Saturday, August 28, 2010

M is for Moments....Moments of Learning Magic

We had a marvelous week in school.  We celebrated all things Mm and we learned about making new friends and becoming a classroom family. 

We read "The Crayon Box That Talked" by Shane DeRolf

After reading the story we created cooperative art murals like this...
and this.

Our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Kelley, stopped by to read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"  by Laura Numeroff
and then she served chocolate chip cookies and milk
(gluten-free and lovingly baked by S.'s Mom)

It was fun to observe the kids enjoying their cookies. 
J. liked to break his cookie into many scrumptious pieces.

While K.  liked to dunk hers.

Nutritious meals were prepared by I.

T. constructed a castle perfect for a princess.

And A. shared a moment of complete Kindergarten joy.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom....Fun In Our Classrom

Today ended our first full week of the new school year. Our Kindergarten team at Crawfordville Elementary officially refers to it as "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" week.  We spent lots of time celebrating this classic children's book and here are some photo highlights.
We created all kinds of  Chicka trees. 
Some with our names and others that sorted upper and lower letters. 
Tasting coconut milk sure is yummy!

Looking for just the right letter stickers to add to a tree is important work.

Sharing a finished work of art with a friend.

Our edible Chicka Chicka tree. Colorful, healthy and gluten-free.
A hug and a smile to end our first week of the school year.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Calendar Routine....Mighty Magical Stuff!

Today was our fourth full day of school.  Our classroom routines and rituals are beginning to come together nicely. I was reminded today how much I love Calendar time. I think it is one of the most meaningful classroom routines in our Kindergarten day. It encompasses Math, Reading, Writing, Science, and Social Studies.  It evolves throughout the year as my students' skill levels build, but also offers repetitive learning which is so good for my younger learners. It is amazing to watch my little ones master Calendar so well that they can actually lead it with just my minimal guidance. To watch a group of 5 and 6 year olds facilitate their own learning is some mighty magical learning stuff!

My Classroom Calendar Wall on the 1st Day of School

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Highlights from the First 1.5 Days of the School Year

It's official!  I am the teacher of 18 adorable Kindergarteners.  I imagined them as soon as I saw their names on my roster and my imagination did not let me down one bit!  I have only had a school day and a half with them so far....but I can already tell it is going to be a great year.  Here are some memorable highlights.
  • During center time, some of my new friends opened up a restaurant in the Dramatic Play center on the first day.  I even had one student who carefully sorted and "washed" plastic vegetables before cooking and serving. I was quite impressed.
  • During story time, they listened contently to "The Kissing Hand" and predictably giggled at the part when Chester's Mom kisses his palm.  They liked the story so much that I read its sequel "A Pocketful of Kisses" too.
  • I incorporated a tour of the school based upon "The Kissing Hand" story.  I placed heart die cuts around the school and we went on a special search for them. No hearts were left undiscovered.  Including those on one friend's shirt and belt!
  • At calendar time, they loved the new days and months song that I chose for this year by Busy Beavers.  I featured this song on an earlier post.
  • They caught on quickly to our new classroom rules.  The rules are positive affirmations based on  Dr. Jean Feldman's "The Rules of the Classroom."  I incorporated her recording of the song with gesture commands from Whole Brain Teaching. It was terrific.  I think the kids will remember the rules fluently by Labor Day!
  • After introducing our "Feel Good Basket," which is based upon the research of  Dr. Becky Bailey who wrote "Conscious Discipline,"  they utilized it!  I was amazed when one friend recognized that his seat mate was a little sad, so he fetched our stuffed Chester from the basket and brought it to his new friend for comfort.
  • I added a new book for the first day of school, "Kindergarten Rocks."  The kids were very inquisitive about the term "custodian" that is featured in the story and were delighted to get to meet Mr. Kenny, our classroom custodian, in person.  I love it when unexpected moments like that happen!
  • And finally (and most importantly on the first 1.5 days of school) everyone left on Friday with smiles on their faces and made it home safely for the weekend.