Saturday, August 27, 2016

"ROCKING" our first few weeks of school

We just completed our first full week of school!!!  I'm sure there are many feelings that accompany these kids as they enter a new grade and I'll let you in on a little secret....teachers get nervous as well.  :)  I always like to start the school year with some light hearted fun, addressing all those emotions and reinforcing that it is all going to be okay.  There are SEVERAL great back to school children's books that meet this goal.  One of my favorites is Pete the Cat.  We got both classes together and put Pete the Cat, Rockin' in My School Shoes on the Smartboard.  Afterwards they colored their headband pieces and awards for their first full day of school.  Here are some pictures.  

The Kindergartners also met their 8th grade buddies.  They buddy up with these older kids during school masses, school events--such as book fairs,  the rummage sale, etc.  We do several crafts and projects with them throughout the school year as well.  It is always great to see the bonds between them!  Below is a Kindergartner walking with her buddies to the annual "Mass on the Grass" to kick off the new school year.  I love our new class shirts which you can see in the picture. 

We are working on counting and writing numbers 1-5 in Math.  This day we counted and filled our ten frames with a given number.  

We are working on our alphabet.--Many aspects such as letter recognition, letter sounds and ABC order.  Here we are working on placing the alphabet on our sentence strips in ABC order.  

To my fellow educators out there, this is the first year I tried this, and I LOVE it--a "table trash" bin.  We use this when we are cutting a project, so we don't have to get up several times to throw away scrap paper.  I like how it's working out so far.  It's the little things, right?!?  :)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My 2016-2017 "SUPER" Classroom

It has been a great summer!  It was a good mix of relaxing, fun, and memorable.  Now it is August, and in less than 2 weeks my little Kinders will be entering their classroom for the first time.  I strive to make my classroom inviting, fun, organized, functional, the whole deal really.  :)  I am not 100% finished, but have put it together enough that the parents of my class can show their kiddos their upcoming classroom for the school year.  Before I start, I always like to start with a "before" picture to see how far it's come.  So here was my room when I walked in one day in late July.  

The theme we chose this year was Superheroes.  Not only because we feel the kids are excited about superheroes at the age of 5 and 6, but we also wanted to tie in that Jesus is our hero.  I absolutely love that I teach at a Catholic school where I can incorporate our faith into our day to day.  So the first thing I did to my classroom was work on this focus wall in my classroom.

Our class rules are based on one simple word:  Respect.  In my classroom, I expect my students to respect themselves, others, and our school.  

They can get caught being "Super."  When they are caught they get to wear a cape all day as well as what badge applies to what they did.  Ex:  super helper, super friend, super listener, etc.  I had my "helpers" with me today, and they modeled some capes for me.  :)   

We will also have a Star Student every week until everyone gets a turn.  The star student gets to have special, fun privledges all week long.  The star student schedule and daily activities will be on this blog under "Parent Korner" soon.  
One day, your child will get to sit at the "Super Seat."  This is a special desk where he/she can sit and wear shades, etc.  

Our group area is a very important area in our classroom.  This is where we talk/discuss whole group and where we read stories, work on special skills, and so on.  Having a focus wall near it, has been very beneficial in the past, so I wanted to keep that there this year as well.  

I love the black with the bright colors, so even though our theme is superheroes, which is usually primary colors, I tried to keep it bright and black colors.  
This year I also wanted to incorporate some alternative seating in my classroom.  There are several great articles out there on alternative seating and its advantages when available in the classrooms.  You can just google it if you'd like to read some of those articles.  Here are my cute little models again.  :)

The next area I worked on was the prayer area.  I used one of our bulletin boards for an area that we can post prayer requests on.  In addition I have a World Peace Prayer, that I plan to say daily with the class, and have a table that I painted this summer to match, where I added some of my favorite verses for kids in the colorful frames I had.  I also will have our religious books there for the kids to have easy access to.

Here are some other various pictures of the classroom.  I hope you all enjoyed and that some of the kiddos were able to see before Open House.  
I am looking forward to the school year ahead of us!  It's a special year because I already know many of the kids with my son, Gabe having been in preschool with some of them, and now he's entering Kindergarten as well.  I am pretty sure I'm known to most of these kids as "Gabe's Mommy."  :)  I love it!  Hopefully, they will feel more comfortable as they enter the school year.  We are going to have a lot of fun, learn a lot, and make a lot of memories along the way.