When I was in kindergarten . . . only the naughty kids got sent to the hallway. That’s not the case anymore.
I’ve often mentioned that I have the world’s smallest kindergarten classroom. I did have the opportunity to visit another kindergarten classroom in another district recently (thank you Glengary Elementary School friends) and discovered . . . I actually have the second smallest kindergarten classroom in the world. First or second . . . the fact remains . . . it’s small. So I’m always looking for ways to combat any restrictions I have in teaching because of the size. It’s also always a concern for any teacher newly embarking on differentiated instruction as well . . .’will my classroom be big enough?’ I always answer as positively as possible with a resounding ‘NO.’ Which is why you need to get creative. I have lots of space saving tricks up my sleeve but for today how about just one way the kindergarten teachers in my building do it by “sending ’em to the hall.”
I was fortunate enough that when I arrived in my building my neighbor teacher, Kerri, had already started a tradition of using the hall with her students. Each month there are die cuts with various letters, words and numbers written on them depending upon the time of year, readiness levels, themes and skills being introduced.
|click on the picture for a link|
Students can also read other parts of the hallway . . .
fluency charts with a sand timer can be utilized and changed out as students’ abilities change.
and ‘popcorn words’ are placed in a popcorn container where students can pick a card, attach it to the front of the container (we use velcro)
then tap out the letters to spell the word with their pointers. (I wish I could tell you where I acquired these cute little letters, but I couldn’t find it on my computer so if you know who I can credit, please drop me a line.)
This summer we also purchased two oil pans to velcro up in our hall from our local Walmart (approximately $10.00) so that we could extend not only our math stations to the hall,
|Number Squeeze is a local favorite. Pick copy up from Over The Moon by clicking on the picture above.|
but also use it for word work.
On this oil pan we use elkon boxes (by the way, those are picture frame mats with magnets on them) and large (like 8 inches tall or so) foam letters that you can purchase from Lakeshore.
or in this case, environmental print and put them in alphabetical order.
Lately, my write the room activities can also be found out there on occasion (this is one called ‘Bug Inspectors’ where my kinders use magnifying glasses to find the hidden picture within the picture and then write the word they see- you can click on the picture if you want to learn more about it).
When you suffer from small room syndrome, you need to be creative and think outside the box . . . or in this case, think outside the classroom.
To get you started, I’ve whipped up some cards for you to hang from your own hallway ceiling. Make sure you grab your copy. Then leave me a note to let me know how you use YOUR hallway.