Monday, July 24, 2017

Goals!

Hey Kinder Friends,
We spent a lot of time setting goals last year and talking about positive mindsets. So when we were put to the challenge of a team challenge and contest, I think it all kind of collided. I think the hardest part of a team challenge is definitely defining the focus and getting started on a plan. And all I could muster up were images in my head of vintage red trucks carrying Christmas trees. I guess I was wishing I was back on break and things were not so busy.
After setting goals for the spring semester with our classes and displaying them it kind of made the truck idea seem a little more tied in to a theme of positive mindset traffic signs and trucks on the move. Once we all agreed on the theme and the kids had set their goals we really were ready to getting moving in the right direction. And once we got started we really were on a roll.
We were so excited our theme even reached the main building. And we all noticed that having the positive signs displayed just about everywhere seemed to uplift us all at a very busy time of year. We had the display up for open house and several weeks after. It was hard to take it all down because it was our favorite theme the entire year.
What really made this challenge fun was that we got to work together on a project in a different way than usual. I quickly discovered that I work with very creative teachers. We paired up on different parts of the project. We laughed a lot.
We had true collaboration and I also learned that I work with a team of perfectionists! I swear I do not remember the hallway being so clean or cohesive except for the day the building was opened 17 years ago.
I think one of my favorite parts about the team collaboration was having a general theme but having our own personality shine through. It was a lot of fun coming up with individual motto's for our drivers license, license plates, quotes for above our doors and individual truck designs.
It was a lot of fun looking at each door as it was put up and noticing the personality of each teacher come out. We had a lot of great comments on the night of open house. Parents commented on the goals the children had set for themselves, how they could help them reach their goals and they got to know a little bit about us personally through the decorations.
Our theme kind of took off and PreK wanted to join us! And they set their own goals too.
Once everything was done we almost forgot it was a team challenge. Even if we didn't win we were happy with what we had accomplished together.
But it sure was sweet when it was announced that we did win and we got to leave early the Friday before spring break!


Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Little Fall Fun!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Fall is in the air and we are beginning to feel it. So, naturally we were excited to get busy with a little bit of fall fun. As the leaves begin to turn colors we were busy talking about Spookley the Square Pumpkin. I knew my class had not heard the story before so I was excited to get out the book and dig right in. It gave us a good reason to talk about how we are alike and different and begin the discussion about bullying.
You can still get this book from Amazon and if you want to get it on video that is available too. I like reading the book because I think it delivers the message better than a lengthy video. The kids were super excited to make Spookley and we will be writing about Spookley this coming week.
When I saw these counters I knew I had to have them for my class. I thought they would be perfect for the counting buckets we had in class already. As soon as I got them out the kids wanted to use them right away. I found them at Hobby Lobby and bought three bags but I really wish I had bought four!
We had been talking a lot about counting, counting strategies and organizing our count. These I knew would be perfect for practicing that skill. I knew we needed to review that before moving on to greater numbers. Once we were working with them we discovered that these could also be used for sorting by size, shape and color. And now I am wishing I had about five bags instead of three! As the children were counting the fall objects with the buckets, I was able to notice the different counting methods my class uses. Some children count and move the objects as they count. Some put everything in a row and then count. Some use the bucket and empty it and count as each one goes in. And a few had no method at all. These were perfect for a discussion about ways to count. As they went off to independent work they asked if they could use them on counting mats. Take it from me you will want more than three bags because three was not enough for our counting mats. We added apple counters and the problem was solved. But I still want...more!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Weather Wednesday!

Hey Kinder Friends,
So much fun talking about the weather as the weather is changing. It is always a topic we discuss as we observe the daily weather and look forward to spending time outdoors. Considering we have Weather Wednesday each week when we record our observations and we discuss and collect weather data daily you can imagine it is tough to keep the discussion fresh and ongoing at times.
We finally had a few days with some wind so we decided to shape our discussion around that. According to our standards our children are supposed to collect information using tools such as wind socks. So we decided to look up wind socks before making our own. Just a simple search and we were able to find lots of examples to look at.
Our wind socks were pretty simple and we decided on a weather theme. Just construction paper and some streamers and a little bit of glue and we had some pretty cute wind socks to hang around! For more Science fun join me here! Happy Investigating.


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