Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's been way too long!

I can't believe that it has been nearly a year since I've posted. The 2010-2011 school year was a year full of changes. Not only did I move into my own home, I took on the leaderhsip role with my kindergarten team and was also a board member of our school's PTA. That kept me pretty busy. The school year just finished this past Friday. This week we pack everything up and complete the final paperwork. Hopefully this coming school year I will be more diligent about posting. We'll see! LOL

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Teachers have lives

Young children truly find it hard to believe that teachers have lives outside of school. Although at times I feel like I have no life since I devoted most of my time to school. Summer has been and will continue to be that time when I can get the balance back in my life. This is also a time for change.

So, what have I been up to this summer?
First of all, sleeping in! Its need to hear that awful alarm clock. I feel much more rested.

I started the summer bowling league. This will be my second summer being involved with that. My average is currently a 109. Not bad, but could use some improving.

Playing Bunco with the ladies at my church. Its actually a year long thing, but its just more fun during the summer.

The biggest change for me is that I am buying a house. That in itself keeps me busy with paperwork and arranging meetings

Cleaning Cleaning Cleaning. I have accumulated a lot of stuff and its time to purge some of it. Some of it will be dontated to Goodwill. Some will go back to school, and the rest....trash.

Reading. Both for pleasure and professional development. I've got a Bible study I am doing this summer and then I plan to reread Teaching with Intention.

Serving Others. I am trying something new this summer. Its called Angel Food Ministries.

Cooking and baking. Now that I have more time, I can experiment more and try new recipes. My newest this summer was my orange chicken dish. I modified the classic white sauce into an orange flavored one. The best was all natural. I used real fresh squeezed oranges instead of the juice from the carton.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Prevent The Summer Learning Gap

Summer is a great time to relax, have fun, and enjoy the hot sun. The teachers love the summer as well, because it does provide us with a mental and physical break. Don't let that be your excuse for not taking some time to learn something new or practice an old skill. There are many ways that parents and kids can work together to prevent that summer learning gap that can be detrimental to kids' learning success in the coming school year.

#1- Read EVERDAY!!
I can't stress that enough. That is the most important and probably the most effective way to keep kids sharp over the summer. Keep in mind the age of your child and what books are appropriate. If you have a limited supply of books at home, take a trip to the library and check out some books for FREE or hit up Goodwill and buy a used paperback book for 59 cents. If you live in a neighborhood with many kids of the same age, organize a book club where everyone reads the same book and has discussion based on the book. As a parent you also need to set the example by reading everyday, even if it is reading your favorite magazine or the morning paper. Reading is reading!

#2- Find a hobby
Children who have hobbies are more likely to be motivated to learn. It could be rock collecting, gardening, model cars, camping, etc.

#3 Set aside a time for "school."
My mom always made sure we had a set time each day during the summer to practice skills from the previous year and start practicing some early skills for the upcoming school year. This may be as little as 30 minutes. Your child can complete a Summer Bridge Workbook (you can find these at Barnes and Noble) or just practice using and reading the sight words for the next grade. Most school districts have resources available to print out and use.

#4 Take little field trips
Pack up the bags and head to the beach. Be sure to bring a writing journal and record observations as a way to practice science skills. Go to a museum. Sometimes museums will offer summer specials for families.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The year comes to a close

June has arrived and the school year has come to an end. The last few days of school were filled with fun activities such as Kindergarten Water Day, our Crazy Hair Day play and our class slideshow. Saying goodbye to the kids was hard as always, but at least I will get to see the kids grow up at the school.

This summer I plan to focus my entries on how I organize my classroom and what materials I put in each area.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spark Student Interests: Integrate Science and Writing

For the past month we have studied insects and ocean animals. The kids really enjoyed the ocean animals unit, so I decided to have the students do simple research projects on their favorite ocean creatures. We had lessons on the difference between facts and opinions, learned about ways you can present information, and how to complete basic research.

The requirements were:
Choose 1 ocean animal to study
Use at least one source for your information
Write at least 3 facts about your animal
Present your project in an interesting way (including hand drawn pictures or printed pictures)

I was very pleased to see lots of creativity. Here are some examples of different kinds of projects.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Authored Book

For the past month we have been working hard on our authored book. This year the kids decided to do an all about me book, telling about what they like to do for fun. I am very proud of how hard the kids worked. While the kids worked, it gave me a real opportunity to observe how they move along through the writing process at their own pace. This Monday we mail everything off to StudenTreasures. In a few weeks the reprints should arrive. I can't wait for our publishing party near the end of May!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Phases of the Moon

In science our class is learning all about the moon. We have been reading books about what the moon looks like, how it orbits the Earth and how it goes through phases. Here is an activity that we did in class using just 3 oreo cookies and one spoon per child.