Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Focus on Learning

Hi, I'm Linda from Kinder Doodles.  I am so excited to be a part of this new blogging adventure.  There will be a new post every day ~ please become a follower so you don't miss a thing!

Several years ago our corporation started requiring teachers to post learning objectives in "kid friendly" terms.  Well, I teach kindergarten and felt puzzled ~ how can I post learning objectives that were not only kid friendly, but were something that my little students could use?  After some thought, I decided to transform my large "teaching" bulletin board to an interactive "Focus Wall."  The result not only was met with my principal's approval, but has become a focal point of learning for my students.

Before ~ My bulletin board did include some learning objective type materials on the blue section.   But there was a lot of "non objective" things, too ~ three pocket charts with names for stations, etc., the large birthday chart, and dogs. 



After ~ To create a visually appealing and cohesive look, I covered all three bulletin boards with blue fabric and used cute border from School Girl Style.  Each section contains items that showcase what the students are learning each week.  Actually having examples of what the students are learning means more to Kinders than simply listing the objectives. The cards, materials, and posters are "real," not just abstract words that satisfy a directive to display learning objectives.  Our focus wall gives my little students something concrete to help them to understand what skills we are working on during the week.  We refer to the focus wall during many lessons.  I like having such a large area to be able to display teaching materials ~ everything is readily available for use.  Students are able to see  our weekly skills at a glance because nearly everything is represented in one place. The Kinders have come to use the materials on the focus wall as reference tools ~ often referring to the words, the hundred chart, etc. throughout the day.  I also have a group of students who play school during our free choice center time at the end of the day ~ it is so cute to see how they use the focus wall in their imaginative play!


I like to use small pocket charts (this one is from the Dollar Spot at Target) on my focus wall to hold small cards.   Clothespins and ribbon are perfect for hanging items that change frequently.

This is actually a learning center from The Mailbox.  I have a lot of these activities and frequently use them on the focus wall to present or provide practice for different skills.  Stikki Clips hold the cards onto the workmat.  Once we are done using this on the focus wall, I will put the activity set into one of our math tubs.  


I do have "We can..." cards posted, but these are not the most important part of our Focus Wall.  Because only a few of my Kinders are able to read all of the cards, their main purpose is to remind me to name the objective or skill we are working on when we focus our attention to the materials.



I am so happy with what my focus wall has become.  It is a great teaching tool for me, but more importantly it is a great learning resource for my little students.  It presents everything we are learning each week, and gives students the opportunity to see, think about, interact with, and discuss our learning objectives on a daily basis.  Click HERE to visit my blog to read more about the progression of my focus wall.

I have created a little freebie for you to use on your own focus wall.  It also can be used if you are required to post your learning objectives.  Click HERE to download it now.

 

Thanks for visiting!




4 comments:

  1. I love it! Our corporation wants us to post our goals as well. I love how kid friendly yours are! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. I didn't think it made much sense to simply list learning objectives in a kindergarten classroom. Having actual examples of what we are learning is much more useful to Kinders. Plus, they get exposure to the skills all day long!
      Thanks for reading!
      Linda

      Delete
  2. Great idea! I like the simple 'I can' statements.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. I wanted to make things as simple as possible while still fulfilling the posted objective requirement. They are available in my TpT store. Click the link in the post to see them.
      Linda

      Delete