Thanks to you all, we are having a wonderful first week of Kindergarten! Some of you may remember, our Open House was a little different this year than it has been in the past, but the children did great. Luckily, my old friend, “Nikki New” (a lovable dog puppet) came out to greet everyone and wipe away any tears!
Guided Discovery of Crayons
Yesterday and today I have been conducting “guided discoveries” of classroom materials. Guided Discovery is a Responsive Classroom technique to introduce the proper use and care for materials. You might have noticed, most things in my room say, “Opening Soon.” Eventually, all areas will be open for children’s use, but we go very slowly in the beginning.
Today we also went over important safety procedures. We discussed and practiced both a lockdown drill (an emergency outside the building where we need to stay in our classroom) and a fire drill (evacuating from the building.) The children did really well with both procedures.
Guided Discovery of Pattern Blocks
After lunch, the children have a “quiet/rest” time. They spread their towels out and choose two books from the library to look at quietly by themselves. This is a short time right now about 5-7 minutes. We will work up to a longer time. They were a little hesitant yesterday, but happily laid down today!
Again, I am looking forward to wonderful year with our class. I can already see they are a caring and loving group, which as I said at the start of this post is thanks to you.
Take care and have a great Labor Day!
Ms. Purdin 🙂
Spent most of my day in our classroom working on the “finishing touches” so we will be all set on Tuesday. Cubby tags are on, lunch counters are made, and a new family of “lucky ducks” is swimming in the pond!
Here’s some photos:
New and Improved Meeting Area
This is our new and improved group learning space. For years, I have debated whether or not to get rid of my teacher desk. (It takes up so much room!) But there are times when you need it. In this new location, it will hold my computer (from which we can do awesome ENO board learning) and important papers. I will also be doubling my comfy desk chair as my meeting chair. (My easel isn’t shown, but it’s close by.) On the other side, there is a bookcase that used to hold blocks, but now will hold my music and teaching books. Above, what used to be an underutilized bulletin board, now has two calendars and the weather chart. Right next to that is the all important School Day Count. Did you notice the new rug? A gift from Mrs. White. 🙂 Kindergartners love Dinosaurs!
Newly reorganized Block and Math Area
This area I am hoping will be more used now that I have changed the space. This space has a ton of materials, but I have tried to scale back for the beginning of the year. With the newly reorganized block shelves (far right back) I’m hoping will make it easier for little ones to put things back correctly. I have intentionally not made anything too high so that I am able to “see everything” that goes on from one central location.
Dramatic Play Area
Now in the Dramatic Play area, there is room for children to cook and eat at the table. There is plenty of food in the fridge as well as pots and pans underneath the stove. I have also added real cook books and pencils and paper for children to explore writing recipes and grocery lists.
Just like the students, teachers have to get back into the school routine too! For the next few days I will be going to be earlier and trying to get up on my school day schedule. Make sure you are doing this too at your house or Tuesday will be quite a shock!
Remember, Open House with parents is from 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. and children will be staying until regular dismissal at 2:15 p.m. Pack a healthy snack (with a drink) and a lunch for your child!
Ms. Purdin 🙂
This summer I became much more involved in social media than I ever have been. After my road trip to to Kentucky where I was the #roadtrip blogger keeping people informed of what state we were in, I found myself in status-update withdrawal. I mean, I finally learned what #’s were all about! I needed to use this new knowledge!
Facebook’s great when it comes to seeing wedding photos and planning a high school reunion, but the new social media trends are fantastic for expanding your career knowledge and finding related people in your field. I just joined Pinterest, after a friend “invited me” and I didn’t think I’d be in to it (pinning recipes to an online bulletin board – what’s the point?). While I haven’t explored it for very long, I already love it for Kindergarten teaching ideas! I’ve been “pinning” like crazy to remember all these amazing teacher websites and ideas to use in our classroom.
Look at this awesome poster I found on Pinterest:
Going into my third year as a single classroom grade level teacher, I enjoy using the internet resources I find to keep me thinking of new ideas and new ways to do things. The online community of Kindergarten teacher-bloggers is impressive and has a lot to offer.
By the way, are you following us on twitter yet? www.twitter.com/kgardengrows 🙂
PS: Be on the lookout for something in your mailbox this week…
I do LOVE books!
Here is my book closet – a combination of donations, gifts, library sales, books from my childhood and of course bookstore purchases (I can’t seem to go anywhere without buying a children’s book!). I am beginning to run out of room and one of my goals this year is organize as we go along. My “kid” books are mostly grouped correctly, it’s my “read aloud” books that need the organizational help. It’s really frustrating when you know you have something and you can’t find it!! Hopefully when the Container Store opens at the North Shore Mall I can find a solution or two!
Classroom Library and work materials
I read a book this summer that said everything in your classroom should be multipurpose! No single use items allowed. (If people actually followed that rule, Williams Sonoma would not be as profitable). Yesterday I rearranged my room and tried to simplify things to stay organized and not cluttered. This is our work cubbies, literacy materials and math materials and housed on top will be our classroom library – with a RETURN bin because young five year olds often can’t remember how to put things back. Labels to follow. 🙂
Speaking of multipurpose – the listening center will now be housed on the picnic table. When not being used to listen to stories, we can just turn the table over and it becomes a lego center! On the wall, our Word Wall and new placement of our daily schedule. Below, two red, perfect-sized kid chairs for children to snuggle up in and read a good book.
Well that’s it for now – I’ll post more as we get closer to Opening Day!
Hello! On my trip to San Fransisco, California, my friend and I went to the Walt Disney Family Museum. No rides or characters, but it was the story of Walt Disney’s life. On the road to his creation of Disneyland, a quote on the wall struck me:
“You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”
As a classroom teacher, I design and create my classroom to my vision of how I want things to be. However, it is the people – my students, the parents, and my colleagues who help to make the dream that I see a reality. I want to keep this quote as our inspirational starting point to the kind of creative, inviting, collaborative learning environment we will create this year. Doesn’t that sound like the most wonderful place on earth? 🙂
Enjoy the weather! August 28th will be here soon!
PS: Any summer or vacation photos your child would like share please email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll start a gallery page.