When it comes to teaching whole group on the carpet, Kindergartners are very fidgety! I came up with a easy solution that keeps them engaged and also builds positive reinforcement. I only point out the good behaviors stating “I like how so-in-so is sitting criss cross and has their eyes on the teacher.” With that I give that student a tally mark next to the color of their carpet square they sit on. Immediately they all want a tally mark and they are nice and quiet. Usually at the end of the day or every other day, I have a prize for the winning row who made the best choices. I like to keep my point system very close to me on my easel so I can access it quickly and where I don’t have to interrupt instruction. I just used construction paper and laminated it. I used a color for each row on the carpet.
One of the last things I like to use markers for, is to check for the student’s understanding after teaching a whole group lesson. I use popsicle sticks and place three different colors on the stick using a marker. Each student gets a popsicle stick, and they know they are to use these colors to show their teacher the answer they think is best. For example: if we are trying to come up with the setting in the story, I would post several photocopies from the story on the board (a setting pic, a character pic, and a key detail pic). Underneath each copy I would leave a color marking that matches the popsicle stick’s colors. So my 3 colors are BLUE, GREEN, and PURPLE. After reading the story, I would say, lets look at these pictures on the board. Lets decide which picture is the setting. See the colors? Ok, find that color on your stick and tell me which one is the setting. Then the students would point. This way I would know who gets the lesson and who doesn’t! I could continue on then with who is the character in the story? etc. It works really well and after you model it several times, they really get the hang of it.
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