Color Coding-To understand the room you might need to understand what I mean when I say color coded. Each child is given a color and shape. For ex. Tara might have a green rectangle. The green rectangle is placed on Tara's seat at the table, by her picture on the classroom managment plan, on the attendance chart. A green colored pocket is also placed under her cubby area, as well as a green folder in her cubby, to transport items to and from home. She is also given the same green rectangle, when it is time to line up, so she may find the green feet on which to stand. The children love this system! It helps them to quickly identify his/her area and become independent immediatedly! Independence and an "I can do it, or I know what to do" attitude is very important for my children.
This table is placed directly in front of the art center and cooking area. The children identify his/her place at the table by his/her color coded shape. Pictured beside the table, are colored coded footprints. These footprints help the children to line up at the door, independently. Of course, someone is always chosen to be line leader. The Line Leader Feet are very fancy!! Also pictured is our Bathroom Bear Chart. (I had just completed it and left it on the table for this picture!!) This chart hangs in the bathroom next to the potty recording charts. Each time the child remains dry and uses the bathroom, they are given a pair of big boy/girl underwear for their bear to wear. This is very special and can help the little ones who are still trying!!
My classroom management plan is Called "You Are My Sunshine". We start off the day by singing the traditional song and point out that everyone has a fresh new day with lots of suns!!
How it works: Each child's colored shape is placed by a his/her picture. Next to the picture are four colored suns. Yellow happy sun, orange uh-oh sun, red hope you do better sun, blue sad sad sun. A sun is pulled for repetitive warnings of inappropriate behaviors. At the end of each day, each child's sun is recorded and they are rewarded a treat based on the sun. For example, John has a yellow sun, a yellow dot is recorded on the monthly chart. At then end of each week a specially designed letter goes home to report daily progress. Each day is listed and a sun is colored appropriately for each day. This lets the parents know what kind of week the child had. A red sun is a sign that the child constantly has problems with managing him/herself. A blue sun is rarely given out. This would signal that the child had a severe tantrum at school that could have caused danger to himself or others.
My room is set up with Learning Centers. In the very front of my room is a bulletin board with our picture schedule on it and the circle area. This is where we have our group time. The rest of the room is the centers that the children learn by playing in. All centers are labeled with pictures, so that the children will know what is at the center and where items are kept. This makes everything accessible to the children, so it is their room. The centers also contain visual language clue strips. These are velcro strips that have communication pictures attached. The pictures are of items in the center that will be used in conversation/communicating. The child can pick a picture up and place it on a communication board (you can see this is in grid format on tagboard). Therefore, we or a playmate, can see what the child wants to do. For example: If I am in the center, I could ask: "Daron, what would you like to wear today?" He might pick the blue coat picture. Then we would get the blue coat and place it on him. This is wonderful for children who cannot communicate well verbally. It also increases the need to communicate thoughts to others. Otherwise, the children would just interact with items in the center, instead of with eachother.
Circle area- 1. The picture schedule is right in the front of the circle. 2. A small cart stores our cd player, record player, tapes/cds/records, and activities/props for that day. 3. There are colored pillows for the children to sit on. This coordinates with our colored code. 4. A large easel holds big books,props, etc; 5. Also pictured is our attendance board. This board changes as the theme changes. Pictured, is the Back to School attendance board. The children's foam shapes are placed onto thematic die cuts. When the attendance song is sung, each child places his/her shape on the appropriate match. 5. A calendar is also displayed with removable numbers. 6. Also displayed is the day of the week. The day word (Tuesday, etc;) is written on a sentence strip along with the picture communication symbol (tiger, etc;) The coordinating stuffed animal (tiger, etc;) is placed underneath. The use of real objects helps the children to identify the days of the week.
Picture Schedule-Here is a closer look at the picture schedule we use: I decided to make a long sausage dog and use bones for the picture cards. My children love Ezra Jack Keats books and love his character Peter and his dog Willie. Thus, I created a dog like Willie for them to use.
How it works: The front of Willie is where our day begins. The children arrive on the bus, as you see the bus cutout. On the bone cut-outs I place real pictures of the activities the children will do. First bone is a picture of children putting up their back pack and jacket at their cubbies. The second picture is a picture of a child getting ready to go to the bathroom. These are the first things the children do, when they come into the room. After all of the children have done these things, we take the bone card down from the velcro and "feed" it to Willie. We place the card in a stomach pocket. We continue this for all activities: table time, learning centers, circle, lunch/snack, etc;. This really helps the children in transistioning. The new present activity card is placed on top of a stomach pocket with velcro. Once the card is placed in stomach pocket, it signifies to the children that we have already completed that activity for the day.
Learning Centers-Okay many of you want to know: How do I let the children choose their centers???!!Well.......
For my first group, I use concrete objects from each center (cup from kitchen, book from reading, cd from computer, block from block,etc). I keep these in a little tub at the circle area. I then show the children the center bone cards, and then let the children choose an object(that is representative of the center) and carry it to the center with them.
For my second group, I use a picture board. We take the children's colored shapes and then we sing this song:Where is --name-- and the child sings,"here I am"; How are you today--name--"very well i thank you" Where would you like to play?? The child then takes his/her colored shape and places it at the center. Each center has a green paper posted with velcro pieces, in which the student velcroes their shape on.
Language Center-The first part of the center is the listening/music center. This center has a large bear in it for the child to sit at, a tape player with a follow along book with tape, and musical instruments. The second part of the center is the reading area. Of course, all types of thematic books are placed in the center. The third part of the cente r is dramatics, in which a hands on bulletin board is placed, a puppet stage, and a flannelboard.
Thematic table center-This table has learning activities that are particularly relevant to our theme. Shown in this picture is our tooth items from our Dental Health theme.
Explorations Center-Next to the languge center, you can see part of the Exploration center pictured. This is just a high back table with a shelf. Exploration combines science and exploratory (messy) learning together. A tray is placed on the table for messy activities such as finding hidden objects in shaving cream, etc; You can put an aquarium or insect homes in your center, as well as magnets, magnifying glasses, seedlings, etc;.
Block Center-This storage unit is double sided. On the side that you see here is cardboard building bricks, transporation accessories, and magnetic letters(on the file cabinet). On the other side are our wooden blocks, transportation accessories, and different types of blocks. On top is a wooden farm and lego building blocks. A laso table is also available. It has removable tile blocks, with wheels, ladders, and pipes.
This center is our fine motor center. There are many various puzzles, manipulatives (such as lacing beads, stacking blocks/shapes/rings, lacing shapes, peg boards, etc;) and toys. We rotate the toys in and out of this center, so that there is always something different to play with.
Housekeeping Center-Our kitchen center has a table with chairs, a doll bed with dolls, clothes, etc;, sink, stove, microwave, toaster, pantry, refrigerator, cupboard, telephone table, dressing block and a car/bus prop. We have play plates, cups, food, utensils, etc;.
Sensory table- This is the sensory table. We fill this table with grass, sand, macaroni, rice, water, etc; Thematic items are placed in the center to add to the pleasure of the little ones! Above the sensory table is a thematic bulletin board, for the children to look at, while playing.
Pictured here is the sink area and art area. This area faces the table at which the children sit at, for cooking and art activities. As you can see in the picture, a handwashing chart is above the sink. The art center is divided into many little seperate tubs that have all types of art supplies available to the children. Items include: collage, writing, arts/crafts, stamps, playdoh, etc;.
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