Monthly Archives: January 2013

A Very Cold Week Makes for Hot Learning!

This week posed it’s challenges with the frigid temperatures. Brrr! However, it provided some opportunities we might not have otherwise had. ForIMG_0785 instance, by this point in the year, nothing in the room as new and exciting as it was a few months ago. This can become a problem when there is day after day of indoor recess. On Tuesday, in trying to get away from the same old, standard choices – drawing, blocks and Legos (all good choices, but can become stale) I brought out the board games for morning indoor recess. Out came Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, checkers, Connect Four, Go Fish and Dominos. The kids have been happily playing games ever since. It gave me an informal opportunity to watch children navigate taking turns, following agreed upon rules and solving problems. I enjoyed teaching new skills to several children such as how to actually play checkers and Zingo! What fun!

Our growing number line began in September...

Our growing number line began in September…

You might be wondering about these badges on your child’s shirt are all about this week. No it’s not “Only 9 More Days” to the end of the world, it’s actually our countdown to the 100th Day of School. (Doesn’t it feel like we just celebrated the 50th?) The 100th Day of School family at-home project information went home today. I am looking forward to some cool vests coming in!

And now we are just a few days away...

And now we are just a few days away from 100 days…

We have been counting and tracking our school days and we have many fun learning activities planned over the next week or so leading up to 100th Day!

This week we also talked about the President’s job and the Inauguration. When I asked about it, I was pleased to hear so many children say they had seen a little bit or had seen their parents watching President Obama. We read about the White House and the President’s responsibilities. We then looked at a poster from our Let’s Find Out Magazine with all the Presidents’ portraits. We had a great talk about who was President when the children were born and when Mrs. Clark and I were born. Can you guess who it was for me or Mrs. Clark? 🙂

Last week I wrote about a winter writing piece we did on that snowy day. I wanted to post a few to share. Please stop by outside our room to see the rest on our bulletin board. The kids did a wonderful job!


If I were a snowflake, I would build a snowman.

If I were a snowflake, I would go sledding.

If I were a snowflake, I would go sledding.

If I were a snowflake, I would drink hot cocoa.

If I were a snowflake, I would drink hot cocoa.


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Just Another Typical Wednesday?

Today started out like a typical Wednesday but ended up anything but! Before leaving home this morning I looked out the window to see what we have been waiting for – SNOW! Though, as I shared at morning meeting, driving in snow is not my favorite thing to do, but seeing everyone’s excited faces while at door duty made it worth it.

When it snows the first time during school, the only thing to do is to go with it. Mrs. Clark, our photo historian, took each child out to our backyard to get their picture with the snow lined trees in the background while children completed morning work. The pictures came out very cute! Snow was the theme at morning meeting – first we did our snowball greeting (ask your child what this is) at morning meeting, then did a “whip share” of our favorite thing to do in the snow, and learned a new snow poem. Later in the morning, we worked on a writing piece entitled, “If I were a snowflake, I would…” We also read one of my favorite winter stories, Snow by Cynthia Rylant. Rylant’s words were a springboard to thinking about what children would do if they were a snowflake. The children are gaining more confidence in their inventive spelling skills.  I have also seen a greater interest in drawing more detailed pictures since coming back from vacation. This week children made their January Self-Portraits and you see the change in their work since September.

Unfortunately, because of the snow, Mrs. Spencer was late to school and we missed our P.E. class. Mrs. Spencer if you are reading this, you owe us one! 🙂

This afternoon we continued our study of Dr. Martin Luther King. Obviously, his legacy is difficult to understand at a young child’s level, so we focus on showing kindness and treating everyone – no matter hair, skin, eye color – the same. We also read another favorite of mine by Mem Fox, Whoever You Are.

For math, we practiced interrupted counts, which is when you start at a number other than 1 and count on. Children should be able to rote count to 30 by this point in the year. The concept of addition and subtraction

I ended my un-typical day by going into Boston for my other job – I work for the Massachusetts Teachers’ Association as a Senate District Coordinator. Tonight was a MTA reception for newly elected state legislators. It was great to meet the new state reps and state senators. They always ask where I work. Whenever I say I work in Nahant the response is, “Oh it’s so beautiful there! Aren’t you lucky!” Of course, yes, I am!

Tonight was also the State of the State. Governor Patrick spoke about education as a key issue he wants to work on including more K-12 funding for our schools because “our [MA] lead in education is too important to lose.” Let’s hope some of this gets to Nahant! On the front page of our school website you can see the proposed FY 2014 budget.

In the end it was not a typical Wednesday…but a pretty eventful one! Tomorrow is another day – and I hope to see some of you at the Everyday Math Parent Info night tomorrow night. I will be out on Friday due to a minor preplanned dental procedure, so Mrs. Clark will be taking care of things. Whenever I have to be out, i am happy to know I have Mrs. Clark who always does a great job keeping the kids happy and entertained. Have a great weekend. 🙂

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Happy New Year!

HAPPY 2013!!!

It was good to see all my kinders today! It seemed liked everyone had a wonderful vacation and time away from school. I spent the week catching up with friends, reading on my new kindle and watching my favorite show, The West Wing on Netflix.

January is a great time for learning. The excitement of the holidays is behind us, and everyone is a bit more ready to take on learning challenges. Before vacation, children were beginning to become readers and writers. I will be starting to do more formal reading groups in the coming weeks and continuing to expand the breadth of our literacy work through more journaling and other writing pieces.

We are starting unit 4 in Everyday Math and I will be conducting mid year assessments. We are also 23 school days away from my favorite kindergarten holiday – 100th Day!!! Stay tuned for info!

I want to say thank you to everyone for my lovely holiday gifts. As I been telling your children all year – they are my real gift! But the tokens of kindness are always appreciated. The 01908 calendar, stuffed animal and coffee gift card from the class was very nice. The calendar is now hanging in our classroom.

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