First Week Fun

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Hey ya’ll! If I had to sum up our first week in one word, it would be AWESOME. What a fun group of kiddos! 
Not one tear was shed on the first day of school! That NEVER happens in kindergarten! They all came in ready to have some fun and learn some new things:) 
On our first day, we started with play dough. One of our first goals this year is to be able to identify, spell, and correctly write our names. What better way to start than with playdough! Here are a few pictures of our playdough names:

   
    
    
    
 
Another highlight of the first day was reading Pete the Cat Rocking His School Shoes.  When we got to the last page, we noticed Pete the Cat had left us a note! The note lead us on a wild goose chase (aka tour) of the whole church. Each place we would find had another note from Pete giving us a clue for where to look for him next. We visited the gym, the playground, Ms. Lindee’s office, the first aide room, Ms. Pam’s office and back to our classroom. When we got to or classroom Pete the Cat had left us a goldfish snack! The kids were determined all week to find/trap and even hunt this cat😂. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

   
    
    
 
We also made some fun “First Day of School” hats! The kiddos are really enjoying the flexible seating options:)

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
Traci Hencke, Addyson’s mom, made personalized capes for all of the kids to use in our classroom this year! We are going to have specific times in our day where they can do some “super” work with their capes on. 

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Here are some of our first day portraits:

      

Lunch the first day was fun! 

      

On Wednesday, we read Pete the Cat Loves His White Shoes.  We went over scissor procedures and got to practice some cutting for the first time! 

        

We also read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henckes (I made a mistake on the authors name on the note home 🙈, I blame first week tiredness..). Every time something unkind was said to Chrysanthemum, we wrinkled our paper hearts.  When the story was over, we flattened out our hearts the best we could. We had a great conversation about how even if we apologize for unkind things, they still leave wrinkles that won’t go away. We introduced honor and talked about the three key components of honor in our classroom. 

1. We treat each other as special.

2. We do more than is expected. 

3. We have a good attitude. 

I was surprised at how quickly the kiddos caught on and the compassion they showed while reading the story. You could tell that the fact that Chrystanthemum was getting made fun of was really bothering them! 

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Here we practiced sorting words, sentences, and letters.

  
The students also enjoyed getting to experience a few of our centers including the teacher table, where we practiced our names. 

   
    
    
    
 

On Thursday, we discovered that Pete the Cat had snuck into our room while we were gone! Sneaky cat! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
   
After our fun snack, we voted on our favorite Pete the Cat book and made a class graph. 

  

Then we got to practice reading some sentences and made our very own Pete the Cats! 

   
    
 
Next week, we will move into learning our normal schedule. We will have our first sight words, continue to practice our names, have our first memory verse, continue to learn about each other, start math and literacy centers, and we will learn all about the letter Aa. 

I feel so blessed to teach your kids! Please never hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments, or concerns! 

Have a great weekend! 

Here are a few more fun pictures: 

   
    
    
   

  

A Brand New Year

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Hey Parents!

Our classroom is ready to go! Tomorrow twelve new kiddos will walk into the room filled with excitement and nerves. They will come as mostly strangers and leave as family. I couldn’t be more excited to start this new year.

In this post I am going to go through some routines and procedures that make up my classroom community. I typically send this home in a “handbook” form, but this year I decided to do it through my blog to get you acquainted with how to use it. I will be using this blog at least bi-weekly to give you a window into our everyday classroom life and learning.

Here it goes!

Behavior:

In our classroom we use the biblical principle of honor as a model for our behavior. The three aspects of honor that we will learn are:

  1. Treat other people as special.
  2. Do more than what is expected.
  3. Have a good attitude.

Throughout the year, we will be learning about honor together and helping each other be the best that we can be. Kindergarten is a transitional point in a child’s school career and I strive to create a developmentally appropriate environment where your child can adjust to the new expectations that they face. In our classroom, every day is a new day. If a problem arises with your child’s behavior, we will work together as a team to sort it out and find solutions. I will never discuss your child’s behavior at drop off or pick up for a number of reasons. I do not ever want to “shame” your child or breach confidentiality by discussing things in front of other parents. If there was a problem during our day, you will see a note in your child’s binder to give me a call. Ultimately, I want you to know that we are on the same team. Together, we can create an environment in which your child will thrive.

Homework:

Every night (Mon- Wed)  your child will-

  • practice sight words
  • read
  • practice memory verse

*There will occasionally be a special homework assignment sent home*

Homework should never be frustrating and should never take longer than 15 minutes. It should be a fun, light hearted time where your child shows you the things that they have learned in school. Please let me know if this ever becomes an issue.

We will test on sight words and memory verses every Thursday.

Binders:

Inside your child’s binder you will find a planner. Please check and sign this planner daily. All upcoming events, homework, reminders, behavior praises or concerns, and other communications will be made using this planner.

Our schedule:

A copy of our schedule was sent home on Meet-The-Teacher and will also be posted in our classroom. Please let me know if you have scheduling questions.

Aides:

Ms. Jennifer will be in our rooms all day on Mondays and Wednesdays. We will also have Ms. Leeanne in our room to help for one hour every afternoon.

Flexible Seating:

As you probably noticed, our classroom seating is a little non traditional. This year, I have implemented flexible seating. Research shows that students maintain focus better and have over all better achievement with this seating option. Keeps those bodies busy so that their little minds can focus:)

Friday Field Trips:

Throughout the year, our class will be having a few “Friday Field Trips”. These are themed trips that go along with things we have been learning in class. Any time that we can extend our learning outside of the walls of our classroom it is a win. Those who can, meet up at the location. Every parent is responsible for their own child. In years past we have gone to the pumpkin patch, nursing home, zoo, and local fire department.

Parties:

We will have several parties throughout the year.

  • Halloween/fall
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Valentines
  • Easter
  • Field Day
  • Last day

It takes a lot of volunteers to make parties happen! Please let me know if your are interested in helping with parties.

Volunteers:

My classroom has an open door and I love volunteers. We have already had a few moms sign up for different months to help out in our room. If you haven’t had the chance to sign up, or you want to be more involved, let me know. There is always something for you do to! 🙂

 

This year is going to be amazing! I want you to know that I am praying for your family tonight. Also, I want you to know that GraceKids is a ministry. I may call upon you for prayer this year, and I would be honored to pray with your family over struggles as well. My door is always open if you need to talk about things in your life.  School or non school related.

Never hesitate to contact me for anything!

 

Have a good night! Tomorrow is the day for KINDERGARTEN!

🙂

And then it was May…

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Hi everyone! I’ve been contemplating this blog post since the last day of school… Just haven’t been able to wrap my mind or my emotions around our year already being over. I held it together pretty well through our graduation ceremony and party. My heart was swollen with pride for all of the kids as they showed ya’ll their career research projects. My heart was happy as ya’ll looked through the scrapbooks and reminisced of all of the good memories of our year. My heart was full as each kid squeezed me before they left my room for the last time. So proud, so happy, so full, and then so sad. So sad as I looked around at twelve empty chairs and bare walls. Sad that my own daughter wouldn’t be with me next year. Sad that these kids I had grown to love as my own would not be back. I know I will have more awesome kids next year. I know that we will learn and have adventures. I know we will laugh, cry, and grow close. I know it will be just as hard to let the next group go into the “big world” as it was to let this one go. But, I also know its okay to be sad when it is over so took a few moments to just let myself be sad. A good cry is often cleansing for the soul :).

We had so much fun the last couple weeks of school! We learned about careers! Each kiddo got to choose a career to research. They watched videos, made thinking maps, conducted interviews, and worked hard to create posters to display their research. I was so proud of the higher-level thinking that went down with these projects! The kids were asking to create maps that required higher-level thinking like brace maps, flow maps, bridge maps, rather than simple circle maps or bubble maps. On the last day, the kiddos dressed up like the career they researched. I don’t know for sure what these kids will become, but I DO know that God will use each of them to do AMAZING things! Here are a few pictures:

Now, let’s talk about our KinderCamp Day! It was so much fun! In the morning, we read stories in our tent, played camping bingo, made smore’s, and had some fun camping stations. For lunch, we had a cookout! We grilled hot dogs and had watermelon, chips, fruit snacks, and juice. The kids had a blast! After lunch, we went on a nature scavenger hunt! In the afternoon, we had some outside fun! We did water balloons, silly string, bubbles, chalk, a bounce house, and snow-cones. It was such a fun way to wrap up our year! Thank you to all of the parents who volunteered and/or sent supplies for us :)!

I want to end this post and this year with one more “thank you”. Thank you for letting me love your kids this year! Thank you for being awesome parents! These kids are going to do awesome things in their life time. Next year will be very different for them and for you. I want you to know I am still here for you if you want to share successes with me, have questions, want to visit, or need to vent! I will help any way I can. Don’t make me a memory just yet :)!

 

Have a GREAT summer! Eat lots of ice cream for me!

 

April showers

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 Hey everyone! With the art show prepping craziness behind us and only TEN school days left, I thought this would be a good time for a blog post about some things we’ve been learning in class! As some of you know, my poor phone has been damaged beyond repair two times in the last couple of months, so I’m missing lots of good pictures! But, I will do my best to fill in the gaps:)! 

Let’s go back to the 100th day of school (has it been that long since my last blog post?😬). We had such a fun day! Here are some of the activities we did:

– Built a 100 cup structure

– made something  with 100 Legos 

– Used q-tips to paint 100 gum balls 

– Created 100th day hats

– Made 100th day trail mix

– Wrote 100 words 

– Counted to 100 by 10, 5, and 2. 

We also wrote about what our lives will be like when we are 100 and made pictures of ourselves. They came out awesome! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
One of the most awesome parts of this day was dressing up like we were 100 years old. The kids looked awesome. Their costumes, canes, and painted on wrinkles were so fun. Unfortunately I lost all of the pictures when my phone took a bath:( 

After the 100th day, we spent some time learning about Spring and plants. We learned about the basic needs of plants, the parts of plants, and the specific jobs that those parts do. This group of kids really enjoys science! 

   
   
In ELA, we have been continuing to work with different blends. We have also introduced double vowels. The kids are building confidence with their reading and writing with these blends. They get so excited when they see or spell a word they learned. It is also amazing to watch them build each other up. I love watching them help and encourage each other! The phrases that I’ve repeated to them all year long are being repeated throughout the classroom! “No can’t in kindergarten.” “Stretch your brain!” “Use your resources.” Makes a teacher’s heart happy😍. 

In math, the kids have been SO excited to be doing fractions and subtraction! We’ve had to have some serious practice with counting by twos, but they all seem to have gotten it. I couldn’t be more proud! Our April math stations have also been a hit. The favorite game seemed to be the “sums to ten” shark memory game, where they had to make sums of ten to keep their cards. They loved it! 

   
    
    
   
In our bible lessons, we’ve been learning about blessings, making wise choices, and about being friends with God. We learned the story of Mary and Martha. Sometimes we think things need to be perfect and pretty, when really we just need to stop and listen to what Jesus has to say. Here are some sentences we wrote about our blessings. 

   
    
 
On the day of the Art show, we also celebrated Earth Day! Here are some of our Earth Day learning activities:

   
    
    
    
    
   
   
    
    
 
We took advantage of our lesson on reduce, reuse, and recycle and incorporated a higher level thinking assignment. The kiddos has to think of something that could be turned into something else and describe it. I was blown away by their critical thinking skills and creativity!  

    
    
    
    
    
   
The Art Show was amazing! Our projects came out awesome (after much trial and error 😂) and the kiddos nailed their performances! 

   

   
This week we are preparing for Mother’s Day. All the kids have become authors and illustrators and are creating hard back books about their moms. On Thursday, we will host a Mother’s Day brunch in our room. The kids got to make invitations for their moms and will be planning the menu, preparing the food, doing the decorating, and serving their Mommas on this day. They are SO excited!

   
    
    
    
    
    

It’s never to early to get kids thinking about their future! Next week, we will start our research project on careers. Each kiddo will pick a career to do their project over. We will read books, watch videos, conduct interviews, and create products about our career choice.  On the last day of school, the kids will dress up like the career they chose for our graduation and award ceremony. The ceremony will be in our room at 11:30. At noon, we will have pizza and juice to celebrate an awesome year! 

I will be doing another blog post this weekend to share pictures from our brunch! 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I am blessed daily by your kiddos! 

 

March Madness! 

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Hi everyone! Can you believe March is already almost OVER? And that we only have EIGHT weeks left of school? It’s going by way too fast! Here is a peek into a few of the things we’ve done this month:

Let’s start with my favorite thing of the year… Animal research projects! Each student got to pick an animal from a list (that I create) and research it. We learned about habitats, diets, physical attributes, and much more! The kiddos used books, iPads, QR codes, and thinking maps to conduct their research. After organizing all of their data, they created posters. Each student also got to create a unique item to go with their project. When their protects were completed, the student gave a presentation to the class teaching them about their animal! We wrapped up the unit with a fun Friday Field trip to the Gainsville Zoo! This is my favorite project because the kids get so excited about it! I love to watch them be independent, creative, and for them to take ownership of their learning. Such an awesome group of little learners! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
 
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   
After Spring Break, we dove right into learning about Easter. We memorized John 3:16 and read several stories about the first Easter. We made resurrection rolls to demonstrate the empty tomb. Most of the kids were already very familiar with the story. It made my heart so happy!

   
    
    
   

We also read a few fun Easter Bunny stories! We did our first “directed illustration”. The students went step by step with me instructing them on how to draw a bunny. I love the way that they turned out! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

  
 
Our Easter party was awesome! Y’all do such a great job of making the parties fun and memorable! They are full of fun and laughter!  My Kara even lost a tooth playing one of the games! 😀 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 
Here are a few of our journals from Easter week:

   
    
    
    
    
 

February Fun!

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February is one of my favorite months! It has Groundhog’s Day, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, Dental Health Week, and my birthday! Couldn’t get much more awesome than that, now could it? Here is a sneak peak of a few fun things we have done this month:

Groundhog’s Day:

This was so much fun in our classroom! We read stories, made crafts, made predictions, wrote sentences and had a fun groundhog themed snack. We also got to watch the actual news clip of Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow. Spring is coming!

Valentine’s week was a blast! We wrote about people we love, made Love Bugs and Love Monsters, and even had some fun practicing addition with an activity from “The Day it Rained Hearts.” Unfortunately, a yucky stomach bug hit our classroom and we had almost half of our friends gone for the Valentine party! BUT I have a feeling our Easter Party will make up for it:)! I didn’t get as many pictures as I would have liked during this week. My phone was out of storage!

We spent the whole next week learning about the job of the president! We learned about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and about the history of our flag.  We also learned what the president does everyday and wrote about what we would do if we were president. I think we may have a future president or two in our class!

These kids LOVED learning about dental health! We even had a dentist come to visit!

What else has been happening in kindergarten?

In ELA we have been continuing to work on blends, silent e, and long and short vowel sounds. I am so proud of these kiddos! They are becoming stronger readers every day!

In writing we have been working toward a HUGE goal… Paragraphs! During journal time the students have been working towards writing three to four sentences on the same topic. They are doing fabulous! Here are a couple examples of their growth:

In math, we have been working on coins, place value, addition and patterns.

This month in our bible lessons we have learned the stories of  Ruth, Gideon, and Deborah. We learned that God wants us to be bold as lions, loyal, and that he wants us to listen when he calls. The kiddos are doing great with the verses, vocabulary, and themes of the stories!

 

Here are some of our “February Bucket” math and literacy stations.

Some upcoming things:

This week is the first week of March! I will be gone on Tuesday for a training. We will also be celebrating Dr. Suess’s birthday on Wednesday. After that, we will begin our animal research projects! We will research animals that can be found at the zoo. The students will be able to see the animals that they researched in person on our Friday field trip!

We will be having a Friday field trip to the Gainsville Zoo on Friday, March 11th. We will also have a special “animal encounter” presentation given to our class by one of the zookeepers. The cost per person will depend on the number of students and siblings attending. Notes with exact cost will come home Monday. I cant wait!

We will be having another Kindergarten Night on Tuesday, March 8th. If you know of any upcoming kindergarteners, invite them!

Spring Break will be March 14-17.

Our Easter party will be on Thursday, March 24th at 2:00.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions about anything! It is such a blessing to teach each and every one of your kiddos! Learning is fun at GraceKids!

 

Sneaky “e” and Winter Wildness 

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Hi everyone! This past week was so much fun!! Here is a sneak peek into what we learned:

As I’m sure you’ve heard at home, we learned about Mr. Sneaky E! He puts himself at the end of some words and makes the vowel say it’s name. I was very impressed with how well these kiddos caught on to this new skill! By the end of the week they were all blending these words like professionals! 





We’ve also been working really hard to get those diagraphs down. They are doing awesome! 



Since we’ve returned from break, we have been stretching our brains to the max with our journal writing. I love to see how rapidly they are progressing in their writing abilities! First grade here we come! They love getting the opportunity to practice their speaking voices by sharing their journal entries with the class. 















 

















We’ve also been reading some fun Dr. Suess books to help us practice our rhyming skills. These kids are rhyming masters! 



The first week back from break, we spent some time exploring the winter season. What kinds of things do we do in winter? What do we eat? How are our winters different from winters in other places? We read a few awesome winter books and made some fun crafts.

























The “January bucket” made an appearance! It is filled with puzzles, QR codes for winter stories, games, write-the-room activities, and TONS of fun! 









After exploring what winter means to us and how it is relevant to our lives, the question was brought up “What do animals do in the winter?”. We spent this past week diving into hibernation, migration, and adaptation.  It turned into one of my favorite weeks of the year! We learned about a bunch of different animals! We huddled like penguins, we explored what it is like to be insulated by blubber, and we ended the week with a research project! Each student got to choose one animal. They did research, wrote about what that animal does in the winter, and used Pinterest to choose a craft that included their animal. I was in love with the level of enthusiasm that was circulating in our classroom on this day and blown away by their projects! 





































Here is some PE fun with Mrs. Leeanne!



We also celebrated a very special birthday! Happy birthday Alexis! 



In math we are continuing to focus on addition  and number recognition through 30. This week we are introducing place value. The kids are doing awesome. 

Here is a sneak peek into our bible learning for last week:







We are trucking right along into the year! These kids are progressing beautifully! I’m savoring every week I have left with them!  I’ll leave you tonight with a fun project we did on our first day back from break. We learned about goals and set some goals for the new year! 























Coming soon:

– In February we will have a Friday field trip to a local nursing home. Keep your ears out for exact dates:)

-Our Valentine party will be on Thursday, February 11 at 2:00pm. 

As always, let me know if you need anything! I’m so blessed by each of your kiddos!