Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Wish

I'm not a country music fan (sacrilege, I know living in Texas and all)--but they make great back-up music for end of the year powerpoints! We used the song "My Wish" for our background this year. As an activity to go along with it. I stole this idea from Sunny in 2nd Grade :   and asked my kiddos to make a collage-like picture of themselves making a wish on a dandelion, also writing about things that they would wish for. I think it came out really cute.

I wish that people would recycle and don't waste things and fight with each other and be good friends.

"I wish for world peace and cats and dogs get along and people don't get arrested."

I wish the class was more better, I wish that the cafeteria was not loud and I wish that bullies were not real.

I wish my dog would not bark at people.

I wish it would always be Spring. I wish my family would be nice to each other. I wish 1st Grade behaves. I wish all the kids listen in class.

I wish that I have no more cavities. I wish to be a Smile Girl (don't we all! :).

I wish for the world to recycle clean and healthy.

I wish I could be an artist. I wish I could be a good writer. I wish my brother would be nice to me.

What Inspires You?

I usually do a class book with this writing exercise-but the time just got away from me. Tomorrow is our last day, so it's not going to get done. I do, however, have many of their pieces. We learned about a lot of people over the year and I asked the kiddos to write about what or who inspires them and why.

I didn't put her up to this one, I promise I didn't! :)

Harriet Tubman

Tacky the Penguin

Christopher Columbus

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Next year our evaluations will be based 50% on student progress. They haven't quite decided what to do with us early childhood folk. Even though we do give standardized testing in Kinder, we don't have anything to compare it to. We know the kids grow, it's just a matter of what measure to use that will be challenging enough that they can show that growth; but not too challenging, because we know there are always kiddos who struggle with particularly getting those reading skills off the ground.

Anyway, I was getting together journals to start sending home with the students (we only have 2 more days left after today). And I sat down with each one to show them the growth they have made in writing this year. Now if you don't teach Kinder, you may not know, it takes a lot of patience to teach beginning writers. I often have to translate for the parents or our administrators because reading "Kindergarten" is an art form! :) They have just shown so much growth this year--the students were even shocked to look back and see how they began as writers. If only the powers-that-be could somehow put a mathematical formula to calculate this level of growth!

This student was a fantastic speller out of the gate-it was just a matter of mastering the mechanics.

She could write simple sentences, but now.....

Inspiration Projects

My last theme for the school year is Inspiration. We learn all about characters, authors, historical figures, etc. throughout the school year and I want the kiddos to reflect on who/what inspires them to be better. A colleague gave me this idea years ago, her 3rd Grade son did it in a class and he did his on just a door-which I thought was very poignant-a door has so many possibilities. It's harder to get the young kiddos to think "big picture" as you will see.

Anyway, they take a picture of something in the school that inspires them. Now when I printed them out this year, I couldn't find a single printer that still had color ink (cutbacks!) so the first step this year was for them to color the picture in with colored pencils so it looked a little Andy Warhol. Then they painted their picture and made a collage of their picture. Finally writing about why it inspires them. I love to see what they come up with. I also treasure those last few moments with kids who know where everything is and what to do with it. I can say use the watercolors and they know they are in the cabinet, that they need to get water, etc. In August it's starting all over again with the next group who will say "what are watercolors"? One year I actually had a student paint with the plastic end of the paintbrush--if they have never experienced it before....

We do live in Texas! :) "The air conditioner inspires me".

When I win group I will get a lot of trophies.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Dear Future Kindergarteners,

Every year I have the students write a letter to the students who are in Pre-K now, but next fall will be Kindergarteners. Partly because I want to review letter writing, but partly because I want it to be sinking in that they will have a different teacher next year. Sometimes, especially if this is their first year in school, they think you will their teacher for life! :) You can tell what my pet peeves are in the classroom.

Do not bump into the wall in the hall-good advice, right?!

You need to know how to get words right, never go to sleep and don't whistle.

I'm not sure where the multiplication comes from-we obviously don't teach that in Kinder! I think maybe they are trying to scare them.

Always follow directions and you do homework.

Do not go to sleep when the teacher is reading (can you tell we don't have naptime-I can't let them lay down to listen to a story because they fall asleep). The last line if always get happy faces all the time.

I hope they listen. I love the Pre-K'ers.

Miss Trayers is (Miss Trayers') -You will do how many gums in the jar and multiplication and how to read and write.

Be good scholars. Watch out for bad listeners. You are going to learn math.-Wise words!

Don't waste paper, don't argue with Miss Trayers, be good scholars, don't complain, try to understand.