The complete collection of articles, lesson ideas, print-ready resources, and more.
Benita Kay Moyers teaches kindergarten at Mt. Carmel Elementary in Huntsville, Alabama. As a board member for the Alabama Education Association, she has collaborated with teachers all over the state and has brought many of their ideas into her classroom. She is also piloting a multisensory cursive handwriting program for her district. “I believe all students can learn and feel successful when we are willing to step out of our comfort zone and try new and engaging approaches to learning. It was intimidating at first to change to the flexible seating and multisensory programs, but the progress we have seen has made it all worthwhile.”
The Learning Pond
Our pond area allows us plenty of room for whole-group activities using the interactive flip charts I create for each weekly read-aloud story; we focus on a different skill (word sorts, shared writing) with the story each day. I pull out stackable trays for cursive handwriting time, but they can quickly be put away when we move about for games, songs, exercises, and so on.
I made and laminated frog-themed student nametags with lunch numbers and passwords, and clipped them by the door for quick access. These were extremely helpful at the beginning of the year!
Each day, students are allowed to pick any seat as long as they are working nicely without too much noise. The more comfortable they feel, the easier it is for them to focus on the task. Seating choices include scoop rockers, wobble cushions, crate seats, etc. The crate seats also function as storage bins for tissues.
To speed up lesson planning, I have created a drawer for each story we will read that includes books, videos, and materials for the focus board, centers, and small groups. Students love the stuffed animals, which match some of the books, and on special days they’re allowed to take them to their desks while they read.
Each Monday, I choose a boy and a girl VIP who have exhibited the 7 Habits of being a good leader. The VIPs get to sit in special chairs for the week during certain times. A basket contains Muddle and Match books and iPhones, and they get QR codes that take them to videos. “I love to sit in the VIP seats because they’re comfortable and I feel special,” says one student.
Photos: Andrea Mabry/AP Images for Scholastic, Inc.
Resources to help you keep your career goals on target.