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!


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Chalk-a-bration!


I'm joining Betsy today for Chalk-a-bration!  I decided this month to let the kids take the chalk and just go wild!  We are all so happy to see a little sunshine, some warmer temperatures and finally, NO MORE SNOW!!  So, to celebrate, we grabbed the chalk and took off for recess.  All of our kindergarten students have recess in the afternoon together.  So, what you see in the photos below are my own students plus many others who decided to join in when they saw the opportunity to chalk!



When you give a kindergartener some chalk,
 ...they will collaborate on a chalk drawing!

 ...they will write words and draw flowers.

...they will draw the sunshine and note who rocks!

 ...they will draw portraits.
...they will work hard to make fancy block letters!

And finally, when you give a kindergartener some chalk, you are bound to draw a crowd...of 74.

Got chalk?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Questions

Have you ever been asked a question that caught you off guard?  So off guard that you didn't know how to answer it even after you had time to think about it?

My dad passed away several years ago and my mom's been paring down her house recently.  Her boyfriend has moved in with her and they have been working out how to combine to households into one.  They have each been taking things to the Hospice House resale store and Goodwill.  In the summer, my mom would like to have an auction to sell the larger items they have left, which includes most of the tools and items from my dad's garage, but also many things from the house as well.  My mom is adamant that she doesn't want us, her kids, to have to deal with all of this after she is gone.

This process is what sparked the question.

"What things would you like to have out of the house?" my Mom asked me recently.  "The grandfather clock that Grandma made is yours, she wanted you to have it, but what else would you like someday?"

Having already lost my dad, even entertaining the thought of losing my mom completely blows my mind.  So, when asked what I want...the only thing I can say is to not need to want anything!

She asked me to think about it.

I have. 

I still don't know much.

The first thing I thought of was my dad's hammer.  He had a hammer that had his name engraved in the side.  It's the hammer I always remember him using and I remember always thinking it was cool that it had his name on it.  (Oh, the things we find interesting when we are young!)  So, that's on my list of wants.

Honestly, I don't know what else to say.  How do I know what I will look back and wish I had?

Besides, of course, my parents.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The River Always Finds The Lake...Eventually

The water
it pours over me
rushing past
swirling
threatening to pull me down

The rocks
small and large
jagged or worn down
obstacles to climb
strongholds against me

The lake
placid and calm
lazy lilypads
eventually the river arrives
always
over the rocks
rushing or meandering
it always meets
it's destiny
it always reaches
the end


I've been feeling frustrated this week with my class.  It's only Tuesday, I know this, but it's been a testing week.  I am feeling like there isn't enough time left with my students before the end of the year and also that there is too much time before the end arrives.  I feel like they have made so much progress this year and also that there is so far left to travel together.  Things that were going well before are suddenly struggles.  Things that we have struggled with are now getting easier.  I know that we will arrive at the end of the school year, just like always.  I know that I will get through at least most of what I need to get through.  Somehow, the struggles will eventually smooth and my sweet kinder kiddos will wave to me from the first grade hallway.

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Some days it lights my journey and other days it shines in my eyes.  Today I feel like I need my sunglasses.  Tomorrow will be a better day.

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.
http://open.spotify.com/user/1229028585/playlist/2mUMmqlBjhJiG0ZhaUJtKO

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
wanting
and waiting for
sPriNg!