We are well into the school year (it's already November!), and I have yet to blog. So here's a quick little update, and hopefully I'll remember to post more often.
I have a delightful class of 26 this year. They are awesome!
My school is undergoing renovations, thanks to the bond issue that passed. We received new paint, I had a shelving unit removed to increase square footage, and as of this weekend, new carpet!
I had my very first student teacher this year. She was UH-mazing, and I know any school will be lucky to have her on staff.
There have been many, many changes in our district this year: report cards, teacher evaluation tool, implementation of new standards, etc. And, my school has been put on "the list." At times it can be overwhelming, but I am fortunate enough to work at a site that believes in each other, our community, and our kids. We can do better, and we will do better.
...for my long absence from this blog. I could seriously spend all my days happily exploring and pinning everything on the internet. Now as to actually using those ideas...well, it is summer!
I can't return to the blogosphere without bringing a little something with me. Click here to go to my TpT store and download the basic Sight Word Jeopardy game for the SMART board that I made. My kinders LOVED this game, and I hope yours do too.
I must apologize. This year has had many unexpected challenges, leaving me exhausted and defeeated most days. However, after two days off to attend our state SDE conferenece, I'm feeling reinvgorated, and I am so excited to try out some new ideas, as well as share them with you!
One of the workshops I attended this past week was Taking your SMART Board to the next level, given by Dr. Lori Elliot. She is an amazing presenter (I took three of her sessions!), with a blog full of awesome ideas. In this particular workshop, she showed us how to make center boards- a way to integrate the SMART Board into centers. She has step by step directions on her blog, and even a ready to download Dr.Suess center board to celebrate Read Across America Day and Suess Week. Check it out here.
Well, I must be off for church. Check back soon for pictures and videos from our keynote sessions.
My, my, my....It's October already! (and one month since my last post, but no one is counting, right?)
It's been a bit of a rough start, but we are finally settling in to our routines. Here are some highlights of the past month:
Today we welcomed our first guest reader for DEAR time. Our principal was gracious enough to come and read to us. He read The Principal from the Black Lagoon, and much to the delight of my class, invited us back to his office for a tour. We talked about the differences between fiction and non-fiction, and what a principal does. They even got to sit in his chair ( a truly historic moment in the life of a kindergartner)!
We've implemented a new center system. We are still working out the kinks, but both the kids and myself are much happier than with our old method.
The bond in our district passed, so hopefully we'll be getting a SMART board again! We've had the opportunity to use the one in the classroom across the hall while that class is in the library, which led to my dear little kinders asking why we don't have one. My answer: That's a good question, we should ask (our principal) about that. A bit bratty? Maybe. But I like to think of it as teaching researching and investigation skills. Why ask me, when they can go straight to the primary source?
We are currently reading the Black Lagoon series. It's a favorite in October, and lends itself to talking about imaginations and the difference between fiction/non fiction.
I am sure there are so many more things I could/should post about. However, it's a school night and I'm tired.
Even when exhausted....I love my job!
P.S. Unfortunately, my Amazon gadget isn't working, so I will try to post links later.
Last Monday, our a/c called it quits. Thankfully, we have cool air again (after replacing the entire unit), however, we spent most of last week displaced. The only empty room available was in the upper grade hallway on the other side of our school.
Anyone who has ever worked with early childhood kids knows that all it takes is a minor disruption in the routine to throw everything off. Well, this was not a minor disruption. This was the Gigantor of all disruptions. Monday afternoon was atrocious. I am thankful that it was my duty free day, leaving me the flexibility to move us, and then deal with the discipline issues. In the course of an afternoon, we had:
5 keep-keep-your-body-to-yourself timeouts
4 we-don't-spit-because-it's rude-and-gross talks
3 epic pencil wars
1 nurse visit as a result of the above pencil war
I knew that if we were going to learn anything that week, I had to do something different.
So I did.
One of the perks of being displaced was our temporary location had a mounted SMART board and projector. After doing a little digging, I found my morning math SMART presentation from last year, and set it up for Tuesday morning.
After picking up my class and making the trek down to our temporary spot, we set up for morning meeting and morning math. They were absolutely captivated. I guess in my almost daily use of the SMART board, I forget the magical effect that it has on kinders. But I am so glad it does!
We start the week back in our room tomorrow. I'm glad to be back "home," but I sure will miss the SMART board, and I'm sure my kids will too. (Hopefully, not for too long!)
I didn't really want to start our WWAR series with this book. Don't misunderstand, it's a delightful little story that follows the life of puppies. It's filled with adorable illustrations, rhyming, and predictable text; an overall great read for early childhood kids. It's just not a book that I find particularly spectacular.
That is until it saved my tail this afternoon.
The air conditioner in our classroom went out this morning, making our classroom an oven. We were given the option of relocating to another room in our building (the staff meeting room) while we waited for the a/c to be fixed. So while my little heroes were at lunch, I hastily rehashed our plan for the afternoon, packed up whatever materials we needed, and schlepped it all down the 1/4 mile long hallway to the other room. The long walk+disrupted routine+a new environment+a frazzled teacher made for very, very high strung kindergartners this afternoon. We struggled through our afternoon lesson. We completed it, but not without 4 timeouts, 3 band-aids, and 2 tantrums.
In an effort to regain focus before shipping them off to activity, we sat down for some DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) time. I had grabbed a stack of books, and on top was Puppies, Puppies, Puppies. To my utter surprise, my little heroes were completely captivated. After a few pages, they were anticipating the predictive text and reading with me (which I usually don't expect until a little later in the year). By the end of the story, both the heroes and myself were calmer and ready to take on the rest of the day.
Who would have thought? I guess I should have known, never judge a book by it's cover!
Even on hot and unpredictable days, I love my job!