Sunday, August 28, 2011

Daily 5

Well, I have started the Daily 5 with my kindergarteners.  We have learned and reviewd the three ways to read a book and have modeled appropriate and innappropriate ways to read to self.  We began building stamina last Monday, and to be's not going well.  I am not sure what to expect, since this is the first time I've ever tried daily 5.  I know with kindergarteners, especially at the beginning of the scool year, the only option they have is to read the pictures-- but even having them do that seems too cumbersome. 

I goofed at first by allowing the students to choose their own spot to read, but that was quickly fixed by me assigning each student a place to read.  I am also having a hard time not "eyeing" a student when they are talking or making noise.  When every other student is participating correctly, I hate having to signal to come back to the carpet :o/  (we might be building stamina all year! ha!)

Another mistake I am making is only allowing student to have one book at a time. This week I am breaking out their book bags (AKA: Ziplock bags) to stash several books in at a time. 

Okay, week two of the daily 5 starts tomorrow... Let's hope we make progress!

Any other kindergarten teachers out there with Daily 5 success?  Please give me all your secrets!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet The Teacher

I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for Teacher Week 2011.  Hop on over to meet some other great teachers!

Tell us a little something about you...

Howdy!  I’m Jessica and I blog at Kindergarten Hill (and my personal blog and a recipe blog my girlfriends and I share!)  I have been married for 4 years to my wonderful Hubby and we have one dog, Champ!  We meet in college, where we both cheered for the University of Louisville (Go CARDS!)  and he still works in the Cheerleading and Dance industry.  We like to spend our free time (ha! What’s that?!?) Lounging on the couch, eating out (YUM!), playing games with friends, and watching movies (Redbox anyone?!?)

How long have you been teaching?

I just started my 5th year teaching, but this is my first year in kindergarten.  The past 4 years I have spent my time teaching a Pre-K class.  I was fortunate enough to move into a kindergarten class down the hall, so not only did I get to stay in the same building…but also in the same hallway!  I am finding that some things are very much the same in kindergarten and Pre-K, while others are VERY different!

You might not know...

I have an undergraduate degree and two master’s degrees.  I graduated from the University of Louisville with my undergraduate degree in early childhood education.  I then went to Ball State University (online) and graduated with my Masters in Education: Elementary Education with a focus on Early Childhood.  I then went on to get a Masters in Teaching from University of the Cumberlands (also online!).  I would highly recommend online programs to busy working teachers!!!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I am most looking forward to the challenge of a new grade level. I will loop up to first grade with my students, so I am hoping to have a great kindergarten year so we can keep on rolling in first!

What do you need to improve?

I am not sure if you can improve on something you haven’t tried yet… but, I am starting to implement The Daily 5 in my classroom this year (yes, in kindergarten…stay tuned for updates!) so I am really wanting it to go well!  We started building stamina today… and let’s just say we might be building stamina until December! Ha! :o)

I am the team lead for kindergarten and I am a KTIP (a teacher internship program Kentucky requires) mentor for the new Pre-K teacher who took my position, so I am hoping to improve on my leadership skills!

Lastly, I want to become more organized in the classroom with lesson planning, copying, etc.  I do have a full time assistant in my classroom, and I want to maximize my time with her, since I won’t have an all-day assistant next school year (in first grade).  I want to  come up with a system where I am lesson planning and she is copying efficiently so we are both maximizing our time with the students!

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

Post-it Notes!!!!! LOVE THEM!!!
Go Ahead and slap my wrist, but I LOVE the Letter Factory DVD from Leap Frog- This is great for the days where you just can’t take anymore from your students…or for the days you can’t get outside for recess and the kiddos are DRIVING YOU CRAZY….tell me you’ve been there?!?  This DVD is a great way to reinforce letter skills and phonemic awareness. (Which makes me feel not as bad about popping in the DVD!)
(P.S. Leap Frog also has, Word Factory, Number Circus and several more videos that are just as good!)
Chart Paper and a fresh set of markers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day!

Well, after the first 2 days of school being cancelled....yes, you read that right... CANCELLED, I am now home and resting from the first day of school.  We had a storm push through our city over the weekend and it knocked out power for thousands of residents and well as 40 schools.  So, needless to say, we couldn't start school as planned.  So, we already have 2 make-up days :o(

Anyway...We started today and I must have forgotten how tiring the first day is! :o)  I was lucky enough to have a handful of my students back from last year when I was in the Pre-K class, so that was nice, but for all the new babies, it was a new experience.  We had to practice walking in a line, going through the lunch line, staying in our assigned area during recess (or "teacher-directed P.E., as we call it in my district!) and not getting lost in the jumble of dismissal.  PHEW! Talk about EXHAUSTING! Maybe tomorrow I can actually teach something! ha!

I was so tired at the end of the day and I needed to head to church for Wednesday night activities that I just left my room as it was.  This was good for the soul at 4:30 when I left... however, it will not be good in the morning when I head back :o/ 

Since I have quite a bit to do tomorrow morning to get ready for the 2nd day, I am planning on getting to school early again...which means this tired teacher is heading to bed.

I hope all the other teachers out there have had a great start to their school year.... or, if you haven't started yet, then GOOD LUCK!!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Classroom Set-Up

I was very lucky to receive a kindergarten position in the school where I was already teaching. So instead of moving buildings, I just moved classrooms. Literally, right down the hall. In one aspect it was nice to move into a new room. But it wasn't too fun packing everything up just to move down the hall. But alas...the room is finished. Here are pictures I have taken so far. I still need to take close-up pictures of everything, but here is the general idea!



The fun popcorn word wall set is from HERE.

A New Adventure

The start of a new adventure. That’s what I’m calling it. After four years of teaching in an early childhood classroom, I am moving up to teach Kindergarten. At first I was excited about the opportunity, and while I am still very excited…I am also SCARED. WORRIED. WONDERING WHAT I GOT MYSELF INTO.

I would like to say I am completely comfortable in my new role and that I have it all figured out; but that is very far from true. Luckily, I am figuring it out with the help of great team members, wonderful co-workers, and great administration.

So here I am…documenting my journey, up Kindergarten Hill. Buckle up and join me if you’d like! I will be journaling: talking about the good and the bad; what works and what doesn’t in my classroom; and everything else in between!