Saturday, May 30, 2015

A New Favorite: Brown Girl Dreaming

I have posted before that our district sponsors a student book club each year where they have a list of about 35 books we need to read in order to participate. Well, since today is my first official day of summer vacation, I thought I would get started on that list. This book: 

is one of my new favorites. I love Jacqueline Woodson anyway, but this book is so beautifully written it just touches your heart. It's the story of the author and her family growing up in Ohio just as the Civil Rights Movement is starting to make headway. I'm not sure if it's too mature for my gifted Kinders yet, but I'm really hoping I can find a way to integrate it somehow in the future.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gratitude Projects

Every year I try to teach my kiddos not just how to read, write and add but I also try to teach them about gratitude. We do Gratitude Journals once a week and I give them a prompt to think about like "what are you grateful for that you can't see", "what are you grateful for at school", etc. At the end of the year I pick up some posterboards and they write about various things they are grateful for. I stress to them that everyone is grateful for their families and friends, I wanted them to go deeper and think about things they are glad to have that maybe everyone doesn't think about. I loved watching them work so independently-they are so ready for 1st Grade! :)

Is that perfect illustration or what?!

I'm grateful for my clothes and for my toes! :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

My Memory Wall

So this is something I wish I would have thought of 14 years ago, but you know good ideas don't always come when they should! :) I have a wall in my living room and I want to eventually fill it with trees by students make with their thumbprints. This is the first one. They made the tree a little thicker than I had envisioned and I had them all sign their names under their thumbprints, but I took a picture first. I will start earlier this year as we already have kids starting an early vacation, so they are missing.

This class was rainbow colors, for sure. Who knows what the next class will inspire but I look forward to a wall of memories from my kiddos!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Our Class Mascot

I don't know how it came up, but we were talking about mascots and how much, particularly sports mascots vary. Our school mascot is a Bear, however it's a teddy bear not like a grizzly bear. So I asked my students to reflect back on our year and figure out what our class mascot would be and why. Here's what they came up with:

Whenever we take our shoes off to do an activity like shoe graph or measuring our feet, I always say "oohh, it stinks in here!" They remember!

bulldogs-because they are tough

Stars because we shine bright like the sky

Miss Trayers because she always buys everything.

A worksheet or bulletin board

Jaguars-because they are cute

Alligator because it would protect the school

books because my teacher likes books

lion because they growl and they are loud like us.

Rabbits because they are fluffy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GT Frames About Kindergarten

We did our last frames that we are going to do this year. I asked them to write about Kindergarten. What is the Big Idea of Kinder? What is the perspective of a Kindergartener? What questions do you still have and what are the Rules-what is always true about Kinder? The consensus seems to be that Kinder is to get ready for 1st Grade!

Now this one took me a minute to figure out. You see, I eat in the Teacher's Lounge almost every day. One of my students will take my lunch in for me and I always joke that the lounge is where teachers go to destress. I always say "don't look at the hot tub, kids aren't supposed to know it's in there"! :) They almost believed me for a while.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Good Reads!

I know people may be looking for titles to read this summer. I wanted to share two that I have read recently and thoroughly enjoyed. They are both considered in the YA genre.:

I thought this was a really well-written, meaningful story. It reminds me in a lot of ways of Fault in the Stars. I listened to it on audio, but I'm sure it's in the actual book as well-if you read it I recommend you read the author's note too. She explains the origin of the story and shares some really disturbing statistics.

I love the premise of this book! A girl is raised to complete the revenge plan her mother has had in place. She is raised with one and only one purpose-to seduce the son of the man who broke her mother's heart. However, as the plan is set in motion the machinations unfold in unexpected ways. I have sworn off watching movies when I have already read the book, however I would make an exception for this one--would make a great movie!

If anyone has any good titles  for me, I am always open to suggestions! :) 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Memory Books

We do an awards ceremony at the end of the year where the kiddos receive their certificates, trophies for things like perfect attendance and token items I get for them like personalized pencils. I always try to make something for them as a remembrance. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a very crafty person. This year I decided to get the little blank books that Lakeshore sells and write a book entitled "What I Will Remember About....". I take a lot of pictures throughout the year, however I have 26 students to do and didn't have enough for each page so I'm drawing the rest. I am still working on getting them done and part of me thinks my illustrations are a bit cheesy, however it's kind of neat even for me to look back and reflect on the year. (Normally I refrain from using pics of students on my blog, however this is a child of a staff member and I have permission :).

I am not much of an artist, but they are certainly used to my lack of drawing ability from all our anchor charts throughout the year! I hope they like them.