Thursday, May 30, 2013

PostYear Blues

My name is Chrissy.
I'm sad.

Am I alone in finding that tears are close to the surface for days after the last day?

I had a great year, but, like most of us, I had challenging days. And, I hate the alarm clock! Not waking up at 5:30am is a summer treat!
There are many reasons to do the happy dance, but I am on the verge of tears.

Some of the sadness is due to the stress of packing up and moving a classroom to a new building.  There are 19 boxes lined against the wall of the storybook room that will never again be filled with our songs.  Personally, I've filled my car 5 times--and the van is about to be filled again--and I'm realizing that I need a dedicated space for the things that I own.  It's all coming home with me and is currently living in the garage/spare bedroom.

Some of the sadness is due to the huge, unknown consequences of the school move.  Our staff is transitioning for various reasons; as a result, there was no end-of-the-year staff meeting or exit interviews.  I don't know when the big move is occurring.  I don't know much.

Guess what?  I kind of like to know.  I learn best whole to part: show me the big picture and I will quickly sort the pieces.  The only thing I have at the moment is pieces...boxes and crates and bags and piles of pieces.  Putting them back together without a map is a tearjerker.

If there ever comes a day where kindergarten and I must part, just know that I'll stay there, in my heart, forever.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Book-A-Day Challenge

Have you heard of The Nerdy Book Club?
I had not, until I found the PLN wonder that is Twitter!
Donalyn Miller--yes, The Book Whisperer!--
recently posted the guidelines for the #Bookaday Challenge.
I'm in!

The challenge is a simple equation:
# of books read = # of summer vacation days
For me, that is roughly 50 books (I'm not counting weekends!).
What will I be reading?  Here is a sample of my list....

What will you be reading?!
(Like the graphic?  Melonheadz freebie!)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

The End Of The Year! Gifts, Frogs, Rocks, & More

Winding up a school year is always a bittersweet experience.
The students and I created a community of learners!
We had a ball in kindergarten!
 As we say goodbye to the current building,
I thought you might enjoy a picture of our classroom,
viewed from end to end.
We are moving to a new location, where my room will be
roughly 1/3 of the classroom pictured.
I'll need tips and advice!!
 Over the year, we learned to navigate the iPad,
played games at stations rotations,
participated in the scientific process,
and led routines at circle time!
The Mother's Day bouquets were beautiful!
 Our last art project was a self portrait; good job!
We explored more camouflage facts through this art project.
The children used water/glue to cover the chameleon template 
with tissue paper, then "hid" him on a rainbow!
These beach prompts were done during 
Check out the shark, roasting a hot dog!

We wrote facts about frogs and practiced cutting 
circles from squares for frog eyes.  
Some frogs were a bit more...agressive...than others!
These phrases were our answers to the statement
"This year, I learned (to)........"
I can see that character development really did have an impact!
We made Pet Rocks!  And habitats!
-A Room With A View, pictured above-
-An Interior Design Wonder, pictured below-
Field Day*Water Bucket Race
As we look forward to a new year, I leave you with this
picture of a new dawn
taken by Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield.
He recently returned to Earth after a visit to the
International Space Station.
You can see his photo stream HERE, on Twitter.
The pictures are amazing!

Our kindergarten adventure is over, but the children 
decided they would like to "do school" over the summer!  
Each week, I'll send them an email containing the title 
of a new book, the web address for a new video or app, 
and a fact from Wonderopolis!
Looking for a way to keep your students moving forward?
Check out this page at Lakeshore
to view summer learning activities.
You can download calendars for PreK-K and gr. 1-3.
I sent this link to my students' families, striving to save $ on paper and printing!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

April Awesomeness...Photos

April was a busy month!
New can't be stopped.  This sweet little sprout was found by my parked car.  There is something so tenacious about this photo.  It's on my desktop and I find myself looking at it often.

This is an example of the writing that we did after our field trip to The Butterfly House.

We made this torn paper project in art class.
Notice the nice sunsets in a couple of backgrounds :-)

This is a sneak peek into something we have made for our mothers!  The children traced their hands to use as a base to hold the bouquet.  They also used templates to trace and cut the flowers.
I'm sure I found this idea on Pinterest.

Some letters are tall, some fall, and some are small.

We used rulers to measure the flowers in this math station.  The activity is from a theme kit that was purchased from The Mailbox site.  A couple of months ago, they were offering a "buy 2, get 2 free" deal AND the kits were on sale for $5.  I am so very happy that I took advantage of the sale.
The activities are colorful, laminated, and perfect for our current learning targets.

After reading "Tops And Bottoms", we discussed how vegetables grow.
We "planted" a paper garden...the tomatoes, corn, and peppers 
are now ready to be added.

We are all hoping that the forget-me-not seeds will sprout soon!  They were planted in an ice cream cone, then the cone was placed in a cup.   Just bury the cone in your potted soil or dirt!

We enjoyed using Dr. Panda's Veggie Garden app on the iPad!
It is also available for iPhone.

Thursday, May 2, 2013's MAY!

It's MAY!  Already?!
Hop over to Farley's for a line-up of CURRENTLYs!

Our school is moving to a new location.
Good news:  it's 1.5 miles from my house!
Bad news: the room set aside for K is about 1/3 the size of the room I have now.
Enough said....
Praying pals, say a few prayers for enrollment!

I'll be back with LOTS of pictures from our learning in April!
Please come back :-)