New to Kindergarten Photos & Attendance

One of the first things I do with my new kindergarten class each year is take a happy smiling photo of each of them. I take my camera home, and print out a couple of photos in different sizes, of each of the students. I also attach a label with their name written in NSW Foundation font (the font we use for handwriting here in my state).

 I use these photos for many things and find having a few sets (usually laminated if I have time) very handy for the beginning weeks of school, when some students are only just beginning to recognise their name.

I use small sized photos on group boards, job charts and my attendance charts. This helps the students who cannot recognise their name to become familiar with the charts and also helps everyone (including me!) learn faces and names of the new class.

I love attendance charts. I have a 'chart' time each morning as part of my morning routine. We normally do a day/weather chart and attendance chart.

I usually change the style of these a few time throughout the year, to keep things fresh. I am also starting to use the interactive whiteboard.... but have to admit I am 'old school' and like to keep my little ones looking and listening to a real face rather than a screen for too much of the day. I move my charts to my 'easel' for the teaching time, and then hang them for display on hooks at the side of my teaching area.

Using an attendance chart gives such wonderful opportunities in kindergarten, to model a huge range of appropriate behaviours and skills. All in the first 5 minutes of the day! I especially like to use the attendance chart to model thinking about our peers. I talk about the students who are absent, and tell the students that when they return I will look at their face and say 'hello' and 'I hope you are better now'. This is particularly good for my students who struggle with language and communication. Having the photos on the chart is particularly effective for these students, I have found.

I use one set of my class photos on the attendance chart and have the students attach their photo to the chart as they come in for the day. It is attaced with sticky blu-tac.

In the first weeks of kinder I use a very plain one - the students stick their photo onto a school bus and we count them up, recording the total number of students.

After a few weeks, I introduce a poster that has ten frames on it (and a five frame depending on the size of the class).

It looks like this (sorry I don't have a photo of mine, it is packed away in storage). I printed out all the 'parts' and glued them on a poster sized piece of card. I got my poster laminated at Officeworks and although it cost me around $15 to get laminated, I have used it for around 5 years, and think it will last the next 5 very well!

I write on it with a dry erase marker, or use Post-it notes for the numbers.

I love the ten frame attendance poster, it helps me to both talk about the students, names etc.....but best yet it helps me to introduce some number concepts in a real and practical way.

I like to pose such focus questions as:
- how many tens do we have today?
- what is a 'ten'
- how do we know we have a 'ten'
- why isn't this one a 'ten' (pointing to the unfilled ten frame)
- how many more students would we need to make 25

I model how to count on from the ten to find the total - 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, showing them how to put the big number '10' in their mind and then count-on the extras. I also model how to just recognise the numbers instantly and put them together in written form.

I go over these same focus questions every morning for a month or so.

 Sometimes I cover the ten frames and potos and just reveal the numbers and ask the students to predict what the ten frames will look like, and have the students describe their visualisations to me.

If you would like to make your own attendance ten frame poster, you can easily make up the pieces yourself, or you can get my pages from Google Drive HERE, as a free download. 

It was my birthday a few weeks ago, and with my birthday money I purchased this little gem on the weekend. To say I am excited is an understatement. I am telling my family it is to help with my scrapbooking, but we all know its really for the classroom when I return to work.

It's an Epson 'Picture Mate', a mini printer to print photos from a memory stick, or your phone. I cannot wait to use it in the classroom, to instantly print out photos of the students for my charts.

As easy at it is to print from the computer at home, it can be a pain to fire it all up just to print out a few photos. This printer can run independently from the computer and it is FAST! It has a function to print two, four and eight photos on the one page, which will be great for the size I like to use on all my carts. Arrhhhh, my teacher friends will understand my excitement :)

December 2016 Update

I have made a printable bunch of kids that you can use for attendance, until you get your photos taken!
Find the file in Google Drive HERE