Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reindeer Hats

A coworker made these with her kids and I took the idea. It made for good fine motor practice when they had to trace their hands and cut them out.

We did this project the last day before break so I only had a chance to grab a quick picture on my phone.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can you feel it?

That Christmas itch?

Here's what happened around the K pod today (fortunately only one of these involved my students)...

The morning began with a student that glued their entire paper to the table. I mean full on 8.5 by 11 paper completely stuck to the table. They must have used an entire glue stick.

We got outside for recess (yay!)

Then during a bathroom break a student was climbing on the toilet and her foot "splashed in the water" according to another girl in the bathroom at the time.

Finally to cap off the day, two students decided that their white crayons should just be used on their blue paper but also on their blue chair seats.

Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday!

Monday, December 12, 2011

My heart is beating thump thump thump...

This is what a student said to me today when she moved her name up to blue on my behavior chart system.  But let me rewind since the above is probably confusing since I have not shared about my behavior management system.

 I (like many a K teacher before me) have found that students respond well when you give specific positive praise rather then just pointing out the things that the bad kids are doing....(cough cough...B. and A. not that I'm naming any names...). The positive praise makes the other kids (most of the time) sit up and pay attention because they want you to say their name. So over the summer while browsing the wonderful world of Pinterest. I noticed behavior charts like this one from The Clutter-Free Classroom

The students can move up for good behavior and down for poor choices. Even if they start a downward path they can improve and move back up. And for those who make more poor choices then others, I try to move them up in the morning so they have some wiggle room.

 I combined the clips system with another idea I saw around the blogosphere...behavior punch cards. I modeled mine after these from Mrs. Steberger's First Grade 

Mine have numbers 1 to 5. The kids get punches for good behavior and when they fill up the card they get to get a prize out of the prize box. If they stay on green on the behavior chart they get one punch, up to blue is two and purple is three. They are in charge of their card and they keep them in their pencil box.

Fridays used to be crazy when I had a system for Friday Prize Days. Now its only a few kids a day in the box. They know how to get it out and put it away and there is so much less management on my end.

The great part about today is that this student is not bad (I can't really call any kid bad)... she just makes poor choices at times and talks way too much...and so when I caught her being good today she was so excited that she was going to get extra punches on her punch card. Some days I feel like I'm doing something right.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Kindergarteners

On the way out to recess...

Student: I like your new scarf.

Me: Thank you Ms. F (my sister who they have met since she subs for me on occasion) 's husband brought it all the way from Afghanistan very far away.

Student: Oh did you lose it?

Sometimes it is important to remember these kinds of days to help combat against the not so good days. I had my formal observation with my new administration this week and get the feedback tomorrow. I'm a little nervous because I need them on my side when I try and look for a job closer to home in the spring. I know I'm a good teacher, but this year it has been really a challenge to feel like I'm doing things right.

Here's hoping it will all work out.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


"When are you gonna put a baby in your belly?"

This was a question asked of me by one of my students. I guess I should be happy that he said "when" and not "is."

When I told them I don't need any babies right now since I have two dogs they replied with a very matter of fact tone, "Dogs are not babies"

Then somehow the topic got turned into how the babies get in the tummies and I got to use my favorite line as a teacher "You know...I think you need to ask your mom about that one!"

These are the moments I have to think channel when I find three kids wrestling in the mountains of coats, hats, and gloves during the packing up transition time :)