Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Are You In or Out?

I was introduced to Spotify this weekend.  I learned how to create a playlist on  Friday and spent time Friday afternoon searching and adding songs to it.  I've been listening to my new playlist ever since. 

This morning I had it playing while I was in the shower, my best thinking space, and I began to think about what our music choices say about us.

Yesterday, as I was exploring Spotify, I checked out the playlists of some friends.  One friend in particular has a selection of songs that are off my radar.  They just aren't from the genre of music that I usually listen to.  I remember thinking that while her playlist isn't something that I would choose, it fits her perfectly.  It's a little out of the box.  She is a creative, out of the box thinker, which I love, and her music fits that idea as well.

Then I started thinking about the songs that reside in my newly created playlist and wondering what those songs say about me.  Does my song list fit me?  I have a little bit of a lot of things in my playlist.  I have everything from the Frozen soundtrack for my daughter (Who am I kidding? I love it too!) to Pink to Josh Grobin to Michael Buble to The White Stripes.  I have beautiful songs like Hallelujah and Can You Let Me See Beneath Your Beautiful and Love Me Tender.  I have songs just for fun like The Cup Song and Call Me Maybe, a touch of Inde-pop with Ingrid Michaelson's The Way I Am, a little pop with Brave by Sara Bareillis, and even Tiny Dancer by Elton John.  I have songs that I love right now like Blake Shelton's God Gave Me You, Elvis's Can't Help Falling in Love With You, which was the first dance at my wedding, and songs that remind me of the past like Billy Joel's Piano Man. 

I guess it could be said that my playlist is a bit out of the box too!  I wouldn't necessarily call myself an out of the box kind of gal, but my music choices are quite eclectic.  This has been the case for a long time, although I may not have always admitted it as easily (ugh...middle school).

It was even true when I was the one performing the music.  As a violin player in the high school orchestra, I played and loved classical music, performed in the pit orchestra for musicals and enjoyed the big band music and show tunes, and I was a member of the fiddle group where I played and had fun with bluegrass music. 

Thinking back, I wonder if it was because of this experience of playing different types of music that I have such an eclectic taste now?  My orchestra teacher was a pretty eclectic guy who appreciated all sorts of music and wasn't afraid to be out of the box with his choices of songs for us to perform.  We played a little of everything from classical Bach and Brahms to the 60's song Twist and Shout to the Star Wars Theme song to November Rain by Guns 'N Roses, my all-time favorite performance.

Is it my friend's background that makes her playlist seem out of the box?  Is it my background that makes my choices so broad?  Would my playlist seem out of the box to someone else?  What exactly is in the box?  What is in the box for a 35-year-old wife/mother of four/kindergarten teacher?

Is there even a box?  And if there is, who says what should be in it?  Why does it even matter?  I like what I like whether it is in or out of the box, and I hope you do too!

If you want to check out my playlist, click below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Puppy Love

Well, spring break finally arrived (you would think after all the snow days I wouldn't have felt such a need for another break!) and with it came the new puppy!

The kids have been head over heels all week!  We picked her up on Friday evening, took her home and put together her new crate.  We fed her, cuddled her, played with her and generally enjoyed her company all evening.  The kids are so excited they haven't gotten too far away from her.  She's even doing a good job with the potty training!

We expected her to be a little sad being away from her mama and siblings.  We expected a little whining and crying.  We did NOT expect to have to hold her all night long!  It really is like having a new baby in the house again!

On the third night, I suggested putting her bed in the laundry basket and letting her sleep next to our bed.  She slept!  She only whined three times and only because she needed a potty break.  I've decided she either really hates her crate or she just wants to be near us.  I hope for the latter, for all our sakes.  :) 

Welcome home Lucy!


 It must be puppy love!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Spring Dreams

 I'm happy to still be slicing today!  Here is a spring poem for the first day of Poetry Month!

April winds
blow cool today
spring wishes
on my mind

dreams of rain
and flower blooms
thoughts of buds
and melting snow
wanting warm breezes
of fresh air
yearning for sunshine
and puffy white clouds
to decorate the sky
and waiting for

Monday, March 31, 2014

Day 31 - A Fond Farewell

At the beginning of March I started this writing journey with all of you.  I was hopeful, I was excited, I was ready to take on the challenge.  I shared this poem on day 1.
A slice of me
A slice of you
Mixing together
A tasty chew
Morsels of soul
Left on the page
Positive comments
The author's wage
A story of love
A regretful tale
A writer's heart
Our words prevail
Your very own stage
A place to call home
To play with your words
Let your thoughts roam
So, serve up a slice
Or read, take a bite
Sample sweet stories
Let your ideas ignite!
And now, at the end of March I end this writing journey with all of you.  We are 31 days stronger.  We are 31 days better at writing.  We are 31 days deeper in friendships, community and shared stories.  We are 31 days richer for reading the stories of this community.  I feel blessed to have been a part of this challenge and I look forward to seeing you again on Tuesdays...until March returns again.
A slice of me
A slice of you
Blended together
A filling brew
Pieces of heart
We shared each day
Tapping the well
So many words to say
Stories of friendship
Stories of fears
Words are powerful
 Filled with smiles or tears
Here is the place
Where all is shared
We left our comments
To show we cared
So, continue to share
Your tasty tale
See you on Tuesday
Please don't bale

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Day 30 - Science Fair Here We Come!

Today was a day full of science.  It's science fair week in my district so three of my children had project boards to complete today.  Sounds easy enough right?  The projects were all done, they just needed to be typed, cut and glued to the boards.  No problem.

My son's project was to see which type of apple rotted first: Red Delicious, Gala or Granny Smith.  In other words, we have had molding apple slices on our counter for the past month.  At least it wasn't warm enough outside to draw fruit flies!  He found out that Granny Smith apples took the longest to mold/rot.  We wondered if peeling the apples first would have changed the results?

My oldest daughter's project was to see which type of dishwashing soap made the most bubbles: Dawn Antibacterial dish soap, Palmolive Antibacterial dish soap, or Meijer brand dishwashing liquid with Extra Cleaning Strength.  Her project was pretty fun...we got to measure bubbles!  She found out that the Meijer brand (store brand) soap made the most bubbles with 12/16 of an inch of bubbles (the other two tied with 11/16 of an inch of bubbles).  The results were close, but I was lucky to get three new bottles of dish soap out of the deal!  :)  We wondered which soap's bubbles would last the longest?

My middle daughter's project was to see which color of Skittle is the most common.  She tested three bags to see which color was the winner.  Each bag actually had a different color winner!  We decided to add them all up and see which color had the highest total amount.  She found out that green is the most common color overall.  We wondered if the results would be the same if she used bigger bags of Skittles?

After almost 4 hours of creating project boards to display the projects and results, we are done!  Now I can start on my own school work...cutting out lamination!  Hurray!  ;)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 29 - Through The Years

I'm celebrating my family today.  These might not be my own words, but they fit.  Today, I own them.  I just wish I could figure out how to play the song in the background on the blog!  But, that's a challenge for another day.  Introducing...my loves!

"Through The Years"

I can't remember when you weren't there
When I didn't care for anyone but you
I swear we've been through everything there is
Can't imagine anything we've missed
Can't imagine anything the two of us can't do
My hubby!  And yes, she's really that sweet!  :)
Through the years
You've never let me down
You turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found
I've found with you
Through the years
I've never been afraid
I've loved the life we've made
And I'm so glad I stayed
Right here with you
Through the years

My little man...my first baby!
I can't remember what I used to do
Who I trusted, whom I listened to before
I swear you've taught me everything I know
Can't imagine needing someone so
But through the years it seems to me
I need you more and more 

My biggest girl and her biggest smile!

Through the years
Through all the good and bad
I knew how much we had
I've always been so glad
To be with you
Through the years
It's better everyday
You've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay
I'll stay with you
Through the years

Cheese!  My middle sweetie!

Through the years
When everything went wrong
Together we were strong
I know that I belong
Right here with you
Through the years
I never had a doubt
We'd always work things out
I've learned what life's about
By loving you
Through the years

My littlest cutie pie, Miss Independent!

Through the years
You've never let me down
You turned my life around
The sweetest days I've found
I've found with you
Through the years
It's better everyday
You've kissed my tears away
As long as it's okay
I'll stay with you
Through the years

At the zoo in 2012
At the park in 2013

Oh my the grow so fast!  This July will be my 13th anniversary with my husband.  Tomorrow my oldest will turn 11.  My girls are 8, 5, and 2.  Where does the time go?  I love them to pieces and I'm so blessed to spend my years with them all.

"Through the Years" - written by Stephen Hartley Dorff  and Martin Panzer, 1982.


Friday, March 28, 2014

Day 28 - Highlights

There were so many great things that happened this week that I feel compelled to compile a highlight reel today!  Here are my top five great moments from this week!

If you read my blog yesterday, you already know this one.  My principal asked if his admin team could use my classroom as a test site to get the team calibrated for observations.  The kids did a fabulous job while they were visiting and I received some amazing feedback from each of the team members who came to visit.  They filled my bucket to the brim!

I have been working on some assessment this week in preparation for report cards.  I have been pleasantly surprised by the growth of some of my students!  I had a child who STRUGGLES with everything read 18/22 of our sight words!  This is a H U G E accomplishment for him!  We did a happy dance!

As part of the March is Reading Month celebrations we, as a staff, have been calling families at home to see if we can "catch" kids reading at home.  If so, they are entered into a special prize drawing for a new book.  I have had a lot of fun catching my students doing some great reading!

Today I had the pleasure of watching two of my students as they played together during free play time.  They sang each and every song from the movie Frozen.  They were just too sweet and I enjoyed the show!

Come on now, isn't see just sweet?  Can't wait until she is big enough to come home!