Sunday, March 25, 2012

en(courage) & a Freebie!

Encourage= to inspire someone with the hope or confidence to do something, to stimulate by approval or help, to support

Your comments in my last post were filled with encouragement; THANK YOU!  I am hopeful that a few days with no alarm clock, many hours with my fav Chris Tomlin CD, and a lunch or two with friends will bring back my joy.

When we return to school on April 2, the kindergarten version of the SAT will be waiting for us.  My kinders took the practice test last Friday and managed to fill in the circles with adequate finesse.  I will be staying late to go over the booklets with a magnifying glass, considering my discovery from last year:  one skipped answer can be considered a "valid attempt to not attempt the test".  Furthermore, one unfulfilled test can skew the compilation scores for the entire class.  Especially if the unfulfilled test belonged to a very on-the-ball student.

Lesson learned!  Do not trust the test booklets to anyone else!

I will be preparing goodies and surprise treats for my little lambs, including these notes of encouragement.  I hope they will be helpful to you, too!
You Are a Smartie

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Discouraged = a feeling of having lost hope or confidence (dishearten),
the act of making something less likely to happen or of making people less likely to do something

One more day until I get a break.  Friends, I have lost heart.  Nothing in particular has occurred to create my lack of courage.... just a wearing away, a sameness, a daily grind.

We don't often mention the hard moments of our jobs.  We try to focus on the positive, inventive, and magical moments of spending 40+ hours with children.  Halleluia, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks"!  I am grateful to be surrounded by a happy atmosphere, thanks to my blogging buddies.

Today, I just feel the need to admit that I am low on hope.  Interestingly, my assigned devotion for next month's staff meetings is on encouragement.  Timely, right?!  I'll be back with insights for the opposite of how I feel today!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pics From RoundUp & Writing

I wish I had taken more pictures from Round-Up week, 
but I was following hard on the heels 
of a few visiting PreK friends.  
.....If you know what I mean ;-)

We tore paper and decorated cardboard tubes
to simulate a campfire.
 It was placed in the middle of our gathering rug.

This friend nearly lassoed the horse!  
gave us an opportunity to strengthen 
comprehension skills and compare
characters from one story to the next.
"A Wild Cowboy" was the perfect choice 
to explore inferences through illustrations.

We made "wanted" posters...for good behavior!

Froot Loop Sorting and Counting
We read "The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow"
before beginning this activity.
Deedee Wills creates terrific learning units!
This story writing paper is from her
Writing Work Stations For March.
I photographed a selection that shows
various stages of writing development.
Are your kinders all over the map, too?

My students LOVED this station!
(Please comment if this is your creation!)
We assembled a basket of books for our favorite characters
and found a dedicated spot for the dictionaries.
The bottom writing sample is from a student who
could not write her name at the beginning of the year.
I am thrilled for her!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Round 'Em Up For Kindergarten! & a Pattern Freebie

Kindergarten Round Up is a week-long adventure for me.  Interested students are invited to choose a day and become a kindergartner!  

My biggest challenge for the week is to keep these children involved while continuing to teach the curriculum for my current students.  Like you, I'm working on subtraction, story writing and sentence structure, independent pacing, and more.  I decided to create a cut and glue pattern activity, using a fun clipart set from DigiScraps!

Buckaroo Patterns

I'm also planning to present the parents with a customized version of the Parent Handbook Welcome To Kindergarten from Kindergarten Works.  Leslie, thanks for creating an excellent resource!

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Weekend Gig, & Contemplation

Well, I'm a Dance Mom....the good kind!  Our team won a spirit award for good sportsmanship last month, so I speak with credibility, lol!  (I also know that the reality tv Dance Moms are super nice, IRL!)

This is my little girl--um, my taller-than-me girl--in mid leap, this past weekend.  She is, in my eyes, amazing.

Eight years ago, she was a kindergartner.  With bows in her hair and a backpack that looked like a turtle shell, she hopped into school.  Never would I have guessed how quickly these years would pass.  Now that our oldest is finishing his freshman year of college, I know that her high school years will fly by in a blink.  

Children who will enter kindergarten in 2016, when she will leave for college, are celebrating their first birthdays.  The children I teach now were born when my daughter danced competitively for the first time.  The dreams that we -parents- have for our babies are universal, unchanging.  Bottom line?  We want our children's teachers to see what we see--adorable, quirky, busy, funny, happy, strong, inquisitive, amazing human beings.  We want the person who will spend almost more hours with our children per week than we will to, dare I say it, love them.  

Today, I looked at my students and caught glimpses of the round-faced toddlers they were and the defined adults they will become.  I am caught in the in-between with them, in this magical place called kindergarten.  I can catch them up in swinging hugs on the playground, rock the weepers when necessary, and also expect them to add or subtract like pros.  With just 42 days left, I pray that I will not forget that my presence in their lives is a privilege.

Time is short, friends.  Can you see it flying by in my daughter's dance?  Let's give the little ones our best while they are in our hands. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Lovely Surprise

Tammy at Forever In First has shared this award with me.
This was such a nice way to end
one of the best weeks of the school year!

The rules:
1. Link back to the blogger who gave it to you. (gladly)
2. Pass the award onto 15 other lovely bloggers. 
(I am leaving for a dance convention, but will be back to finish later!!)
3. Follow the person who sent it to you. (She's in my sidebar!)

I'm passing the One Lovely Blog Award to these blogs.  
You'll find them lovely as well!
--I'm back!--
Daphne & Jennifer at Playing With Pixie Dust

A Seusstastic Week!

"Oh, We Had A Ton Of Fun!"
Hilarious hair, silly sunglasses, wacky Wednesday, and a busy birthday....we had a fantabulous time in kindergarten this week!

I had to sneak in this pic of President Lincoln--
I think my kinders captured his angst quite well!

Next week, we are all about the weather!
Here in the heartland, March definitely came in like a lion.
To all of those who experienced a tornado in the past few days, our prayers are with you!