Thursday, August 29, 2013

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Today we talked a little more about Letters and the Alphabet. We used our super smart brains to remember that we have been learning about special letters that when they are put together they spell our names. We decided to sing the ABC song to help us remember all of these letters and while we sang the song we cross clapped  our hands (clapping back and forth across our bodies) to help our brains remember each letter a little better. After singing our song we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom which is a silly book about the letter climbing up a coconut tree.
After reading our story I had each student come up to place the letters in their name on a HUGE graph to see how many letters were in each one of their name because we would need to know later when we made our very own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Trees.

  After putting their tree together and gluing their letter coconuts on everyone counted how many letters and we wrote their names and the number. 

Now that I have a better sense of my friends writing abilities you will start seeing a lot more tracing and writing around these parts. 

Happy almost Friday

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

No David!

Today we read the book David Goes To School by David Shannon. It is a story about a little boy who gets in trouble at school, but at the end of the day gets a gold star for helping the teacher. 

This was a great opportunity for us to talk about being bucket fillers and bucket dippers. After reading the story  I had each student tell me something David could do to be a bucket filler an make good choices and we wrote it on our David anchor chart. 

 My favorite bucket filler was to help clean Mom and Dad's room! I know my room could use a little help. Maybe I should teach McKinley this bucket filler too.
After each student got a turn we returne to our seats to make our very own David.  I love how each one is a little different and I love the faces they all gave David. Everyone was a little concerned with David not having any arms so we may have to add some to them later.

Hopefully David can help my little bucket fillers make good choices and earn those sticks for their buckets.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All About Me

This week we are completing our first set of Jobs. You might be asking yourself what is a job exactly.  Well you're in luck because I am going to tell you all about it!

Basically each week we work on 4-5 different activities with each table completing 1 each day. Now you might be wondering how I keep up with 5 different tables completing 5 different activities all at the same time. 

 Welcome to my Jobs chart. On the board are the colors of the boxes each job is in. The colored squares that rotate are the table colors. Each day I rotate the Jobs down and whatever color each square is on is the box that they complete.

Everything that is needed for each job can be found in the box from pencils, stamps, dice, and 20 copies of each piece they may need to cut out. This means the entire week before we get EVERYTHING ready for the next week which takes a lot of work, but is 100% worth it. 
 Our beautiful Job boxes filled and ready to go.

Since we are learning all about ourselves this week I wanted to spend the majority of our time learning about our names and making self portraits. 

For our first job I had everyone at the table work as a team to listen to Mat Man's song and then put all of the pieces together to make his body. 

After they completed this task I had them go back to their seats to draw a self portrait

Next I wanted to see how everyone did with writing their names and recognizing the letters in their names so we Traced, Stamped, and Wrote them. 

We worked on cutting and direction following when we created our Self Portrait People.
And we put the letters in our name in order by creating pictures if ourselves and using the buttons to spell our name. 

Our last Job was to work with Mrs. Douglas on our scissor handling and cutting skills.
I would like to say that our first week of Jobs has been very successful and I am so happy with all of my little smart cookies. I am looking forward to telling my friends all about our Letter Friends and next week we will be learning about our very first letter of the year!

Monday, August 26, 2013

What's In A Name

This week we are learning All About Me. No not me, but all about Ourselves. We started out the week by reading I Like Me by Nancy Carlson

After reading the story everyone got a chance to come up and find the letter their name begins with and place it in our graph while we sang If Your Name Begins With____ Please Stand Up.  We counted how many of each letter and then we placed them in order form the greates to the least. 

We talked about how our names are special to us even if someone else has the same name. I told everyone we would be learning how to read and write or names this year and to start we were going to make mosaics if our names by placing colorful squares over each letter. We worked on starting on the first letter and working from left I right. Everyone did an awesome job finishing their work and making their names. 

Just realized I have 2 of the same picture in that there collage!

Today was also the day we started doing our afternoon jobs. It's a little hectic the first few weeks, but once everyone gets the hang of doing different work at the same time we will be on a roll!
All in all week 2 has started off great and we have nowhere to go, but up from here!!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Calling It A Win

The first week of school is over and looking back I am calling it a big ole win! I feel like we are already settling into a groove and everyone seems to already have a hang of our routine. I might or might not have passed out at 8:04 according to my husband Friday evening, but what do you expect from working your buns off after a summer of leisure. 

We started our week with 3 half days with 6 babies Monday and Tuesday and the last 8 on Wednesday. I loved getting a chance to get to know all of our babies and we had so much fun learning all about our classroom and our school. 

We played a few get to know you games like 

I made my own Cookie Jar game a few years ago and we have used it every year to get to know our friends a little better. I have always used an empty plastic coffee canister as my cookie jar and our cookies are just brown circles with each students name on it. We sing the song and as I pull out each cookie I like to see if my friends can recognize their names so they can come up and get their cookie. It is so much fun and a great ice breaker to get a few giggles out of my friends who might be a little more shy. I am loving these printables from Mrs. Gilchrist's Class  and will definitely be using them next year when I am getting to know my next crop of babies. 

After we learned everyone's names we played Roll a Name where each student got a turn to roll a big bouncy ball to a friend, but before they roll they have to say who they were going to roll the ball to or they could ask the friend their name if they couldn't remember it. After each student got a turn I went around the circle and lightly bounced the ball on each babies head which got the biggest giggles while the rest of the students called out that friends name. 

One of my favorite things we do for the first week of school is read The Kissing Hand

I used to borrow my mother in laws Chester puppet and I even thought about buying my own little raccoon. Sadly I just couldn't justify spending $30-$40 on a puppet so last year I decided to make my own Chester out of felt and I am pretty happy with how he turned out. 

If you have never read this story before I highly recommend it as a back to school read for little ones. The Kissing Hand is a story about a little raccoon named Chester who is scared and doesn't want to go to school, but his mom tells him the secret of the kissing hand. As a mom I am already getting a little emotional about the thought of my girl going to school for the first time next year and I know many of our parents feel the same way about sending their babies off even if it isn't for the first time. Hopefully we can help make the transition easier for everyone and one way we do that is with COOKIES! 
Get it? Kissing Hands!

After enjoying our tasty treat we made a little something to take home to share with mom and dad. I of course forgot to take a picture of our hand prints and we never got a chance to glue the hearts into the palms, but it still turned out as a pretty cute craft. I had each student draw their first day of school on the blank piece of white paper glued to each page. 

 Sadly there is no source for this project. I have it pinned on Pinterest, but the link goes nowhere.

I felt like everyone had fun the first few days of school, but I was ready to get our first full day started and get all 20 babies in the room and get any kinks worked out with our schedule. I have to say we all did a pretty great job on our first 2 full days! Mrs. Douglas is amazing and I know she is sick of me thanking her for being my amazing backup. She cleans up after me, thinks of things I always forget, puts up with my crazy, and just plain ole rocks! We work pretty well together and that just makes everything run like a well oiled machine. Like I always say a busy baby is a happy baby so that is what we do. We try to limit down time as much as possible and we keep everyone busy with fun books, songs, and activities.

Thankfully we didn't just eat cookies all week we actually did a little work too. 

On our first full day Thursday I wanted to really settle into helping our friends make good choices and we talked about being a Bucket Filler and A Bucket Dipper. I found this cute way of explaining making good choices and not good choices on Pinterest of course. After reading Have You Filled A Bucket Today? each student got a turn to tell me either a Bucket Filler or a Bucket Dipper and we wrote them on a happy and a sad bucket. This year instead of earning tokens to fill our cups we are earning sticks to fill our buckets which they can do by keeping their clips on our happy colors on our Cool Colors Clip Chart. 

I was very excited that a few friends already moved their clips up to blue and purple! 

After rereading The Kissing Hand again with all of our friends we made our own Chesters as our very first project of the school year.

On Friday we continued talking about making good choices by reading The Peace Book and learning about our Peace Table. This is where friends will go to work out any issues and sit when they need a moment to calm down. After we read our book we made our own Peace Chesters using hearts. 

After working so hard I decided we needed one more special treat for our first week of school so as our friends were finishing up their Peace Chesters each student got to put together their Recipe for a Successful School Year and then we had to eat it of course

Enjoying our special recipe

Later in the afternoon we made Friendship Necklaces, crowns, bracelets, etc. by lacing colored pasta, which the Little Lady (my little girl) and I had so much fun making the night before, onto pipe cleaners. 
I loved both of these projects and we will be doing them every year from now on! 

I am so so so happy with our first week of school and I can not wait to see how much our friends enjoy everything we have planned for All About Me week next week! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Ready, Steady, Go!

I still have a few things to cut out, but as of 4:30 Friday afternoon I can say we are ready to roll come Monday morning. We made it (barely) through parent orientation and I apologize to all of my super sweet parents for being so nervous! I can talk all day to 20 four year olds, but put me in front of a bunch of grownups and I become a babbling idiot. I know I forgot to tell them a million things, but hopefully the packet covered everything I missed.

Now enough of me being a complete spaz and onto the fun stuff! Decorations!

We have worked our booties off these past few days, but it was 100% worth it and I love how everything turned out. Somehow our polka dot theme turned into an owl theme which was completely unplanned, but I am really loving our "4k Is A Hoot" theme.  

Our classroom door

Since I go by Mrs. Roxanne and not Mrs. Doyle I decided to make a little door sign. 

Our Where We Are sign  incase anyone needs to find our class they can find us 

My view from my desk. The student tables and our peace table which will be an all purpose table for crafts, experiments, but it's main use will be for friends to sit and work out any issues and it will also be a place friends can go sit when they need a few minutes to chill out and calm down.

Our new behavior buckets. Instead of earning poker chips or tokens as we call them we will be using what we are calling "Buckets." Depending on what color each students ends they day on our Cool Colors Clip Chart they will earn sticks to place in their buckets. After earning 15-20 sticks (we haven't decided the actual number yet) students will be able to choose a treat from out treat box. ON the first day of school we will all work together to decided how to be a Bucket Filler and not a Bucket Dipper. 

Our soon to be Word Wall. These letters will hang from hooks on the wall and the words and pictures that go with each letter will be attached by a ring. The students will be able to take the letters and words down and use them to play, write, etc. They will also be able to put the letters in ABC order.

My desk and our Sensory Center. This center will not be open the first week of school to allow for students to become acclimated to centers because this one can get a bit messy. This center will be changed out as we go through the school year. 

My chair, our Hoot Owl, All of my "Teacher Stuff", and our classroom calendar.

The pan will be our Brownie Points which is how our class works together to earn their compliment parties (pajama party, dance party, movie party, etc.), Our Work Directions, Job Rotations, and How We Go Home display.

Soon to be our 100 Day Gumball Machine, Cool Colors Clip Behavior Chart, Sign In clips, and soon we will have our Class Rules hanging here. 

Line Up Feet

A View from the Door. 

Our other themes this year besides A ton of Polka Dots our super cute Owls are 

Be Organized and to Have As Much Fun As Possible! 

I have a feeling this is going to be a GREAT year! I can't wait to meet the rest of our babies and get started having some fun! 

Wish us luck this next week!! We'll need it!!