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Planning Board

October 21, 2020 | Bridget O'Dowd

You’ve probably heard your children talk about the planning board. This whiteboard in the kindergarten classroom is beginning to fill up. What is this for?  How does it work?  The Earth class students help explain the importance of the planning board.

“You make you plan to say where you want to go.” -Alex

“You can read books and right after work periods, we have snack. We have fun.” -Weaver

“It helps us because it tells us where we have to go in work period one, work period two, and work period three.” -Michelle

“It helps us to know what to do, and if you don’t know you can look at the board and remember.” -Kayla

“If there was no planning board, you wouldn’t know it was your turn at paint.” -Avery

“We need to put our name where we want to work.” -Sammy

“There are three work periods. You get to plan in one work period.” -Zac

“I like putting my magnet on the board. It is a surprise to find out what color you’re missing in.” -Patrick

“When I want to make a plan, I have to find what color I’m missing in first.” -Daniel

Students go to three different 25 minute work periods every morning.  Everyone goes to teacher’s group and a work period that the teacher plans.  Students have one work period they can choose themselves. The colors represent the first, second, and third work period. If they are finished in a work period of their choice before the 25 minute time is up, the children get to clean up and choose somewhere new to work. This allows for flexibility and space for children to explore many areas.

“Sometimes I look closely at the board to find where my name is missing.” -Marie

“It’s hard sometimes to find my name because there are a lot of M names, but I keep searching until I find it.” -Mirabella

“You make a plan on the planning board. There are three colors: red, blue, and green. One color for each work period.” -Ricky

“You get to go to blocks, teacher’s group, math table, paint, drawing and writing, and discovery.” -Hudson

Planning on the planning board requires the children to make a choice with intention. Planning before work periods allow for development of important skills, such as thinking and reasoning, , goal making, understanding multi-sequence actions, decision-making, self-regulation, and responsibility.

Bridget O'Dowd

Ms. O’Dowd came to Mustard Seed in 2017, after moving to Hoboken in 2016. She found a school and a community all in one package at Mustard Seed! Having taught kindergarten in Illinois before moving to New Jersey, Ms. O’Dowd has a passion for five-year-olds. She’s delighted to be a part of the kindergarten team and loves to read and share in story with students. Her favorite moment of the day is during a good read aloud, when she looks out and sees the faces of children showing empathy and emotion in response to the story. Ms. O’Dowd’s hobbies include exploring new neighborhoods, watching BBC documentaries, traveling to visit family, and eating her way through New York City.

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