Tuesday, March 17, 2015

St. Patrick's Day in Room 103


Of all the days in the year, March 17th has always been in my top favorites! Whether I got my love for this day from my Irish loving mother or the fact that I never had school, I always make sure to make the most of the day!! This was my first year having to be at school on St. Patrick's Day and since I couldn't celebrate with my family, I decided to make sure that we did it BIG in Room 103!!! 

I started the day off with a secret letter left by our leprechaun friend, Rory. I projected it onto the SmartBoard and gathered my little rays on the carpet. I read them the note that was left and they sat wide eyed and filled with curiosity!!! Like any good teacher would do, I made sure to mention that the leprechaun would be watching our behavior and we needed to have quiet feet and soft voices so we did not scare him! We then started our first activity, a Leprechaun Glyph! As I read our poem, my students listened attentively so that they didn't mess up our leprechaun! They turned out so cute!!!

After our glyphs. We got right into some sight word action! I modeled how to find sight words and add them to our gold coins through 'hunting for gold'!! When they heard hunt for gold, I knew Inhad them hooked!! They sat so quietly waiting for instructions and hanging on every word! I loved watching their excitment as they hunted the room for their gold! 

When the students came back from lunch, our leprechaun had left them a little end of the rainbow pot of gold! They were over the moon excited!! We talked about connections with rainbows, pots of gold, and leprechauns! They were so engaged and loved sharing their own connections!! 
They enjoyed their little treat as they wrote about what they would do if they found a pot of gold! I think my favorite answer was "Well I wood be rich." Some of my rays are too funny!!! My little rays were so happy throughout the day as they would exclaim to each other that they heard Rory laugh or saw him run around the room.Watching my students revel in the magic gave me goosebumps. It reminded me of just another reason I am so lucky my passion happens to have a paycheck with it! 

I was so happy to be able to make St. Patrick's Day a fun experience for my kiddos and upon reflecting, I think I had more fun than ever before!!! Looking forward to celebrating St. Patrick's Day in kindergarten for years to come :) 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up 2015

If I could use just one word to describe my weekend, it would have to be INSPIRED! I was not sure what I was getting myself by attending the Spring Teacher Blogger Meet Up in Frenchlick, IN. As I made the 4 1/2 hour drive in the wee hours of the morning with one of my team members, I was nervous, excited, and filled with questions! What will it be like? What if I am the only not big blogger? What if I have no idea what they are talking about? Now what happened to all these questions that built up inside me and were consuming my thoughts?  I'LL TELL YOU: as soon as I entered the hotel, THEY COMPLETELY SUBSIDED! Instead, I felt comfortable, happy, excited, and inspired. How could I not feel inspired? I was in a room with over 100 dedicated teachers who WANTED to be there. These amazing individuals devoted their time and their money to meet and discuss what we love: TEACHING!

Now if that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what does! Any single person could walk into the room and feel the the energy and the buzz that bounced off the walls. We spent time getting to know every single person there. Yes, EVERY SINGLE PERSON! That is one thing that makes teachers, and this meet up, absolutely dream-like. Throughout this time, we got the opportunity to connect and engage in real conversations with everyone there. Through different engaging activities, round table discussions, and social media, we were given the amazing chance to grow and become forever changed. What we bonded over, our passion, our stories, and our livelihoods, is something that is exponentially the best thing I have been a part of.

I got to meet two AMAZING and INSPIRATIONAL teachers that I follow on every social media platform. To me, these two are more than just idols. They are passionate, devoted, and over-the-moon helpful. The amount of effort and time that they put into their work simply shows their love for their career. They take the time to answer questions, share advice, and just PUSH you to think outside the box and be an even better teacher.

I know I walked out of that hotel ready to change myself. To change how I taught, how I prepared myself, and how I inspired my students. I was filled with enlightenment, happiness, and a new, refreshed view of my teaching.

This process is just starting and I cannot WAIT to see where it takes me :)

teaching is my hobby

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Happy Birthday to YOU, Dr. Seuss!!!

Two blogs in one night?!? I of course decided that this week needed its own opening act ;)

I know there is not one teacher out there who doesn't know what March 2nd is. All I can say is HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS!!!!!

There is no way a primary school teacher doesn't get giddy excited that this week is finally here! Now I am such a big fan of Seuss related things, that we aren't celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday just on Monday. Nope. We are going to celebrate ALL MONTH!!  You read that right! All month we will be reading Dr. Seuss books, working on activities, and munching on some delicious snacks all dedicated to the man himself!!!

To start the week off, my team and I took it upon ourselves to deck our hall out in Seussville decor! We had a ball rolling out paper, cutting out characters, and making a magical land for our babes to see!!! We plan to fill our Seuss land with all kinds of crafts as we continue throughout the month :)

Now, I cannot celebrate Dr. Seuss for a month without decorating my own room. That clearly would not be full spirit :) One thing I saw on Pinterest and just HAD to do was create mini truffula trees for my students work tables! Originally I wanted to use pool noodles throughout the room to create larger scale ones, but unfortunately in the middle of a rough winter in the Midwest, there are no pool noodles available :)
Instead, I took to the dollar store to make the mini truffula trees and let me tell you, they turned out 100x better than I envisioned!! With the simple purchases of plungers and some tissue paper, these babies came to life!!

I cannot wait to see my kinders' faces when they see these tomorrow!!!!

The last bit of work I cranked out on a productive Sunday includes all new work centers for morning work and ela skills practice :)

My kids LOVE new stations and I think the variety we have going on will be a huge hit!!! Here's to the beginning of a WONDERFUL month!!!

Finishing February!!!

And just like that, the shortest month of the year flashes right on by :) Reflecting on this past week, I can feel nothing but a rush of relief as we head on into spring!

February was filled with all kinds of fun and creative things! Through Valentine's Day and the wintery weather, we were able to accomplish a lot. I don't know about any other teacher, but I cannot WAIT until spring air brings us back to outdoor recess! My kinder babes NEED to be out and shake loose some of their crazy :)

This past week, we began subtraction and as my students showed me some minor mastery, I brought out the showstopper: SUBTRACTION BOWLING! Just the mere mention of these words sent 'oohhs' and 'aahhhs' into my little crowd of students. I began by showing the students that we start with 5 pins. When we bowl, we cross out how many pins fell down. We really focused on the key: how many are left. The students loved watching Miss K strike a few pins! I then sent them to their seats and produced mini sets of bowling pins and balls for each table. The students loved setting up their pins and cheered each other as they bowled! It was pure excitement in learning through fun and experience! I can now use the bowling as an incentive and an early finisher!

As the students worked, I called quiet friends to bowl on our large set! They LOVED it and it totally got them focused! We will be able to continue our subtraction bowling into our March week as we reinforce the symbols and learn to write subtraction sentences!!

Hoping that March will come in like a lion and out like a lamb ;)

Happy March ya'll!!!!!!!