Submitted by Myrose, here are some very specific tips on getting organized to teach kindergarten…
I am currently teaching Kinder OCR 2002, but many of
the ideas are still applicable.
Here are some of my organizational tips–I hope they help you:
–I keep all my big books in a small chart box, in the front of the
room, right next to my big book easel. This has been great. The box
is an old one made to hold posters and chart paper. It has dividers
in it, and it does not have a lid. This makes for easy taking out and
putting away of the big books. Prior to this year, I kept my large
wood blocks in the box.
–I gave up on using the word cards that came with the series. It was
too time consuming to pull the cards you needed for every day. Last
year, I pulled the cards that I needed, then afterward, I put them in
a plastic baggie and labeled the name and number of the lesson. If I
needed a card for another lesson, I simply made my own card, so that
I now have a set of cards for every lesson. No more pulling cards
–My partner and I purchased 5 very large tubs at Walmart 2 years
ago. We labeled one for each unit. We now simply take out a box the
week or two before we start that unit, and go through it to see what
we need. I keep the baggies with the word/picture cards in the boxes,
as well as samples of the First Step Stories, manipulatives, samples
of anything we made for that unit, etc.
–I found that I did not need every blackline master in the book. So,
I keep a folder with one copy of each blackline master I did use in
that unit’s box. I pull the folder out, and can run off everything I
need for that unit at once. This makes life very easy for me.
–My grade level partners and I each take one unit, and prepare what
is needed in the way of worksheets, etc. We go over it with our
fellow teachers to remind them of what they need to do. Being in
charge of one unit makes things easier for us. (We always have
between 4-6 K classes each year).
–We placed colored dots at every stopping place in the big books.
This helps you to keep your place while going between the teacher’s
manual and the big book. We even numbered the dots to correspond with
the numbers in the teacher’s guide.
–My first year I made 3 sets of flashcards for each predecodable. (A
LOT of work that year, but well worth it). I laminated them, and put
them in baggies with one sample of each book, then placed them in the
correct unit boxes, now they are easy to pull and find when I need