work on positional words (above, near, next to, below, behind, etc) playing this fun game.
Word of the Day: Print a vocabulary card with a picture and attach it to the board. Discuss it in the morning each day. If kids can use it correctly throughout the day - they can ring the teacher bell.
Source: Kim Adsit
Interactive writing is when the teacher and student share the pen to write lists, sentences, or whatever they want. Here is an example of interactive writing done by Kim Jordano's class (this is a different Kim). Swing by Kim's class - check out her blog. Basically you brainstorm words with the class that are on a topic and use the lesson to focus on phonics patterns, sounding out words (alphabetic principle).
Kim Adsit shared many tricks for interactive writing. One that stuck with me is to use a large chart pad. Fold the top-most piece of paper up in half and clip it up. Kids will only be writing on the bottom 1/2 of a paper. On the folded piece of paper the teacher can model letter formation and any examples necessary to complete the lesson. Also, make a hollowed-out frame using something like a piece of cardboard. Wherever you want students to write, hold the frame in place and students will write inside the box. This helps with letter sizing so there are no gigantic letters that stretch up and down the whole page.
Have a plan! Here are some of Kim Adsit's suggestions for what to do for interactive writing:
List word families (think of rhyming words: cat, rat, hat, bat)
List favorite read aloud vocabulary words (characters, setting, etc.),
Make labels to identify things in stories like the Gingerbread Man.
Write "how-to" steps (make a snowflake, make a card, etc.)
Vocabulary Word Walls
Source: Rick DuVall, Ph.D. - for a free printable click here.
Math Music & Movement
Source: Jack Hartmann
Fun filled songs abound on Jack Hartmann's math cd called: Every 1 Counts . Click on the link under the pic to go to his website. My favorite songs are the Rock n' Roll Birthday Song and the Country Line Count. He encourages kids to move and dance while learning numbers, and calendar math (days of the week, etc.) He also teams up with HarryKindergarten to make videos of his songs. Check out him on YouTube.
Source: Patricia Pavelka
One idea I got from Patricia was retelling stories. She recommends having Kindergarteners use an empty paper grocery sack to have students design "story scene." She encourages having kids draw the setting from a story on the blank side of the grocery bag. To help struggling students, supply them with one "prop" such as a pre-made bridge to glue onto the setting scene for the Three Billy Goats Gruff, pre-made houses for the 3 Pigs, etc. Then, students draw the story characters on their own and use them to retell the story with a friend. The props can be stored inside of the bag along with the book that is being retold.