Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter


We had a great Easter weekend. We watched Hannah Montana The Movie on Friday night and then again with my Mom on Saturday. It wasn't a bad movie... considering my expectations. I sent out an email to most of you about Sophie. I ran over her on Thursday. It was probably the most heart wrenching experience of my life. But, she is okay. I am okay. All is well. She is in the house recovering and it's making me a little crazy, but I guess it's the least I can do, considering I DID run over her.


The kids were hilarious asking questions about the Easter Bunny all week. Katie wanted to know what happens if the Easter Bunny has allergies? Then we debated if the Easter Bunny is a boy or a girl. There were several theories on that one. Chas wondered why the Easter Bunny lays eggs. Also, they were both curious as to what the Easter Bunny gets for Easter and Chas also asked if the Easter Bunny lives with Santa Claus. I'm thinking this might be the last year I get to have these conversations so I really lived it up. I love Easter. It's my favorite holiday after Christmas. I had so much fun this year between my kids and my Kindergarten class. It was a blast.


And the wall came tumbling down...


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Kindergarten

Just a few thoughts on teaching Kindergarten. I started teaching on Monday March 30th and I taught all week. We covered the letter J and Qu. We also talked about halves and cylinders in math.
Fun things we did:

Jumping Jelly Bean Jar for good behavior. Everytime they earn a jelly bean they get to jump while I put it in the jar.

"J" word building pocket chart game. My demo lesson last semester. Thanks Dr. K!

Jar Game - this was to review/learn the color words.

Juggling - we juggled squishy balls and the kids loved it!

Jell-O - we ate it with whip cream, yum!

Jell-O J's - traced J's on paper with squeeze glue (not glue sticks!) and then sprinkle Jell-O powder on top and shake it off. They turned out so pretty and they smelled good too!

Wiki Stix J's - We made the letter J with Wiki Stix.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat - we read this story (one of my favorites) and then acted it out with props. We had to do it three times so that everyone could have a turn. By the third time, I didn't even have to read it, they just recited the story from memory. So much fun!

Sight words book - "With" and "My". We made a book, "I can play with my _____" and the kids each contributed a page with a picture and a sentence of what they play with. Sabino said he can play with his longneck, which had me confused, but it turns out it is his toy dinosaur that has a long neck. Whew.

Peanut Butter and Jelly song and dance.

Bread and Jam for Frances. I read this story to them and then we looked at the difference between Jelly and Jam in ziploc bags. They loved squishing them in their fingers. Grape jelly and jam do not look that different, but the jam was significantly darker. I thought it would have bits of grape in it, but no such luck. Oh well.

We taste tested Jelly and Jam on bread. YUM. The jury is still out on which they liked better. Nearly everyone ate both completely gone and loved them both!

Jamberry. Another fave book of mine.

Show and Tell J things.

Moving on to Qu, we looked at things that start with Qu like my quilt and quarters (lucky for me I just happened to have 18 quarters lying around!) and a picture of a UT quarterback (they loved this!) and my bird book that makes the sounds of the birds, we listened to a quail and a wild turkey, just because they wanted to hear the turkey.

We traced Q and q on the belly of a Quail with squeeze glue and then sprinkled Quaker Quick Oats on and shook them off.

Friday we wore our pajamas to school to wrap up our J and Q week. We listened to the story Llama Llama Red Pajama and talked about being Quiet. We listened to the Pajama Song by Livingston Taylor. We looked at a picture by Georges Seurat and then made our own "pointillism" painting by using Q-tips (pretty clever, huh?). We did the Cha Cha Slide and the Tooty Ta just for fun. We read Click Clack Quack and came up with some questions for each other.

On a personal note: Thursday was kind of a rough day for me. I don't know what it was, but the kids were just not behaving very well. I was very frustrated and I used every behavior management technique I could think of and I still felt like a failure when I left the school and boy was I exhausted! So, I went home and started googling behavior management ideas and somehow ran across this "power teaching" technique on YouTube. I watched several of the videos of actual teachers using this in class and I decided what the hey, I will give it a shot. So, I did. On Friday, I taught the kids the class/yes response and that was all it took. I used that all day and they loved it! I also taught them to give themselves and each other "fireworks". They loved that too. I felt so in control all day and we all had so much fun. I left school on Friday feeling more energized and on top of the world than I have felt in a long time. I don't know if this will work in the long run, but I am definitely going to keep using it and I am going to teach them the rest of the things this coming week. I will keep you posted on how it goes.

Let me just say how grateful I am for this opportunity to teach Kindergarten. I have had the best time and Katie and Chas have helped me prepare almost every lesson which has been fun too. Katie is always telling me, "Mom, you could do this with your class..." it's adorable. When I asked Chas to show me how to make Jell-O J's, you would have thought I just awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize. He was so proud to get to teach Mommy how to do something.

Next up is Bug Week. Fun, fun!

Moffitt's

Eric, Kristi, Chas, and Katie