Monday, September 17, 2012

"I can" lift the flap book

We finished our first full week of school, Monday - Friday.  It was a terrific week.  Parent-Night was on Tuesday and it went very well.  Now we can get to the business of teaching!  You know all that work that had to be completed for the bulletin boards...  But it was all worth it.
The boys enjoyed beginning centers.  We started slowly with very simple centers and they rotate through all three in one 45 minute period.  The sight words "I" and "can" were introduced.  It is fun to be word "detectives" and find them in all of our books.
Friday, we made simple lift the flap book.  The boys wrote "I can" on the front of each flap and then illustrated something they "can" do on the inside.  Of course, the majority of the pictures were action sport shots. 

I can ... play in my yard.
I can... "build stuff,"  "play baseball,"  "Swim underwater with my eyes open!"

The best was an illustration one boy did based on a connection to a book I had read earlier in the week.  It was a big book that goes with our reading series.  "Animals in the Park, an ABC Book." 

I joined many bloggers and read "In Pictures and in Words" this summer.  Click here, to see earlier post with more info about this terrific book.  That has really influenced the way I read now.  There is much more conversation about the illustrations and the choices or decisions made by the illustrator, as I read to my class.

This particular book, "Animals in the Park" is about animal statues that come alive and having some fun in the park at night.  As we are reading, we notice there are 3 stars in the sky... and then one page has 4.  I ask the class, "Are you thinking what I am thinking?  You know how the stars come out slowly at night.  Maybe as I turn the page there will be more stars and then more stars... Let's see."  Sadly, that does not happen.  The rest of the pages all have only 3 stars in the sky.  So fine.  We take a little time to talk about making predictions... and sometimes they don't happen that way.
Well, one of the students did a picture on his first flap with 2 birds in the sky.  He was very excited to share it with me and for me to notice the birds...  The 2nd flap had 3 birds in the sky.  And yes!  The last flap showed him playing soccer with 4 birds in the sky!  Love it!  I, of course, was so proud of him.  "This reminds me of a book we read this week!"  He says, "I know!"  And we talked about the connection we had made... Priceless!  It actually made my week!   I was so excited I forgot to get a picture of it.  That's ok.  I will never forget it!

Friday, September 7, 2012

1st Week in Kindergarten

Well, we made it through our first week in Kindergarten!  Happily it was only 3 days.  The heat was incredible and the first day we all had sweat running down our faces just sitting there!  Fortunately, a fellow teacher had a spare fan and we were able to get the air moving at least.

We took it simple and got acquainted with the routine, completed a few projects and survived lunch in the cafeteria with the rest of the lower school.

On the first day, we took a tour of the school.  My partner and I (there are 2 Kindergarten classrooms) had given 6 places a pair of letters.  "Kindergarten" happens to be 12 letters, so we each collected 6 letters.  We visited the headmaster, the front office, the science room, the nurse's office, the kitchen, the library and more.  Some, not all gave us letters they "found" as they were preparing their rooms.  Trust me when I say that the students caught on very quickly, and were soon asking everyone if they "found" a letter. 

Today, we got the 2 classes together and put the letters together.  The boys were surprised to see it spelled "Kindergarten."  Amazing, right?  Here is the photo we took as we celebrated!

That was inspired by all the great photos seen on Pinterest.
I had done a "Welcome" sign for my classroom yesterday.  I do not have a sink in my room, and it was just too hot to do the painting... so I went for the heart shape with the hands.
They were too happy to put their hands together.  Keeping them only on the outline of the heart was just not working no matter what I said.  Still great though!  Thanks, Pinterest! 
Here's to a year of helping hands and happy hearts!

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Thanks to the many teachers out there who have posted photos of their birthday goodies.  I love working "smarter not harder,"  What a great idea to have all of the birthday goodies wrapped and ready before school even starts!  No more scrambling to put it together when the birthday creeps up on you.  I have always had the "stuff" purchased but not all set.  I even have the birthday crowns ready with their names on them...  LOVE it.

My theme this year is "Reach for the Stars!"  So this looks great. I have a crazy straw and a "bird" plane (you know those wood-like put-together kind.)  They look adorable out and ready.

Simple and cute!


My room!

Well, it is finally ready!

There was such anxiety getting here.  I am not good with physical intelligence.  Give me a room all set... and I will live in it a while, and change it to suite me.  Setting up from nothing is stressful for me.  The former teacher moved her things out at the end of the year.  I moved all my books... down and just put them up on the shelves.  Clearly they were not to stay there, but at least I got it all there.  Of course, there were things left, as they were thought to be of use/help to me.  That involved so much work.  Wish I had taken before photos because it would have been amazing.  The idea of taking those photos gave me stress.

My room is amazing as it has windows on three walls!  It is only a few years old and I have the room at the very end.  The playground is along one side and a tennis court - turned sport court for field hockey and basketball is at the end.  So I LOVE the windows, but it leaves little wall space.  With the help of my partner, I covered bulletin boards and brought the paper to the floor.  I put paper up where there was not bulletin boards.  Sadly, this room is mine for only one year.  So I did not invest too much.

Here goes,

So, there it is.  My meeting area, entrance, word wall, reading corner, desk, birthday wall and play area.

School starts on Wednesday.  We have new family orientation on Tuesday, so some of the students will come to that.  They will come see our room, listen to a brief story... and head back to Mom and Dad.

I must say that I was inspired by so many of you who have shared your photos.  Here's to a great year!