Welcome!


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, December 31, 2013

Goodbye Growth, Hello Light

 
It's time to share one final Slice of Life in 2013!  Join the gang at Two Writing Teachers for another Slice of Life Tuesday!
 


It's always hard for me to put my thoughts at the close of the year into words.  I've been struggling with a slice of life to share today.  Mostly, as this year draws to a close, I've been thinking about my One Little Word. 

In 2013, I chose the word:

GROWTH

Over the past year I have reflected a bit on my OLW but not nearly enough.

I've watched growth all around me...in my children, my students, my family, my friends.  I've grown myself in may ways.  It was a good word and though I didn't spend as much time with it as I would have liked, it's time to move on.

This year I have selected:

LIGHT

as my OLW for 2014.

I hope to be more involved in the meaning of this word.  I hope to do more things that bring light into my life.  I hope to bring light to those around me in whatever way I can.  I hope to let my light shine into new places this year.  I hope this year's journey is full of light in every way.  I hope to share the slices of light I find in the new year through my blog posts...I'm already looking forward to the March Slice of Life Challenge!

And so, with 2014 just a handful of hours away...I'm beginning to look for light.  Today I've seen it in the eyes of my children...in the smile of my husband...in the words of a friend...in the hope and promise that a new year holds.

Have a safe and happy new year everyone and may life's light shine brightly for you in 2014!

December Chalk-a-Bration!

It's time to join Betsy at Teaching Young Writers for another Chalk-a-Bration!  Quick, grab your chalk and let the poetry dust fly!



It's hard to believe that it's time to break out the chalk again!  Since it's pretty snowy and icy here in Michigan, I used my iPad for chalking this time around.



And three out of four of my children also got in on the chalk action!

 
Maddie is five and is still convinced that people should look like this!  We're still working on it...
 

Avery is only two so we will just call this "abstract art."

 
Matthew, who is 10, used the iPad also but his is a doodle board app instead of a chalk board app.  I just love this picture of Matthew and Dad having a light saber fight!
 
Emma was too busy using her new Kindle Fire to participate...maybe in January the newness will have worn off and she will be able to join in the chalk fun!  :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow Day!!!

SNOW DAY!!

I had hoped and wished and prayed for a snow day.  We had enough snow...maybe.  It had been snowing - Friday night through most of Saturday.  I went out on Sunday to buy groceries and the roads in town were terrible so I knew the rural roads were worse.  That was a start.  It continued to snow on and off on Sunday.  That was a good sign too!  I posted on Facebook that I was hoping for a snow day...my friends were hoping too, but no one was very optimistic.

And then it happened.

We were eating dinner and I heard a text buzzing my phone.  I didn't get up to answer during dinner...it could wait until we were done.

As I started to clear the table, I remembered the text.  I reached for my phone and my happy dance began!  I read it out loud to my kids and we all cheered!  We all enjoy school, but still...

A SNOW DAY!!  WE WERE HAVING A SNOW DAY!!  NO ALARM, NO RUSH OUT THE DOOR IN THE MORNING!! 

And the best part?  Knowing about it the night before!  Am I right??

I have had a very productive day off too!  I spent the morning doing school work...I know, right?  But I did.  I have my math and Daily 5 chunks planned for January and February!  I fixed up my weekly planning sheet to fit with the adjustments to my schedule that I made two weeks ago (and it was about time too). 

I stirred up two batches of sugar cookies for school.  Each of my students will be rolling out and cutting cookies for each person in their house.  We will frost and decorate them and the kids will take them home for a family treat.  I mixed up three batches of my mom's frosting recipe to frost those cookies with too!

And, in and around all of that, I managed to spend time with my kiddos!  I mean, when they weren't busy watching movies, playing video games, reading, playing dress up and restaurant and dolls, and anything else their little hearts desired on this FREEZING snowy day.  It was a free-for-all kind of day, something we all needed.

I think the only thing that they didn't do today was play outside.  And I didn't blame them one little bit.  It's COLD out there (and they played outside yesterday while it was snowing).

Now, about tomorrow...

Do I smell another snow day coming my way?

Probably not, but if my phone should happen to deliver some most excellent news, I will NOT object!

I will also probably not be as productive either.

I guess time will tell.

Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Rememberance, Kindness, You & Me

 
It's Slice of Life Tuesday!!  Join the crew at Two Writing Teachers for this writer's treat.  Read a slice, write a slice, share a slice...join in the fun in whatever way works for you!
 
 
Today was one of those days when I just didn't have a plan for my slice.  Throughout the day at school I tried to use my writer's eyes to notice something, I tried to use my teacher eyes to notice something, but nothing struck me.  I saw plenty of "things" but nothing felt just right.  I figured that something would strike me at home.  With four kids around, there are plenty of topics swirling around me at all times, but even after dinner was eaten and cleaned up...I had nothing.
 
Then I turned on the computer and my topic landed in my lap.  As I read a blog I follow, I was touched.  I fell in love with an idea from a fellow teacher-blogger.  With the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary approaching later this week, Greg Smedley-Warren from the Kindergarten Smorgasboard blog shared an idea of remembrance.
 
He told of listening to the radio and hearing a story in which the mayor of Newtown, Connecticut shared that the staff and families of Sandy Hook would like everyone to complete an act of kindness in remembrance of the lives lost on that horrific day.  Greg's idea was to spread the word to all of his teacher-blogger friends.  If everyone shares this idea with a friend or two and all of those people do an act of kindness, imagine how many people that could be! 
 
So my request to you?  If you read my slice, please commit to completing a simple act of kindness on December 14th in remembrance of the victims of Sandy Hook, and even better, every day.
 
 
 
 
Greg encourages us, as I do, to pass this idea along, share this picture, tell your friends and colleagues.  Share the message and let's honor the beautiful children who lost their lives too early and the brave teachers who gave their all to try to protect them.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Cautionary Tale

Do you have teenagers in your house?  Have you been looking for just the right thing to teach teens to choose abstinence?  I've got just the thing for you.  Tell them my story.

The Backstory:  I have four children, ages 2-10.  We were excited about a long Thanksgiving weekend together and had plans to host family for dinner, get some Christmas shopping done, enjoy some down time together as a family.

And so, it begins.

Picture it: Thursday morning, Thanksgiving.  I'm standing at the kitchen sink up to my elbows in turkey preparations.  My 8 year old daughter trudges out from her bedroom looking pale and tired. 

"I don't feel good," she says.  Those words.  Those dreaded words.

"Go lay on the couch and watch TV for a little bit.  Maybe you just woke up too early," I told her.  Lovely.  I was grasping at straws, I know this, but I was cooking for 11 people.  This wasn't really happening, right?

Within an hour, she was (sorry, too much info) throwing up.

Flu: 1    Kids: 3

Picture it: Saturday afternoon.  I'm doing a little school work on the computer in the kitchen and look up just in time to see my 2 year old daughter, who is too young to tell me she doesn't feel well, throw up.  In the chair.  The BEIGE chair.  Lovely.

Flu: 2     Kids: 2

Picture it: Sunday evening.  I'm folding laundry, preparing things for school on Monday, taking part in the general "busy-busy" of Sunday evenings.  My 10 year old son comes upstairs from vegging out in front of a video game for a bit.

"I don't feel good," he says, rubbing his stomach. 

Lovely. 

"Here it comes," I couldn't help but think to myself.  Within an hour, he was throwing up.

Flu: 3     Kids: 1

Picture it: Monday, lunchtime.  I'm home from school with my son, letting him rest, and I think to myself (maybe my first mistake), "At least I haven't heard from the school today!"

Within an hour, my phone rings.  I glance at the caller id.  "School" it says.  Deep breath.

"Hello?"  (Oh, please don't let the 5 year old be sick!!!)

"I have your daughter in the office.  She just got sick in the classroom."

Lovely.  Another one bites the dust.

Flu: 4     Kids: 0

If you lost track...let me recap.

5 days.
4 vomiting children.

Lovely. 

Go away flu bug!

Please share this cautionary tale with those teens who need a good reminder.  Cleaning up vomit is no fun, especially when multiplied by 4.  I can't think of a better form of birth control, especially for people who don't handle vomit well.  (MEEEEE!!!!!) 

I know, that teenager you talk to will probably say, "That won't happen to me."

Yes, it will.  Some time, some day, it will come for you too.