Didn’t Summer JUST Start??

Hi Friends (and strangers),

I have spent much of the last week volunteering my time at work to get my classroom set up.  I have a champ of a student teacher who has my room looking shinier and cleaner than it ever has before.  Although summer ending is always a little (ok, a lot) sad, there is also a part of me that is excited for new opportunities, meeting my new students, and the chance to try new things in my teaching.

I know that as summer comes to a close, you are probably looking at your wallet and thinking, “Wow, how do I have so much money in here?”  😉 Well, if you are looking for a good cause for your extra dollars (or if you really like helping out kids and schools -specifically my kids and my school), I want to tell you that I put up a project on Donors Choose and  I’m hoping to get a couple of iPad minis for my classroom.  Minis because their cost is also miniature in comparison to the cost of full size iPads.  And minis because my students are also miniature (in comparison to adults or elephants).

Buying multiple iPads for my classroom is something that I doubt will ever be in the cards for my school district – we struggle a wee bit financially.  But I can totally see how they would be a huge benefit to my students.  My dream is to be able to use them during literacy and math centers.  Students would rotate through, getting opportunities to use apps that I have chosen specially for them, to target skills they need to work on.

Our goal is to have all of our students reading on grade level by third grade.  This is no easy task when most of them start kindergarten already behind.

No pressure, but I wanted to let you know the opportunity is there – because maybe it would bless you to be able to partner with me as much as it would bless me and my students to have these new learning tools.

For the next 7 days, Donors Choose is matching any donations I receive.  Just put the code INSPIRE in when you make a donation.  Here is a link to my project with all the details. 

Thanks! 🙂

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Schoolhouse Rock vol. 60

This past week I had a sub in my classroom so that I could get some end of the year testing done.  The good news is that my kids actually learned something this year!  Yes!  The bad news is that behaving for subs is not one of the things that they learned.  The sub we had was awesome.  The kids’ behavior was ridiculous.  So much so that I had them write apology notes to her.

Here are a few favorites:

From this one, we can see that the sub had curly hair and perhaps a cute flower in her hair.  And that the children were laying on the carpet while she was teaching.  (this can be confirmed by the notes she left me)

From this one, we can see that the sub had curly hair and perhaps a cute flower in her hair. And that the children were laying on the carpet while she was teaching. (this can be confirmed by the notes she left me)

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This child is clearly sorry for being note.  AKA naughty.  And they should be.

This child is clearly sorry for being note. AKA naughty. And they should be.

*******

This student was perfectly behaved, so I said she could just compliment the substitute on being  a great teacher.

This student was perfectly behaved, so I said she could just compliment the substitute on being a great teacher.

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Even the sun was sad that the children were so nodee...

Even the sun was sad that the children were so nodee…

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But this one takes the cake.  From the child who went to in school suspension in the morning and from the sound of things probably should have gone back in the afternoon.  "I'M SORRY FOR NOTHING I DID."  probably true...

But this one takes the cake. From the child who went to in school suspension in the morning and from the sound of things probably should have gone back in the afternoon. “I’M SORRY FOR NOTHING I DID.” probably true…

Well kids, you aren’t angels, but you are good little writers.  So that is something.  🙂

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 59: Happy Birthday to the Teacher

My kids made me a birthday book, and it is the cutest.

Thanks Jill for making that with them!  You are the best!

The prompt was: “If I could give you any present in the world, I would give you a…”

and these are some of their responses:

  • A party
  • donut cake
  • A package of sweet tarts
  • A heart and a cake
  • rainbow fish
  • chocolate candy
  • a bike
  • a mailbox
  • a new pompom because one is lost
  • a blue dog who is also red
  • more homework for you to give us, so we can learn
  • a baby dragon
  • a big jewel
  • my heart
  • a blueberry chocolate cake
  • a strawberry cake
  • a sucker where you put it on your finger like a ring
  • a puppy!
  • new shoes
  • new shoes and a new dress
  • toys, candy and presents and hearts and candy
  • a big strawberry cake
  • a heart
  • a bunny
  • an x-box and x-box live so she can play games with me
  • chihuahuas – a mom and a baby
  • candy

This picture of my birthday party looks surprisingly similar to my actual birthday party…

birthday

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 58: Bucket Lists

Today was the 100th day of school.  I actually branched out and tried new things.  Good job, self!

First off, I googled image searched, “100 year old people” and I made a powerpoint to show kids what they will look like when they are 100 years old.  They were really taken aback by how “crumpled” the people’s faces were.  They were devastated when I told them that is how their faces would look one day as well.

Here are some of their predictions for what they will look like:

They are going to be some creepy looking old people…

I decided that in addition to making a picture of what we will look like at 100 years of age, we should probably make a class bucket list of the things we would like to accomplish in life before we turn 1oo and our faces “are all crumpled.”

So, in no particular order, here are our goals, dreams, and future aspirations which we hope to accomplish before we are 100 years old:

  • be a mailman
  • be a cop
  • play baseball for the MN Twins
  • be a superhero
  • watch ninja turtles
  • see the Avengers
  • Be a white angel
  • graduate from high school
  • go to college
  • play for the Timberwolves
  • learn how to do karate
  • become a mouse
  • get a pet cat
  • be a zookeeper
  • learn how to learn in here
  • learn how to be grown up
  • learn how to be a military man
  • learn how to count to 60
  • be a store man
  • be a mermaid (somehow this shows up in everything we do in kindergarten)
  • go to lots of places with my family
  • be a king and a princess… if that makes sense…
  • be a football player
  • open a bakery
  • learn how to wrestle

Well kids, I hope that your dreams come true.  Please report back to me in 50 years and let me know of your progress in becoming a mouse.

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 53

This week has been a mildly entertaining week in kindergarten.

First off, I started a page on TeachersPayTeachers – a website where teachers can buy classroom resources created by other teachers.  I’ve sold a couple of things, and so it is exciting and fun and new 🙂  If you are looking for some classroom resources, feel free to check it out here.

Secondly, I have a lot of kids who have some speech goals, and the other day I had two of them at my guided reading table.  We were reading a book about baby animals.

The page said, “This is a kitten”

Student 1 read: “Dis is a titten”

Student 2 responded: “it is NOT a titten.  It is a TITTEN!”

And I just thought, “Seriously kiddos?  Do you hear yourself?  You can’t say these sounds either!!”  It made me laugh quietly to myself.

Thirdly, I was walking over to the carpet where all the kids were sitting, and they were all pointing at a little boy and shouting, “He’s eating something!!!!” and I said, ‘What are you eating?” and he pointed to crumbs on the floor where a cracker had been dropped and stepped on and said, “But it is food!”

Fourthly, I already told my facebook friends about it, but yesterday a little girl showed up wearing so so so many sparkly sequins on her skirt and shirt, but paired this dazzling ensemble with a flannel, leggings, suede boots with fringe.  And a tiny bow in her hair.  It was really incredible.  Let her be a fashion inspiration to us all.

And finally, I was working with a group to make a thinking map comparing Children’s Day to Birthdays, and one little boy said, “D——————” (that is my way of saying he said some long jumble of sounds that started with a D.  Not that he was swearing) and I said, “What??” and he repeated himself.  And I said, “What?” and he repeated again and now the other kids in the table to were also repeating it to me.  And I could understand no one.  One little boy, exasperated, shouts, “he SAID, “DINOSAUR RACES!!!!” False.  Eventually I figured it out… he was saying, “decorations.”

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 52

Well friends, we are definitely back from winter break.  I am back from being under the weather.  And the kids are back to saying HILARIOUS things. 

I wish I’d had a notebook to write down all the things they said today.  

We are studying traditions, and this was our discussion of the 4th of July:

“Friends, does anyone know who’s birthday it is on the Fourth of July?”

“God!!!!”

“Actually it is our country’s birthday.  What country do we live in?”

“Minnesota!!!”

“When do we celebrate the 4th of July?”

*crickets*

“Um…. July??”

“Which day in July?”

“The third day?”

Skip ahead to the end of the discussion and I of course shared all about my sister’s phobia of fireworks (she doesn’t like the loud noise) and I told them she celebrates the 4th of July by sitting at home and watching fireworks on her TV with the volume turned down.  The kids all thought that was ridiculous and one girl said, “You should get a new sister!” and I said, “Don’t worry, I did.  I got a new sister named Rachel.  She likes fireworks.” and the student with a sigh of relief said, “OH GOOD.”

 

 

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 51

Today is my student teacher’s last day.  She has been in my classroom for a year – since last January. We’ve become not only co-teachers, but also good friends, and I am so so sad to see her go.  (but also really excited to see her go on to teach on her own – she is beyond ready.  Is anyone hiring a fabulous kindergarten teacher?  Because I know where you can find one).

Because we have already cried too much today, I thought I’d brighten all of our spirits with some hilarious moments from kindergarten.

“Miss K!  My dad gave this to me so my locker doesn’t smell!”  (holds up a Cars themed air freshener like you’d hang in your car).

“In one hundred days we will be so old.  I would not want to see the look on my face when I am elderly!”

“My pre-school teacher had a time-out chair, and they would not get to play for the REST OF THEIR LIVES!”

“In 10,000 years, we will all be skeletons.”

Twas the day before winter break, and not a student was learning, not even a mouse…

Schoolhouse Rock vol. 50: Christmas is Coming!

The weeks before winter break at kindergarten are always… well, they’re something. Fun? Exhausting? An adventure? you warm my heart

Yesterday spontaneous Christmas caroling occurred in the middle of math. I may have told the children that they needed to be quiet so we could finish our math lesson, and then followed that up with this pearl of wisdom, “You might be singing in your heart, but your ears can still be listening.”

Today one child was reading a book from their book box and exclaims, “It’s Baby Jesus!” “Nope, that’s a turkey…”

Today was pajama/polar express day. When we brought them to gym, one boy asked me, “Are we going to take our clothes off in gym?” and all I could think of is when my pastor quotes Princess Bride saying, “I do not think it means what you think it means…”

Did I mention the kiddo who can’t go a day without wearing a sweater vest so he wore one OVER his pajamas?? Awesome.

And I’m always on high alert to intervene in case of conversations spilling the beans about Santa.

Have you seen our Christmas tree forest? Our friend Jessica provided the most beautiful picture in the middle, which has been an inspiration for us all… Photo on 2012-12-18 at 16.00