Sunday, September 23, 2012


WOW! I'm usually somewhat organized- ok I know if you come to my room you will see piles of stuff- BUT I do know what's in each pile- that's organized right? 
Well, being gone 2 days last week left for a lot of housekeeping to be done in the room. I'm so glad I was able to go in for 2 hours today- yes, on Sunday I was at work for 2 hours. But while I was there, I got tables cleaned, piles sorted out, books switched to fall books in the display, papers filed away,  small group reading books picked for the week, material sorted for M-F in the baskets to be more organized, and I'm sure I got more done- BUT today's 2 hours of being at school working add to that over an hour to complete lesson plans.
If not on Sundays, when is there time to do this stuff during the work week? I'm already giving up my lunch to transfer reading materials over to math for the afternoon. During planning time- I'm finally getting around to checking emails- talking with teammates, and putting math materials away and getting out writing and word work material we will need.
I guess I will live with my piles until the days I'm able to spend a couple extra hours to just plain CATCH UP!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This week's pros and cons....

It's only Tuesday! But what a week of emotions.... 

Pros- My little guy that wants and seeks attention has had a better start to the week. No- he hasn't received may smiley faces on this behavior chart BUT when given a choice to stay with the group or go to his seat.... he is choosing stay with the group and bless his heart he is trying to stay quiet- it's just so hard! 

Con: I'm probably being a little more strict with him and not always using a pleasant voice. I know he tries hard. I know he wants to learn- but after asking him to do something and have him talk back to me- it takes a firm unpleasant voice for him to realize I mean business. Next week's goal- work on only being asked twice! Once for directions and once as a reminder after the first time. Why next week? because I'm out of the building Thursday and Friday. 

Pros: My student that doesn't want to be at school because he wants to spend time with Dad- didn't cry when Dad brought him to school Monday.

Con: He broke his arm at recess and had to have surgery Monday. :(

Pro: I have some students that are already reading or are reading to start. And their teacher is ready to challenge them to be life long readers! 

Con: This means I am going to spend my weekend trying to redo our reading workshop schedule- which the students have adjusted to and know the routine. How about a little shake up? I'm hoping for the best!! 

Pro: Reading workshop is going smoothly- even with adding pillows, the iPad and the choice to read around the room..... 
Con: Did I go through routines too fast to get students into groups and starting to work on reading and letter identification? I SURE HOPE NOT! This could be more of a con later down the road..... if I rushed! 

Looking at the emotional roller coaster this week and seeing the pros and thinking of the cons I'm hoping that the pros out weigh the cons! But with the motto of our secretary, "We Got this!" and I truly believe with the support I have throughout the building students in room 111 will come out making gains this year! 


Saturday, September 15, 2012


Well- I'm sitting at home in the garage- BEAUTIFUL weather while the baby is napping and working on things for next week. I'm feeling really positive about next week as I write up plans and my to-do list gets longer and longer with what I need to remember to do when I get to work- print sub plans, print plans for my para, create folders for students- the list goes on and on- BUT after feeling this week like a not so great ok let's be honest- a TERRIBLE teacher... I'm feeling a little more organized and my mind seems to be a little more clear as I once again get more things rolling in Kindergarten. It's September 15th and I'm still trying to get certain things started in the classroom- Did I start station rotations too early? I don't think so- but I also think we need a little review of taking care of materials- my students are so great when times are structured- I'm working this weekend on making sure even more of the day is structured- maybe smaller math groups? Tough with our curriculum I know- but COULD be best for my students...... Another step in learning? DEFINITELY! I am one that wants STAR notes for my teaching- as I question a lot of what I'm doing- is it good for students? Am I on the right track for Kindergarteners? BUT do I really need the physical STAR note- NOPE Just one in my brain thinking that I'm on the right track and at this point I feel like next week could be STAR note worthy--- but ask me again Monday after the day is over......

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Well- I'm quite a bit frustrated. I have a student that bless his heart tries his hardest and has no idea why he is at school. I have asked for help with how to work best with this student. The answer- is he needs meds. I'm VERY frustrated with that answer- why won't somebody give my an idea/ideas how to work with this little child that REALLY wants to learn- but sitting for 5 minutes quietly isn't an expectation he's ready to follow- so while the others are sitting and he's talking.... the best answer is he needs meds? Hmm I guess I was looking for anything I could do to set him up for success. From now on my lips are zipped on his behavior and I won't be asking for help- it's clear I'm not getting it and I'm not going to...... I apologize if this blog seems like I'm upset and rude- it's not intended that way- but I want more for students than a pill..... I know as my teacher he is going to be my motivation to be the best I can be because if I'm helping him to learn and succeed I know others will also be succeeding!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kindergartner's CAN

Why is it that people think it's nothing but chaos in a Kindergarten classroom? One thing has really bothered me since taking on the new Kindergarten position- and that is hearing around the building- "Oh they are Kindergarteners, what do you expect?" OR "They are Kindergarteners they can't do that." Well guess what- Kindergarteners CAN and DO! I have faith in my class and they can walk in a line quietly, they CAN go to reading workshop station rotations. They CAN! They CAN! They CAN! 

Don't say oh they are Just Kindergarteners.... Do we say Oh, the fourth graders are loud- but that's because they are JUST 4th graders? No- we have high expectations for them and guess what- We should for our Kindergarteners too!!! 

When asked how do I like the move? Accept and LISTEN when I say I LOVE teaching Kindergarten- there's no hidden sarcasm in that- I do LOVE it! I'm learning in this journey and have LOVED every step! 

Today I was talking to students about rotating to their next station. A boy came up to me and said, "What does it mean to rotate?" What a great feeling BECAUSE he picked up on a high vocabulary word and wanted to know more! Also- by using higher vocabulary there was another teachable moment in my room.... Now I'm going to "borrow or steal" the idea from our Media teacher and have a vocabulary word of the week.... Next week's word: ROTATE! He asked me this question in private so he got the answer at the end of reading class today. See Kindergartners CAN do more!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

So much to think about

This year is definitely going to be full of learning adventures for me as a first year Kindergarten teacher.... I really hope the worrying/stress levels that I've been feeling will go away. I don't sleep at night because I lay in bed thinking of things I didn't get done before I left work OR things I want to make sure I do with students- especially really reward those students that are ready to learn. Did I talk to every child each day? Do they all know how important they are to our class? Not only do I worry about these kinds of things- but what will I do in reading groups? Do I have the right students grouped together? What if I don't challenge them to do better? Am I moving to fast with routines??

THEN I see a note from a parent about what a great job I've been doing because her daughter has already learned so much in Kindergarten- that was the BEST thing to hear because as you can see I was questioning if I'm in the right place and doing the right things..... I know it's early in the year but I want to be the best teacher that I can be- and unfortunately since this is my first year I won't feel like I'm a very good teacher because I truly feel I have no idea what I'm doing.....