Monday, June 13, 2016

So What Does a Teacher do on Summer Vacation?

For those inquiring minds that want to know...I can't speak for all teachers, but I'd be happy to give you some insight on how *this* teacher spends her Summer Break.  First, every summer is different.  A few years ago, I was in full "baby mode" with an infant and 2 other kids in tow.  I didn't do much but tend to their needs, and try and catch 20 min of sleep here and there when I could.  There was another summer when I decided my classroom needed a makeover.  (and it did), but I painted bookshelves, and worked non stop on creating items for my room,  and felt like I spent the entire summer working on school related materials.  The older I get, I value the importance of balance in all things.  This applies to how I try to handle these summer breaks as well.  It is a time to recharge, to relax, to enjoy my family time, and I need to carefully balance that with working on school things as well--which in the end always makes the following school year run a lot smoother and I end up thanking myself for taking the time to work on that while I had the extra time.  Balance.  

So, let's start with the fun stuff.  First 2 weeks after school, did not TOUCH, think, create, plan, anything school related.  I took the time to get my house in order, go on day trips with the kids before all of the other school's got out as well.  We were busy, but fun-busy!  
What is summer without swimming?  One of our favorite things to do is to go to Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags.  

What is a trip to Six Flags without some dry rides as well?  
Do I look less than thrilled?  This girl has an unhealthy fear of heights.  Colossus--not a big fan!

Well this one--not so dry

We also went bowling, visited Grant's Farm, went to the park, the movies, all in our first couple weeks.  I made this chart after a friend was talking about how she did this last summer.  

 We have filled it much more now, but this way when the kids tell me how bored they are--I'm just going to point them toward our poster.  

I have read books in my time off, have plans to paint rooms and cabinets, organized, organized, organized.  

I love Contemporary Christian & Country music.  By default, I think my kids do now too.  I took them to their first concert the other night..Chris Tomlin, a Christian singer.  They loved it!  

Summer is also my time to catch up on my photo books.  I create a photo book for the entire year, so 2015 has it's own book of everything that happened that year, etc.  I am still a scrapbooker at heart, but just do not have the time anymore, so I do it digitally.  

Basically, I've been relaxing, and also catching up on things that have been on my "to do list" but never had the time to do.  I feel productive.  It has not been all play, though.  Like I said, I like to work on school work periodically, to make my life easier when the school year starts.  I take some time when wrapping up the school year to sit down and reflect on that year--what worked well, what needs some tweaking, what needs to be completely redone?  
First off, our theme next year is superhero, so I've been creating some things on my computer for the classroom and the new theme.  Any parents who have had me as their child's teacher, probably knows, I am a clip art addict.  If a paper doesn't have cute clip art, it drives me crazy!!!  I'm a mess.  

I also worked on some Religion packets.  We like to introduce several bible stories throughout the year, but I was finding it so hard to find those at an Early Childhood level.  So, I made my own.  :)  
After finding and purchasing some really cute clip art, of course.  The link to my TPT store  is under each, in case you are a Catholic School Educator or a Homeschool parent, Sunday School worker, who could benefit from any of these packets.  

Mini booklets for Creation story

Full page books for Creation story

Creation wheel

You can find this packet for at 

I worked on the story of Adam and Eve as well.  

Full page story

Story Mapping--matching

Creative writing/drawing
(I have not posted the product listing on TPT yet, because I am waiting to complete, take pictures of the art project portion of this packet.  It should be complete by Friday.)

We also talk about the children's sacrament of Baptism.  I could never find what I was looking for for more resources, so I just decided to make my own.  

You can find this in my TPT store here:

In other areas, I created our behavior calendars for the year, my newsletters (complete with seasonal clip art :) ) for the year, and some headings for each subject on our focus wall.  

See?  Balance.  :)  And I take next week completely off because we are traveling to my happy place...the beach!  

The packing begins

As always, thanks for stopping by.  Enjoy your week!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

End of the School Year

Dear parents of my 2015-2016 class, ugh, what can I say? I'm a slacker.  Sooooo sorry, I have not posted anything since mid-March!?!?!?  Yikes.
Let me make up for it by posting a bunch of pictures from March on.  Here are some random pictures of things we had worked on.  In Math we started our shape study--2D and 3D shapes.  For 2D shapes we made "Shape People", and filled in properties for each different shape--how many sides and vertices--the students were so impressed to use such a big math word as "vertices."

In April we took our field trip to Grant's Farm & Suson Park, here are some snapshots:

Our Dinosaur unit proved to be one of their all time favorite themes to study.

making _at words

real vs nonsense words

And here is our 2015-2016 graduating Kindergarten class:

I hope you are all having a great summer!!  I miss these kiddos!  I got my first letter in the mail the other day(so sweet, I love it)--Keep em' coming!  :)