Monday, August 25, 2014

If You're Happy And You Know It

This week we learned all about our feelings. We learned that it is ok to feel all kinds of feelings like happy, sad, and mad, but the choices we make when we feel these feelings are very important. We learned learned how to breath (smell the flower) and relax (blow out the candle) if we are ever feeling mad and need to calm down to make sure we make good choices.

We started off our week meeting Mr. H

We read Glad Monster Sad Monster and made our own feelings monsters

We played a game where we rolled a dice and acted out different animal emotions (I wish I had video of this because it was hilarious!)

We practiced our cutting skills.

We made sand balloons to squeeze. great for fine motor muscle exercise and stress.

We made a H horse

We made a heart h.

And we matched feelings faces and colored them in with the matching colors.

All About Me

Well we officially survived the first full week of school. I am already so excited about this school year and we have barely even started. First I have to brag on my class a little bit because they are absolutely precious! They are so sweet and so well behaved that they make it easy to love them already. I am always excited about the first week of school because I get to know all of my students a little better and I get a jump start on assessing everyone so I can have a better starting point of how I can best tailor my lesson plans to make sure I am working on each and every single students level. You may think this is impossible with 22 students, but it is a skill any teacher can develop with lots of multitasking and a little creativity.

We kicked off our first week of school meeting a new friend who helped us learn all about the different parts of our bodies. If you haven't met him yet his name is Mat Man and he is a really useful guy. Since we are learning all about ourselves this week we will be drawing some self portraits and Mat Man wanted to make sure everyone wasn't leaving out any important parts like an arm or a foot. Throughout the school year our friends will draw several self portraits so we can look back and see what they have learned and how their skills have grown. You will be so amazed how all of our skills develop and change from month to month. I actually think that is my favorite part about being a teacher, well that and all of the sweet hugs! I love getting to be there when a friend has been working on a skill and they have that

After we met Mat Man everyone recreated their very own Mat Man by following my step by step instructions. Direction following is one of the many skills we will be working on throughout the entire year. 

On Tuesday we learned about something that makes each and everyone of us special! 

 Our Names!

We started off the day by playing a really fun game and a new song. Each week when we learn a new letter we will sing a song called If Your Name begins with (The Letter) Please Stand Up and whoever has a name that begins with our letter of the week gets to stand up and tell us about their name and their letter. On this day instead of just singing about 1 letter we sang our song and each time I would lay out colorful cards with our friends letters on and if I called their letter they would come up and get their card. Everyone did an awesome recognizing their letter and we had a blast singing our song. 

After we learned everyone's letter we watched a story called Chrysanthemum all about a little mouse who had a very long name. We learned how our words can hurt our friends hearts and that no matter if we have the same name or a different name we are all special because God made us exactly how he wants us to be. After watching the story everyone practiced tracing the letters in their names and then we counted how many letters were in them.

 On Wednesday we read the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. This is such a fun book to introduce all of the letters and my friends loved getting to yell Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. After finishing our story everyone made their very own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree, but their coconuts had letters on them and the letters spelt out their names. Everyone worked to spell out their names with their coconuts and then they counted how many letters were in their name and we transcribed the number.

On Friday we read a story of St. Theresa and how God used the stars to create spell out her name. St. Theresa knew it was God speaking to her and she knew God loved her. We talked about how God speaks to us and tells us he loves us everyday and how we can talk to God by praying to him each and everyday. Everyone decorated a beautiful star just like God used to spell St. Theresa's name.

 This week for jobs we worked on a  few different projects. Our first job was to decorate the first letter by using our fingers to peel off stickers and place them all over the first letter of our name.

Next my friends drew a self portrait and practiced tracing their names.

I think my favorite job this week was the self portraits each student created. They all turned out so cute and unique just like each one of my friends.

Last but not least everyone used their fingers to rip strips of paper to decorate the letters in their names.

Since this was our first week of jobs I we decided to take it easy and only rotate through 4 different activities so on Friday we completed our very first journal page. Since we have been learning all about ourselves and our names all week we decided to continue the trend with some more name letter tracing and one more picture of our cute selves.

Once again I am calling our first full week of school a win!!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Welcome Back!

I know it is that time again because I have been relaxing on the couch all day. This is unheard of in my house on a Saturday! Usually I spend this day running, cooking, cleaning, and doing anything I can think of not to sit still. The best part is the students haven't even started yet! This year we wanted to revamp a few areas in the classroom and make it even more colorful and bright and I am pretty happy with how everything turned out. Most of my pictures are pretty blurry, but in my defense I took them on Friday after cutting, cleaning, and crafting all week. Plus my phone is a cracked piece of junk and only had 12% charge. If I am a good girl I am hoping Santa will bring me a new camera for Christmas (Hint Hint Brent!) I will try to take some better pictures on Monday after the kiddos leave for their half day. 

Let's begin our classroom tour where the children begin their day. Nothing much changed with our classroom door this year because we love our cute little owl theme and 
4K really is a Hoot!

We added some cute blue border around our Star Of The Week door to add a little pop of color. I can't wait to start displaying our kiddo's posters each week. 

One of the biggest changes we made to our decor was revamping this wall to the right of the classroom door. 

We redid our classroom schedule to include some of our new classroom activities like morning journals and word work/sight word time. I found this free printable which helped make things so much easier in this weary time crunched teacher. It didn't include exactly every single thing I needed so I am still working on a few pieces for our morning work time and our word work time. 

Right next to our schedule is a little dry erase board I painted a pretty blue color. This will be for us teachers to use to write reminders before the students leave each day. 

Another big change was to our sign in chart. This is a wonderful visual for is to see who is and isn't at school and it also helps when we have students pulled from the classroom for different activities like playing and working in the angel classroom. I am actually going to change the bottom  space to something other than "Angel Room" because we have a few friends who attend other activities so I would like it to be a more general label so I know who is where at all times. When the students enter the classroom they will find the clip with their name on it and move it to the green square labeled "In". After they use the potty after lunchtime they will move their clip back to the "Out" space. This helps is keep track of who has and hasn't used to restroom which is very useful when you are trying to clean up after lunch while answering 22 individual questions am requests while also trying to make sure you have eyes on all 22 babies at all times!

I already had this dismissal sign we just moved it from another area of the room. This helps us have a visual of where each student needs to go t the end of everyday which can be quite the task!!

I also already had this cute little behavior clip chart. 

I had these cute classroom rules signs but I never got around to hanging them up last year so I was determined to make it happen this time around. 

My newest addition came from an impulse but during a dollar tree visit to buy up all of their clothespins. He is so cute and I love him. We need to come up with a good name for our new classroom mascot. 

I have been collecting these cute and colorful motivational signs for a while now. They were all free which makes them even more cute! 

Another one of our newest additions is our "Look What We're Learning" focus board. I used this board for almost the same purposes before, now we just have a little more info. 

We of course have our calendar and right next to that is a place for directions for all of our activities. 

The next space is where we will place the letter, number, shape, and sight words we are learning about. 

The last two spots are where I will display what our morning activity will be (journals, letter craft, letter person puppet craft, table toys, etc.) and next to that is the board we use to rotate our afternoon jobs. Incase you are wondering what Jobs are they are differentactivities the   students complete like math activities, alphabet recognition, writing activities, etc. 

It doesn't look like it would cause full body exhaustion, but this cute little classroom wears me out each and ever year!! Add in some lesson plan prep and I am sleeping like a baby every night! 

I can officially say without a doubt that we are ready for the 2014-2015 school year!!!