Monday, August 2, 2010

I'm Wild About Learning!

As a result of consuming way too much diet coke and Starbucks and living on caffeine, my sleep habits are completely messed up. However, one perk? At night, when I should be sleeping, I instead have been planning and getting ideas for this year.

Let me start by sharing my theme for the year with you...

...We're going on a Learning Safari!

Another wonderful amazing teacher at my school (and one of my best friends at my school) is currently in Africa, and while she taught kindergarten last year, this year she's moving to 5th grade. As a motivator for her to visit my class (and to bring her awesome students with) I am doing a Safari theme since she loves Africa and is planning to move there one day!

In no particular order, here are some of the ways I see the theme popping up in my classroom:

  • "Spotted: Great Work!" --to show off my students' awesome hard work in the classroom
  • "Leap into Learning about..." --for our concept/question board
  • "Top Toucan" --a.k.a. Star of the Week
  • Music during workshop (and the occasional dance party--you know, Elton John's I Just Can't Wait to be King is the perfect song to rock out to)...The Lion King musical soundtrack
  • Leopards Earning their Spots-- maybe to track the books we read or when they bring back their reading logs? We shall see...oooh or maybe it will be my whole class tracker!

Some photos I've found for inspiration:


http://afullelementaryclassroom.blogspot.com


http://www.bulletinboardpro.com/BB92.html


http://www.flickr.com/photos/51089309@N04/4695803350/

CLASS MOTTO: Hakuna matata.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Help make the world a KINDer place!

I'm writing to ask you to support some amazing Pepperdine graduates (and friends of mine), Molly Stroud and Lauren Parsekian, who are the founders of Kind Campaign by voting for them to win a grant from the Pepsi Refresh Everything Project! If they win the grant, they can offer assemblies at schools, just like mine, for FREE!

Kind Campaign is: A movement and documentary, based upon the powerful belief in KINDness, that brings awareness and healing to the negative and lasting effects of girl-against-girl "crime".

The founders, Molly and Lauren, are doing absolutely amazing things with this campaign, and with the grant money they will be able to finish their film, fund their Fall KC school assembly tour, start Kind Clubs, and offer their national program FREE OF CHARGE to schools. Your votes can help bring a phenomenal program to us!

Check out their website for more info: www.kindcampaign.com, and PLEASE VOTE! You can vote twice a day every day for the month of August--once on your computer and once from your phone! Take 5 seconds to vote: visit http://www.refresheverything.com/kindcampaign, and text 101818 to Pepsi (73774) to vote by phone!


Thanks in advance for taking the time to support a wonderful program (and passing this on to your family and friends)!

Check out the Finding Kind trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woZTiMgWYDo and two previous posts on my personal blog where I mention KC:
I'm just really happy! :)

Kind Campaign...in the New York Times!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm a book addict...

Yesterday I spent forever browsing Amazon's books...in particular, the children's books. Since I'm making an effort to buy less books for myself, I love that I can buy books for my classroom without feeling guilty! I know they will be read over and over again...and so I placed an order for the following books last night...



Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))

I love love love Mo Willems' books! I read this book to my class last year so many times...except I only have the book in Spanish. So of course, I had to buy it in English as well.

2. Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems

Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity

3. What I Like About Me! by Allia Zobel Nolan

What I Like About Me!

Believe it or not, some kindergarteners have told me they think they are ugly and that's why they don't have friends. I'm still searching for the perfect book to read to explain how that could not be further from the truth.

4. Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis

Big Words for Little People

I read this to the little girl I babysat for in college...and I love it. There's no reason 5-year olds can't use words like persevere and cooperate!

5. Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

Leo the Late Bloomer

A great book to explain how we all learn at different times! I borrowed this book from the library a lot this year--it can be frustrating for students who struggle with their numbers and letters...and this book is a good reminder that we all will get there!


Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip with Kindergarten (Miss Bindergarten Books)

I don't have a lot of read-aloud books for shape recognition, and this book has quite a few shapes included!


Kipper's A to Z: An Alphabet Adventure

I'm hoping to start Reader's Workshop this year...or at the very least give my students more independent reading time since I really want them to love reading! Alphabet books are perfect for kindergarten, especially at the beginning of the year, because my students can pick up the books and read along, even when most are still learning their letters! 


Miss Spider's Tea Party (Scholastic Bookshelf)

I'm really excited to have my own copy of this book! For starters, this book is great for practicing counting and for practicing the dreaded skill of rhyming (I never knew how hard a concept rhyming was until teaching last year!). Plus, I love to get ideas from Kinder by Kim, and I'm hoping this year I can do her super cute graphing idea for this book. The kids taste different types of fruit punch and then graph their favorites (pictures from kinderbykim.com):




So there you have it: my first blog post and my first big purchases for the school year! More to come later!