Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Binge

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'm a book addict. I've realized I have quite a few addictions:
-diet coke (if only...)

Photo from...

-good music (here are two of my favorites for summer!)

-teaching blogs (recently developed addiction)
-Friends (I have this poster framed in my room)
Photo from...

Yesterday I ordered two books from've been avoiding purchasing them for quite some time as I know I have a book addiction...but I couldn't resist any longer! I am so excited to dig into this books this summer:
The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literary Assessment and Instruction
The CAFE Book

The Daily Five
The Daily Five

I love love love reading and literacy, and I feel like these books will be great tools for me next year! Plus, I also snuck in this wonderful DVD that I had no idea existed...but am soooo happy I found...
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus (Scholastic Storybook Treasures)
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
How did I not know that there was a Pigeon DVD?! Phenomenal! I kind of hope it rains this week so we can watch it during recess!

...Then of course this evening, I snuck out to McDonald's for a diet coke ($1 for a large diet coke?! Uh-oh...), and I returned to peruse some blogs and see that several teachers are leading a book study about Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations, and so again got a hold of me!
Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2
Math Work Stations: Independent Learning You Can Count On, K-2
Check out the blogs that will be hosting the discussions and order your copy of the book now too! 

Happy Sunday!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank You for Lending a Helping Hand!

Tomorrow our school will have our Volunteer Tea. I have the most amazing families ever! On a field trip this year, I had 19 students attend...and 18 chaperones. Not too shabby. So, when it came time for the Volunteer Tea, I had trouble narrowing down my invites and just stuck with the parents who have regularly been in the class helping and contributing...and nearly all attended both of our field trips. However, it was SO difficult, and I am so grateful for all my volunteers that it was nearly impossible to "narrow" my list down. I ended up inviting 9 volunteers, and I think they are all amazing.

Today, my co-teacher and I worked with our students to make posters for the tea. My co-teacher had this brilliant idea to use the students handprints to decorate our posters. Check out how ridiculously cute they turned out (I absolutely loved my co-teacher's idea!):

Plus, I had one student who started giggling before I even painted his hand, and I fully intend on doing handprints again just so I can paint his hand and listen to him laugh so hard. I was crying I was laughing so hard at his eagerness and excitement!

How does your school celebrate your volunteers...and how on earth do teachers survive without volunteers?!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chocolate Makes You Smarter

Tomorrow we have our district writing assessment! My co-teacher and I stayed late after school today to get new pencils sharpened, crayons organized, and desks rearranged to be ready for tomorrow. Now all I have left to do is buy my supply of Hershey Kisses tomorrow morning!

...Haven't you heard? Chocolate makes you smarter. When I was in college my favorite professor gave each of us a piece of chocolate before every test to "increase the blood flow to our brains and help us do better on our tests." ...and now I do the same for my kinders.

We will all enjoy a piece of candy in the morning to get our brains working, to smile and and to laugh, and to make sure we have fun on this assessment! Who says district assessments have to be scary? Below you'll see the note that went home today with my kids to their parents about our assessment, and I'm hoping I'll have 20 smiling students tomorrow.

P.S. Clipart from Lettering Delights, I think. I need to be better about sorting and organizing my clipart.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Best. Present. Ever.

Teachers are lucky. We get presents *every* day. Sometimes it's a coloring page or a note. Sometimes it's a sticker or a flower. Sometimes it's a hug...or a high five...or a smile. Yup, we're pretty lucky.

However, I recently received the best present ever from a student who has sneakily edged his way to be my "favorite." Granted, I call all of my students my "favorites" so at this point the word simply means one of my fabulous students whom I love dearly. Here is a photo of the best present I've ever received, which just so happens to be a dress from one of my students:

There is seriously no better present than one where I:
1. Feel happy every time I see it!
2. SMILE lots just thinking about the present!
3. Will never ever ever forget how wonderful my student is every time I see or think about the present.

Plus, I am pretty sure if I wore it to school I'd be the coolest kindergarten teacher ever. I hope you like my dress, too. :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Need to smile?

Lately I've been a Negative Nancy. Seriously. While there are many things that make me feel better, let me toss out a clip from my new favorite TV show in case you need something to brighten your day and to start your week off with a smile too.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom is amazing. I won't even attempt to try to explain how awesome she is, because it's pretty much near impossible.

For all my teacher friends, however, I will share part of an email I received today from a parent of one of my students. I hope you can appreciate the humor (since I certainly laughed out loud upon reading it and have since sent it to nearly all my teacher friends too).

We are wishing you a lovely Sunday Mama's day. (You don't have to tear up your vagina to be a Mom). You are a Mom to 40 kids everyday. We honor you!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011's the Kindergarten Spelling Bee!

On Monday my class will have our spelling bee to select two winners to go on to the kindergarten spelling bee...followed by the District spelling bee.

From what I heard, there was some resistance to having kindergarteners participate in the spelling bee. However, I'm ecstatic about it! My students have a fun way to demonstrate all they have learned this year, and they are working hard to spell their high-frequency words! They also are learning how to support their friends even though they will not all get to participate in the school spelling bee.

I think every student (and adult!) struggles when someone wins something that he/she wanted as well. At the beginning of the year, when I would pick our class Top Banana of the week, some students would look upset if they were not chosen. Now, they celebrate and cheer on whomever is selected. I hope the spelling bee will be the same, and I really hope more than anything my students will recognize how amazing they are! I already know our spelling bee is going to take *forever* since so many of my students are awesome spellers!

Happy Weekend!
P.S. Does anyone know if I can use Lettering Delights clipart in posts? I'm not sure, and I wanted to use this super cute bee in this one...but I don't understand the copyright deal and want to make sure I'm not stealing/misusing their clipart!

You Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover...a Blog, However...

I have a blog addiction. Guilty as charged. Despite a couple tough things going on at school, I am able to stay motivated thanks to fun blogs that inspire me and make me eager to keep learning and growing as a teacher! One blog that really inspires me is Ladybug's Teacher Files! This week there is a blog design giveaway so of course I am entering! I love my blog design right now, but I would love love love to do a blog focused solely on reading since I have quite an addiction to books. So keep your fingers crossed for me, and check out Ladybug's Teacher Files in the meantime!

Monday, May 2, 2011

District Writing Assessment

I'm not sure about other schools and districts, but as I mentioned our district writing assessment is fast approaching. This year, my students have excelled even more with their writing, and I am so proud of them! Still, the occasional capital letter appears in the middle of a sentence, or they forget to use an end mark. I always want to make sure my students are able to demonstrate their knowledge on assessments, and so I made this note to send home tomorrow with our newsletter, editing checklist, and a note about the writing assessment.

Well, let's see if I can maybe fall asleep now.  I can hear Chandler in my head: I was like, if I fall asleep now I’ll get six hours sleep, but if I fall asleep *now* I’ll get five hours sleep. No matter what I did I couldn’t fall asleep.
Followed by Joey of course: You know what you should’ve done, you should have told yourself that little story.