Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rain Forest Animals 1 Enrichment Summer School

I ADORE teaching summer school!
Last week the almost 1st graders learned about
the rain forest and some of the plants and animals that live there.
Alligators, frogs, jaguars, monkeys, and
big, beautiful butterflies were our focus.

We integrated reading, math, journaling, art, and literature into our week

Here are a few pics of our fast, fun five days,,,
(be sure to snag your kiddo's individual pic at the end!)

Kara's mom stayed to help...she just came from a trip
to the rain forests of Costa Rica!  Awesome!!

 Sarah brought a new birthday present
to share with the class...nice!

Grandma Rita helped us every day!

it really was a jungle in there!

Have a great summer!
See some of you in August for Rain Forest Animals 2!
(bats, snakes, big bugs, lizards, and tropical birds!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Daily 5 Book Study Chapter 2

First of all, to family and friends waiting for and expecting to see exciting pics of our Spring and Summer...they are coming, I promise! Still cannot upload pics from this Ipad...grrr!
Also, family and friends, feel free to skip reading these book study posts (I DO LOVE being a part of this!) but beware, there will very soon be a post on BATHROOM ADVENTURES...there might be a read about the exciting escapades on our bathroom renovation as soon as it gets done (only on day 3...12 to go?) side note: had to go through the pouring rain to use the bathroom in the's going to be a looooong 2 weeks ( 4 weeks in contractor time?)

Kindergarten Smiles
1. Do you trust your students? How do you build this trust? Are you able to trust them and allow them to be independent throughout all aspects of your day? Are you going to be able to stay out of their way?

I do trust MOST of my k kiddos MOST of the time! I need to work on the proper practice of procedures if I am to let go of control more.

I currently build trust by giving them valid jobs to keep our classroom running smoothly. Raising 6 kids of my own has taught me the more responsibility kids have, the more independent they become.

Can I stay out of their way? I know I will need to work on being quiet during stamina building, as stated in the book, I do not want the students to become dependent on that positive reinforcement that seems to flow so freely in kindergarten! In other areas of D5? Hmmmm....I am excited to try!

2. How much choice do you give your students throughout the day? Do you go over your daily schedule with your students or is it just 'posted' in the room?

My kiddos get about 30 minutes free choice and 30 minutes of academic choice. One of the reasons D5 was intriguing to me was I was looking for more structure during this academic choice time. I realize I will need to add to the length of time. I am not willing to give up free choice, you know plain old fashioned PLAY time....dolls, blocks,art station, thematic items....any thoughts?

I do go over the daily schedule mostly at the beginning of the year, on return from breaks, and when we have a deviation from the norm...I also go over a target skills chart on most days during group time.

3. How are you going to create that sense of community where students will hold each other accountable?
Oooh ooh, I LOVE THIS ONE! I have been using Resposive Classroom for at least 5 years...I truly buy into their program which has very similar traits as D5: trust, responsibility, knowing our kids, community much of our first six weeks is based on community building activities. Empowering kids is what it is all about!

4. Student ownership in learning? How do you instill this in every child?

Kids do need to know WHY we are reading a particular book or learning specific skills, I need to sloooooow down and say why more often. Just being empowered with the knowledge of WHY can lead to increased ownership of learning and the ability to make good decisions.

On a more general level, at Open House we have the parents write their hopes and dreams for their k kid for the year. The kiddos also journal a hopes and dreams page in the first few weeks of school. I often refer back to them..."Katie, you told us your hopes and dreams were to become an actor. Did you know that actors have to read really well? And be good direction followers? We can work on those skills this year together!". Or "Tommy, your dad wants you to have a great k year filled with friends, fun, and learning!...we will work on all of those things this year!"

5. Stamina! How are you going to build stamina with reading? independent work? Will you use a timer? Will you set goals?

I love the many ideas I have read on your blogs....setting a timer, celebrating, recording goals for all to see. I just love the word STAMINA, cannot wait to teach it to my kiddos. It goes nicely with SELF CONTROL, another k skill!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Diggin' Dinos Summer School FINALLY

Sorry to make you wait so long for this blog.
I just need to figure out how to update my blog, 
from my Ipad.  
My laptop was awesome to upload pics with but it is shot.
I loved that little purple netbook!
My Ipad is equally awesome 
but I REALLY REALLY cannot  figure out how to get pics to upload.
And what good is a blog without pics?
No good at all, I am telling ya!

So if you can help, please please please
contact me.  
I can pay. 
With chocolate chip cookies! 

Sooooo, I bribed my kid (with chocolate chip cookies)
to use his laptop.  Which has a quirky habit ofNOT spacing...

So, first of all, you've got to  know how
well behaved and prepared to be in school
these almost k kiddo were!
I cannot remember a nicer week!

On Monday we made these great dinosaur hats....

 My daughter, Sorcha, helped with a  project everyday...
Here she is making a lovely little puppet with the kiddos!

This is the closest we actually got to digging for dinosaurs,
a game put out by National Geographic
similar to Operation
except we had to extract dino bones!
Imagine the kids' surprise when they learned we WEREN"T
going to actually DIG for BONES!
One of these years I am going to have a mutiny
on my hands....

 Me, overseeing the hat making table...

Fun choices.....

more hats....

snack time!
Thanks for the delicious snacks, by the way!

Our charts were a nice introduction
to our regular school year.

Grandma Rita helped everyday, too!

Dinosaur Dan with Sorcha.
A nice little color review!

Dino eggs made with eye droppers and liquid watercolor


Melissa, Kamea and Zane's Mom, helped us make
 sweet dinosaur  necklaces.

Sand painting with Sorcha...
man, she worked hard!

Here are the beginning of our fossils....

And look at these cuties.....

These are the sand art pics...pretty~

some of the books we read this week...
it was a nice collection of 
fiction and nonfiction.
We introduced the words
author and illustrator 

How many kid feet in a dinosaur foot?
(a baby tyrannasaurus)

Friday's finale!  Dino MASKS!

Nicole, Isaiah's Mom, helped us create
a cute dino book!

Look at the great dino puzzle we created!

So, as you can see, we had a very busy, very productive week.
We learned words like....
and so many different dinosaur names!

Thanks for sharing your little one with me!
We will be seeing some of you in August for 


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