Friday, February 28, 2014

Morning Routines.... Then and Now

So, I'm really trying to catch up on writing about my amazing job and accomplishments so far this year! First up, I'd like to say that I'm pretty proud of my morning routine. Especially when compared to last year. Last year, my self-contained class went to breakfast together, came back to the room, unpacked, and then we had a morning priming segment before beginning calendar and writing journal. Since I worked as a Pre-K teacher fresh out of college, I didn't know a better way to get the day started, besides a little M&M (music and movement). Ever heard of Greg & Steve? He's got some AMAZING sound tracks for little ones, if you didn't know. So we listened to Greg & Steve's Good Morning song EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Yup, no joke. We listened to it for exactly 180 days (minus furlough). Following the GM song, I always had one more song to hype them up for the day. After a while, I found the songs that they liked. And I shortly figured out that it was easiest to play one song for each day of the week. So here's the schedule.

The only song that is not by Greg & Steve is the Gummy Bear Song. And I have no clue where that song came from. How did I keep up with this song rotation, you ask? Well.... have you ever heard of grooveshark?
 No? Well, grooveshark lets you set up a free account (or at least it did for a while.. I'm not sure if it's still free for the way I used it last year) and save your favorite songs to playlists, so that they are readily available for you to listen whenever you like. FOR FREE! The catch? I think you could only listen to your songs on one device. I used it for a few months, and it was great, but then our school district blocked that site, and I wasn't able to use it anymore. Sometimes I was able to play it through my cell phone, and hook it up to the speakers, but I couldn't always get cell reception, so I wouldn't suggest that idea. (I never liked having my phone out anyways.)

SIDE NOTE: I tried for the life of me, to take a snapshot of my playlists, but I still haven't gotten the hang of this windows 8. Ever since I updated the system, I couldn't figure out how to get out of the GoogleChrome app, and it won't let me open any other programs (like the Snipping Tool) side by side to the internet window. UGH. That's good ole technology for ya! I'm sure I'll figure it out sooner or later, but if anyone has a solution for me, please let me know! Thanks :)


 I've moved on from that. When I was interviewing for my current position, my administrators told me how the teacher did Morning Priming last year, and I was blown away by the inspiration! Since my kids don't have breakfast at school, they come to me straight for morning work, news, and sensory activities. It took a lot of consulting with parapros, first grade teachers, our occupational therapists, an instructional coach, and a program coordinator, but it's really come together. So here's what it looks like now:

8:20 - 8:45 Morning Work:

8:50 - 9:00: Social Skills lesson

9:00 - 9:10: Fidgets & Sensory Activities:

So, there you have it! That's about the first hour of my day! It's a pretty great way to start the day, if you ask me! I hope to soon share more about my daily routine, especially some of the social skills strategies that I use! But that will come... :) One day...

~Sarah :)

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