Have a question? Be sure to skim these FAQs before you email me!
I may have answered your question here already!


How do you run your learning centres?

Our goal during centre time is self-regulation and independence.  We teach and model centre expectations throughout September both as a whole group or by joining them in their play during centre time.  Once the students are able to explore independently, we start pulling guided groups based on diagnostic assessments.

We allow the students to choose any centre they want.  I don't worry about what centre they are visiting because they will get guided time for specific skills they need to work on with an educator throughout the week.

We have a snack centre students can visit to eat as they are hungry during centre time.

The centres I have in my classroom are: sensory bin, computers, iPads, lego, dramatic play, painting, book shelf (reading centre), 2 carpet centres (usually building with big blocks and another centre like trains, gears, puzzles etc.) and table top centres.  Table top centres are literacy based in the morning and numeracy based in the afternoon.

Table top centres I always have out in the morning:

1. Writing Centre: A variety of writing papers (blank, lined etc.) + sight word booklets for the sight word of the week + any specific writing invitations for the week

2. Creation Station: GOOS (good on the other side) paper, construction paper, glue, scissors, art supplies

Table top centres I always have out in the afternoon: Nothing specific, but I always try to have a variety of strands out at the same time so at least one number sense activity, one patterning activity, one sorting activity, one measurement activity and one geometry (2D shapes/3D figures/symmetry) activity.

I set out table top centres based on my assessments and what I know the students need more practice with.

I have all play centres open during all centre times.

How many centres do you have open?

I make sure there are enough spots for at least 10 more kids than we have in class.  For example if I have 25 kids in our class, then I would make sure to have 35 centre spots available and open so the kids can easily move around and have some choice when doing so.

Do you limit the amount of people at each centre?

We do limit the number of students at each centre.  If the centre is full and they want to play there, we teach them to ask a friend who is playing at that centre "I want to play here, can you call me when you are done?" and then go choose something else while they are waiting.

How long do you keep your centre activities out for and when do you switch them out?

I keep activities out for as long as they are engaged with them.  Sometimes that means a centre is only out for 2 days and sometimes it means that it is out for months!  If I am switching them out I do so after school.

Can you show me what centres you set-up for the first week of school/around (Holiday)/in March?

I have a FREE document I created to share what I typically put out every week from September to March. Feel free to download it and take a look here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/-FREE-Kindergarten-Visual-Centre-Plans-5848330


How do you organize and store your centres and manipulatives?

For the centres I am using that week I put them out on our open shelves so I can pull them out and set them up easily at the end of the day.

I store my centres by subject/strand in large clear bins in my cabinets.
I have a cabinet for literacy materials, numeracy materials and art supplies.
For my literacy and numeracy materials I use these Tuff store 19.4L Clear Utility Box from Home Depot.

You can see how I organize my cabinets in my Classroom Reveal 2017 blog post.


What do you do on the first day/week of Kindergarten?

I have a blog post about that! You can read it here:

Can you show me your day plans/weekly plans?

Here is a link to my weekly plans from 2018:

Here is a link to some other planning templates I have used in the past:

What order do you teach phonics/reading strategies/math units etc.?

You can see the order I teach all subjects (except for inquiry of course) in my FREE long range plans.  You can download them here:

Sorry! My LRP is currently under a revision process and is removed from my TPT store.

Do you use a phonics program or do letter of the week?

I have not used a specific phonics program yet or have done letter of the week.

This post is old but it gives you a general idea of how I run my morning literacy whole group instruction.  You can read it here: http://www.apinchofkinder.com/2015/04/shared-reading-independent-writing.html

The kids who need extra practice with letters and letter sounds I meet with in guided groups.  First I do a letter/sound assessment to determine which letters and sounds the students need more practice with.  I use these Alphabet Intervention Mini Books during that time and only call students who need more practice with the letter we are working on that day.  So depending on the letter, I may have only 2 students in my group, other days I will have 4.

You can read about how I run my alphabet intervention groups in detail here: http://kindertribe.blogspot.com/2015/10/alphabet-small-group-intervention-tools.html


What chalk marker do you use to write on your chalkboards?

I use the Bistro brand chalk markers.  I have both the fine tip and broad point and use both depending on the size of my chalkboard, but use the fine tip more often.  I buy them on Amazon (click here for the direct link).

Where do you buy your chalkboards?

I buy them at Dollarama and Michaels.  Although, I do have to say that I've noticed that the quality of the chalkboards at Dollarama have been declining over the years... If you can afford it they are more expensive but I recommend the Michaels chalkboards.  They last much longer and the chalk marker comes off much easier too!

How do you get chalk marker off of your chalk boards?

I use a little bit of VIM (the cleaner) and a soft sponge.  If it's not coming off then I rub in circular motions and if still needs more I sometimes use the rough side of a sponge gently.  If you can't find VIM, dipping your sponge in a bit of Coca Cola works too, but be sure to rinse well as any residue will make it sticky.


It says I need permission to download the freebies. Can you give me permission?

You shouldn't need permission to access any of the freebies offered on this blog. Just make sure you click on the download image/link that takes you to Google Drive and once you get there click on the small download icon at the top right hand corner (it is the one that looks like an arrow pointing down into a tray).

When I click on the DOWNLOAD FREEBIE button it takes me to Pinterest! What am I doing wrong?

My blog has a feature where it puts a Pinterest button over every image (unless I specifically go in the code and disable it). If you click on the centre of an image and click on the "Pin It" button it will take you Pinterest. I try to put words you can click on before the download button or if you click towards the edges of the download button it should take you to the download page!


Can I use your resources for distance learning/in my virtual classroom?

As long as it is shared on a protected platform (e.g. Google Classrooms, where a password is required) and it is only shared with your students/parents I am making exceptions to my terms of use during this COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing virtual teaching. 

Please ensure that my terms of use stays in tact (even if you are using only one page from a file, please make sure to keep the terms of use page attached to the file) and either under each resource or somewhere on your site put something like “this file was (or the files on this site were) purchased for our classroom and is only licensed for use in a single classroom. Please do not share this file with others. Thank you.” Parents will not know about copyright and this will help prevent parents from sharing freely with other parents and/or uploading my work to the internet on public sites.

New products that are marked "digital" are meant for virtual classrooms and may be shared with your students/parents through any password protected platform where Google Slides is supported.

You can check out the digital items I have in my store by following the links below:

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