First Evaluations of the Year

So, next week we start our first set of bimonthly evaluations.  The first one is never really all that stressful.  (The last one definitely is!!).   I’m actually looking forward to it.  Although I’ve been doing in-class assessments frequently during the last two months, it’s not the same as sitting down with each child individually (I love our evaluation system!) and getting to hear their pronunciation and see exactly where they’re having difficulties.  (I don’t like end-of-year evaluations because if you DO find problems, it’s too late to correct them!)



Notebooking and Lapbooking

Last year was the first year I tried using lapbooking as part of my class.  I loved the hands-on creative part of lapbooking, and the different elements to cut, fold, glue, and color added a fun 3-D element to our classes.  There aren’t many resources online for EFL or ESL lapbooks, but I had fun using Microsoft Word to design my own elements.  We learned a lot, and it was much more fun than boring old worksheets!

The downside was the lapbooking itself.  We don’t include file folders on the school supply list, so I ended up using colored cardstock.  It worked fine, although it was obviously smaller than a file folder, but it did make for a lot of folding.

But there was also the problem of time; it took several days – sometimes a couple of weeks – to prepare all the elements for a single lapbook…and in a tiny classroom like ours, WHERE do you keep the minibooks in the meantime??  On days that students didn’t show up (and in kindergarten, you ALWAYS have one or two who don’t show up on any given day!), I ended up having to prepare their elements for them, since there was never time for them to get caught up on their own.

This year is different.  We’re still doing all the fun minibooks and accordion folds and wheels and flapbooks, but instead of saving them all up and gluing them into a lapbook, we’re gluing them directly into our English notebook.

I’m also focusing on a single minibook or element for several days, so that students become familiar with how to cut, fold, and glue it, and I can reduce the time spent re-folding and re-gluing elements.  And if, for some reason a child is out sick…hey, presto! he already knows what he’s supposed to do with that particular fold, so I can just send it home and have him finish it there!

So far, we’ve stuck with a simple matchbook fold, making three minibooks for each vowel.  I have them color the vocabulary word on the outside, then write the letter on the inside.  We glue them to the notebook, two on top and one on bottom, and use the rest of the page to practice writing the letter.

Next week, as we begin to work on consonants and blends, I plan to teach how to cut out a triple flapbook (that cut-just-to-the-middle bit is soooo hard for little minds to grasp!), with a vocabulary word on each flap and the beginning blend underneath.  I know I will be taping together a LOT of little flaps in the next few days as over-enthusiastic kindergarteners forget to stop in the middle with their cuts!

And for the EFL elements, we’re preparing an All About Me page with the conversational phrases we’ve been learning; “My name is_______,” “I am ____ years old”, (where they write their name and age in the blank spaces) and “This is my family” (with a space to draw their family).  This will be a bit different, since I plan to make a minibook out of it rather than going with the matchbook fold we’ve already learned or the flapbook fold we’ll be learning.


Alphabet Fun

This week, when I went to the market, I found the CUTEST little alphabet sprinkles at the baking goods stall!  They were very small, and I wasn’t really sure the kids would be able to manipulate them well, but I went ahead and bought some.  They worked great!  Today we practiced sorting vowels and consonants, and the kids loved it.  🙂  They especially loved that I let them eat the sprinkles once they were done sorting!  April 1 022