Saturday, September 22, 2012

Morning Message & Routines&Rituals

 These are my kids self-portraits that are hanging up high in my classroom.
Class Routines

The one thing, we know about kindergartens, is that they love rituals and routines. I know as an adult I do too.

 Last year I had Mystery Monday, and I would do the Mystery Bag. I would hear from parents how their child would get excited coming to school that day. 

I think it's helpful too, for kids to anticipate something that will happen that day.

So this year I decided to incorporate this into the morning message each day I thought to myself what were all the things I want to accomplish each week with my class?

I find it's helping me with my thinking/planning each week too. 

I know as the year goes on, the kids will come up with ideas to connect with each day.

For example, on Friday, they could write a joke during Daily 5.

Morning Message 

I changed the format of my morning message too. I found that I was spending so much time last year trying to come up with stuff to write that some days I would skip it. This year I made my format easier. I always start with who is first and who will turn out the lightsI then connect with  questions and always end with Let's get busy

Eventually, Let's get busy! Changes to what we are doing, for example, I might write Let's get singing!

 I used to change each sentence with a different colored marker, and I stopped doing that.  I am using lots of tips from the book Morning Meeting Message.

I love doing Candle Time. I got this great idea from Nellie EdgeThe candle is flameless. On Monday, the kids share one thing from their weekend and on Friday they share one favorite thing about school. I love to hear what the kids enjoyed during the week.

In our Classroom Learning Journal
I record what the kids say they learned that day!
I blogged about this last, of course, the Queen of Ten is back again. Every ten days she comes for a visit. Her visit is a FAVORITE activity.

This year we made little Queen of Ten books. This week they had to record anything that connected to the number ten. 
The problem of the day connected to the Queen.
We wrote about our experience in our learning journal.

Like literacy, I am trying to make math visible in my classroom. You can see that my problem of the day is hanging in the meeting area. I have laminated them in hopes of using them next year. 

I blogged about this over the summer. I made a little corner of the room with a board for some of the routines I would like to incorporate into Science.  

We kicked off Wonder of the Week by reading the book Why is The Sky Blue.  I had a student make predictions and recorded some of their answers. 

Funny Friday
These are the books I read this week. The kids couldn't stop laughing. While I was reading, I could see all the smiles and giggles, and I was thought this is what kindergarten is all about!
Last year I was writing each title, and it was taking forever.
This year I am trying this, will see if it works. 


  1. Your class is filled with wonderful learning experiences. I love the self portraits.

  2. Love the self portraits! Can you give some more details about how they made them?

  3. For self portraits I have them make them with pencil and out line with a sharpie black marker the following day I have the group color them in I model making one and tell them if it's two small they will have to do it over. I only make a child do it over if they use something like purple for skin color. We color them for a few days. If some kids finish early, I will have them help other kids color. I use skin color markers.

  4. Your self-portraits are adorable, and I love everything else about what you and your kids are doing as well.
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  5. I enjoy doing morning message also! I write a question for them to answer too. They love that since it is about them!
    Conversations in Literacy

  6. I like how you printed out the book covers! Great visual, and easier for the children to remember and recognize. You are right- so much easier than writing... this year we are thinking about working "smarter not harder" I'll have to share this idea with my teacher friends :)

  7. Love your site. Can you tell me more about how you use the queen of 10. I like the concept.


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