Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Daily Five- Chapter 2

This week Kindergarten Smiles is hosting!

Chapter 2 Questions

1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?

I do trust my students. I work very hard in the first couple months of school to establish relationships with every student and to work on them establishing relationships with each other. I make sure that they know they can come to me and tell me anything, and I listen and follow up with them on things they tell me. I feel like this means a lot to them, and to see the look on their faces when I bring something up that they had told me awhile ago, their little faces just are bursting with excitement. This all has to be done before trust in the classroom itself with academics takes place. I feel that if the students feel you have a good relationship, they will want to follow directions, and please you. However, me staying out of their way? That is going to be a tough one! I am very much the teacher who praises them and sits next to them and asks questions about what they are doing or reading. I have never done the Daily Five though, so this is going to be something that I really have to work on!

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day?  Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?

I am a firm believer of a daily schedule, and going over the schedule in the morning. It is amazing how much the children look at it and reference items even before they can read isn't it? I also draw pictures next to each item so that the non-readers who really cannot associate the words with the time of day yet can identify what is next. For choice, the main times in class that I allow them to make choices is math time. This is after they complete their classwork, they may choose a math game or to work on their differentiated math packet. When I think of it, the choices in my classroom have almost always been when they are done with the main item assigned. The Daily Five will definitely be different for me, however it is going to be a welcome change!

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
I find that it is important to model how to hold someone accountable, as in the polite way, and the not-so-polite way. Often times the children will laugh at the not-so-polite way because it is so far off from how most of them act, however it does it home with some.  It is important to directly teach kinders how to approach someone who is not following along, and the correct way to encourage them to get back on task. I praise children who are polite to each other and it really catches on like wild fire. Can you imagine a polite class? :)

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?
I completely agree with the sisters in explaining why we do certain assignments. I have to admit I am not wonderful at it, and I need to work on this area. I think it is going to be important to explain to them so that they do have buy in, and start getting internally motivated to make choices during the Daily Five.

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals?

I definitely will be using a timer, and going veryyyyy slow. My goals will start out with very small amounts of time, and there will be a lot of praise and reports to parents! We will set daily goals and work up to a weekly goal. ( however weekly goals are hard for kinders to grasp )

Next week we go back to Live, Love, Laugh Kindergarten for Chapter 3. Link up if you are reading!!! I would love to hear your thoughts!

Pinterest Inspired...

So I know now that I am not meant to be a crafter, but that doesn't mean that I can't try, at least with my kids right? The other day Lucy and I went to our brand new Hobby Lobby ( that place is amazing! ) and got the materials to make two crafts, both 4th of July decorations.
I like to give credit though not to Pinterest necessarily, but to the blogger who made the craft! So, from this blog I saw this picture.....

I decided to try and do 4th of July colors. Mine turned out....well....lets just say mine turned out. haha!

And from one of my new friends I met at Elevate, I got this craft off her blog. She had it listed for Flag Day, and we actually made it on Flag Day and will keep it up until after the 4th. It was fun to sing America songs with the kids as we did this one.
So here is her picture....

This is just one of ours. Lucy made this entire one all by herself. I was very proud. :) We made a bunch and gave them to our family. 

Are you going to do something off your Pinterest boards this summer? Blog about it! I would love to see!!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marine Institute Field Trip

Right after my school got out for the summer Lucy's preschool had a field trip to the Ocean Institute in Dana Point. I was so excited to be going on a field trip with Lucy's class, because being a full time teacher I never get to do such fun things! This field trip was really perfect for the kiddos, they stayed in one room the whole time and went to different centers to learn about creatures in the ocean. Here are some pictures of our morning!

Here was a crab that was just chilling when we were walking to the institute.

A view of baby beach! We need to go here soon with Lucy and Stetson. It is perfect for little ones! By the way I call it baby beach but I am not sure of the real name. ( sorry! )

Looking at the beautiful views....

I touched this one up a bit.....notice ? Haha. 

This one too. Isn't it beautiful?

Her class was walking to go look at the ocean and I caught Lucy and her friend Addison holding hands. How cute is that??!?!?!

An attempt at a group shot. I gave up! 

Lucy and her bff Grant. She just LOVES this boy. She is in the same preschool class and we go to the same church. We had a playdate with him this morning and I am thinking we will be having a lot more this summer!

Sorting animals.

Classifying them by their sounds.

Peek a boo!

Octopus and see star!

Lucy and Grant writing words ( although this wasn't the center they were supposed to be at! )

They had an awesome instructor for their group.

Reading an ocean book to all the kids. 

I would totally recommend this field trip if you live in the OC.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our Father's Day

I got the idea for the present for Troy and Steve ( Grandpa ) from Sandy Toes and Popsicles ( check out her blog if you live in the OC ). Here is a picture of Grandpa's.....by the time I took pictures Troy's had already had some candy taken out, so I decided to just take a picture of this one. Total hit and super easy to make ! 

Pinterest idea #1 this summer = check!

 After we got home from church we did a little photo shoot. We didn't get one good one of both kiddos, so I decided on this one being the best from the shoot :)

It was a great afternoon actually! ( that's me being selfish! ) I took a nap and Troy watched golf while the kiddos played and hung out. It was one of those times there were no fights...no whining....just pure silence....can you imagine? Must of been their gift to Troy today!

Then we headed over to the in-laws and ate ....A LOT!

Stetson played a little golf.....

 Here is a 4 generation picture with Troy's grandpa, his dad and Stetter bug.

 We did a lot of laying around ( a theme today I guess ) and watching more golf ( hey it's father's day what can I say? ) And at the end of the night we came home and Troy read the kiddos their favorite book right now, The Cat in the Hat. 

I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband and father to our children! He stays home while I work, and he does SUCH a good job at having fun with them and teaching them so many things that I don't have a clue about! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Sunday !

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Daily Five- Chapter 1

Hello all! I know I am not a true teaching blog and you see WAY too many posts about my family, but hey, I am a kinder teacher too, and I am joining in our your book study :) This week Tammy from Live Laugh Love Kindergarten posted about chapter one. Each Thursday the host for the next chapter will post questions for you before reading and also allow for you to ask questions in the comments. The following Wednesday, that blogger will post answers to that week’s questions and a reflection of that chapter. You will have an opportunity to link up each week too so the learning will continue to spread online. I have learned so much already and I just have read Chapter 1!!! 

Here are Chapter 1's questions:

1. How do I teach new behaviors?
In kindergarten, everything is a new behavior!!! August, September, and even October are spent with a LOT of talking to them about what a behavior should look like, and what procedures should look like from the beginning all the way to the end. I do a lot of repetition, and modeling for them, and I point out students who are doing a great job. I praise praise praise children when they are doing the right thing ( and hope that it rubs off on the others! ) New behaviors take me a long time to get, so for them I give the same type of grace I would want.
2. How do I teach expectations?
My expectations are definitely modeled and talked about all day everyday, even on the last day of school! My expectations change as they get older, and start becoming more familiar with what is going on in school and in our class. There will be those that, on the last day of school you are scratching your head and wondering where they were all year long when you were going over these expectations......BUT for the most part if you are CONSISTENT with your expectations and praising those that are following them, the class will follow along.
3. How do I monitor student behavior? whole group? small groups? individual?
Presently I do it all. I really would like to do the " I Can" charts that I see around the internet, but I have yet to do them.
4. What do I do when a student is not exhibiting desired behavior?
I use a clip chart in my classroom to provide immediate consequences when students are not behaving the way they have been taught. There are good and bad things that happen when students clip up ( good ) or down ( bad ). Students clip up if they receive rainbow sticks ( colored popsicle sticks ) and if they get to the highest color they get something from the treasure box. If students are continually making poor choices, they have to take away their rainbow sticks, and then move their clip down. As they move down the chart, there are consequences that go along with that, such as a simple warning, 5 minutes away from the class, missed recess, time in another room, and call parents. What I have found works BEST though is simply praising those who are following along and most others will get the idea.
5. Whose classroom is it?
It's OUR classroom! From my first day of teaching 8 years ago I made it a point to always let the class take part in decisions and share their opinions on certain items in class. They need to be comfortable in the classroom, and this can happen by allowing them to feel they are included and their voice matters.
6. Locus of control?
External locus of control. This will definitely be changed this summer while reading this book!
7. Where are supplies stored?
My students keep their supplies in their pencil boxes at their seat. They have what they need (pencils, crayons, scissors, glue, erasers) and I have a few areas throughout the room where they know they can get a whiteboard, eraser, sharpened pencil, extra crayon, glue stick and so on. I also have an area that has a whole punch, stapler and tape, and they are free to use any of it on assignments for class. ( not notes to their best friends :) )This is AFTER I have explained my expectations though :)
There is a great pinterest board for the Daily Five that this group has started ( click on the picture below for a link to it )

Caitlin from Kindergarten Smiles is leading Chapter 2! Click below to go to her blog and start following her!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Last Day of Preschool!

Well for this year at least! Lucy now is going to be in the Monday, Wednesday, Friday 4 year old class.  She has had an amazing first year of preschool! I was so hesitant to put her in preschool ( being a teacher I have become SO picky with schools in general ) but I am so glad we chose this school. I mean COME ON, her dad went there when he was little! Couldn't be better right? She has become so close with a lot of the other kids, and has developed a great relationship with one of the teachers in particular, Mrs. Schulze ( Sarah ). In fact, when I went to Elevate this weekend I couldn't do Lucy's hair and make up for her dance pictures, so Sarah came to the rescue! We are excited to do her summer camp for the second year in a row this year as well! 
Sooooo, here is Lucy on her first day of preschool back in September.....

And here she was today! I cannot believe how they change so quickly!!!!

And here are two of her three teachers....the one she has become super close with is the 3 year old teacher who is on the right, and her teacher next year is the one on the left. Wonderful women!

To celebrate preschool being over a bunch of us headed to the RSM beach club. Super fun! The kids did so much better there this year than last year. ( this was our first trip this summer ) I can tell there will be many memories made there this summer!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Study

This week I will be starting a book study with this blog. I am super excited to:

a.) be reading a book together with a bunch of teachers

b.) to get more involved in the bloggy world

c.) to get to learn learn learn and implement in the fall!!!!


I ordered my book and am ready to begin! I have a few more weeks left in my masters class, and then I get a few weeks off before heading back to teaching and my 8th masters class ( there are only 10, WHO HOOOOOOO!!!! )

I can't believe I am entering my 9th year of teaching! It really does not seem like I have been doing this for that long! I am getting old!! hehe.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Enough is Enough!!!

I promise to blog more, promise! So much so that I am going to a blog conference tomorrow, SO EXCITED!!!!! Crystal ( sad that so many of my friends now don't know her, my best friend from growing up ) bought me a ticket to Elevate, and I couldn't be happier! I need to meet new girls, and someone needs to light a fire under my you know what! I used to be so good at the whole blogging thing but now I feel like everyone else is good and I just read theirs. I don't have a purpose to my blog like crafting, teaching, giveaways or what have you, but I do craft, I do teach, although I don't have much to give away :)
I hope tomorrow is an uplifting day where I get motivated!!!!! 


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