And just like that, we're back in school! I start screening with my kinders today. I'm excited for this new group of kiddos and to see what this year has in store for us. Since I'm back to work full-time, my Make it Monday project was actually made over the weekend, but who's really keeping track? Two years ago around this time, I wrote a post detailing how I made my easy lunch choice and attendance chart. That project took me hardly any time, was basically free and has made a huge difference in the organization of my mornings! Also, looking back at the pictures of it when it was brand new makes me realize just how well loved it is. It may need a little bit of a makeover now!
Similar to how I once felt about the chaos that was lunch choice and attendance, I now feel that way about my free choice centers. In the past I've always just let my students just pick where they wanted to go without limits. With some classes that works really well and with others... not so much. I was lucky last year and my students could have run my room without me 99% of the time, but I'm coming in prepared this year just in case!
I decided to have a limit of 2-4 students per center this year just to eliminate crowding which in turn eliminates a lot of conflict. I used the same exact materials as I did for my attendance chart. I got all these items for less than $10 at Target. How could we teachers live without that store, seriously? Don't ask how much I ended up coming out with. I can never leave with just what I intended to purchase!
The thing I love about washi tape is how easy it is to readjust. You'll see that partway through making my chart I realized that I hadn't quite included all of my center choices. Luckily I was able to reuse the same pieces of tape rather than starting over and just moved them around. They still stuck perfectly!
I also ended up using a Sharpie Paint marker to label - it just had better coverage than the regular marker. I have free choice at the end of each day, so the plan now is to have students move their attendance magnet from their lunch choice over to this chart each afternoon in order to pick their free choice center. It'll bring some more organization to that unstructured part of the day and it will allow me to see exactly where each student picked to be that day. Plus I can use the same magnets for both procedures! It's all still a work in progress, but I'm pretty excited to implement it! Using this cookie sheet is perfect because I don't have a lot of wiggle room in my classroom and this will fit in just about any space!
Good luck to all of you going back to school this week as well. Love on those kiddos! Some are nervous, some are missing home and some can't contain their excitement! I know that our goal is to help them all to be happy to come back (or start for the first time) to see the faces of the teachers who care for them!