DeAnn Dykes
Blue Mountain Elementary
Kindergarten

Background: Morning Meeting in kindergarten can be a rich, effective time for teaching. It can also become a drudgery, time to disengage, or simply fluff. As this last school year progressed, I began to use my Promethean board more and more in my morning meeting/calendar time. At first I borrowed the work of other teachers from the Promethean Planet web site. As I learned more, I created and added some of my own flip chart pages. Each month I put together a flip chart with a calendar and other pages that went with our curriculum and my goals for that month. By about March, I was feeling pretty good about how these flip charts were enhancing my morning meeting (keeping kids involved, keeping it fresh, tying into my instruction), but I felt like it was pretty haphazard, and yet full of potential for being better organized/planned and interactive.

My Plan: So, I have decided to create a full school year of calendar flip charts that include the following:
  • Calendars that include a variety of activities (counting, patterning, number recognition, number writing, etc).
  • Weather Graphing (in a variety of formats)
  • Elements from whole group Rigby lessons
    • Letter of the Week
      • Links to Starfall
      • Sound clips
    • Word Wall Words
  • Number Talks (topics evolving over time)
  • Poem of the Week poems
    • Instrumental music that goes with some of the poems
  • Age appropriate graphics (cute stuff!)

Resources:
  • Bud Hunt (I'm putting him on my speed dial!)
  • Lisa Halpern and Jenny Rabenhorst (smart fellow campers with ActivInspire expertise)
  • Promethean Planet web site
  • Rigby Teacher's Guides
  • Number Talk Bookmark
  • i-tunes
  • Starfall web site
  • Old flip charts and my Poetry Binder flip chart

Timelines: I am trying to get as much of this project done during CyberCamp as I can (while my key resources are close by). Ultimately, I want to have all of my calendars done before school starts. This will by no means be the end of my project. I am sure I will be tweaking and moving things around as I use these flip charts in my classroom. I also hope to share my work with other kinder/1st grade teachers and get feedback from them as to how I might add to or improve what I am doing. This is simply a place to start. It has also become a springboard for other flip charts that I want to create based on what I have learned so far, things I decided to leave out of the calendar flip charts but want to use in other ways, and exciting possibilities I am discovering as I go.

Questions:
  • How can I maximize student involvement and interaction with the board when using it in a whole group setting (with 25 children)?
  • Which tools/actions are best to use with different topics/skills to be taught?
  • Which parts of my instruction lend themselves best to a flip chart format? Which do not?