Friday, August 9, 2013

I'm Done Work- Freebie Included!

Happy Friday!

Another week of summer is almost over.  It's hard to believe how fast it is going.  Fortunately, I was quite productive this week.  I finally got started on some of my projects for school including making a new clip chart, classroom jobs library pockets, and Daily 5 posters.  Unfortunately, I did not completely finish any of what I started, so I can't share it with you all yet, at least not all of it.  I do have a freebie coming up later in this post, so keep reading.  Hehe.

One of the many things I want/need to change for next year is how I manage early finishers.  Like many new teachers, I fell in to the trap of saying, "Read a book" anytime students were done early.  This year, I want to make better use of my many resources to engage early finishers in meaningful ways.  Therefore, I plan to have two bins of task cards and games, one for language arts and one for math.  The activities in the bin will be focused on topics and skills students are either learning about or reviewing.  Some of the cards will come from the following books I bought through The Mailbox my first year.  All of these books are filled with great activities that are organized by skill and can be completed independently.  I have used some of them for centers before, but now plan to also include them in my I'm Done bins along with a plethora of other center materials I have made, purchased, and acquired.

Activity Cards for Early Finishers: Language Arts (Gr. 1)Step-by-Step Centers: Language Arts (Grs. K-1)Step-by-Step Centers: Math (Grs. K-1)

In order to keep early finishers accountable for the work they do, I am going to use a notebook with a log attached.  When students finish early, they will go to the bin, choose an activity, record the name on their log, and then complete the activity on the pages in their notebooks.  If they have time, they may do more than one activity.  One of my hopes is to routinely check the logs to make sure students are not repeating the same activities over and over again.  That would be useless practice.  Also, I want to see who consistently finishes early and who never does.  My inspiration for these ideas and a great sample log came from Teaching with a Mountain View.  At the moment, I can't find the original post, but you can click the picture to find the pin.

early finisher log.pdf - Google Drive

As much as I loved this log and the cute cover that came with it, I did not think it would work for my firsties.  That's why I decided to create my own "I'm Done Work" cover and log.  You can click the picture to download them for free.

I am really hoping this system will work out well for both me and the students.  I'd love to hear what you do for early finishers.  Leave me a comment with your ideas!  Thanks!

Before I go, I want to share a few more of my experiences from India.

Left My Heart in Hyderabad
Day Five

          Last night, I slept fitfully.  The weight of the kids’ stories was heavy on my mind.  I dreamed about sharing my testimony in front of a room full of people.  When I woke up, I spent some time listening to worship music to mentally prepare for the day. 
          On the way to the next children’s home, K and I had a serious conversation about how God might want to use us at home, adoption, and child sponsorship.  It is important for us to realize that we are not all called to live overseas, but that we must care for the needy wherever we are.
          As we neared the home/church, I saw more slums than I had seen before.  Most of the tents were made of tarps and cloth hung over sticks.  There was trash all around.  Seeing people sitting around in these “homes” is kind of unreal to me.  It’s hard to comprehend that people really live on the streets like that both here and in America.
          Before we pulled up to the church, we had to draw the shades over the windows.  Emily explained that if people saw Americans coming they would expect money.  It is weird to consider what the neighbors of the homes think when a bus of white people suddenly pulls up. 
          Pretty much as soon as we parked, the kids came rushing out to greet us.  One boy shook everyone’s hands as they exited the bus.  A huge bright smile lit up his face.
          When we all got into the church, I saw that it was very much like the last one: cement room, colorful rugs (chapas) on the floor, colored tinsel decorations hanging from the ceiling, verses in Telegu posted on the walls, a few drums etc.  Extremely bare bones compared to my home church.  The contrast bothers me.
          The first few minutes with the kids were awkward.  I missed the ones from Chadragiri.  Plus, we outnumbered the new ones by 4.  Fortunately, “The Banana Song” broke the tension.  Go bananas!  
          After that, we broke out the balls and the kids went WILD!!  In the blink of an eye, all 8 of them were playing some form of catch, soccer, or volleyball out in the narrow front and side “yards.”  The ground was all cement covered in a thin film of gritty sand.  I tossed the ball to a little boy (Devendhar) and he bumped it back to me.  Then, A and I passed a rubber ball around with Sushil and Sara.  It was fun to keep switching up the game by bouncing the ball, attempting to use our heads, and just changing the order.  For a while, the grit on the ball bothered me, but then I stopped caring.  Loving kids is worth more than not getting dirty.  A perfect example of love being gross.     
After lunch, M and I cracked ourselves and everyone up by trying some of the Bollywood moves the kids showed us.  We leaned back, squatted down, and furiously punched the air.  My sides hurt from laughing so hard.  Things got even funnier when more kids got up to perform and had all of us girls dance along.  It was hysterical seeing everyone try to follow the moves.  Throughout the dancing and the rest of the day’s activities, I was struck by how the pastor watched his kids intently.  The pride and love he felt for the kids was made tangible by his broad smile.  It is very interesting to wonder how he must feel having us come to visit just to love and play with his children. 
Next, I somehow got roped into playing soccer with a huge group of kids and team members.  I definitely felt out of my comfort zone, but decided just to have fun.
Boy am I glad I did!  I have rarely laughed so hard.  Highlights of the game(s) included having 3 balls going at once, me facing off against Paul and actually scoring, kicking the wall, getting hit in the chest by the ball etc. 
Looking back now, this day was crazy fun, but also weird and tiring.  I hope to bond with the kids better tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Love the freebie! What a great idea for early finishers. That is something I need to work on as well. I usually have my students read from their "bag of books" and sometimes I let them color in their books as well.

    Your trip to India is so inspiring!!

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten