Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Making Your T.K./K. Combo Work- Part 2 Differentiating Independent Work

So What About The Table Work:

I get it. You have T.K. and K. kids sitting at the same tables. You want their independent work to be different and designed to help them meet the standards for their own individual grade level. 
During our 1 hr. 40 min. work time, students were required to complete an independent table task that should take the average T.K. or K. student about 40 minutes to complete. While they worked, I pulled students to meet with me in a small group setting for about 20-25 minutes.

 This left each student about 35-40 minutes to explore at the centers and play.

 Instead of setting the tables with their work, which took me about 20 minutes before school started, I introduced all of the work during whole group time and I set the papers out at the front of the room. I always placed the T.K. work to my left and the K work to my right. I watched to make sure that each child picked up the correct work. I would often have more advanced T.K. students pick up a page from the K side instead of the T.K. side and vice versa. That was just one more way to differentiate on an individualized basis. By setting the independent work out on the carpet each morning, I saved about twenty minutes each afternoon setting out the specific work for each child at their table. This was one more way I could work efficiently.

"So, what did the independent work look like and how was it different for each grade level?" you ask.
Typically on Mondays, T.K. students created an animal face that went along with our Zoo Phonics animals. (I have been asked numerous times to create these animal templates and post them on TpT and I promise it's on my list of things to do.) They might place the face in their letter portfolio (We made a portfolio for each letter that included a variety of projects that were all about that one letter.) or glue the face to a sentence strip and write an uppercase and lowercase letter to match the initial sound of the animal using a crayon. So, the 1st week we made a snake and the T.K. kids wrote Ss on the sentence strip each side of the snake's face.

This is a portfolio for the letter C.
Each pocket-page holds all of the "C" projects.
You can bind them into a book with yarn or staple them into 4 books of 6-7 pgs. each.
My K kids got to make a different snake that was a bit more complicated to cut out and assemble. They wrote with a pencil on their sentence strip: I see a (and that's where they glued their snake on) and added a period after the snake so it said: "I see a snake. Both groups got to wear their snake hats home or place them in their letter portfolio.

Here is the Alpha Chant for Hh.  It was more of a visual perception and letter recognition activity than a fine motor activity.
Click the chant to see this set in my TpT store. 
The beauty of this plan is that you can have your lowest K kids (the ones who can't write the phrase) just write Ss by their snake. They might still make the more challenging snake.

Likewise, you can let your T.K. kids who are ready to write try their hand at writing the sentence that  ends with their snake. You can differentiate this any way you like. The student who can write, but can't cut well might be given the easier snake. Your cutting expert who can't recognize one letter might be given the more difficult snake and less writing. Remember, this is independent work, not part of a small group lesson.

This is how I differentiated with my Phonics Picture Cards and Dictionary Pages:
Using picture cards that all begin with /C/,  all students draw 3 pictures of objects that begin with /C/ on their Phonics Dictionary Page and have your T.K. students label each picture with "Cc" while K students label each picture with the word. The Phonics Picture Cards and Dictionary Pages include 3 pictures for each letter of the alphabet. You can also just have student illustrate on a large piece of newsprint that is blank at the top (for pictures) and lined at the bottom (for initial sound letters or labels).
Click the image to see the entire set.

Each week, I would look at all of the activities I had for ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies and I would sort them into TK and K levels.

Then, I placed them into my M-F file folders which I kept in a dish rack at the front of the room. It was easy to open the file, explain the work, set it out on the carpet, and watch as students picked up their work and took it to their tables.

More differentiated independent work:

Chick-a-chick-a-boom-boom trees:
TK: They made a Chick-a-chick-a-boom-boom palm tree by adding the palm treetop to a TP tube. We cut 2 slits into the treetop and slid it onto the tube. Then, they added the letters in their name which were printed in rectangles for them. The letters did not have to be in the correct order.

K: They had to cut out the treetop and the trunk, they drew crosshatched lines on the trunk, and glued their name to the tree. They had more cutting and the letters had to be in the correct order.

Day 100 Capes:
TK: They made a Zero Cape for Day 100 with a giant zero on the back and a 100 day necklace badge.

K: They made the same cape, but we added all of the 10s from 10-100 on stars. They also made 100 day glasses and a crown.

I like to keep the independent table work similar, yet different so all students might be working on the same letter, number, sight word, or science concept, but they will be doing different things with it. 

I hope these ideas help. Let me know how YOU differentiate independent work for your students.
Tomorrow I will write about differentiating small group lessons. 


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