Friday, June 17, 2011

We Go Outside!

I am very fortunate to teach at a school that values and encourages outdoor play.  
We go outside everyday! Rain or shine!  Cold or hot!  

Why?  Because it is very important for the development of the whole child.  

The amount of physical and social growth that occurs outside cannot be duplicated anywhere else.  

The children learn how to navigate through social situations, problem solve,
 negotiate, take turns, make decisions about what to play and how high to climb.  

The children also learn how to self regulate their play.

 Large muscles develop by running, biking, climbing, swinging, 
balancing, throwing, catching, jumping, hopping, skipping and twirling. 

 If we are really lucky, we get to go sledding!

This year we were very lucky!

We went sledding twice!!!

This is one of my favorite quotes about nature.

Go out, go out I beg of you     
And taste the beauty of the wild.     
Behold the miracle of the earth     
With all the wonder of a child.  
Edna Jaques

Serving Our Community

Music is an integral part of our Kindergarten curriculum.  
We sing every day and incorporate music in many of the activities we do.   
We are very fortunate to have Teacher Karen join us each week for "song time".  
She brings her guitar and shares her fabulous collection of songs
  spanning a lifetime of working with young children.  She has introduced us
to yodeling, waltzing, Woody Guthrie, Hap Palmer, Patriotic songs, silly
songs, gross songs, folk music, songs that tell stories and songs that entertain.
She is one of a kind and we dearly love her presence in our classroom.

We have enjoyed sharing our music for the past ten years with Full Circle.
This program serves the elderly in our community and we are fortunate to be a 
part of this wonderful project.  The children look forward to our monthly 
visits and grow very fond of the"grandmas and grandpas".  
We hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.

  We love to express ourselves in many ways and music is a huge part of our day.

Music makes us happy. 

We learn about rhythm and movement.

Music teaches us how to get along with each other.

Music teaches us about different cultures and traditions.

  Music helps us learn about life and the world around us.
Music is fun!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Letter of the Week ~ "W"

W" Week was an absolute blast.  I was amazed at how many activities we were able to do and how much the children loved them.  The themes this week included, watermelon, worms, and whales.  The books we focused on were Where the Wild Things Are, Mrs. Wishy Washy, and Dairy of a Worm.   

I set up puppets and props, including an apron, washtub and 
"mud puddle" so the children could act out the story.

In the art center the children made their own Mrs. Wishy Washy.  Then 
we used these masks to act out the story during Morning Meeting!

The children enjoyed playing with 
"The Wild Things" in the block area.
The children made "Wild Things" in the art center.

We studied, observed and compared real worms.  We measured,
 made patterns, made predictions and graphed with gummy worms.
We made delicious worm dirt in flower pots and ate them for snack!
We talked about whales, made whales in art, discussed their habitat, and described their size and appearance.  We talked about what they eat and then we wrote nonfiction books about whales.

W week was packed!  It was a lot of fun!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Off to the County Fair

The first week of school ended with a trip to the County Fair.  The children enjoyed petting and holding all the baby animals in the children's area.  We also enjoyed walking around the exhibits and watching some goats being judged.  I think the biggest thrill of all was riding on the Gingerbread bus!  I love these pictures.  It was a really fun day!

It all began on a hot August day!

The first day of school is always a bit scary for the children, the parents and also for me.  It's also a very exciting day because I am anticipating all the wonderful experiences we are going to share.  It's always a little chaotic, with lots of parents in the room, school supplies everywhere and everyone dressed in their "first day of school" outfits.   Reluctantly, the parents kiss their "Kindies" goodbye and the first day officially begins.
The day is filled with laughter, singing, meeting new friends and hugging old friends, playing with blocks, exploring every square inch of the classroom, holding the rat and guinea pig, getting drinks from the fountain, finding the bathroom and asking the teachers at least five times, "when are we going outside?"
The teachers are busy snapping pictures, learning names, giving hugs, answering questions, putting away school supplies, preparing snack and remembering how loud Kindergarteners can be!  Each year on the first day of school I ask myself, "how do teachers do this all by themselves?"  I am fortunate to have two assistant teachers and without their help, I think I would go CRAZY!  Now for a little tour!

This is Blue.  He is a lovebird!  He is 13 years old and extremely cranky!
 If you stick your fingers in his cage he WILL bite them!

This is Rootbeer!   We had two pet rats!  Whitie and Rootbeer!  The children from last year's class named them!  Guess what color Whitie was?  (Sad news, Rootbeer died during Spring Break.)  
He was a "really good rat and he never pooped on anyone and he didn't bite anyone".

This is Jesse.  He is a guinea pig.  (The teachers think he is kinda stinky!)

These are our fish!  The teachers love these fish because they don't ever get stinky!

Science shelf!

Morning message, jobs, calendar activities!

Reading area!

Morning meeting and circle time rug area.

The art area!  How do you like my stamp collection?  The children love it!

This was our pet Zipper Spider!  She lived on our front porch for three months.  I feed her crickets almost daily and just before the first frost she left us a beautiful egg case.  It was amazing!

So, the first day quickly came and went.  The children settled 
right in and the school year was off to a fantastic start!