Saturday, October 30, 2010

halloween fun!

Survived my first holiday celebration!  It was a wild day but so much fun!  I had already prepared myself for a lot of craziness, but I was really pleased with my students' behavior!  We were so excited about what all was going on, and sometimes it was hard to keep the excitement inside, but we all were able to keep things under control. 
Every day in the month of October we read the book Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman.  The teacher I worked with last year introduced me to this book.  It's best if you have the audio tape!  I was VERY excited to find the tape in things my aunt had given me over the summer!  It quickly became my students' favorite too.  I loved hearing my students reading along with the book.  During centers they loved to read the book.  I was very sad it was our last time to read it.
We also sang Witches' Brew several times too! I read a couple of Halloween books, and as I read them I turned the lights off, closed the blinds, and held a flashlight up at my face to make things more spooky!  I told my students the spooky story of In a Dark Dark Wood. 
In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house;
And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room;
And in the dark, dark room there was a dark, dark cupboard;
And in the dark, dark cupboard there was a dark, dark shelf;
And on the dark, dark shelf there was a dark, dark box;
And in the dark, dark box there was a....ghost!
At the end I make sure to say it a lot louder, and my students screamed like little babies!  Then we all laughed and laughed.  I went to the other Kindergarten classes and told them too.  It was really funny to watch their reactions.
We had started our orange and black celebration off with a pumpkin hunt.  I found these cute pumpkins at Target that are like Easter eggs and we went on a pumpkin hunt!  We made Monster Mash to eat.  I asked students to bring in the ingredients.  A few things I included were raisins...aka scabs, marshmallows...aka ghost poop, peanuts...aka knee joints, pretzel sticks...aka skeleton bones, white chocolate chips...aka vampire teeth, peanut butter chips...aka bat droppings, and candy corn...aka monster teeth.

They loved all the food we had!  I was pleased to tell the parents that the next day they got to stay home because it was a teacher work day!  The sugar rush kids were all theirs!!!  They did thank me!!!
Once they finished it was mummy time!  I had been so excited about this game.  I let 5 different children be wrapped up!  They absolutely loved it!!!!  They did a really good job working together, and one group even gave their mummy a bow!
We also played Guess the Ghost!  I had a white sheet, had all the students close their eyes, and then I chose one student who was the ghost, and all the other students had to guess who it was under the sheet!  They got really excited while playing this.  It was really cute! 

It was a great day!  It went really fast.  Looking forward to our next celebration!!!
During the party I heard one student say..."Isn't this best Halloween party you have ever had!"
I couldn't agree any more!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010


The past two weeks I did a unit study on spiders.  I really don't like spiders that much so it was a little hard.  I sucked up being a baby about it and enjoyed teaching and learning about spiders.  I started the unit by graphing each student's opinion of liking spiders or not liking spiders. 
I could not believe they all said they liked spiders!  I was afraid they were just saying it because that is what their friend said.  I asked if I were to bring live spiders and put them all around the room the next day would they be okay with it or not (they did ask the next day where the spiders were).  The next morning I had a student raise his hand and ask if he could change his spider because he decided he really didn't like spiders!  I found a great unit online about spiders.  I am sorry I can't tell you what the website was because I don't remember!  Sorry!  I will keep looking for it.  I got some good ideas from the unit and I also went to our public library and checked out a "story bag."  Our library has tons of these bags on different themes.  I was lucky to find one about spiders.  There were great non fiction books and some fiction.  We learned lots of interesting facts about spiders.
We learned all about the body of a spider and the features spiders have.  We learned that they eat insects.  An idea from the unit I used was to have students look at pictures of different insects and spiders and decided if it is an insect or a spider.  If we couldn't tell by looking we just counted the legs.   
My sister's friend from school brought me some spider cut outs from her mom.  They were so cute, and I wanted to make sure I used them in as many ways as I could. 
I gave each student a spider and each drew pictures with the spider on his paper.  They turned out really cute.  I loved to see where they decided to put their spider.  Some put the spider on its web, some were in the garden, and some were hanging from its silk!
To finish our unit we wrote all the facts we learned about spiders and put them on our web!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

ms. brown forgot!!!!

Every afternoon I make sure to hug my students and give them a little encouragement and praise each of them about their day.  I feel that it is very important for my students to know that I am a positive person in their life and know that they are loved and cared for.  I like to tell them I was proud of how they stayed on green all day or how helpful they were or even just wish them luck at their football game! 
Today was a rush out the door.  I was wanting to finish the Junie B. Jones chapter we were on ( I LOVE Junie B. Jones books!) before it was time to line up.  When I finished I quickly told the car riders to line up and I stood by the door and just quickly patted them on the head and told them I would see them tomorrow.  They were almost all out when one came back.  I thought he had forgotten his jacket but no!
Me: "HURRY!  The car riders are going to leave you!"
Student: "But Ms. forgot!"
Me: "I forgot what???"
Student: "You forgot to give me a hug!"
Me: "Oh no!  I am so sorry!" 
I gave him a BIG hug!
Student: "You also forgot to tell me good luck."
I knew what he was talking about because we always talk about his football games!
Me: "I am so sorry.  Good luck at your game and score me a touchdown!  See you tomorrow!"

I will be sure to never let this special time with my students be hurried again!

Monday, October 25, 2010

witches' brew!

I love fall time in the classroom.  So many fun things to do!  Lots of ways to integrate science and social students into your units!  I have had fun the past month talking about apples, pumpkins, fall, and most recent spiders! 
This week I am excited about Halloween and wanted to hurry and share this just in case some readers wanted to use it!  I downloaded Witches' Brew by Hap Palmer from iTunes and then made a book.  I like to use books with some of my songs.  It especially helps when we are singing it the first time so they know what words to be singing!  It is just a fun, silly song to sing at Halloween!
We sang it several times today and as the students were lining up for the bus they were still singing and doing the dance we made up!  I am sure the parents will tell me about their children singing this song too!!!
Feel free to use the book I made! 
Witches' Brew Book

enjoy the week of halloween!!!  we are!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

the best!

I feel so blessed with such a great class.  All of them seem to be enjoying school.  Which makes me one happy teacher.  I think I heard such horror stories of other teachers first year that I have really been thinking how blessed I am to have such a great class.  It is very encouraging to me!  I have a lot of parents come eat with their children at lunch which I love because they get SO excited and it shows how important the school and home relationship is.  I try to really make sure I talk to each parent who comes to lunch.  Sometimes I can't have a long conversation but I try to at least tell them thank you for coming to lunch.  I want the parents to know that I am glad they are coming to eat with their children. 
Thursday there were several parents there so I was making my rounds to each table.  I was talking to one's mom about a pizza party she is wanting to give us when another student came up.  I was trying to talk to the parent but this other little girl wanted to tell me something that seemed important.  So I looked down and she said, "Ms. Brown, you are the best teacher!"  I told her thank you, gave her a hug, and smiled real big!  My attention went back to the mom I was talking to and she looked at me and said, "Ms. Brown, I hear that all the time at home."
Wow!  My heart smiled and I did too.  But isn't that what we all need sometimes just some encouragement.  Its good to hear from someone who doesn't really know me but is putting their child's education in my hands and believes in me!  I am so glad my students are loving school and I have such a rewarding job!!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

toliet paper

Next week for our "orange & black" celebration I have planned some games and fun snacks.  I sent home notes with my students yesterday with what I wanted each student to bring.  I didn't expect for my students to bring them back the next day but they did!  One parent told me at lunch today that her son HAD to go get his stuff last night!!!  He really remembers everything that is said in class!
While I was looking for games and crafts to play next week I saw a mummy wrap game.  I decided that we would give it a try.  I have 5 groups in my class so I figured I will draw a name from each table and they will be the one wrapped up in toilet paper like a mummy. 
I asked 5 students to bring in a roll of toilet paper.  When the first roll came in this morning I first laughed because it was funny to just see a roll of toilet paper come in!  I then asked the student if his mom wondered why I asked for a roll of toilet paper.  He told me he did but then the class started to ask why!  I told them I couldn't tell them until our party.  One student began to guess!  He asked if we were going to go toilet paper someones house!  I laughed a lot and then asked him if he had ever done it.  He said no.  I asked if someone had done it to his house.  He said no.  I asked how he knew about toilet papering someones house and he told me he saw it on TV. 
Glad they are teaching these kinds of things on TV these days!!!!

+ = lots of fun!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

pumpkin art

When I was in college I did an internship in a 2nd grade classroom.  I loved the teachers I worked with and they were very encouraging and taught me a lot!  The assistant did great crafts with the students and I love crafts so we loved working together! 
We made pumpkins to decorate our door the other week and they turned out very cute!
These are things you can make with any grade level. 
Every child painted a sheet of aluminium foil with orange paint and before it dried we sprinkled some glitter.  I cut out a pumpkin on orange construction paper or poster board.  After the sheets were dry (the next day) the student tear the sheets into little squares. (this helps build fine motor skills for my little ones)  Then glue each piece to the pumpkin.  I painted one sheet brown and then let students tear a square and glue it to the pumpkin for the pumpkin stem. 
They look very good on our door.  There are a lot of different things you can make doing this same thing.  While I was doing the internship we did the same thing with apples and christmas trees.  I did this also while student teaching and we made suns! 
They really look pretty in person and can be a fun and easy craft for your students!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

slush and centers!

Slush is our classroom mascot I guess you could say.  I introduced you to him in one of my first blogs.  You can refresh your memory here.  Centers have become one of my favorite things because the students enjoy working together and exploring the different things I have in our classroom.  Every morning they ask what time we are going to do centers!  It also allows me to get a couple of things done.  My assistant is GREAT and helps out with the art center a lot of times.  I don't always have art centers though.  Most of the time my centers consist of math, blocks, reading, art, handwriting, play dough, and sometimes other little things that we need to get done in smaller groups.  I have 5 different groups and about 4 or 5 in each group.  I feel like I have done a good job with discussing our behavior in centers and the clean up process.  I have a center monitor as one of the classroom jobs who makes sure the centers are cleaned up just the way I like them!!!  I told them at the beginning of the year that if they do not clean up the way I have shown them and asked them to then we will not play with those things anymore.  I really hated to do it but it happened.....the puzzles are gone.  They had just put the pieces of the puzzle on top of puzzle and then back on the shelf.  I put them away and I am not sure how long they will be gone from our center but I do want to make sure I make my point!!!!!  Since this is my first year I do want to make sure I follow through with my classroom discipline. 
Last week during centers one of my students came up and asked if he could read to Slush.  I thought it would be really cute so I could not say no!  He got Slush and another frog stuffed animal I have on top of my book shelf and sat in my rocker put the animals in his lap and started reading.  It was one of the sweetest things.  He also made sure to show the animals each picture!  After he finished the book I guess he decided that Slush wasn't finished in the reading center because I looked in the center and saw this....
They love listening to all my books on tape!  I hope Slush did too!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pumpkin patch field trip

Last week we studied the letter P.  There are a lot of things you can do with the letter P but we had a short week because we had a teacher workday Monday and then Friday we had a field trip planned!  I did a unit study on pumpkins and so I was excited to kill two birds with one stone!  I was able to integrate phonics, social studies, and science all together!!!! 
Our field trip was great!  I had a great group of parents go and help!  I am so excited to have a great group of such supportive parents.  This was my first real field trip!  I had gone on one while I was student teaching but I was not responsible for 21 students!  We ordered Kindergarten rocks shirts and I ordered a bright yellow color which was so smart of me because I could pick out my students anywhere!!!  I felt good about the trip and no one got lost or hurt!   
We went to a pumpkin patch in a neighboring city.  My students were excited about riding the bus first of all!  They did great sitting and behaving!  When we got to the pumpkin patch we were able to play and explore the learning centers they had.  They had a maze, hay bails to climb on and jump off, awesome slides!  I had so much fun playing with my students and watching and laughing with them.  I did everything the students did!  After we had lunch we had a story and learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin. 
My sister is a guidance counselor in another county and she was at the same pumpkin patch with a class from her school so I got to see her!  She was also able to meet a couple of my students who I talk about a lot!  When we were getting ready to get on our hayride she was walking with some students and I told one of my girls that the girl walking the other way was my sister.  She didn't believe me and so she told me to call her name.  I yelled real loud my sisters name and we waved real big.  She couldn't believe that I really knew the girl and she was my sister!  She just looked at me shocked! 
Then what they had been waiting on for weeks...the hayride and picking pumpkins!  We rode the hayride around the grounds and sang songs!  We were then able to go in the pumpkin patch and get pumpkins.  I thought it was really neat to see the different sizes and how they grew on the vines.  I was also excited to see the pumpkin flowers....that was something I learned while teaching my students about pumpkins!  We were all a little bummed about not being able to find BIG pumpkins!  Everyone was excited to find their perfect pumpkin and show me! 
Our ride home was fun because almost all of my students fell asleep!  They were sooo cute!  I enjoyed taking pictures of them to include in our slide show at the end of the year!  When we got back to school we enjoyed frozen pumpkin bars I made and popcorn another student brought for show and tell.  The pumpkin bars were a great treat because it was really hot!  They were very easy to make:
1 jar of pumpkin pie mix
1 container of cool whip
Package of graham crackers
Mix pumpkin pie mix and cool whip together and then put scoop on graham cracker and freeze over night.  Keep frozen until ready to eat! 

I wished I could post pictures of my students because they were so cute on the trip!  Here are a couple from the trip without students (at least their faces)!
Story time!


Picking our our pumpkins!  Told you the yellow shirts were great!!!

Pumpkin flower!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

bieber fever

Friday we were making toast for Tt week and and while I was working on it I asked the students if they would like to listen to some music.  Throughout the day I have my students get up and dance sometimes to a cd of just a mix of fun up beat music or some Dr. Jean songs.  Well I had my laptop and we had been watching some clips about turtles and tigers so I pulled up my iTunes and decided to play some Justin Bieber!  My students have talked about him before and several wear shirts with him on them and a couple got posters of him at the book fair!!!  When they saw the picture of the album cover they were REALLY excited!  We listened to Baby and  Eenie Meenie and they loved listening and dancing in their seats!  After we had our toast we went out to the playgroup for a little bit.  I was sitting just watching and listening and then heard one of my students singing at the top of her lungs..."baby, baby, baby ohhh
like baby, baby, baby noo like baby, baby, baby ohh I thought youd always be mine mine!" It was awesome!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

pat on the back!

It has really been a great week!  It was Tt week!  We wrote and drew about tigers and turtles.  We ate toast and wore ties.  I love doing fun things with the letter of the week because I feel like they are able to make more of a connection.  We went to see a play put on by the Tarradiddle Players.  The play was If You Take a Mouse to School.  It was so great!  I LOVED watching my students watch the play.  They were so excited and they were on their best behavior!  I also got to see the students from the Kindergarten class I was in from last school year!  I was really excited to see them and the other teachers too!  Some of my former students asked me if I still remembered their names...I told them of course I did!  They were too sweet and so I hope I never forget that class and that year working with those students and the teacher too!!!

I started parent-teacher conferences this week!!!  I was a little worried about them but they have been awesome!!!  I have enjoyed showing off their child's work and bragging and suggesting more things for them to work on at home.  I have also received such great feedback from the parents.  Each one has told me that their child comes home telling them all about what happened at school that day, that they have to play school at home, they pretend they are Ms. Brown or Mrs. Green and that they are always making the initial sound they hear in different things they see at their house.  They have told me they were so glad that they are in our classroom and couldn't ask for a better year!  As one was leaving today I could hear them say they were so glad they were in my class!  YAY!!!  Makes me feel really really good!!! 

Also got a great compliment from the art teacher today!!!  She told me that she really didn't like working with Kindergarten that much at any school or any year but that she loved my class!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!  Glad my little friends and I are having such a great year!  I don't think I could have asked for a better class this year!!!
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