Sunday, January 20, 2013

The knowledge behind a hug

This week we have been having awards ceremony (basically everyday because of weather) to award kids for their academic growth and to recognize those kids that have been our classroom heros because of great behavior.

Well on Thursday or Friday (I honestly can't remember which right now), happened to be 2nd grade awards. The kids in second grade are the kids that were in my first kindergarten class. While taking my current kinders to lunch I happened to run into two of my kinder moms from that year, both of which are probably 2 of my favorite moms from that year. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate and care about most of my kinder parents, but these two moms (among a few other) have just made an impression on me.

One of these moms has her daughter in kindergarten now and I think we were both devestated when she didn't end up in my class. However, I suppose it was a good choice, because she loves her teacher and her teacher adores her!

ANYWAYS.... I'm getting way off topic.

Basically, after seeing and talking to both of these moms, they both gave me a huge hug and told me that it is always good to run into me.

I have always tried to be that teacher that goes out of my way to build relationships and I only hope that I will continue to be able to do this. I have gone to birthday parties, tumbling meets, and church events. At all of these events, not only were the kids happy to see me but the parents seemed thrilled too!

I love making people smile. It's part of who I am. I love building relationships that extend beyond the classroom walls. Now, I'm not going to say that I have made any friends that are parents... although I'm not against it. But I want to be that teacher that the kids remember long after they are through with their academic career.

I know I have several of those teachers. Mrs. Sissom, my kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Giles, my third grade teacher. Mrs. Hale, my 6th grade reading teacher. Mrs. Walls, my junior English teacher. 

And it is probably because of those aforementioned teachers that my love for knowledge has continued to grow.

So to all of those readers that are one of those teachers that are building relationships with their students and class families, I want you to know that you are amazing and appreciated.

I'm truly glad that Mrs. Amy and Mrs. Cindi were there that day and both gave me a hug, because I think that for just a moment I started doubting myself and if I was making any difference in their lives at all.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Great Resource for Math

Hey! So I feel like I am doing better at posting more. :) (Even though technically it has already been 8 days.) But that is better than like 2 weeks right?? Right?

Anyways, each Thursday we have our kindergarten team meeting where we discuss random things, or work on aligning standards to our reading series, or meet about data. But today was exciting! Not because anything truly special happened, but because at the very end of the meeting, our academic coach shared a website with us that OMG, I think I love!

I have heard of the website before and gone once or twice but I have never really explored. But today got me hooked! It is the Read Tennessee website. And oh my, is it wonderful!

 If you click on "Math" and then go and click on the link that says "K-3 Math Common Core Standards" in the "Teachers" section you will be directed to a page that give you an overview.
On that second page (where you will find the 'Common Core Standards in Mathematics' overview) if you look at the blue column you can click on your grade. (Unfortunately if you teach anything higher than 3rd grade, this will not help you.)

Here is Kindergartens page.
There you can search by the different domains (i.e. counting and cardinality, geometry, etc) and specific standard.

Once you click on the standard that you want you will be taken to a page that gives you a summary, understanding (things that the students need to know and understand), specific questions to focus your instruction, and the skill progression.

You will also see a bar at the top.
This is where I think it really gets awesome!  Each one of these gives you lots of resources. And they are REALLY REALLY good! 

I highly recommend that you click on the photo below and head on over now and check out this website! And go ahead and share it with the people you work with! I am sure they will LOVE you for it!

While you are there, check out the "Read" section too. I haven't been over on that side, so I can't "recommend it." However, with the math section being as good as it is, I am sure that the "Read" section will be pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

38 Hours and counting

I officially have less than 38 hours of break left (I think it's 38 hours... sounds good, eh?) Today I worked from before 8 till after 4 on a Valentine's Day Literacy Packet. I had lots of fun working on it, but around 6 I realized that I was STARVING! I went the entire time without eating or drinking anything and I think I only went to the restroom like once. I'm wondering if this was me trying to get myself back in the habit of working! Who knows?

Tomorrow I am going to be devoting my time to getting report cards done and finishing lesson plans and laminating and cutting and prepping some things for my lessons. Sounds fun, right? Uh... I'm not too sure. But it's gotta get done!

This break has gone by WAY too fast. The first weekend seemed like it took forever and then after that it was like I was on a roller coaster that was going WAY TOO FAST! (For those of you who have already returned to work, you have my sympathy!)

So I wanted to share with you what I will be doing in Math this next week. We will begin our Geometry unit. This unit is to last for the next 7 weeks! This stresses me out! Because I honestly get bored after about 2 or 3 weeks of any given topic in math! Math is NOT my strong point. I can do small group and math centers without a problem! But whole group math, that is where my brain screams "HELP! HELP! HELP!"

But after doing some research on my favorite site (I think you already could have figured this one out) Pinterest, I came up with a week worth of lessons that I am super excited about!

We'll start the week (MONDAY) out by reading Square Cat. After reading the story we will discuss the attributes of a circle and a square. We will record these attributes on our "Attributes of a Shape" anchor chart. After discussing the attributes we will decide if we want to be a round or square cat. (We will discuss why "round" is a good word for "circle.") My hope is that we have time to create our own Round Cat/Square Cat. (This idea came from Chalk Talk: A Kindergarten Blog)

On Tuesday we will review the attributes of a circle and a square. I will then show the students a rectangle. All of my students should know what it is (let's hope!) We will discuss and record the attributes of a rectangle and then I will read the math book Two Short Two Long by Christianne C. Jones. After reading the story, TSW sort squares and rectangles.

On Wednesday, we will review the different attributes of the square, rectangle, and circle again. (By this time they should be VERY familiar with these attributes.) I will show the students a triangle. We will discuss and record the attributes of a triangle. I will read the story The Greedy Triangle. We will discuss the story. After reading the story, TSW will sort triangles and not triangles.

On Thursday, we will begin again by reviewing the attributes of these 4 basic shapes. I will read Shapes, Shapes Everywhere. We will make a web of places that we can find shapes in our real world surroundings. We will then go on a shape hunt (something I have done every year) and we will look for shapes around the school. Students will identify where shapes are and I will take pictures of these shapes. (I will use these pictures to make a Shapes In Our World power point that we will use to review shapes in our environment.) When we return to our classroom, TSW draw a picture of one object that they found that represents each of the 4 basic shapes we have been learning about.

On Friday, we will once again review each shapes and it's attributes. (They should REALLY know these attributes now!) I will read Shape Capers. After reading this math story, we will graph our favorite shapes. TSW create a picture using their favorite shape. TSW write about the attributes of their favorite shape. I will combine these shape pictures to create a class book "A World of Shapes." (This idea ALSO came from Chalk Talk: A Kindergarten Blog)

I am REALLY happy with this weeks math plans, but as you can see the majority of my ideas have come from Mrs. Larremore over at Chalk Talk: A Kindergarten Blog.  My fear.... is where do I go from here? What ideas do you have to teach shapes?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year... New Packet... New BOGO

As promised it is finally here! My two newest winter TPT packets.

The first one that I have for you is my Snow Day Fun Literacy Packet.

It is 94 pages of literacy activities for your students to enjoy! This packet covers everything from letter recognition, to sounds (beginning sounds, ending sounds, blending sounds), to medial vowels, to rhyming words and sequencing and syllables! Not only is this the perfect pack to use in order to cover a large variety of skills, but it is Common Core Aligned!

The second packet I have for you is my Winter Wonderland Math Packet!

This packet is 79 pages of fun winter activities covering everything from number recognition and number order to addition and subtraction! Need to practice comparing numbers? Great, this is the packet for you! Getting ready to learn about shapes? Great, this packet will help you do that too! No matter what you are looking for, if it is a kindergarten math standard.... chances are it has been covered in this packet!

So what are you waiting for? Click on the pictures above to head straight to my TPT page and grab these packets at a great price! What's that?? Oh yea, that's right! I'm placing these two babies on a BOGO deal until midnight tonight (Jan. 1, 2013)! Consider it my New Years Day present to you!