Until Next Time...

Ten years in kindergarten flew by. Teaching has caused me to grow more than I ever could have imagined. I learned that sometimes you smile, even when you don't want to smile. I learned how to parent, and how not to parent. I grew more patient. My (sheltered) eyes have been opened to issues that I never even knew existed. I also learned that five year olds fall down. Like a lot. They also like to take off their shoes, even at recess.

Kindergarten is not the same kindergarten when I was in school, with nap time and cookies. No, I am not a babysitter. I did go to college. I am an educator. Kindergarten isn't even the same as it was 5 years ago. Thankfully, we now have limits on how many bodies can be in our rooms (around 25). We no longer have half-day kindergarten, with two classes of 35 students each. Kindergarten is now the place where you take a preschooler and turn them into a reading and writing scholar, who can compose and decompose numbers... One who speaks in complete sentences, questions the world around them, and argues their points in Socratic Seminars.

I educate. For every minute I spent "teaching," I was simultaneously assessing, monitoring behavior, redirecting behavior, stimulating engagement, facilitating discourse, and making sure students knew what they were learning and why they had to know it, all while loving them. Effective teachers are these amazing creatures who should be celebrated. Yes, they use their hard earned money on classroom supplies, books, special occasions, that special fabric for bulletin boards, etc. We would rather buy it ourselves than let those kids go without it. We want to make an inviting environment or experience, and events memorable.

Summers off aren't what one would expect. I planned, I created, and I set up during the summers. Almost like a squirrel storing their acorns for the long winter. I tried to prepare the best I could, since it gets so busy during the school year. The exhaustion from teaching kicks in. We don't sit down. We dance on desks and wear costumes, so kids might actually pay attention to us. There might as well be classrooms without teacher's desks. I was exhausted after teaching, especially those first two weeks of school every year, my bedtime was often 6:00pm. But it's ok; we teach for no other reason except that we love it. We have a passion for it. If those little children didn't look up to us, we wouldn't tolerate those days without A/C (17 sporadic days this school year) or taking on another teacher's class because a substitute teacher didn't show up. We think about those little ones constantly, maybe at 3:00am when a lesson idea pops into our head that may just help them understand substituting phonemes. Teachers make it happen. Like a boss.

I will miss teaching and I plan on going back one day. There's something about those "four walls with tomorrow inside" that gets my creativity flowing. Shout out to all the effective educators out there who make a difference, who go above and beyond, and who get things done. #GTD I appreciate you. Happy summer break!


Groovy End of the Year Celebration

I used an abbreviated version of our Beatles performance for "graduation," to accommodate our half-day schedule. The kids rocked both performances and brought me to tears! We sang four songs:
1. Hello, Goodbye
2. Yellow Submarine
3. All You Need is Love
4. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

An awesome parent even sent me this video. Please pardon my nerves and some technical difficulties. :)

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I used individual cups as planters this years. I wrote each child's name on the cup with puffy paint, like last year. It makes it so much easier to send home for Spring Break!

I still love my thinking maps. I write the word "is" on each "arm," to help students with sentence structure.

I snuck a picture of another teacher's "Gambit" anchor chart. I loved it and need to make one!

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Last Week of School Bulletin Board

I wanted to take down our cute killer whale bulletin board early, so I could add the whales to each child's potfolio before "graduation." I left up the blue paper and painted on, "Sea ya later!" I had the kiddos write on Post-Its what they were going to miss about kindergarten. When they were done, they just popped their Post-It onto the wall. Easy!

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May's Bulletin Board

We read the (LOVE!) text on killer whales. The students wrote facts about whales and we turned them into cute orcas. When you lift the white belly, each child's writing is revealed.

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Hodge Podge

I found these cute canvases to hang in the hallway outside of my classroom door.
Here is our carpet time, where I hold Number Talks, model read, and do phonemic awareness activities.

On April Fools' day, another (amazing) kindergarten teacher and I dressed up as one another. We switched classrooms and tried to trick the students.... They were on to us. ;)

On Bike to School day in May, I led a bike ride to school from Las Vegas Cyclery. 100 students followed behind me on our 1 miles ride to school. I stayed in my helmet and kit all day to promote bicycle safety!

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Spring Bulletin Board

Our bulletin board for March and April showed off our writing. The students wrote "I can..." statements telling things they can do because they were just ducky!

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