Monday, January 31, 2011

We made it to the 100th day!

Tomorrow will be the 100th day of school in Mrs. Perry & Mrs. Lindsey's kindergarten class. What an exciting time! I don't remember celebrating the 100th day when I was in school so this has all be so much fun for me to experience. We do all the traditional 100th day activities but I would love to hear what you do in your class. We are always looking for new ideas! Here are some of the great books we read to the class, a cute BrainPop, Jr. video, and a fun activity my co-teacher found in the Really Good Stuff catalogue.

This is a fun activity (it is a poster) from Really Good Stuff. We work on it all week!
BrainPop, Jr. has a cute video to show the class with a quiz at the end.

Last but not least, we all (the teachers) wear 100th day T-shirts! (yay, dress down day!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Great Professional Development Opportunity

Teaching for Tomorrow:
2011 Martin Institute Spring Feast

February 3-4, 2011
Presbyterian Day School, Memphis, TN

This would be a great professional development opportunity for educators! To get more information and a schedule check here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A lot of work but well worth it!

(Image from via Google images.)

I love seeing what public and independent schools are doing to improve who they are. I came across an article in Chicago magazine, this month, about a school that has been transformed in the past decade. Nettelhorst Elementary has a great group of parents, faculty, administrators and community members that have put in a lot (to say the least) of hours to turn the school around. From grants to annual funds, from cold calls to sheer begging, the community within this school took a challenge and ran with it. The urban neighborhood school is not a thing of the past and these folks made theirs shine! If you are in an urban school district and want some fresh ideas or if you are just an educator that gets motivated by people doing good for children, check out this great article.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Great Idea for Centers

I will begin this post by saying that this was not my idea. This great idea was that of my co-teacher, Holly's. We have center time every day from 11:30-12:00. Holly mans the Art Center and I man the Writing and Listening center. The boys are independent in the rest of the centers. We rotate every day so each boy gets a chance to visit each center once a week. The games and puzzles are changed out about once a month and the manipulatives are changed out on an as needed basis. The art center goes along with the letter or theme of the week. During the first semester the writing and listening center was broken up by 15 minutes with a book & and CD in the listening center and then 15 minutes doing handwriting with me. I would work with 2 boys while the other 2 had a book and then switched. This semester I switched it up a bit. I alternate weeks and work with the whole group all at once. One week we will work on handwriting the entire 30 minutes. The next week we will read, round robin style, as a small group. It breaks it up for me and the boys so we don't get burned out on one thing or the other. This center system has been a great addition to the classroom and I highly recommend it to all teachers! Please let me know if you have any questions about this great idea.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

PS 22 Makes Me Want to Dance!

(Image used is from Google Images via
I was on at Twitter tonight when a fellow teacher posted a video of the chorus at PS22 in Station Island, NY. As I watched the video, I watched the students as well as the teacher. The students were excited and involved and the teacher's joy for what he does almost cam through the screen. I find motivation in many things and seeing teachers with a genuine love for what they do always lights a fire under me. I love what I do and witnessing people demonstrate their passion for teaching in different ways give me a whole other level of motivation.

Here is a link to PS22 singing Just Dance:

This video reminds me of a few things:
1) How lucky we are to call ourselves teachers.
2) How great it is to work with children on a daily basis. Children have a joy and sincerity that adults sometimes loose in their daily lives. Their joy and innocence is amazing to witness daily.
3) Even if you do not teach a chorus or music class, you can use music in your classroom any time. Music is such a great medium for learning. I can still sing you the Declaration of Independence from Mrs. Jackson's class circa 1988!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year's Teaching Resolutions

Many people don't like New Year's Resolutions but I always look forward to setting goals for myself. I have some easy personal resolutions like quit picking at my fingernails and the always present lose weight but I have never made teaching resolutions. As I was thinking about this blog over the Christmas break I came up with a few goals/resolutions I wanted to make for the new year.

Here are some of my teaching goals for the new year:
1 - Maintain my blog and Twitter accounts. I need to post more frequently!
2 - Explore different schools. (No, I don't mean change jobs. I love where I teach.) I would like to look at the way kindergarten is "done" all over the world. What are some new ideas and resources I could find in other areas and at different schools?
3 - Don't get flustered! Have you had one of those days where the lesson didn't go well, the kids are bananas and you are internalizing all of it? I think we all have! I am going to approach those days with a calm attitude because getting flustered doesn't help anyone.

I would love to hear some of your teaching goals for the new year.
Please share with me if you like!

Happy New Year to you all! We have one semester under our belts.
Good luck with the Spring semester!