Thursday, December 16, 2010

To Teachers

I found this on Proteacher from 2005! May this song make you smile.
(to the tune of Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland) 
Children scream, they won't lis-in'
When they go, we won't miss em',          
In all of this pain, we try to stay sane,
Workin' in an element'ry school. 
Christmas comes, they're excited,
Though our nerves, they've ignited,
They're off of the walls, they run in the halls,
Workin' in an element'ry school. 
In the lunchroom we can hear them yellin'
And we know that they are really wound.
Someone hits, the other says, "I'm tellin'"
And that is when our heads begin to pound. 
Pretty soon we'll be restin'
Cause our nerves, they've been testin'
We're happy it's clear
It comes once a year
Christmas in an element'ry school! 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

December


November

I'm way behind on posts! Here are some of the images from November.

Turkey headband 

Thanksgiving Food Pyramid

I'm not a turkey...I'm a flower.

I'm not a turkey...I'm Santa!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

We made cats after reading Millions of Cats by Wanda Ga'g.



We learned about parts of the pumpkin and felt the seeds and pulp of our class pumpkin before making this little book.


We made jack-o-lantern puppets and retold "Five Little Pumpkins."


This was art from across the hall that I enjoyed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jr./Vampire

This was a conversation during small group the other day:

Me to boy: Ok, now write Jr. after your last name.

A different boy - D : Oh, I know that guy!! His name is Martin Junior King! I know him!

A girl: Yeah, I think he's a president.

D - Yeah, I think he's a president.


Made me laugh.


Me to class: What are you going to be for Halloween?

Boy - T: I'm going to be a vampire and I'm going to take these teeth back here out so I can suck blood.

... Later on the playground, I asked him to tell another teacher what he's going to do, and he responded the same way.

Me: Did you know that can buy plastic vampire teeth at the store?

T: Why didn't you tell me that?! Why didn't you buy me some?!


Haha!

Fun on the Farm 2


My class did a fantabulous job on their barns and on their painted fall leaves, if I do say so myself. :)

Side Note: according to Spellcheck, fantabulous is a word...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fun on the Farm

We had a great day at a farm last week. We loved playing with grains, seeing farm animals, going through a corn maze and also a hay maze, going on a hayride, and picking pumpkins of our own. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Classroom

Tomorrow looks so busy, it's almost scary!

7:30-4 School (enhanced-option hours)
4 - 5? Faculty meeting
5-6 Grad school orientation
6-7 Parent meeting/Ice-Cream Social back at school

Followed by a Wednesday PTO board meeting, a "normal" school-day Thursday, and a busy Friday of school, Teacher Night at Science Center, and then over-night baby-sitting.

*Yawn*

But, I've been wanting to post photos of my classroom...

From the door.

From the back.

Side. The hexagon table is for "Learning Club." 
Behind my teaching table.

Beside my teaching table - Word Wall with Sound Cards and real objects for the alphabet in baggies.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Joyful Moments

1. During a lesson on writing A, I decided to call the horizontal line a belt. A kid said, "He's gonna whoop ya!"

2. During the same lesson, I asked the children why we practice handwriting. I explained if you don't write correctly, other people won't be able to read it. That statement was followed by a "You got that right!"

3. During a math lesson on position words, we were looking at a worksheet with animals that happened to include a pig and a wolf. One child said, "A wolf! The wolf eats the pig!" Another child responds with a motherly tone, "No. The wolf blows the pig's house down." She went on to retell the whole story of the Three Little Pigs.

4. While making our "All About Me" books, I explained that they could be anything they wanted to be when they grow up. One child sincerely and eagerly responded, "I want to be a snake!!" ...I tried to make myself clearer and explained that he couldn't be a snake. He just said, "Yes I can!!"

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rules Rap Video


I hope you enjoy our first video!

Every morning after announcements, we listen to Dr. Jean's "Rules Rap."  I have adopted the rules for my classroom... they're perfect and what a wonderful way to go over the rules every day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Rainbow




Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

We've had so much fun with the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Here's a look at some of what we've done so far...
Chicka Tree - Students glued the pieces together and then put on the alphabet stickers of the letters that they can name (both upper and lowercase).


Chicka Snack - Celery, apples, cream cheese, grapes, and apples (When I said they could put three coconuts on their trees, one child explained to me, "These are grapes!") 


Boom Boom Shakers - Filled with water, food coloring, confetti, and glitter and then decorated with alphabet stickers. Students shake them to the rhythm of the repeated phrases. 

We've also watched the cartoon and sang to Dr. Jeans "Boom Chicka Boom." I love it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tooth Fairy Visit



Ms. Mary Tooth Fairy is a real live tooth fairy!! At night she shrinks down real small and grows out great big wings. :P She visited us at school to teach us how to take care of our teeth so that the scary plaque monsters won't live in our mouths. She's wonderful!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Open House




We had an extremely successful Open House on Thursday night. A record-breaking 400+ people showed up! The night began with our annual PTO meeting, followed by classroom visits. Then the party really began - a BBQ picnic with music and dance including a song the kids learned in music class.

Half my class showed up with lots of enthusiasm. Probably half my old students stopped by too! I'm so glad to be off to a good start with my families! 


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Few Sillies

Boy, "I'm going to draw an alligator, because alligators are FEROCIOUS!!"

Girl, "Are you going to Open House?" Boy, "What are you saying?" Girl, "Are - you - going - to - Open - House?" Boy, "PUPPY HOUSE?!" Then the girl puts her head in hands.

Me talking to a boy in time out for continuously talking in the hall: "What does 'zone 0' mean?" (No talking.) Boy, "Breakfast is over."   (?!)

I am laughing with my class and they are laughing at me all day long. I've been so exhausted that I can hardly think straight. In the last 7 days, I have dropped my bowl of cereal on myself and later busted my lip while moving a cat tree. In class I've bumped into tables and written the wrong day of the week on the board (the mistake was immediately pointed out by a student :). I'm hip-hop dancing to the Rules Rap, which I choreographed for my class. I'm doing a hand-jive (and getting laughed at all the times I mess up) to a song called "The Little Tree House." Good times...

But it has not been all fun and games...as you may remember from a previous post. I'm so busy and tired and have too many kids in a small room...   I just need to get through tomorrow - Ms. Mary Tooth Fairy is coming in the afternoon, after school I have a parent conference, and  then tomorrow night is Open House. I'm hoping that things will be more settled next week!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In the Beginning...

This picture was taken from the entrance to my classroom. It's a teensy little room! It only goes to the right about four more feet and diagonal. Also, the shape of the room is whacky because it used to be part of an open-school layout.



The day before school started we had a "preview day." I had about a third of my class show up with their families for our meet-and-greet. It's always interesting how they act... some are very shy while others jump right in and get into everything! The sheet in the middle was filled out by all parents either on preview day or on the first day of school for transportation and phone number notes. I put together the packet on the right that I give it to the parents along with an apple. It begins with a poem that I have no clue whom to credit:

Apples for the teacher 
Are nothing really new,
Except when you remember
Parents are teachers too! 

It follows with a letter from me to the parents. The pages following are a supply list, "ABCs of Kindergarten," and a good document about reading with your child. (One parent almost cried when she read the poem... a few days later her son brought me an apple! So sweet!!)

I don't leave the kids out. They get to take home a new pencil and fruit snacks. 

Before they leave, I take a family portrait, which I hang outside my door. 

On the first day of school I take a "first day" picture that I put in their "All About Me Books." I also take 2 pictures of each student playing in centers. I hang these pictures on our door.

Future blog entries: 
- This year's theme
- My Centers
- The Kissing Hand activities
- Open House
- Using Quantum Learning
- Something YOU suggest  (Who are my readers anyway? Tell me about you!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Getting Geared Up!!

I will get to meet many of my new students at Open House next Wednesday afternoon, and Thursday we're back to school! I'm very excited and curious.

I've been working on putting the pieces back in place in my room, and I've made many improvements.


This is my new word wall. I made it smaller (it used to take up two walls) and lower on the wall to help the children see it better. I decided this would be more of a reference word wall, and I would have a pocket chart on the board that contains just the 5 or so words we're really working on. I put only the first 20 words up + 2 that come up a lot (can and so) as to not overwhelm them. 

As I've mentioned before, the pictures with the letters are sound cards. They are not pictures of things that begin with that letter. For example, A has two pictures. The short a is a picture of a boy pulling off a band-aid - he says "ah", and the long a is a picture of a boy shouting down the street to his friend - he says "aye." "B" is the sound the drummer makes. "K" is the sound the remote controls makes when the girl changes the channel...  Each sound also has a motion that goes along with the action, like drumming.



The word wall shown first is on the wall to left of this area. This of course is my small group teaching table. It's still a bit unorganized.



This is the wall above my math center. The numbers are interesting to me, because of how they are done. I used a peeled crayon on its side to draw the letters. The colors change as the directions in the number rhymes change. Here are the rhymes:

Around you go to make zero. (red)
Down from sun makes one. (red)
A candy cane (red) and a shoe (blue) makes two. 
Around a tree (red) and around a tree (blue) makes three.
Down (red) and a across (blue) and down some more (green) makes four.
Down (red) and around (blue) and put a hat on (green) and see what you have found - it's fat old five.
Down to a loop and six rolls a hoop. (red)
Across the sky (red) and down from heaven (blue) makes seven.
Make an S (red) but do not wait, go back and close the gate (blue) - eight.
A circle (red) and a line (blue) make nine.

It can go on to say a 1 a 0 makes 10...

Then I put sticker dots on the numbers to help the students with Touch Math. I don't have the dots exactly right, because I was not as familiar with Touch Math when I made these.

Then I have the shapes the students have to learn. They each have poems too. (Cindy Circle, Sammy Square...)






Friday, July 30, 2010

Time to Set-Up!!

Yesterday was my first day back in my classroom. I was so excited about going back, that I could hardly sleep all night and work up pumped at 5:15 and I couldn't even get into the school until 9! :)

 I worked again 9-2:45 today. I really enjoy setting the room up, especially after my summer reading that gets me inspired to try new things.

Pictures will come. Maybe tomorrow. We can go in from 9-1.

I took the MAT on Tuesday, and Monday I have an interview for grad school. Classes start October 7.

Friday, July 9, 2010

PortaPortal

I'm loving my new PortaPortal (http://.portaportal.com  guest access name is kteachers)!! It has really helped me get even more organized and feel better prepared to use technology in my classroom. I'm also hoping that the teachers on my team will find it useful too.

I've come across so many great sites in the last couple of days. The first is http://www.watchknow.org/, which was brought to my attention by Clemencia at http://storytime-storytime.blogspot.com/.  The second is http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/studentCenterActivities.shtm. I have spent tons of time on this website printing off reading centers, and then cutting and gluing them on colored index cards and cardstock.

I also have a PortaPortal of online learning games my students use: http://.portaportal.com guest access name is kfh). They love to use it in the computer lab, and they have access to it at home too.

Anyone else use portaportal? What kind of technology do you use?

Other news...

I'm still studying for the MAT, which is scheduled for July 27. I improved my score on my second practice test, so I'm a lot less stressed about it now.

Also, I forgot to mention in my last post, I turned 24 in May! I made Rice Krispy Treats and brought them to school to celebrate my and all other summer birthdays.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's been a loonnng time!!!

To  catch everyone up...  Here's what's happened: 


1. I survived my second year teaching! Whahoo!! The end of the year was jammed pack! We had a fun luau and an award's day, cleaned and packed away my classroom, and then hugs, hugs, good-bye!


2. I went on a 2 week vacation visiting family in Kentucky and Michigan with my husband. We went to a handful of various bodies of water kayaking and having a great time.


3. I bought Microsoft Office for Mac and began working on power points for school, since at the end of the year our projectors were installed. I also attended a technology workshop and learned so much about clickers and ELMOS. I really want one of those! I also created a portaportal for kindergarten teachers. 


4. I've been a reading machine. I'm currently reading Teaching With Love & Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom by Jim Fay & David Funk, so hopefully I won't have as an exhausting third year. So far, this book has been amazing, and I am so grateful to the man who ordered it for me.


5. A teacher was throwing out a small bookshelf, so I brought it home. I've sanded it, and bought red paint for it. Perhaps I'll get around to it today.


6. I've continued to work on my application process for grad school. I need to take the MAT, but I'm dreading it. I took a practice test and scored high enough to be accepted, but what if I mess up on the actual test!? I've been brushing up on my vocabulary and such.  


7. I've done some volunteering, which really cheers me up. I've handed out water to flood victims, helped renovate a building that provides food and clothing to the needy, helped a teacher move some of her things to her new classroom, and pulled weeds and such for dear friends. 


8. I've been playing a lot of Banagrams. I love it!


9. I have been coloring and cutting and glueing several new file folder centers. If only I had a laminator... 


10. Because this list wouldn't be complete without a number ten... I'm feeling more and more refreshed every day and am looking forward to setting up my classroom, which will hopefully be in a few weeks.


What's everyone else been up to??



Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer Reading

I have three and half days left with the kids! I'm pumped. It's been an exhausting year. I don't have much planned for the summer. My husband and I will visit family in Kentucky and Michigan. I will get back into regular workouts at the Y. I will sleep. I will watch So You Think You Can Dance. I will read. I bought my fourth Jodi Picoult book today - Harvesting the Heart. I couldn't help but to begin reading it already.

I'm trying to narrow down my Amazon wish list of teaching books...  




Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains
 by LouAnne Johnson


Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Love to Teach And Students Love to Learn
 by Robert Sornson




Teaching With Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
 by Jim Fay, David Funk



Teach with Your Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students 
 by Rosanne Liesveld, Jo Ann Miller, and Jennifer Robison 


Seven Simple Secrets: What the BEST Teachers Know and Do! 

 by Annette L. Breaux and Todd Whitaker


Failure Is Not an Option®: 6 Principles for Making Student Success the ONLY Option 
 by Alan M. Blankstein 


REAL TEACHERS, REAL CHALLENGES, REAL SOLUTIONS 
 by Annette Breaux and Elizabeth Breau


The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life 
 by Parker J. Palmer 

Any recommendations? 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out in the Country



I spent the weekend in Kentucky visiting some of my family.

 This is my nephew Zachary... and my nephew Brett.
They are twins, and they are incredible. I'm so grateful that they now live about 17 hours closer. 


My dad is on the left.


Simple post. I'm so worn out! 
61/2 days...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Funnies for Friday

Today during a reading of a Curious George book, one of my boy's said "That man with the yellow hat really needs to get a name!!" . . . Earlier this year I had laringytis, but I had to work. (I'm not a fan of having a sub.) The same student would not stop telling me to "Just go like this..." as he cleared his throat.

Yesterday on the playground I got a hug from a student I taught last year. I asked her if she was ready for 2nd grade. She looked at me puzzled and said, "When am I going to 2nd grade?!" like she had no idea. She's a silly girl. It reminded me of the first day of school this year when she showed up to my classroom. I thought she was just there to say hi, but she sat down on her old spot on the rug! When I told her that she wasn't in my class anymore, she was so confused. She didn't even know who her new teacher was!

I also enjoy a good laugh when a child takes something that is figurative literally. Last year I got on to one little fellow by telling him to "Cut it out!" and he said "huh?" as he picked up a pair of scissors. One day this year I told the class to "Stop farting around!" The reaction was priceless. Half the kids just lost it with laughter and others looked puzzled and amused at the same time. I imagined them to be picturing someone being launched around the room like a let-go-balloon from passing gas.

One of my coworkers mentioned something about picking something up from the drugstore. Then a child gasped and said, "They have stores for that?!" 

The same coworker told me about a student who she can never turn her back to. One day the teacher stepped into the restroom while her class was busy in centers and when she opened the door, she was greeted by her class right outside the door shouting "Happy Birthday!!" Right there front and center and the loudest, was this little girl.

Yesterday the same teacher had to step out of her room for just a second, and she heard that little girl scream. The teacher threw open the door and saw everyone trying to hide under tables, etc. And who do you think organized this? Her teacher doesn't find it entertaining, but I think it's hilarious. Haha.

These stories may only be funny to teachers or they may be the kind that you just "have to be there" to appreciate, but his sort of thing cracks me up!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2nd Anniversary


My husband and I have been married for two years now (as of Monday)! I still love him to pieces. I made cupcakes from scratch for our wedding, and I have made the same recipe for both of our anniversaries now. I love traditions! <3 Plus, these cupcakes are delicious! Another tradition we have is to write down the big events of the past year in a special journal. I think reflection of the past is very dear. 

Last year Brent gave me tons of art supplies... so much that I'm not out of paint or canvases yet! This is my latest painting, inspired by spring.



Now I can't help but post one of my favorite pictures of us... 

Return from our 2nd Spring Break


We planted marigolds for Mother's Day. My class took the plants home yesterday. I forgot to send them home on Monday, which was our first school day back since the flood the previous weekend. That's right, they were off an entire week! We even had to cancel our Mother's Day program. Sadly, I forgot to water them the Friday before the flood, because it was a crazy field day. The plants didn't look as nice as would have liked, but I'm glad they grew. 



Aren't these paper flowers cute? My class made them for me in art class one day. 



My class this year loves puzzles! These went along with our butterfly theme really well. My class last year did not enjoy puzzles much, which I think is the reason they lost 2 pieces to my caterpillar puzzle. :,-)

This week we've spent a lot of time discussing the flood and doing end-of-year assessments. It's also career week at our school. Yesterday our channel 5 meteorologist came and talked to our kindergarten and first graders. He did a wonderful job discussing his job as well as the weather in general. The kids had a lot of interesting questions about flooding especially. I learned that the 13 1/2 inches of rain we got in just two days would have been about 13 FEET of snow with the right temperature!! 


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

We didn't get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, but I have a cute picture from last year. It was good times. Thanks to our music teacher, we had sombreros, ponchos, and Mexican music for a mini fiesta. 


Nashville schools have been closed all week due to the flood. :(  We still have thousands without power, a water shortage, roads closed, flood water, etc. It's estimated to more than a billion dollars of damage!

 I went to school today to water our very thirsty Mother's Day plants. I ended up staying and getting a lot of work done. Tomorrow teachers have to report to school to prepare for the students return. We are expected to have students either Friday or Monday. We're not sure if these days will be forgiven or will have to be made up. I wouldn't be too shocked if they ask teachers to go ahead and bring our sleeping bags to the school.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Flood

So Friday I enjoyed a gorgeous day outdoors for our field day. Friday night I went to a cook-out with more great weather. Then Saturday, I woke up to drenching thunderstorms. Nashville has now seen about 13 1/2 inches of rain just this month, causing ridiculous amounts of flooding. I've never seen anything like it...

Source unknown - I-24 with 150 stranded vehicles. 



by Stacey Irvin -  View of downtown Nashville and the Cumberland River from the pedestrian bridge - Suspected to crest tonight reaching something like 50 feet.



Source unknown - I'm in love with this city's spirit.



by Wriker Photo - Beautiful photo, beautiful city. 



by Steve Anderson



by Erik Hollander

I've been home all weekend staying dry. I've been very fortunate to not have any damage to my apartment building or vehicles. The damage is inconceivable, with 6 lost lives in Nashville and 12 state-wide. Thousands have been evacuated, have damage to their homes/cars, and tons of roads are still closed... What a disaster!

Meanwhile, school's been out... I'm still home, trying to figure out how I can help.