Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March Madness

It's time for March Madness! The letter that we sent home to parents...

 March Madness

       March Madness is the kindergarten’s sight word competition. Students are on mixed-level teams of three. We want the higher achievers to encourage and help the lower achievers learn the words. There are 220 sight words, however, this competition will only involve the first 80 words, and only the first 40 are on the kindergarten report card. Even if your child has completed the first and second Worm Word books, it’s important to continue reviewing for accuracy and speed.
Each student can score a maximum of 80 points, that’s one point per word. We will have a hallway display of three goals, each labeled with point values 75, 110, and 150. We will place each team’s basketball labeled with the points earned at the appropriate goal. Good luck! 

The letter also included the teams, with their names like Team Outstanding and Team Bravo, and the sight words list. 

To explain it even further, let me say that I just use the results of individual sight word assessments to give the students points. We aren't doing something like a Spelling Bee or Around the World. All year I have been assessing students weekly anyway, but this theme spruces things up a bit.

On Wednesday mornings, the students get with their teammates to practice. I have a school box of flash cards for each team. The game they are playing now goes like this: the team captain (the student who knows the most words - usually all 80) moderates while the other two children take turns picking up a card off the top of the deck. He/she keeps the the cards they read correctly. If they miss it, the captain gets to keep it. Then I assess students individually while the others are working on centers and handwriting. 

We need a new goal up! 

Other "March Madness," and this is Madness!!

* Due to all the snow, we are having to make-up 2 snow days by tacking on 30 extra minutes at the end of the day for almost 2 months. This is kind of a nightmare. Since our school is "enhanced," we already have school 45 minutes longer than the regular public schools in our district. Can you believe my kindergarteners arrive at school for breakfast at 7:30, begin class at 8, and aren't dismissed until 4:15?! So it's been two days of this extra, extra time. I'm wondering where does the time go? 

* One of my students had yet another emotional crisis today. I am using every resource possible to support this little boy, and yet, he still can't pull himself together. To name a few of said resources, he has a Centerstone counselor, school counselor, and a behavior specialist; he has visual prompts, a picture schedule with if-then breaks, daily behavior charts to motivate his every 30 minutes to follow directions, etc., etc., etc.!!!! He has been referred to office probably something like 10 times by myself and others just since January. Today I had to send my class out to other classrooms (as I've explained in his Safety Plan) and then block the door so he couldn't make a run for it. The principal came to get him. He refused to comply, so she had to restrain him and carry him down the hall screaming and kicking. I felt sorry for her watching them go, but honestly!! She had his mother pick him up with a suspension note. That makes a total of 5 days of suspension in 2010! I won't see him until Thursday, which is the last day of school until March 22. March 25 we are having a second Support Team meeting. Since I didn't mention it yet, this little boy is smart and has a lot of friends. I'm just stunned that a 6 year old could be so upset with the world. He gets upset, and I mean crazy upset, for no reason. 


  1. Alicia,

    He won't be the last you encounter by any means dear. I had a kindergartner who could be his twin one year. The child made a dash for the door and when I tried to stop him, he stomped on the top of my foot and fractured some bones. He also bit and kicked me. He ended up in a residential facility for awhile.

  2. Oh dear, I hope that never happens to me!