Sunday, September 25, 2016


Circle Time.  The kids brought items that represented China or a duck because we read Ping.  This week we started our literacy curriculum Five in a Row and I really like it!  Everyone brought beautiful pictures, a globe that sings, books, a rubber ducky, chopsticks, and the pic above is of Grant showing fun pictures and items his mom brought back from China. 

How can I deny a request for bubbles?

Literature.  Wyatt brought rice cakes to eat while we read Ping.  The kids had fun saying "Ping" every time his name came up in the story.  On Thursday, we talked about what is similar and different about China's culture .

Social Studies.    We talked about how things might look good but aren't always what they appear to be.  Ping is lured in by rice cakes and is caught.  We talked about other items that could  be similar.  

Geography.  We talked about why cities are built along rivers.  We will put a little disc (a picture of Ping) on the map in our room.

PE.  We played "Red Rover".  We ended up with one huge line and one tiny line  The kids love it!  We also timed ourselves doing wall sits and planks.  We can do hard things!

Math.  Using coins and blocks, we counted up all of Ping's family (including his 42 cousins)!

Act of Service.  We drew pictures for our mail person to thank them.  For Parks, I bought some M&Ms to say thank you for your Miles & Miles of service.

Game.  We played "Love my Neighbors".  We put all the chairs in a circle (except for the person in the middle).  The person in the middle says something true about themselves like "I like all my neighbors that like to bike" and everyone that loves to bike has to get up and switch seats and the last person standing is in the middle and we start again.  It is a good game to learn more about the kids and they had a blast.  By then end, the kids were trying not to find seats so they could be in the middle.

Journal.  The kids journaled about fun things they like to do in the water and drew a picture at the top.

Science Experiment.  We played "Will it Sink or Will it Float."  So fun!  Billie brought in a huge pumice rock and it floated, while her little rock sank.  The kids brought some fun items.

Reading Time.  We read some cute books that were brought in.  Nora always has funny ones.

Yoga and Meditation.  With some of our regular poses, we did some animal ones too.

Spanish.  We played a game where, after I taught them the colors, we would look for a color around the warehouse together.  Buscamos a...

I am crazy excited about Spanish right now.  I met with my friend, Shirley, that has taught full immersion Spanish to littles and she gave me so so so many ideas.  She let me videotape and take pics of her ideas and of her singing.  Thank  you!!

Week 2:  Me and My Family

Choice Time.  Train sets and flannel dress up.

Circle Time.  Each kiddo brought a picture of their family and shared with the rest of the class.  From here on out, I will put just the circle time highlights but here is the normal outline for circle time: after we sing the clean up song we do the Hokey Pokey to start circle time, class share, songs, nursery rhyme (Jack Sprat right now), class memorization (we will start Dear Laddies and Jelly Fish), sight words (to, the and it right now), and sometimes the weather.  This is pretty loose and I interchange fun things to start the day.

Handwriting Without Tears.  This is my first year using this book and I love it.  It helps with reversals and has great ideas on how to introduce the correct way to write letters.  I plan on teaching the letters in class and helping Parks practice at home. 
 Image result for handwriting without tears

PE.  All the kids brought some wheels to class and we rode around in the warehouse.  Super fun!

Math.  On a paper plate, I wrote the number 5.  We collected five objects...5 flowers, 5 rocks, 5 blades of grass, etc. outside.



Art.  With my helpers, we outlined the kids and then they colored in their clothes and faces.

These are some of the highlights of our day!  I did not take pics on Thursday but our highlight was doing our absorption lab.  I did it with Parks this summer.  We tested aluminum, cotton balls, and other items and talked about absorption and what it meant.

Day 1. Lots of fun!

Welcome to Kinder Class

To give a little background about me...I love teaching!  I taught high school chemistry for five years (one of those included physics too).  While teaching high school, I was the MESA (math engineering and science for minorities) mentor and coached the volleyball team.  I also wrote chemistry curriculum for the Jordan District website.  During the summers I worked as a facilitator for the Quantum Learning Company.  They research the best way the brain works and we teach this to the youth and their parents.  One of the camps I lead was at Stanford so I like to say I taught at Stanford😉  I love the outdoors, hiking, skiing (snow and water), running, refinishing furniture, playing and teaching piano, singing, being a mom and wife, reading, setting goals, and teaching.  This will be my third year teaching kinders and I could not be more excited!!  I have four darling kiddos that make my life very complete.  This kiddo to the left is my son Parks, and he will be with me every day on this adventure!

 Please feel free to copy my ideas or share yours with me this year!  Here is the outline of my class:

-Choice Time.  I have a lot of manipulatives the kids can play with and with each other to start class.  I will be working with individual kids at this time on their Reading Lesson book...a couple pages a day.
-Circle Time.  Here we will sing, do class shares, a class memorization piece, and practice some sight words.
-Literature.  We will read our story
-Social Studies.  This will be based on the story. 
-Handwriting Without Tears.  1 page every Tuesday
-Music.  I have an elderly widow friend that is a retired elementary teacher and would love to come sing songs with the kids on occasion with us.
-Act of Service.  This will be once a month.  We will bring different people from the community.  For example, we will bring in someone from Meals on Wheels to give them some place mats we'll make again this year so the elderly can eat on some seasonal place mats the kids will make.
-Run a Business.  We will be making items like healthy smoothies and some snacks to sell to other classes and teachers.  We will be learning about money/math on a basic level.

-Choice time and individual Reading Lesson
-Circle Time
-Language Arts
-Science Experiment
-Reading Time.  Students are welcome to bring books every day that match the theme (or just ones that they like).
-Yoga and Meditation.  We will do this around once a month
-Spanish Intro.  We be singing and doing some fun activities to introduce them to Spanish
-Sports.  We will be moving class time to the open "warehouse" area where we can spread out and play more.  For this section, I'm thinking of how if you took your child to a soccer class or kickball class, that is what this time would look like. 
-Play Practice.  Throughout the year we'll do some little plays for each other and little fun mini performances with the the help of my student aids.

The three books I'll be using for my curriculum:
Handwriting without Tears
The Reading Lesson:  Teach Your Child to Read in 20 Easy Lessons
Five In A Row by Jane Claire Lambert
We will also be using a journal where half is blank so they can draw pictures.

Welcome Lesson Tuesday
Choice Time.  I found some all sorts of fun and different types of blocks this summer at garage sales to add to our choice time.  The kids loved them!

Circle Time.  The kids brought a stuffed animal with them.  We always start with the Hokey Pokey and this week we did it with our play buddies.  The kids had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the class and share a toy that they like to play with too.  During this time we will do a class share, songs, stories, class memorization, sight words, check and talk about the weather, and do some class nursery rhymes.  We read a giant sized version of "The Little Engine that Could" and the kids loooved it! 

Math.  We marched and moved while we counted to 100.  For one hour of our class, we get the whole warehouse to ourselves so we have lots of room to play.

Art.  We drew the kids' names (I have some amazing helpers this year) on colored paper.  They put stickers or cut out pictures from a magazine to stick right on top of their name.  They turned out so cool.  This where I first got the idea.

Name Art: what a fun way for kids to practice cutting, gluing, and tracing their names.                                                                                                                                                     More:

Here's how ours turned out:




Game.  We played a game where the kids would say their own name and then that of the person they threw the ball to so they could get to know each other.

Review.  We went on a bear hunt and then talked about what we did today.  It was a great first day and a gentle step into our normal procedures.

Welcome Lesson Thursday
Science Experiment.  We talked about chemical reactions today...what they are and how we can tell they occurred.  We did the Mentos/Diet Coke explosion.  The kids loved it.  We talked about bubbles, sounds, and how the diet coke and mentos changed to form a new substance.
Image result for diet coke mentos

Yoga.  We introduced yoga to the new kiddos.  We do poses and say little chants that go with them:  while doing tree pose we say "I am friendly", warrior pose-"I am strong" in a very strong voice! etc.
Image result for yoga poses for kids i am brave
We also did some animal poses.

Spanish.  I downloaded some Spanish songs to show the kids that we'll be learning.  We sang them in English first.

Sports.  We had the kids line up and do a catching drill.  It's hard for little kids to throw underhand so we practiced that today.  We also played Red Rover.

Review.  We went on a horse race to end class and review our day.