Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Mid July has arrived and I have officially gone wild with starting a new classroom! Ha ha! I just can't get enough! I have spent a lot of time at school unpacking, moving things around again and again. I have found that I have a lot of things that can be repurposed. I used furniture differently in kindergarten! Soooo....with my new theme this year, I have needed to redesign some things.
First, I have shelves, a drawer system and trays that did not match at all. I could have kept them as is.... or not. See my pictures?! Oh my poor husband surely must think I have lost my mind. Perhaps I have!
I also purchased stools from Ikea and repainted them to match my theme! After I brought them to my classrom, my lovely pod friends all wanted them too! Ooohhhh I love being able to share ideas with my teammates!
Lastly, I found the cutest owl rugs at Walmart. They go with my theme too! Hooorayy for new beginnings!
Can you tell that I fully embrace change?!
Saturday, June 7, 2014
Today was the day to close up one chapter of my kindergarten book, but now I begin a new novel. I packed and moved my classroom today. My 2nd grade seems so foreign right now. I have found my new blogging adventure too! I am going to bring you all on my journey to 2nd grade awesomeness! Here are my photos from today!
Friday, April 18, 2014
I haven't been able to blog for quite some time. Life just seems to take over and time flies by! As of this week, I am considered a second grade teacher for next school year! Holy cow, big news! After 12 years of teaching kinders, I will have to say goodbye. Yes, of course I am sad about leaving kindergarten, but I am thoroughly excited to learn new things! I have the opportunity to see a progression of years of learning and not only one year! Exciting! My blog will be taking a temporary hiatus! Not that it is any different than not writing a post for 6 months! Ha ha!
Friday, October 4, 2013
My lovely kinders are hard at work! We celebrate all of the learning happening daily! The students are getting good at finding things to practice to become their best! I love it! I have also encouraged them to feel proud of all of their progress! As a result, I often hear cheering or a way to go !
So today, one of my little darlings came rushing over to my reading table yelling "Mrs. Brown, I am getting so good at rhyming! Witch and *itch rhyme! " with a very loud voice! Now how can I get upset when she was absolutely right and celebrating her progress! I loved it!
Another funny.... we were discussing all of our senses. Today we focused on the sense of touch. The kids were looking at a flip chart with a picture of teddy bears and other things to spark a discussion. One sweet girl raises her hand so politely and says "she feels crunchy under her dress." Uhhh....crickets chirping because I didn't know what to say. After what felt like an eternity, I asked for clarification. Turns out she was talking about the lace on the bottom of the dress, not anything under it. HA HA HA. To conclude our exploration of touch, I had the children use feely bags and describe what they felt. I caused a ruckus when, to their surprise, they reached in and touched some slimy fishing worms! What a great conversation starter!
What an amazing reminder of how awesome it is to teach kindergarten!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Then I typed in #teachingisamazing. How sad is it that the last post under that hashtag was in May of 2012?
I kept typing these kinds of hashtags and FINALLY found one that made me much happier. #iloveteaching. The reason and the hope for our profession.
Do you Twitter? What do you gain from it or how do YOU use it?
Last summer I focused really hard on my stations binders. This year...nada. Why? I feel that there are so many changes all the time that cause instruction to change on the spot. I am very proud of my binders and systems I have in place. I feel that I am a more effective teacher than I have been in the past. With all of these changes taking place from year to year, it's hard, I feel, to create new things that I may or may not be able to use. Next year we will be going to tablet instruction for our students, which I think is awesome. I've tried to switch from printing "morning work" worksheets and trying different things. I could google and pinterest all of the worksheets in the world.
I'm seeking feedback. PLEASE reply if you read this :)
What do you have your students do first thing when they arrive? (aside from morning routine things)
How do you incorporate technology into your instruction?
How do you keep yourself from getting burnt out?
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I thought I would share what my class did today. As were exploring the Hawaiian islands, we navigated our way through the rainforest. The students and I read several rainforest books. We also were researching on the internet. The students then turned our classroom into a “rainforest” in their eyes. In order to do that, they used the books we’ve read and several websites to develop their ideas. The websites that they used were:
(this one has AMAZING videos on it. The students sat and watched independently the ones of their choosing to get ideas. Hearing things like “Mrs. Brown, there is a bird! I see different kinds of flowers” and then putting it into action with construction paper. )
(the students searched through the different photographs to find a rainforest that they would like to copy…this one was not as interesting to them)
(this shows the different animals that could potentially live in the rainforest. They attempted to create these animals (even if they were purple instead of brown, etc) and apply the knowledge that they were finding.
I was thoroughly impressed with their abilities to independently guide their thinking. I was simply there to hang it up. Out of 21 students, 20 were right on task and able to drive their own learning and interests. I have taught this unot for years, but once again changed it up for more student driven instruction.
I would love to hear how your students guide instruction.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Good afternoon blogger world! Technology seems to be taking over every aspect of life these days. I have absolutely no fear of technology and embrace the possibilities. When I decided to earn my masters in educational leadership, I chose the online route. Honestly, I feel like I worked hard to earn my degree. I put in the hours, did research and collaborated with a wide variety of professionals through a different modality. No, I didnt meet with a class once a week. No I didn't sit with other people face to face. I felt empowered to make my learning deeper because I wanted to get the most out of it.
My students are engaged in a wide variety of technological activities. They apply research skills using both physical copies and online resources. The students are beyond just going online to play a game (although from time to time they do), but rather make an academic choice to type a letter or sight words because they can. Students in my class create lists and sentences using clip art in smart notebook. I feel that students are engaged utilizing a variety of learning tools, including technology.
My question to the world is.... how do you feel about technology and or online learming? I know it is a hot topic and I am curious!
Thursday, May 2, 2013
Last year I began the adveture of beginning my own teaching blog. I have to be honest... I have been slow on the posts. Let it be a lot of additional school work, personal things or just way too little time, I decided it is time to get back into the swing. There are so many things I want to post.
First, my students have shown me such interest in the dictionary and thesaurus this year. Yes. They choose to read it and find new words. Of course there are words in it that may not be appropriate, but I am teaching the skill of vocabulary building, spelling, abc order and so much more! It amazes me. What amazes you this year? Kids never cease to amaze me!
Next, I cant believe it is May already. As always, May brings busy busy busy. My students are in the process of preparing for our end of year show for their parents! Today, I had the students decorate guitars I cut out of cardboard boxes. Yes, it was a lot of work to cut them out, but watching the pure joy and enthusiasm the students had today was.....priceless. They care about their work. This is just another reminder that students need to be engaged in their academics to get something out of it! As a teacher, what do you do to engage your students? What is YOUR students favorite activity....what makes it that way?
Lastly, has anyone been exploring student driven instruction in their classrooms? I find that when students engage in exploration of their own ideas, the learning gets deepened. Like the dictionary...by taking it upon themselves, they are not only deepening their own skills, but helping others as well!
Let's discuss! I would love some feedback!
Happy almost Friday!
Thursday, December 20, 2012
In addition, I have been trying to bring some cheer to our building this week/last week too. That is a harder feat sometimes because everyone is so busy. Another teacher and I have taken it on to do positive staff incentives and fun! This week I have been the bearer of delicious candy canes when we play "Guess Who I Am" everyday! I write a couple of clues about a fellow teacher and the first one with the right answer wins a candy cane. Did you know that candy canes are a simple joy? I love to see happy faces on fellow teachers too. :) What does your building do for positivity? These answers would help me too because I would love to be a successful administrator some day too.
Here is a song that I seem to listen to if my mind isn't in the right mind set. It always puts me at ease.
Happy Holidays to everyone. :)
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
The next station is the book/listening station. The children got to enjoy the stories independently as well as a version I found on Learn360. (It was only 8 minutes long) They loved it! Sorry no pictures of that!
Friday, November 30, 2012
I noticed throughout the quarter that some of the shapes were inconsistent for some of my kiddos. So I decided to reteach them again. And again. Wait, reteach??? You mean kids don't always get it the first time? ha ha!
In order to teach the shapes again, I had them rotate through shapes centers that emphasized the shape word as well.
First center was a smart board activity that I created just for this purpose. I had the children label the different shapes. Once they finished, they could build using the shapes. Now mind you, I do not have a smart board...just an lcd projector. I have to 'check out' a smart board room in order to use it. I did that for one day of stations by lugging all of my stuff there and back. Ugh. The second day, forget it. I'll use my lcd.
The second center was using geoboards. I had the children practice making each shape and then creating their own. I also had discussions with each group to identify the shapes they used in their 'picture' to emphasize the vocabulary.
Thirdly, I had the kids practicing their shapes with shape templates. They then wrote how many of each shape they used with a white board marker.
Lastly, the children wrote all shape words and drew a picture using the shape wall.
Overall, these stations were a success. The children were highly engaged and learning. With such a push towards literacy, I needed to make sure the simple math doesn't get lost in translation. :)
Happy holidays! Maybe you can stay in shape with me too!
Sunday, November 4, 2012
It has been far too long since my last post. I apologize, my dear followers.
I am preparing for parent teacher conferences this week. What do you feel is the hardest part?
What do you enjoy about them?
For me, I truly love conferences. I get to meet with parents and discuss their amazing children. I love seeing the look on their faces when they see the amount of growth in such a short period. It's awesome to me.
How do you prepare for a conference that you are nervous about? Any thoughts would be appreciated.