Sunday, February 26, 2012

a VERY seussical birthday :)

Why is it that, every year, I am more excited for Dr. Seuss' birthday than my own? I don't have any pics of decorations yet but will hopefully have them uploaded by midweek.  I have been checking out a lot of cute snack ideas and found this little gem:
Red velvet, vanilla icing and blue cotton candy? Unreal. The "Thing 1" and "Thing 2" cards are super easy so I think this will be my Go-To snack for the big day. I'm also planning on making HUGE truffula trees and a few more other wacky items to decorate the room with. STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I MUSTACHE you a question..Can you spell our "question words"?

So, lately, I've been noticing that I am enticing my kiddos to ask more questions while reading but am finding they are unsure of how to SPELL the question words. Thanks to many of you bloggers out there, we were able to do the "Mustache" Valentine cards..and since my kids (and their parents) are still reeling from that, I decided to make a Question Word hand-out along those same lines. For all of you goofball teachers out there, enjoy. :)

Dear Long Weekend, Thanks.

Soooo, yesterday was our first day back from our long President's Day Weekend. WHOA. I won't go into anymore detail than that but what a doozey.. By the end of the day, I literally looked like I had been hit by a train..( and I have a wonderful eye issue going on right now that's forcing me to wear my old glasses) so you can probably just imagine how beautiful that was...we were back to square one with a a lot of things; following directions, noise/body control, remembering letter sounds, etc... I felt frustrated most of the day when it came to getting work done...

On the PLUS SIDE..(there is always a plus side) The little ones got along with each other wonderfully. I couldn't have asked for a better day socially. So, when I got into my car and drove home in silence, I reflected...Is the day truly a loss if we have some slip ups with letter sound identification? Is the world going to end if the boys couldn't stop throwing beanie babies or we lost 3 glue stick caps? The answer is always and definitely a BIG FAT NO. The moments where I saw a little one fall only to find another tiny hand there to help him up, or I heard "That picture is really beautiful", or learning centers went so smoothly because everyone was getting along..those are the moments we strive for any other day, so why can't they be our complete and total accomplishment for one day? I've decided they absolutely can be. Sometimes it's bigger than being able to give everyone a 100% on a CVC page.. The world will not on days when you feel challenged beyond all get out, I challenge you to see the good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Post Weekend: Food for Thought

I was lucky enough to spend 2 days of my looong weekend with my baby neice, Emma Jane :)  She is 2 years old going on 25 and she is the love of my life. Spending time with her always makes me think about certain things I wish for her future. She is a silly, goofy, smiley little wonder who reminds me ALOT of my little girls in kindergarten. I suppose the most important thing for those little ladies to know is that it is OK to be yourself because being yourself is beautiful. This brings me to a photo that has been the background of my classroom computer for quite some time now...
Everytime I see this, I laugh. Growing up, for me anyway, the Disney Princesses were dipicted as "perfect". Perfect hair, perfect dresses, even perfect singing voices..but this picture truly puts things into perspective. REAL princesses aren't scared to be goofy. So, as I get ready to turn in and prepare for another week, I hope you can all find the joy in this photo and I hope you all out there know to stay true to yourself, because THAT is what makes you a princess :)
Goodnight Bloggers.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Just want you ALL to know, BOYCE AVENUE is the bomb dig. They cover everything (Bruno Mars, Adele, Katy Perry, Beyone, Coldplay) not a huge "pop culture" fan but MAN are my kids... THEY WILL NOT CURSE. It's a sure fire way to get what you want. No worries. We have 'Dance Party Friday' every week but I will use Boyce to slowly transition...just a thought. if you love music, you'll dig them.
This is my assistant, Liz and I. This is fairly typical. I need to say that, and the few of you out there lucky enough to have an assistant hopefully agree, my AWESOME relationship with my assistant leads to ALL of the success in my classroom. I mention her patience often because I truly believe that I am an "Idea Psycho". Things pop into my brain and in a split second, we or she or I am working diligently to bring it to life before the day ends. I'm not trying to brag (yes, yes I am) but kids say they LOVE our room because we're crazy and silly and I we let them be THEM. Part of that, is having someone by my side that knows the impossible is possible, hard work does pay off, and smiles are the only payment that matters..

Indoor Recess? YES, PLEASE!

     Sooo, I can explain. My kids think I'm a ninja..for no other reason that that's what I have told them. When they ask how I saw them steal the shovel in the sandbox when my back was to them, "I'm a ninja..", when I finish tying their shoes WHILE I'm wearing gloves and they stare back in awe, "I'm a ninja.." you get the point. So, what kind of Sensei would I be if I didn't attempt to teach those skills to my young apprentices.
      Enter INDOOR RECESS (deep, dreadful, movie trailer voice). This is one of those days I speak of when I say that my assistant must go home in complete silence and rethink her professional choices. It all started with "Liz (my assistant), I think it's supposed to rain all day..". To which she responded something like "Uh, Oh." Bless her. "We're going to do indoor ninja training today." said Devin emphatically. "OK.", said Liz.
       I began to scramble. What types of activities do ninjas really need to be able to do? Climb through laser beams? Check. Army crawl through a jungle? Yes. Jump over a pit of fire? Absolutely. So, with a little help from the BEST gym teacher ever (and the use of our schools Aftercare room)  I managed to scrounge up all of the supplies I would need to create my ninja fortress training center of power. (That's what I called it)...
 The "Always Watching" eyeballs, tunnel of dread, fire pit and jungle in the distance..
 cones for weaving on the way to the "team scooter pull", jump ropes were flames my assistant and I wiggled for the kids to jump over...
Ahh, the fire pit. I know what you're thinking..That thing looks FIERCE..and it was. After they army crawled through the jungle, they had to complete a puzzle (I was once obsessed with MTV's "The Gauntlet" and have a hankering desire for there always to be a mind challenge during obstacle courses)  before jumping into the ocean..

So there it was. Complete with Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never" and "Kung Fu Fighting", this obstacle course ruled. All of the kiddies received this award with their name on it, after being announced with drum rolls and the "Space Jam" soundtrack:
The end result of this was more than I could have imagined. Yes, I was sweaty and laughing uncontrollably, but seeing the look of confidence and pride on my kids' faces was priceless. To this day, I will ask who is a ninja and they all raise their hands. There is something to be said for that..There is also something to be said for having an AMAZING, fun/silly group of parents who LOVE (and wonder) what they will find in their take home folders each may just be an Ninja Award.
My point of this post is: GO WITH IT. When you have an idea that seems amazing, don't let the critics (co-workers) make your cereal soggy with "You really want to have to clean that all up?" or "They are going to be so out of control when you are done" (they weren't because true ninjas have self control...). DO IT. GO FOR IT. If it doesn't work, the kids are going to love you anyway. At the end of the day, isn't that all that really matters?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Always be thankful for each other"

I hung this up on my classroom door for Thanksgiving but haven't had the desire to take it down! It speaks volumes to what I want my kids to understand... Kindergartners tend to see the rest of the school as this world where everything is too big, too loud and too scary. So I see it as my duty to teach them that as long as they stick together, everything will be alright. Days where they have had enough of each other, petty arguments seem around every corner, and they can't seem to make each other happy, I remind them to "always be thankful for each other". Be thankful that there is another little mind and heart that understands exactly what you're going through. Be thankful that you have adults who love and care for you and wish for your safety and happiness each day. I understand that being 5 years old, it may be hard to grasp (and I certainly don't explain it as extensively as this) but I can see changes in their attitudes for each other...and it's amazing.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Here goes nothing..

First day on the new blog! I'm super excited to start...I have been checking out everyone else's blogs and it hit me that I, too, want to be able to enjoy this world of teacher to teacher interaction! Let me get started by saying that I am currently in my 5th year of teaching Extended Day Kindergarten in Radnor Township, PA. (That means that my students come to me for 1/2 the day and go to another Kindergarten teacher for 1/2 the day) VERY COOL. This past year has found me super tired of everything I have ever had in my classroom..that combined with my new addiction to pinterest has left my classroom assistant secretly looking for a new job (not really, but I would believe it if she said it).

I realize that we are many months into the school year but my little group is still having trouble with self control/problem solving issues. I have currently attempting to use my morning/afternoon meeting time to build these skills but we can't seem to get over the hump..any ideas?