Monday, August 6, 2012

Must Haves and Must Reads for TK- Classroom setup

I have 2 weeks left until I start my paid school year teaching Transitional Kindergarten but I have spent much of the summer working unpaid on my room, as I  think most teachers do. There is planning, thinking, blog stalking and of course actually setting up the classroom which all takes way more then the 3 or so paid hours we get in my district to set up our rooms. How much of your summer have you spent planning and setting up? My friends teaching TK, what resources have you been given to plan and set up for this school year?

In many ways I am setting up a new classroom even though I did not move rooms. Transitional Kindergarten means we have permission to have dramatic play areas and blocks again, no more basal program to follow for Language Arts time and figuring out how to still teach the essential California Kindergarten Standards but now use the Preschool Foundations to help. It is going to be so different than last year! Thankfully the teachers in my district that will be teaching TK have had some time to plan and the district gave us some materials before summer. We have been to some wonderful trainings on the Preschool Foundations from  Bay Area Region 4 CPIN and  trained for Handwriting Without Tears. We have the beginnings of a program but there is still so much that is open and unplanned. I'm sure many of you are in the same boat and I want to share some of the must haves and must reads I have found for setting up Kindergarten that I think will be perfect for Transitional Kindergarten too :) This will be the first of I think many Must Haves and Must Reads for TK posts because I have found so much from so many amazing kindergarten teachers and know I'll find more as the year goes on.

My first Must Read is a look at some super great rooms for layout ideas. Click on each picture to see some of my favorite classrooms.
Erin from Eberharts's Explorers has the cutest jungle room with a great layout and April from Wolfelicious has a wonderful rock star room with lots of Whole Brain Training elements.

Mary from Sharing Kindergarten started school today and shared her wonderful classroom.

My next Must Read is also a Must Have and a Must Watch, the 4 wonderful presentations from

These 4 presentations were part of a virtual teaching expo and feature a few of my favorite kindergarten bloggers. Each presentation is $3.95 and all are so worth it! Here are the 4 fabulous presenters:

The presentations are:

Standards Based Fun In a Room of 31 by Fran Kramer

The 3 R's; Rules, Routines and Reinforcements by Hadar Maor

Plain Paper to Publishing! Keys to a Successful Writer's Workshop by Crystal Radke

Lovin' Literacy Center Time by Krissy Miner 
It is awesome to hear these great ladies explain for they set up things in their rooms and you will be so inspired. 

Now if you are looking for a great way to do Debbie Diller's style of stations your next must read is from Erin from Eberharts's Explorers. She has a simple way to set things up so you don't have to have all 12 stations like I always thought you had to do. 

These next 2  are PERFECT for TK and you MUST check them out!  Marsha from Differentiated Kindergarten has the best set up for Math Stations and  Word Work for Daily 5.  She has gathered and created everything you need to have Math Stations and Work Work running with built in ways to differentiate. This is how I am setting up my stations because I think it is so perfect for TK and traditional Kindergarten where we have little ones at all levels.


Now for some Must Reads and some Must Haves for setting up developmental centers I am so excited to get to have in TK like Playdough, Blocks and Dramatic Play. Jennifer K from Herding Kats in Kindergarten has some awesome posts, many with freebies, on centers with the reasons why they are so important. She even has Center Signs in many themes with "I am" statements so everyone will know the many benefits of these centers.

  So now that you are set to have your classroom all set up here are just a few must haves that will get you through the first days of TK.

Mary from Sharing Kindergarten has the cutest freebie set of notes to send to students for the night before school.

For first day lesson plans these are such deals! You will be set for the first day and have goodies you can use throughout the year! Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles has this super cute Monsters Back to School Activity Pack for $5 and Krissy from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business has these detailed plans for the first day for $8. Trust me grab them both and you will be set!

So to finish up I have a Must Read for you all no matter what grade you teach but especially if you teach young ones.  Krissy from Mrs. Miner's Monkey Business just posted this AWESOME post linked below.
Enjoy and see you back here this week for more Must Haves and Must Reads for TK :)


Miss Kindergarten on August 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM said...

Looks awesome!

Special Teacher for Special Kids on August 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM said...

Amazing... So much information and very visual!

Heather on August 6, 2012 at 12:37 PM said...

What a great post!
Kickin' it in Kinder

The Zoo Crew Teacher on August 6, 2012 at 12:48 PM said...

Hello, Would you mind clarifying if you use both the Daily 5 and Literacy Workstations? Or a combination. It seems like a lot to do both. You have some wonderful ideas and amazing information. Thank-you for sharing. Caryl

Mrs. Miner on August 6, 2012 at 1:07 PM said...

You rock Melissa! That must have taken you a bazillion hours to put together, but what a fantastic resource for people to use! Thanks for including me.
Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

KinderKapers on August 6, 2012 at 1:16 PM said...

Great resource! I am looking at getting ready for a possible 30+ students in my all-day Kindergarten class. We don't have a Transitional Kindergarten in our I figured out last year that it is best to think that way and then differentiate.

Terri Izatt

Melissa Ortuno on August 6, 2012 at 5:21 PM said...

Thanks for all the comments :)
Caryl, I'm sorry for any confusion. I personally use Daily 5 and have for the last 4 years and I will be using Marsha's set up for Word Work and for Math Stations. I included Erin's post because I know many people like Debbie Diller and I thought Erin's way of doing those stations was much easier. Hope that makes more sense :)

Post a Comment


Transitional Kinder with Mrs. O Copyright © 2009 Flower Garden is Designed by Ipietoon for Gossip Celebrity Flower Image by Dapino

Blog Widget by LinkWithin