Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Lesson From the Olden Days, Part 3

In these modern days of cell phones and push button technology, our children today are unfamiliar with using a rotary dial telephone. Yet, some of these are still in use!

I have one in my classroom, and every once in a while, I'll bring it out and challenge the students to dial their home phone number. (Or 911, if we're studying safety.) I've even caught some kids just counting to ten one dialing at a time.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's a Whole New School Year!

Sadly, my enthusiasm is somewhat stifled. I have 26 children registered in my room, when state law says 22 is max (and the district says they've been waivered to 24). We've also been told there's nothing that can be done at the moment, although there's a chance we could get another teacher by OCTOBER. (There's an empty, usable room at the end of the hall.) No, we have no aides. Plus, there's a stack of pre-registered Kinders yet to be processed because they're lacking updated shot records, etc. I don't have enough room, enough backpack hooks, enough cubbies, enough chairs, enough tables...  But I'm trying to remain upbeat that the powers that be will soon remedy this situation so I can teach instead of wrangle.

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Fairy Named Fred


One of the more beautiful aspects of teaching Kindergarten is being able to indulge the children in their beliefs in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and most of all, Santa Claus.

In the past year or so, there's been an influx of Elf on the Shelf around Christmas. Well, I saw this little fairy door for sale on eBay (hiddenworlds dot us), and bought it.  I've installed it in my room (with the help of double-sided tape). And a fairy named Fred took up residence.

Fred will leave the children little surprises when they're not around (he's quite shy, and won't let anyone but me see him). When they're especially good, he'll let them know. But when they're bad, he'll also let them know how unhappy he is.

I will let everyone know how this "experiment" goes through the school year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

How I'm Planning to Use Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom, Idea 5

Idea 5 - Higher Order Thinking

What do you see?
What is it really?
What are the people made of?
Why do you think the little rice people are happy?
Why would a Mom do this with food?
What did the Mom use for bathtubs?
What did the Mom use for water?
What do you see in the soup?
Would you like to eat this? Why or why not?

Monday, August 20, 2012

How I'm Planning to Use Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom, Idea 4

Idea 4 - Math

Answer the following using a graphing chart:
How many blueberries have -
*no stem
*stem only
*stem and leaf

Question: How is this picture like a Tic Tac Toe game?
Is there a "winner"? Why or why not?
(Ans: No. There are not 3 in a row that are alike.)
Is there a way to be a winner? How?
(Ans: Yes. Remove stem from blueberry on left, bottom row. Then you have a Tic Tac Toe going down in the first column.)

Friday, August 17, 2012

How I'm Planning to Use Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom, Idea 3

Idea 3 - Fine Motor Skills

Providing the materials, see if they can reconstruct this "fighter".
Materials needed:
Sharpie (this one has a blue cap)
4 brads
1 large binder clip
2 small binder clips
4 blue Bic pen caps (can substitute other pen caps)
2 sharpeners (can substitute small erasers)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How I'm Planning to Use Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom, Idea 2

Idea 2 - Language Arts/Writing

Some sample questions:
Where is this located?
Would you like to live here. Why or why not?
Why would living here not be safe?
What is in the background?
Why would you have a pool when you have an ocean to swim in?

Monday, August 13, 2012

How I'm Planning to Use Pinterest Pictures in the Classroom, Idea 1

Other than the multitude of wonderful lessons and ideas I've gotten off Pinterest, with regards to classroom worksheets, games, and teaching strategies, I was wondering how I could also implement some of the gorgeous pictures that aren't necessarily school related. What I've come up with are several possibilities that I'm going to try. I'll also be sharing those ideas here.

Idea 1 - Science

Identifying rare and unusual types of plants and animals.
This is called "glass fungus".
Sample questions:
Why do you think it's called that?
Is it really made of glass?
How do you think it feels?
What is it growing on?
Where in the world can you find it?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Creative Playgrounds

Check out these unusual playgrounds! Wouldn't something like this be great at your school? 

According to the website:

"Eye-catching playground structures [designed by Danish company Monstrum] look like airplanes, ships, buildings, and different animals. They feature climbing walls, chin-up bars, rope bridges, and fun slides that were designed for the kids of all ages."

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Lesson From the Olden Days, Part 2

Here's another goodie I uncovered during our garage clean-out. If you've never messed with a reel-to-reel tape recorder, thank your lucky stars. This vintage piece was a neat way to bring some history into the room. And it also provided an interesting topic to write about.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Lesson From the Olden Days, Part 1

While cleaning out our garage a few months ago, I found the old manual typewriter I'd used back when I was in college ('72-'76, then thru '78 - Yeah, I'm that old. ;). I took it to school for the kids to play on it, and it was like they had discovered a fantastic new toy. In fact, I had to put a time limit on how long each child could remain on it so the others wouldn't get upset!

Talk about a great way for them to work on their fine motor skills!