Thursday, January 17, 2013


I am so excited to finally be posting again after disappearing over the holidays!  I had intentions of getting back to blogging much sooner, but things in the classroom haven't been quite how I expected them to be since coming back from break...

You know how we usually long for that mysterious, yet magical, period of time right after Christmas break where things suddenly start to click for our Kindergartners?!  We tell ourselves that its alright that they aren't that independent yet, because after Christmas it will all start to fall into place... Well this year...

These first couple of weeks back have felt like....

the. complete. opposite.

Don't get me wrong, I was fully prepared to review routines and procedures and give them (and myself for that matter!) a few days to wrap our minds around the fact that we were already back at school; but I never expected my little smarties to require that much support and redirection!  :)  After our first full week back I was so drained that I stayed in bed practically half the weekend!

I have spent the majority of the school year thus far bragging to anyone who would listen about how wonderfully independent this bunch is, and how impressed I am with all the progress they have made in such a short time... and so it was that much harder to accept that I was going to have to back-track and explicitly review all our routines and procedures.

But... I did review them all at the beginning of this week and kept trying to convince myself we were making some progress... until yesterday I overheard another teacher talking about "filling someone's bucket" and I realized my "bucket" was so close to empty that our class needed to make some changes (and fast)!

I did some serious reflecting the rest of the day (and borrowed the book about filling other people's buckets to read to the class :) and came up with the idea to simply flip-flop our schedule for the day... just to see if that would spark their curiosity just enough to keep them more engaged, but not change things so dramatically that it took us back to square one.  So, once I got over the fact that I hate to start new things in the middle of the week and tomorrow was going to be Thursday, I shifted my lesson plans a bit, and mentally prepared myself to teach writing first thing the next day rather than math :)

And the crazy thing is....

it. totally. worked!

If you had walked in my room today during Daily 5, you would never have know that yesterday I had redirected students over and over and over again during the same exact activities!  I was soooo relieved!

Isn't that just fascinating!?  It certainly is to me... None of the routines themselves changed a bit, the format of the workshops and the types of independent work were the same, and yet the difference was like night and day...

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

And for those of you that stayed with me through that longgggg winded post... here is a freebie! :)    Regardless of how independent the majority of one's class can be-- there seems to always be at least one or two that need a little extra support.  This file contains an individualized behavior log that you can adapt to fit your needs!


  1. Welcome back to blogging...I know how crazy the holidays can be. I love the bucket filler book. :) Our kindergarten/first grade teachers use that book as well. I am your newest follower. I'm looking forward to stopping back for a visit soon!

    Read with Me ABC

  2. I read on another blog that you started using Class Dojo, but in conjunction with your clip chart. I would love to hear how you went about doing this, telling parents the new system, etc.

  3. Hey Jena!

    Yes, I started using Class Dojo a few months ago but already had the clip chart in place so rather than let one go to try another, I incorporated the two together :) I will write a quick post on my blog to better explain because I'm having trouble getting my comments to show up on the dark brown background (I'm definitely still learning the design aspects of blogging! :)