Friday, September 21, 2012

Full week Friday!

This was it.  My official, first full, five day week of teaching.  The first week of school is staggered entry, so I only have small groups of kinder kiddos during that week.  The second week, well, there's Labor Day.  Last week, we had training on Friday, so there was no school for children.  This week is my first week with my lovelies, and I survived!  Hooray!

Seriously though, have you solidified yourself into a routine?  Pssst, every time I do, a schedule changes or something. Thanks goodness I take yoga, 'cause you have to be flexible!  We're still plugging away with routines and practicing work station behaviors... thanks to a good ole week of missed routines.  Why a week of missed work station routines?  Oh, that's because the state decided they wanted us to do an additional kindergarten assessment, and it needed to be submitted to the state before the end of the month.  Only NOW, as of 4 days ago... They.  Changed.  Their.  Mind.  No need to do the additional assessment.  The first assessment that I busted my hump to complete during staggered entry days is just fine.  But, don't worry, they're coming up with something completely different for next year.  Awesome.

I'm rolling with it though!  Because honestly, what else can you do?

Here's a bit of what we've been up to in my kindergarten classroom...
Getting excited about reading with "Reading Buddies" aka stuffed animals.  They read their book three times to build fluency and then give their animal a big hug & thank them for reading with them.  They love it and the fact they can read anywhere (within reason) in the classroom.  (Yes, under my desk is within reason...)

Becoming math savvy while practicing working in Math Work Station!  They love reading & writing math vocabulary and working with math tubs.

My favorite part of the weeks was concluding our initial study of flat shapes with an art project!  It was inspired from here... Dali's Moustache!  It's a great art blog for all sorts of grade levels.  Check it out!  

And, while you're checking out the fabulous blog, check out my TpT Store for 20% off of everything.  Mrs. Wheeler is hosting a linky party with other bloggers listing their fall bargains.  Check it out...

I can't believe it's fall, y'all!  Enjoy the start to a new season!   

Mrs. Davis

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Kindergarten Common Core

All right, you saw how frustrated I was with all the assessments I have been having to complete, right?  Well, we may of just found the mother load of resources for all those starting their work with Common Core this year!  Woo hoo!  What a relief!

A colleague of mine found Kindergarten Common Core.  It is the largest collection of resources for the Common Core State Standards!
 Kindergarten Common Core Workbook
It contains over 600 pages of worksheets, activities, centers, and posters that align and teach the Common Core in Language Arts & Math!  My fellow kinder teachers and I are so excited to use this resource as we continue delving into all the fun Common Core has provided... who doesn't love rigor?  Who doesn't love communication?  Who doesn't love 21st century skills?  Hooray!

Head on over and check out what they have!  They even have other grade levels... K-5th!  Double hooray!

I hope you're enjoying your Thursday!  Have a great one!
Mrs. Davis

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A punch in the face...

Yup!  You read that title right.  And now, you're probably wondering what it means...  It means two things... one, I literally had a student punch another student in the face on Friday during dismissal... And, I feel like I've had one with the assessment requirements changing in my state!

First, the kinder kiddos... I take the students out who get picked up by their parents.  My kiddos go in one of my colleague's rooms until the buses are dismissed.  One of my lovelies, socked another lovely of mine in the mouth.  Ironically, the puncher was hurt more than the punchee because the student's knuckle grazed the punchee's teeth.  Yikes!  Nothing like parent phone calls at 4 PM on a Friday.  Argh!  I can't wait to play CSI Kindergarten and figure out what caused the ruckus tomorrow morning!

Secondly, how is everyone doing with the new common core and assessment requirements?  Common core, I'm cool... Assessments, not so much.  I can barely get a routine started and procedures taught because we need data... and more data... and more data!  We've always had a literacy assessment at the beginning of the year, but they've added additional screeners and diagnostics.  Seriously, people, they're FIVE!!!!!

Whew.  Breathe, Kim.  Breathe.

I understand the need for more rigor, but lets also not forget our basics of child development and what is considered developmentally appropriate?  (Do state's even use that term anymore?)  I've been focusing on play based centers in the afternoon while I pull children to work on the short screener.  Then, after that, if they're not "not on target" I get to do the long screener and/or the diagnostic.  Ugh!  Whatever happened to teaching?

Okay, I'm not going to be entirely "Negative Nelly" in this post, but thanks for letting me vent.  LOL!

We were moving and grooving to nursery rhymes this week...

I was chastised by one of my littles for not using a decorative candle for our jumping... We used cups.  The kiddos then put their names in the nursery rhyme and illustrated it.  They loved it and were so proud to read it!

Also, I found a F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S character building website.  I already have one of the books, but I was so excited to learn they have free online books and activities as well.  Have you heard of Howard B. Wigglebottom?  If not... head here... and check out all the wonderful resources they have to make your classroom more harmonious!

Here are my kiddos watching an animated storybook about bullying before we sign our bully-free pledge.  They've been repeating the key phrase from it... "Be brave.  Be bold.  A teacher must be told." 
And, I think we'll be watching it again after the "punch in the face" incident from Friday...   
Here's to a punch-free week for everyone!  
Mrs. Davis

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"What's your favorite dessert?" "Eggs."

Oh kindergarten kiddos, how I've missed you and your fabulous answers to questions!

I survived open house.  I survived opening meetings.  I survived parent orientation.  And, I survived three days of staggered entry with my new batch of little ones.  The real test is on Tuesday.  That's when ALL 21 of my lovely littles come to school.  All at once.

Not to mention, I'm still getting the hang of being in a new building.  "Um, where do I go to get MY lunch?"  And, it was 90 degrees yesterday, and we have no A/C.  "I'd like to thank my barista for the extra ice in my trenta iced coffee, sweetened, no milk, from yesterday!"

I got ALL the initial testing I needed finished... minus one who slept for an hour and a half on her table... And, I feel like I finally have a small grasp on how my schedule is going to flow.  Woo hoo!  I'll be lesson planning in the A/C this weekend, while tropical rainstorms occur.  (That is seriously what my weather said for today's forecast... tropical rainstorm.)  Anyone else feeling the remnants of Isaac?

So, I'm still here.  My classroom is finished... though, these pics were taken at 9 PM, some random night when I should have just gone home, but just couldn't until one more thing was finished...

And, I'm enjoying my black, yellow, and gray color scheme!  I think my kiddos like it too!  Did I mention I L-O-V-E seeing my former students too?  Um, one guy said in a deep voice, "Hi Mrs. Davis."  Um, buddy, you're as tall as me now.  Ahhhhhhh!  I feel old.  

I hope your beginning of the school year is off to a great start!  Take some time this weekend to relax... we're just getting started! 

Mrs. Davis