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 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...)