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Thursday 25 May 2017

Independent Group Learning

Hey All!

I am trying to be a better blogger and share lots of great classroom ideas with you!  So each week I am going to be focussing on one great thing I have done in my classroom that week.

This week I want to talk to you about how I use independent group learning in my Prep (Kinder) room.  In my classroom we call it rotations or group learning (I have trained myself not to use the word work!)

Very early on I get my kiddos to practice how to start and stop an activity on my signal and then how to move around to the next activity.  When I am doing this I use very easy games and activities that the kiddos can do by themselves while I am free to move around and help them learn the etiquette of group learning.  The amount of time you spend doing this is solely dependent on your class or group of kiddos you have.  One year we practiced for only one week before they picked it up, another year it took my kiddos three practices.  In the beginning we may only be at one activity for 5-10 minutes eventually stretching it out to 20-30 minutes later in the year.

So what do we do in these initial first weeks of rotations, easy,peasy activities!

  • Playdough
  • Threading
  • Drawing
  • Tracing
  • Cutting
  • Counting manipulatives
  • Listening to stories on ipads
  • Tracing our names
  • Puzzles
  • Sorting

Are you getting the picture?  I don't put any games in this first week as I have found that I spend most of the time with that group talking about rules, turn taking etc.  What they are learning during this time is a routine and procedure so you want to be available to help them with that.

When time is up I clap my hands (you can use whatever signal you want, a timer, a shaker, whatever works for you)  then I ask them to pack up the activity so it is ready for the next group not ready to put away.  I instruct the students to point to where they are going next and each table will have a number so they go to the next number, this is an opportunity for you to correct students on where they are going.  When they are quiet and pointing correctly you move them on!  I like to give them an instruction related to something we are learning so maybe moving like a certain animal or the beginning sound we are learning about etc.

When your kiddos have got a better idea on how to move around then you are able to start with them being in one group with you and the other group independent activities.  This is when I will start introducing a game with me one week and the next week it goes in as an independent activity, this gives them extra practice with a concept and social skill!

I love doing rotations and small group learning, it is such a great way to focus on individuals and pinpoint a skill or concept that they may be struggling with.  Not only that it is fun, fast and your planning is done for more multiple days.  

My next post will have more of the practicalities on how to group students and how to plan the groups.

Monday 22 May 2017

Mega May Giveaway!

I know, I know, it has been a very, very long time since I have posted and well....that's life I guess.

The good news about this though, is today I am posting a great giveaway for you!

TEACHERS!!! It’s been a long school year and it’s time for a Gift Cards for Teachers MEGA Giveaway! We are ready to reward 5 LUCKY teachers by giving away 5 $100 gift cards! You could win a $100 Gift Card to Target, Amazon, Erin Condren, or Teachers Pay Teachers! Details for entering our Gift Card Giveaway:

All you need to do is enter the Rafflcopter below for your chance to win one of 5 $100 Gift cards! What?!  That sounds to easy right?  Well no catches here, go ahead be in it to win it!
a Rafflecopter giveaway