Sunday, September 30, 2018
Alright teacher friends, I'm going to be honest. It's difficult for me to fit everything into our daily or even weekly schedule. There are days that I don't get to content (science / social studies) and I feel truly guilty about it because it's not less important than the other subjects.

For this reason, I've made it my goal to integrate various subjects throughout my day. Today I'm sharing with you how I integrated Community Helpers into various parts of our day.

During our Community Helpers unit, I dressed up as a different community helper each day. I didn't go crazy (this year). I kept it simple with some dress-up hats I had available in the classroom.

Each morning I greeted my students at the door in my community helper outfit. The kids loved it! They really got a kick out of seeing me in different hats and accessories. It also made them curious about why I was dressed differently and what we would be doing.

Typically during the Share portion of our Morning Meeting, students are allowed to choose whatever they'd like to share. For this week, our share topic was "What do you want to be when you grow up?". It was fun to hear the students say they wanted to be a certain community helper after we had talked about a few.
Kindergarten Morning Meeting: Community Helpers Message & Activity
Our Morning Message and Activity were integrated during Community Helpers week. Students had to answer the question: "What community helper is Mrs. Palovchik dressed as?". Then, I passed out cards with various things different community helpers need to do their jobs. If they had a card that I needed, students moved to one side of the carpet. If they had something that I didn't need, they moved to the other side. Then we talked about what I needed vs. what I didn't need and why.

During this time of our day, I kept it simple. I introduced a community helper and we talked about what we already knew. Then I read a book about these community helpers and we filled in a chart using pictures to detail tools the community helper needed and how they helped our community. Here are some fantastic community helper read alouds (affiliate links):
Busy People: Doctor by Lucy M. George
Busy People: Teacher by Lucy M. George
Busy People: Firefighter by Lucy M. George
(ok so really all of her Community Helper Books!)

We did not have math in our classroom during Community Helpers week! Instead, we imagined that our classroom was a place called: Kinder Community. I created a Community Helpers Themed Math Task that allowed students to practice counting and their knowledge of community helpers. It was a hit! I displayed pictures of community workplaces (thank you, Google) and bags with different community helpers inside.

Students worked together to answer the question: "How many community helpers work here?" by counting the community helpers inside one of the bags.

Community Helpers Math Task for Counting

After counting, they filled in a sentence frame for our class chart and completed a recording sheet to demonstrate that they understood the correlation between an amount of objects and a number. How adorable is this students' recording sheet??

Community Helpers Math Task Recording Sheet

We closed the lesson with a math discussion on strategies students used to count (mainly that they didn't leave the community helpers in pile, but spread them out in a line to ensure accurate counting). 
Community Helpers Math Task Anchor Chart

The beautiful thing about this lesson is that you really can do it any time of the year. It would be a fantastic review on Community Helpers. You could even treat it as a "Count the Room" activity, having students visit various workplaces to count and find out how many there are. If you'd like to try this lesson out in your classroom you can find it here! I hope that you and your students love it as much as mine did! 

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