Wednesday, April 24, 2013

What Happens in Kindergarten...

One of my kinder moms gave me this little "What Happens in Kindergarten Stays in Kindergarten" shirt -- and a lot of that is true.  But sometimes it is just too good to keep to myself, and this was such a day.  It is assessment time in schools everywhere, and I've been busy with the DIBELS assessing this week.  I finished today, and I am overjoyed to announce that except for one child, EVERYBODY made benchmark. For my non-teacher readers, that means they have reached the goal set for them and have a good foundation for future success in reading. Some made such huge growth that I was doing the dance of JOY!  One of my very lowest ones scored almost the highest in phoneme segmentation -- I just had to call her mom and tell her how happy I was so see her progress.  My assistant has worked so hard to give extra help to the ones who have struggled all year -- and their parents have really worked with them at home -- so I was thrilled to see that their hard work has paid off.

  It has taken a village to teach these little ones, and it hasn't all been fun -- but the rewards are great!

It is also the time of year that I get sweet notes that I can actually read!

Just when I get them to a really good place, it is time to get ready to say goodbye.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Six More Weeks

    Six more weeks! At our faculty meeting yesterday, we filled our calendars with all the things scheduled for these last 6 weeks of school, and I am starting to feel the pressure.  Only 6 weeks to finish getting my kinderkids ready for first grade, and that includes time out for 2 field trips, field day, school pictures, a TON of assessing, graduation, and an early release day on the last day.  We also have a "Parent Night" and McDonalds Night and a safety fair and K-2 council meeting and meetings with a few parents to talk about retention. And my assistant will have to go help with testing in the upper grades on a few days, so I have to get my assessing done before then.  So, one more week until I will start.  With 25 children to assess individually, and 4 or 5 kinds of assessing to do, it will take a LOT of time.
    I woke up extra early this morning, thinking about the few who are still not able to read or count or write well enough.  Should I send them on to first grade, or keep them for another year?  It is such a hard decision.  I know they are going to struggle with the demands of first grade, but would it be better to give it a try and repeat first grade if they were still behind?  I'll be calling some parents and talking about it next week.
    One of my little ones is moving away tomorrow, and I got another new student this week.  I hate it when one of my best students moves away!  I will miss his stories! 
    I am not working today, because this is my chorus competion weekend.  I need to pack up my sparkly costumes and get ready to go on stage tomorrow to sing beautiful music in four-part harmony. But for now, I still have kindergarten songs stuck in my head.

Here are my  favorite songs for teaching numbers from 10 to 19.  Thank you, Mr. Harry! (But I wish I could stop singing this song in my head at 5:00 in the morning!)