Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The First Day of School 2012

Wow, how time flies! I can't believe school has already started, but I'm excited about this year. My cute Kindergarteners are all adorable and so excited to be at school! 

This year, my school has 2 full day Kindergarten classes. I currently have 12 kids, we call them scholars, and the other class has 14. We, as teachers, decided we are going to split the curriculum. I'm teaching Math, Geography & Science. My co-teacher will be teaching History, Literature & our Literacy program- Riggs. We will have our own classes in the morning, then after lunch we'll switch classes and teach the same thing we did that morning. at 1:45 we switch back...I take my class to their specials, and get them back at 2:20 until they leave at 3:00. 

The first day of school was really hard for them. They were all VERY hungry, and by the end of the day- EXHAUSTED. A few scholars were even asking me if we take naps at our school! Thankfully, each day since then has progressively got better!

This is what we did on the first day of school this year:

We went over what they do each morning when they first come to school. Then we had a group circle time and I made an "All About Mrs. Johnson" book that I read to the kids. I got the idea HERE.

We went around the circle and each said our names in different ways: whisper it, roar it like a lion, sing it, say it normal, etc. We also played THIS question game to get to know each other:

We are using Saxon 1 this year for our Math Curriculum. We started with lesson 1 today which was going over our "Math Meeting" (calendar time). 
We talked about lining up and the rules for the hallway (Click on the picture to go to the link):

We then went on our Pete the Cat school scavenger hunt! The kids LOVED this and were so excited to see Pete. In the end he had to return to his school, but he did leave us a fun coloring page. (Which we put in our notebooks...I'll talk more about notebooks at the end of this post). I got this freebie from Inspired Kindergarten. She did such a great job with it! To get the Kindergarten or First Grade version click HERE. If you want her Pre-K version click HERE.

I took their 1st day of Kindergarten pictures. Here are just a few:

 I got the printable "First day of Kinder" HERE

They were also able to do Math Centers. This week we were just getting used to the materials: Playdough, legos, linking cubes & THIS "I love dice" page from Little Miss Kindergarten.

We had our lower grammar devotional with our headmaster in the library.

Following the devotional we had lunch, then the kindergarten classes switched and I did the same thing with the other class in the afternoon while my class had History & RIGGS (our literacy program) with the other teacher. 

My kids have specials from 1:50-2:20, then I have them back until carpool starts at 3:00. When they came back to the classroom we read "First Day Jitters." Then they got to try "Jitter Juice" and we graphed if they liked it or not. (I made our "Jitter Juice" with Sprite and Hawaiian Punch mixed together.)

I found THIS freebie page at Crazy for First Grade:

All in all I'd say it was a great first day! Hopefully they start getting used to have school full day, and they won't be as hungry or tired. How did your first day of school go?

Our school uses a notebook method. It's a 3-ring binder, divided into different areas for different subjects. It's a product of the individual's own hand, a record of what they've done at school throughout the year. There are skills developed and exercised by using this: listening, writing, organizing, managing, consistency & criticism.
In Kindergarten we put their best work in the different subject areas into their notebook (instead of sending them home). At the end of the year they get to take their notebook home to save and keep their best work from the year.
The notebook method incorporates 4 steps of learning: (the 4 R's) Research, Reason, Relate & Record. The older grades research different notes on the board, vocabulary, etc. They then internalize the material, relate it to themselves, and record it in writing which becomes a permanent part of them in their notebook.

This is a new approach for me. I'm used to just sending their work home each day. The notebook is a  way to help their parents save their work in a small space, and the students are very excited to take it home at the end of the year with all of their work inside.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Classroom 2012-2013

Well, I started Kindergarten this week! I can't believe the first week of school is done already! It went by pretty fast! 
I just wanted to share with you all what my classroom looks like!
 (Keep in mind that I'm not allowed to decorate very much. I tried to pull in color as much as I can...but at this school they want less decoration)







                                          BEFORE:                                              AFTER:

Teacher Desk:

Teacher Toolbox I Made...and I LOVE IT:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Guess What!?!?!

You are looking at the next KINDERGARTEN TEACHER!!!!! 

I am so excited!! I was offered a job at American Heritage Academy last Monday and went in today to meet with the other Kindergarten Teacher, and discuss the curriculum a little bit. She's letting me decide which classroom I want and now I get to go to work and getting it ready! They only have school Tuesday-Friday each week, I start training next week and school starts August 28th! They start out each day with a devotional: pledge of allegiance, song, prayer, and mini lesson from the Bible. How sweet is that!? I am so thrilled I can't even express it in words! I'm excited for this opportunity and can't wait to jump in and get going! I'm going to live up each day!

"All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom is not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile of preschool.

"These are the things I learned:
  *Share everything.  
*Play fair.  
*Don't hit people.  
*Put things back where you found them. 
 *Clean up your own mess.  
*Don't take things that aren't yours.  
*Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.  
*Wash your hands before you eat.  
*Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.  
*Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.  
*Take a nap every afternoon.  
*When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
*Be aware of wonder. 
*Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.  
*Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup - they all DIE. So do we.  
*And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned - the biggest word of all - LOOK."

 (Quote is from here)