Thursday, August 30, 2012

Zero Hero's 1st Visit and Braxton

We just finished our 12th day of school! The kiddos have tomorrow off while we have professional development. They were so cute when I told them they have a 4-day weekend because of Labor Day. They all sounded like us teachers! Several told me they were going to sleep late! The first few days really exhausted most of them, but they are starting to get used to being in school all day and I am so proud of how much they are learning.

I mentioned in my last post about Zero Hero. His first visit was Tuesday and all the kiddos were so excited to meet him. He will continue to visit us every 10th day we are in school. He brings gifts shaped like zeros. The students ask him "Big" questions to try to find out what each gift represents from Zero Planet. They also count by 10s to 100 and count up to the day they've been in school. During our calendar times, the kiddos always want to know how many more days before he visits again, so this gives them more practice of counting up the days. Here's a photo of his visit on Tuesday.

Today was our first lesson from our school counselor. She gives a lesson to the kiddos every other week in our classroom. We are happy to have a school service dog named Braxton. Our counselor brings Braxton with her for most of her lessons. Everyone was so thrilled to see her and be able to pet and love on her. Braxton has made such a positive difference in our school (and the Jr. High/High School). She helps in the following ways: reading buddy, teaching responsibility,  giving encouragement, love, hugs, and friendship. You can only imagine how wonderful it is having a dog at school! The teachers love her too and sometimes feel stress just drain away after petting Braxton! Of course, the school does have guidelines and rules in place and there have been no problems. This is Braxton's 3rd year with us. Here's a picture of her with a tropical lei around her neck to go along with our PBIS theme: Beach/Ocean. She was a good sport and kept it on for a short time! :)

I know this post is getting long, but I have one more exciting thing that happened! The author and illustrator, Elizabeth Schoonmaker posted a picture and link about my students' artwork. She also left a sweet comment on my blog. I showed my students her blog and comment and they were so happy! She is also sending our class an autographed book! I will be offering a contest very soon so you will have a chance to win a copy of  Square Cat courtesy of Elizabeth. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. Your kiddos will love Eula the Square Cat!

Don't forget to be watching for the contest. I should receive the book this weekend and will start the contest soon! Have a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend!

~ Lisa

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fun With Shapes!

Today was our 9th day in school! Tomorrow we have a special visitor, Zero Hero! He comes each day we've been in school that ends in zero until Day 100. I told my kiddos about him today and they were so excited to see him tomorrow! Let me know if your school uses Zero Hero!

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is completely exhausted after starting school! But, I am gradually getting back into the swing of waking up early, teaching all day, and getting used to the hard floors at school! Also, I have a great group of kiddos who are starting to learn our routines a little better. :) Most of them have been pretty eager to learn and seem excited to be in kindergarten.

For math, I started teaching 2D shapes. Like many of you, our district is using the Common Core State Standards. So, we only teach 5 2D shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons) and 4 3D shapes (cubes, cones, cyclinders, spheres). After the lesson on circles, my kiddos made cute ladybugs. It gave me a chance to see who needed extra help with using scissors. I quickly found out that some of them needed to be reminded to listen and follow directions! But, I tried to have patience knowing that they are so young and just starting school. I still keep reminding myself of this!!!
After the lesson on squares, I read the book, "Square Cat" by Elizabeth Schoonmaker. It's about a cat named Eula who is square and wants to be round. It's really a cute book and my kiddos loved it. Afterward, they cut orange squares and glued them on to green paper. I asked them to draw ears, a face, legs, and a tail. They turned out adorable! I displayed them in our hallway. The creativity of some of my students really amazed me!
I hope everyone is having a great start to their school year! I'll try to write posts more often and have enjoyed following all of my blogging friends! Thanks for sharing your ideas, activities, and photos! Also I love all the products people are posting to TPT and Teacher's Notebook and of course the FREEBIES! :) I haven't been as creative as so many of you! Maybe someday? I'm still pretty new to the world of blogging but I love it!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lil' Country Kindergarten's TPT Sale!

My friend and co-worker, Marlana, from Lil' Country Kindergarten is participating in the Back to School TPT sale. She creates wonderful products and even without a sale, her prices are very reasonable! Check out her blog & store to help you be more prepared for the beginning of the school year. The sales ends on Monday, Aug. 13th but you will love her items and prices even if you miss this sale!
Let me know if you already follow her blog and store or if you just found her! I am so blessed to have her as a friend and co-worker! She's the reason I started this blog! :) ~ Lisa

Friday, August 10, 2012

Almost Ready for the First Day!

Our school's PBIS theme is Ocean/Beach. I love this theme! The hallways and classrooms are so inviting and cute. I have been working hard trying to finish my room. Because of a lack of shelving, I am required to pack up everything and stack boxes anywhere except the floor so the custodians can clean. It always takes me a long time to prepare my room. I'm sure a lot of you know what that's like! But, I always enjoy decorating and visiting with my co-workers. Here are a few photos so far.
This is where I'll display students' work in the hallway.
I've never tried using clothespins before but love this idea! I hope this method will be a time saver! :)
This table will be used for the writing area. I really don't want to cover this ocean bulletin board because it's so pretty! I love this "under the sea" paper. It will be my focus wall. I still have lots to do in a short period of time. My co-workers keep reminding me that "It always gets done!" Is anyone else stressing like I am? We have our first "teacher" day on Monday, Aug. 13th, Open House is the 14th, and the first day of school is the 15th! I'm excited to meet my new kiddos! I wish everyone a great start to your school year! I'll post more pictures when I finish the room. I still need to clean my foam mats & get the cubbies labeled, etc... I will get it done though! :) ~ Lisa