Saturday, 31 October 2015

Halloween Happenings

Here's what we did for Halloween this year. I added some Halloween-themed materials to a few of our centers for the children to enjoy during our party.

                   Spider Exploration in the Science Center  







         
                     Making Faces in the Play dough Center 
          





        Haunted House Building in the Construction Center







Pumpkin Painting in the Art Center




Saturday, 3 October 2015

Work Spaces

     A few years ago, It occurred to me that I was devoting a large portion of my classroom space to a small portion of my day. So, I began to use the discovery centers as work spaces for more than just Discovery Time. 
     Each day as the children arrive, they look at the chart below to see where they will be working for the day.  

our work spaces chart
Here are some of the ways the work spaces are used throughout the day:
     After completing their arrival jobs, the children do math tubs in their work space to explore number concepts. 

working with geoboards during math tubs

     During reading workshop, the centers become "book nooks" for reading. 
     
reading the pictures during reading workshop

     Math lessons are often taught using floor mats in their work spaces.

creating number staircases during math workshop


   
     While we currently are working at the tables for writing workshop, the work spaces are available for those who might prefer to work there. They also can be used for sharing our writing with partners.

drawing our stories during writing workshop

     Three times a year, I collect samples of their work such as word dictation, alphabet writing, or number writing to show their progress over time.  We also use the work spaces to complete these tasks. For these purposes, I need to separate them a bit within the space but I find this is easily done.
     The children do not go to their assigned work space during Discovery Time.  During this time, they get the opportunity to choose where they want to work and who they would like to work with. 

working with blocks during discovery time
    In each work space, the children are working in pairs. Their partner stays the same for 11 days, which is the number of work spaces that I use. Once they have been through one round, I change their partner. 
     The partners are also used for turn and talk in our meeting area.  When they come to the rug, they are asked to sit in close proximity to their partner, in case I want them to talk or share during a lesson.  We refer to these as our peanut butter and jelly partners and we use these to identify who talks first or gets to take the first turn in a game.   

talking with our pbj partners
     How do you use the spaces within your classroom?