Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Break -- Only a Day Away!

    I think I can make it one more day -- a busy day with Easter Egg hunt and cupcakes and candy and a full moon! And then a glorious 10 days off!

    Spring finally arrived in North Carolina -- and all the beautiful blooms have caused me to sneeze about non-stop for 3 days. Then we had pouring rain for a day to wash away some pollen -- relief -- and now the temperature is supposed to be in the 20s tonight. You can get sunburn and frostbite all in the same day!

      We had kindergarten screening at our school yesterday. I always enjoy seing my future students. It amazes me to see the difference in readiness already -- some know all the letters and sounds and write their name easily, while others don't know a single letter and seem to have never held a pencil before. One little boy told me, "I am smarter than any kind of kid." I love his confidence -- he will do well.  Another one would not even look at us or say a word.  And I liked the variations of the "ABC" song -- "h I k k t u b, s u x, y and z"
      Even though Easter break is later this year, it seems like it sneaked up on us again. We have been busy trying to do some Easter-y activities this week.  They did a guided drawing activity that I found on Pinterest -- I love Pinterest -- and some came out really cute.

        The most exciting activity is coloring eggs -- I feel like a magician with the wonderful audience looking in amazement as the eggs miraculously change into beautiful bright colors. Of course, some of my boys were doing flips and wrestling while waiting their turn, but it was still fun.

   Tomorrow we will have our Easter egg hunt and fill up with sugar, then we have time to take a big breath before the assessing and end of year activities begin. I am so thankful that our snow days did not take our spring break -- after celebrating the resurrection of Jesus at church on Sunday, I'm going to the beach for a few days, then to the mountains for some hiking and visiting with friends. I hope to squeeze in a little housework between trips, then we start the countdown to summer. Just when I have them reading and writng independently, it wil be time to say goodbye. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wearing the Green and Wishing for Spring

     "I am tired of winter days,
Being cold and wet and gray..."

       That's the beginning of a poem I will teach tomorrow.  This is the longest winter I can remember since I moved to North Carolina about 25 years ago.  Who would believe that we would have a two hour delay because of ice on St. Patricks Day?
         Between more delays and  still more assessments, we increased our "global awareness" by learning about Ireland and St. Patricks Day.  This is a special day for me, because 25 years ago I gave birth to my son -- and life has never been the same! He is studying to be a chef, and that yummy creation was my birthday cake!

         We had a guided drawing of a leprechaun, thanks to Heidi Butkus, to illustrate the "Leprechaun  Pie" poem added to the poetry notebooks. I have no artistic ability at all, but I can follow Heidi's directions and I think my little artists did a great job..

          The kids also made big leprechauns to decorate our room -- I think this patten came from Heidi, too.

           Finally the kids wrote stories about catching a leprechaun.  I am so glad to see them leaving spaces between words so I can easily read most of the stories.

      "I will catch a leprechaun with a mouse cage."
   Love the ending ..."and that was my story."

       Why do the children always spell chrap when they mean " trap."?  We start on the "r" blends next week.

     The best part of the celebration was the Leprechaun Pie made by Mrs. Austin. I forgot to take pictures, but it was a big hit with the whole class.

             Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and I sure am hoping for some sunshine! We have started studying about plants this week.  I have Lima bean seeds soaking so I can show them the seed coat and the little shoot that will be growing.  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Celebrating Dr. Seuss 2014

       In between all the snow days and delays, we managed to squeeze in a little celebration for Dr. Seuss' birthday this week.
          Cat in the Hat

         Cindy Lou Who

         Fox in Socks called for "Crazy Socks Day"

       And the highlight of the week -- green eggs!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Red, White, and Blue and Chocolate, Too!

          After missing three days last week because of snow, we have been busy this week celebrating Valentines Day and Presidents Day. It's hard to get everything in, but I did think it was important to spend some time learning about American and the flag.  Thanks to TPT and Pinterest, it is easy to integrate writing, reading, social studies, and art! These flags were easy to do -- well, for most of the kids -- some tried to make vertical stripes -- and they make a great bulletin board.

        I used the writing paper created by Deedee Wills to help them write some sentences about the flag, and I am real proud of the writing some were able to do.

     Don't drop the flag.
     It is on the moon.

     I love to see that they are remembering to leave spaces between words, use capitals and periods, sound out words and spell a lot of words correctly. That is a lot to learn in 100 days of school when you are only 5 years old! And they actually remembered some of the facts about the flag, even though it didn't seem like they were listening much...
    As I was reading to them about our country, one of my little boys shouted in a very excited voice, " My mom wasn't born in this country -- she's an ALIEN!!" It was so funny! 

      We exchanged Valentines on Monday and that is always a special day in kindergarten.  They thought it was great to get all those cards -- especially the ones with CANDY!  Me, too -- especially a chocolate apple for the #1Teacher!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

101 Pancakes

       Every year on the 100th day I read " The Wolf's Chicken Stew" about a wolf feeding a chicken 100 pancakes to fatten her up for chicken stew.  Yesterday was the day, but we ran out of time to make the 100 pancakes.  So this afternoon I did it -- and they ate 101 pancakes and asked for more! One said "This is the best day ever!" And if I can give a kid the best day ever, then I have achieved my goal.

      89 days to go!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow Days and Make Up Days

Here in the south, where the tall pines grow
I'm watching my woods fill up with snow.
The snow is still pouring-- this weather is rare.
We can't wear flip-flops with this chill in the air!

We cleared the store shelves -- no milk and no bread
And turned off the alarm beside the bed.
There's no school tomorrow, we get to sleep late!
That sounds really good -- but not actually so great
'Cause we have to make it up and I don't know when.
If they take our spring break, it will be a sin.

It's fun to stay home and watch the snow fall.
We made snow ice cream --can't go to the mall.
But if spring break is cut short-- no break until June
Well, I think I will sing a different tune.
The song will be sad and slightly off key
The words you will hear are "Oh, woe is me!"
The woods are lovely, dark, snowy and deep,
But "make up days" make me want to weep!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Hooray for the 100th Day!

What a lot of fun on the 100th day of kindergarten!

       Instead of making a collection of 100 items this year, we used Mrs. Miner's idea of making Superhero capes for the kids to decorate with 100 stickers. They were so excited to show them off!

    What can you make with 100 Legos?

       Or 100 blocks?

     Some were really good at this 100 piece puzzle. ( I brought it back from Germany in 1989.)

       We drew "I could eat 100..."  and "If I had $100, I would..."
One wrote, "if I had $100 I would buy chocolate for Mrs. Austin."

    She drew and labeled "Friends for 100 Days"

        We read lots of books about the 100th day.

       Searching the room for 100 hidden chocolate kisses was very fun.  We found all but one.

      Building with 100 red Solo cups was a very popular activity.

       It was great to have volunteers to help make 100 bead necklaces

       And help write 100 thankful hearts -- everyone wrote "mom" on the first one. 


      This mom helped them make a 100 piece snack, thanks to lots of donations from families.

       These kids were busy making 100th Day hats, thanks to Mrs. Austin for doing this!

     What a super day-- and now we only have 80 days left to get ready for first grade.
We ran out of time to make the 100 pancakes after reading "The Wolf's Chicken Stew" so we will do that tomorrow. It has been a nice change of pace, but back to work now -- more progress monitoring and assessments to do.