I like to use daily sign-in sheets to help teach my students how to spell their names (in the fall) and how to print letters using proper top-down letter formation.
Our Morning Routine: As my kindergarten students come in each morning or afternoon, one of their “jobs” is to sign-in on their sign-in sheet. As part of our entry routine, they also need to get their indoor shoes on, put their library books/home reading duotangs in the bin, stop to sing “O Canada” and to listen to announcements and choose 1-2 tubs for their table to work with. I love this routine as it gives me some one-on-one time with many of my students on a regular basis, it is part of an open ended activity(our entry routine could last anywhere from 5-20 minutes easily, depending on what “excitement” comes our way first thing in the day) and I am able to easily adapt it as the needs and skills of my kinders change throughout the year.
Our Sign-In Sheets: Here what one of our sign-in sheets would look like in September (except there would be 6 different names on one sheet!). I used the same name on this example so that you could see an example of how I would progress with students (from easiest to hardest expectations). On one sign-in sheet, I may have some students tracing letters while those who are ready, are printing in lowercase.
Here is how it may look after my students sign-in:
Once my students get good at signing-in, I like to add an element of complexity to our daily sign-in routine by doing surveys. By this time in the year (usually in January), my students are well rehearsed in our sign-in routine, have learned (or have strategies to learn) many new words in French and are looking for opportunities to practice their reading and pre-reading skills. I draw picture symbols to go with the text. I find this not only reaches my non-readers but it is one more simple way that we can integrate our language learning skills, reading and reading comprehension skills to part of our daily routine. Some days we also look at our sign-in sheets together during carpet time and this give us a meaningful opportunity to count and compare (and learn words like more/less, most/least).
Here is an example of our “survey sign-in sheets”:
If you would like preview a few more of my sign-in sheets, please click on one of the links below:
Here are a few more tips to consider when using sign-in sheets with your students:
1. Put 4-6 different student’s names on each sign-in sheet to speed up signing-in at entry time.
2. Use a different colour for each set of sign-in sheets (we have 4 different colours in our class) and keep each group’s colour consistent whenever you put out new booklets of sheets.
3. Use a new sheet for each day. As students are signing-in, you can circulate around and pick one thing (for 5-6 students) to work on that day. For example, you might be teaching Angela how to start her N at the top one week and a few months later, you might be working on a lowercase e with her.
3. Personalize your expectations for each student. Not all students are ready to print with lowercase letters at the beginning of kindergarten. Giving them opportunities to practice with capital letters until they can stabilize their shoulder will make printing lowercase letters much easier and more successful later on.