Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Word Sort of the Week

Oh.  My.  Gosh.


They have added such a layer of independence, hands-on learning, and review to my Daily Five rotations!

We start each week with a "Word Sort of the Week".  This is one tied to our ELA learning for the week.

Last week, we were studying ir, er, ur and so our "Word Sort of the Week" was for those sounds.

On Monday, I introduced the sort and we worked through it together.  It stays hanging in the chart for the week, and we review it daily.  Students can also take the cards out and sort them again when they finish their "must dos" for Daily Five.

At the end of the week, it comes down and becomes one of the sorts students can access when their "must dos" are complete.

I love seeing them spread out around room, saying, sorting, and analyzing their work!

You can check out my GROWING BUNDLE of word sorts and matches on TpT.  Right now, it has over 40 different sorts and matches.  If you download the preview, you can get a short/long A sort for free!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

ZONES of Regulation {freebie!}

How do you build emotional awareness in your students?  This is something I have struggled with since coming back into the classroom this year.  How do you teach someone to think about their emotions and then take steps to regulate them?  It isn't easy!

That's where ZONEs comes in.  We started doing ZONEs a few weeks ago in my classroom and it's making a difference every single day.

When students come in, they "check-in" to their ZONE each morning as part of their morning routine:

It takes them just a few seconds and gives me info that helps inform me on who needs a hug, who needs some space, and who is ready to learn.

During our morning meeting, a few kids share their zone, their feeling, and why.  This has sparked great conversation, helped build connections between kids, and is growing my students' empathy.

Earlier this week, I checked in on yellow.  My kiddos were so compassionate, asking if I needed a hug, how they could help, etc... later in the day, they asked for an update to my Zone and cheered when I moved myself to green.

I have heard them saying to each other things like, "Why are you in the yellow zone today," and "I need to go check in to the blue zone now".  Last week, one of my friends became very upset and started acting out.  Another student said to him, "It seems like your body is in the yellow zone now."  He immediately picked up a mess he had made and walked to our "Calm Down" spot to reset.

To see kiddos doing this on their own... it's pretty cool.

Here is our "Calm Down" spot.  Kids can go and sit on the pink rug, use the strategies posted on the wall to calm down, and then re-join the group when ready.  Just adding this spot to the room has been HUGE.  I have a friend who will leave the room when he is frustrated.  Since adding this spot, he has not left the room once.  He is totally utilizing this space and I am so grateful!

You can find this editable turtle set by "From the Pond" on TpT by clicking the picture!

Thinking about starting ZONEs?  I recommend checking out the book.  It comes with a CD with lots of printables.  Clicking the link takes to my affiliate page on Amazon, if you'd like to check it out.

I'm pretty particular about my fonts and graphics, so I re-made the main posters to my own liking.  I have my posters linked as a Google Doc that you can get for free by clicking the picture below, if you'd like!

Teaching kids about their emotions, how their emotions effect themselves, and others... it's the best way to develop emotional responsibility, empathy, and help keep things orderly in the classroom.  It's been a change to tell kiddos, "I can see your body is in the yellow zone right now," instead of just asking them to settle down.  Or, when a friend is moving slowly because they are tired, now we have a few skills we've practiced that can help them get their bodies back to the green zone so they are ready to learn.

I hope you will try it our... or share things that are working for you in the comments!
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