Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Phonics Whisper Phones

Summer Project number two takes place again at our local Home Depot!  We stopped in to get an 8 foot length of 3/4" PVC pipe and 3/4" elbows-which I was happy to find out they sold in bags of 10 each for 2 bucks!  The total project cost at Home Depot alone was only 15 dollars!  If you look online at the cost of the fancy molded plastic colored phones, they can cost you $5.00 for one!!  I was thrilled to get 33 phones out of the 8' length of pipe!  I searched high and low for the perfect duck tape and ended up having to make a choice between owls (my classroom theme) or polka dots.  I opted for the dots since they will go with everything AND I won't have to change the tape when I change themes!!  BONUS!  I didn't even use the whole roll of tape, so for another 3.00 my project was completed!  33 Phonics Whisper Phones for $18.00 . . . and a little help from my wonderful son Matthew-future Kinder (or first as he tells me) teacher!! 

33 whisper phonics phones all ready to go!

Summer projects begin!

So what do you do on your summer vacation?
I am taking advantage of the TIME and getting some projects done that I have been dreaming about as we will start full-day Kindergarten for 2014!

The first of the projects was to replace my puppet theater.  I had moved from IN to WA five years ago and after 18 interviews, had given up hope of having my own classroom again.  I donated my old puppet theater and some fabulous Folkmanis puppets to a starting Kinder teacher (and my Assistant Principal's daughter).  Now with full day K . . . I dreamed of a new theater and fun for my new kiddos!  Without hesitation as I was searching online, my husband said "I can build that for less and build it bigger!"  SO . . . without hesitation, he started on the two day project.  I helped (supervise) of course.  We visited our local Home Depot and bought a large sheet of whiteboard and 2 x 4's for the framing.  I loved that he "allowed" me to stain the wood pieces and help with the cutting.  He added some beautiful touches like the ledge and making the top a bit more fancy.  I don't sew, so right now it has no curtain, but I have a great friend who does!  I am just being very picky for the right fabric.  I plan on just using a curtain rod to hold it in place.  Add some puppets and some kiddos and we are done!  In the meantime, my beautiful daughter, Emily, and my "wanna be Kinder teacher" Matthew will enjoy it in my living room until school starts!  Hey, WHO doesn't want a puppet theater in their living room?!  :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

In the throws of National Boards!

We are down to just a tick over one month to go and I am STRESSED!  I have been feverishly typing in a manner I have not typed in since the college days.  CLEAR, CONCISE, TO.THE.POINT!  It's been tough for me to change my writing mannerisms to such cut and dry technical writing, but hopefully this will make me a better writer in the long run! 



I am almost done with Entry 3 . . . video analysis took me 2 and 1/2 hours this week to just transcribe what my students (and myself) were doing and saying during recording!

Plenty of STARBUCKS needed this week!

My desk started looking a bit messier toward the end of the week . . . but with a little help from my wonderful friend, Shari, who is also undertaking this huge assignment with me, and Shari's purple pen . . . I feel like I am getting my writing skills back on track!  I am so lucky she writes IEP's daily and can help me not be so WORDY!!  Yes, more Starbucks!! 
Now . . . back to work!!! 
Monday, March 3, 2014

Love of Reading Campaign

Wildwood's Love of Reading Campaign started off with the teacher's dressing as their favorite book characters!  We did a school wide reading minutes goal, fitness goal, and acts of kindness. 


Where Are WE?!?!  Love my adorable teaching partner!

Then we had a visit from "The Man with the Yellow Hat" to share his friend George with us and read some of his favorite stories!!

Finally, we enjoyed some stories on our own and shared our favorite stories with our classmates!

This was just for the morning Kinders!  We have more surprises in store for the afternoon kiddos!
Complete with an assembly and some dancing to "Happy" and "What Does the Fox Say"!!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Stop! Wait! Go!

The book seller came to school and I got this cool battery operated candle light that glows different colors! I decided to use this in my room as a visual cue to the kiddos who consistently interrupt reading groups when there are other adults in the room who can answer their questions! I love it and it has worked fabulously! I've even heard a student say...the light is red, you have to wait! It has really reduced the amount of questions during this limited time and allows the kiddos to problem solve!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

National Boards Video Entry 3 take . . . sigh . . .

In working on the video portion of my EC Gen. Entry 3 essay and video, I realize that not only have I failed to really READ the requirements, but the Sink and Float Unit with water tubs does not go over well with Kindergartners!  There was water splashed all over the place!  Oh MY!

So, back to the drawing board and switching Science Units to Comparing and Measuring which is definitely more Math based, but one of our district required lessons. 

While selecting my video entry, where I found I needed to change it up was video taping the whole class vs. a small group.  Entry 2 is video a group of no less than 6, Entry 3 requires a whole class experience.  While I still struggle with the words "whole class experience" I hope that I have finally nailed it as this turned out to be a pretty good lesson with great cooperative kiddos!

I created the worksheet we used to guide us on our Comparing and Measuring journey . . . below is a sample of what we did during this lesson. 

It was my hope that the kiddos could do this independently but they still required assistance.   In the video requirements of providing a whole class experience, I did have some students in small groups with adult assistance just to keep the kiddos on task.  It's Kindergarten!  They are 5!  Whole class experience without adult guidance would provide mass organized chaos!  I typically have wonderful helpers and volunteers in my classroom and am blessed to have them in my classroom.
With that said, as I start to write my Entry 3 and review my video, I am keeping in mind those looming words "whole classroom experience".  I hope and pray that I am meeting the requirements.  We will see! 


Monday, January 13, 2014

National Board Entry 3 Video taping . . . take 2!

So I am working on the video portion of my Sink and Float lesson for the Entry 3 requirement for Science/Math . . . I'm not sure it has the warm fuzzy feeling of success that I had hoped for.  The pre-teaching for the lesson was to observe and predict if a ball of clay would sink or float.  We discussed that clay can take many forms and that we can manipulate the clay into different shapes and perhaps find a shape that will float.  We read a story "Who Sank the Boat" by Pamela Allen in hopes that the students would think . . . gee! 

I can make my clay ball into a boat!  Well, not so much.  We drew pictures of what was made, then colored in what happened (sink/float).  Some students got so involved in making their shapes, they forgot to mark their charts!  Discussion did not prove any clay structures could float . . . Not sure if this was a success or not!?!  Tomorrow, we will construct boats!  Keeping fingers crossed they float!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year's Resolutions and New Blog Design!

I am so excited to start the new year with a fresh new look to my blog and a New Year's resolution to document my Kindergarten experiences (both successes and failures), new items on Teacher Pay Teacher, and my National Board experience!  

Currently in my classroom I have revamped my Reading Groups . . . I'm sure you have all been there!  As time has gone on, some kiddos move quicker than others and some need more time.  I am excited to start with my new groups on Monday and get them moving along!  I have incorporated and am working on some word work for sight word practice and will post on TPT when I am finished!  I am lucky to have a student teacher from Central WA University and a wonderful volunteer from Pierce College in my classroom!  Without their help and taking over some groups, I wouldn't be able to accomplish my start 2014 goal of starting the kiddos writing in their writing journals!  I felt like SUPER teacher this week as we had several great days in a row of directed writing as a whole class!!  

The National Board process has been slow to start for me and I am getting a bit . . . A LOT . . .frustrated truth be told!  It's an overwhelming process, with a lot of technical writing.  Very cut and dry which is not what I am used to!  The key words that ring in my ears from our cohort leaders are "clear and concise" with your writing.  I am working on video taping my Science lessons this week and hope that I can get a good 15 minutes to submit for my entry.  If only the kiddos would cooperate!  LOL  Little things I have learned that may help if you are also joining in this journey is to remember to not use the kids names while video taping and let them LEAD the discussion.  As much as you want to jump in (they are Kindergarteners) it's best to let them go and see where the discussion leads!  I will address the pre-teaching and post lessons in my actual entry writing.  

Look for pictures and more to come . . .