Wednesday, September 9, 2009


The first day of school is a busy, exciting and emotional day.

Especially for the children arriving in kindergarten who have had no prior experience with school.

"Where are you leaving me?!" they seem to scream accusingly at their bewildered parents who are themselves overcome with trepidation about leaving their precious little dear ones with strangers - even if those strangers are their new teachers who are committed to ensuring a joyous learning/growing experience.

Parents, let me assure you that your children are precious to us too!

Each child arrived with a family member (sometimes a few family members) and were welcomed into our fantastic, newly rearranged classroom. The larger tables and chairs from last year were exchanged for smaller versions, more rugs were added and areas were set-up for that all important activity - play.

We now have an expanded block area in a low traffic zone to allow student creations (cities, zoos, homes, buildings, etc.) to remain standing from day to day.

We have a dramatic play and stage space, complete with curtain, to encourage imagination (and to allow me a place to take a bow every so often).

A place for art, many comfortable spots for reading (on beanbags, on pillows, on rugs, at tables) but one new addition (and my masterpiece of which I am most proud) is a little fort-like peaceful dwelling created by mosquito netting and twinkle lights. It gives the illusion that you are in a private space but of course we can clearly see inside of it.

This area was a big hit today and it was a success even without me pointing it out and saying "look at this cool place!" Well, okay I did do some of that but it really is cool.

Things in our room are still a bit disorganized and will require some sorting and throwing out on our part but Lauren and I are on our way with another treasured cargo.

Lucky us!


Barbara said...

OK so my children this year are really young....(8of the 18 are still 4 and won't be 5 until November or December)...How can I tell??? Yesterday I told them that I had a frog in my one asked me "But how did he get in there???" Ribbit!!....EEEEKKKKK! My job brings me such JOY sometimes:)
Your room from the small picture you posted looks so fun. Please post more in the future so I can see the changes from last year to this.
THE netting and lights is a wonderful idea.

Reya Mellicker said...

Oh! You're blogging again!! Yayyy!!!

Love your little mosquito net pavillion, a place where introverts such as myself can sneak off and feel protected and safe. You're a genius.

I'm so glad you had a glorious summer - that is as it should be! And glad your manly body got some exercise and fresh air. Yes!

Kindergarten, eh? Why did you and Lauren make that change? I quit kindergarten, it was so overwhelming for me. Imagine my surprise when I was told, the next year, that I had to attend first grade. I thought I had washed my hands of the whole school experience.

Teachers like you make a huge difference. I've been reminded lately of how great it was to sit in classes with great teachers. It's everything, it really is.

Much love to you!

Barbara said...

Shall I be Barbara-2?:)

I always find your classroom so inviting. I especially like the curtain. I can imagine all sorts of fun happening around it.

I thought of you just this morning as I put together an activity for "my kids" (for tonight) around jewelry and jewelry making. It could end up a disaster, but we will have fun anyway. Remember you have a standing invitation to be a guest reader...

Glad to have you back in the Blogging world.

Gary said...

B - And they say these things in such earnest. When I was a child I had a hard time understanding how a cat could get someone's tongue. On the JOY front I have a student now that no matter how many times I tell him my name just calls me 'teacher'. He honestly can't seem to hold onto it and is so perplexed when he stops to think about it. So funny.

I will surely post more pictures of the room once I have cleared up all the cluttered spots due to moving things around. But if you are curious there are lots of pictures of how it looked before on the blog already. I think they can probably be best found under the 'classroom environment' label in the 'label cloud' of the sidebar. Thanks.

Reya - Pavilion! That is the word I was searching for when I wrote this post. I couldn't, for the life of me, think of a word to describe this area. I settled on 'dwelling' LOL.

Yes, I am back to blogging after taking most of the summer off. Since this whole blog was started to share my journey (and passion) for teaching I didn't have much to write about this summer. Of course, I think the blog has become about more than that but that is the structure, the heart of it.

Lauren and I decided it was time to change grades because after 6 years in first grade we wanted to shake things up a bit. Last year I found myself wondering if I had already taught the students in front of me something or was that last year? Lauren and I started our team teaching together in kindergarten so it is nice to return to it. I LOVE that you quit kindergarten. The few memories I have from it are focused around naptime (which does not happen in kindergarten these days), playtime and learning to tie my shoe while on line.

Thanks for the support. Much love to you too darling Reya.

Barbara - :) I always check the picture (or lack of) to see which Barbara is commenting, although I can usually tell by your 'voice'. Glad you are back safely after your trip. I need to catch up on your blog to find out more...

Jewelry sounds like a great idea for the book/activity. Please let me know how it went. I may want to use that one with my students. And I would love to join you as a guest reader one of these days. But be prepared, I always seem to get kids fired up. Even when I'm not trying. It is a gift and a curse!

la bellina mammina said...

Love the new classroom....

I have missed your blog too... So much happening...!

So, did you go to Italy? I was there mid June...when did you go?

I need, need , need to update my blog. Ever since I lost my original blog, I felt a bit dispirited! ANyway, would love to catch up with you soon.

Take care!

Sebastien said...

Wonderful! This makes me miss kindergarten, hehe. That mosquito netting creation is wonderful, I bet you didn't even have to explain to the kids that it could help them in avoiding catching malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases :)

Mickle in NZ said...

That is a classroom I would have loved to be in when I started school back in 1970.

Our floor mats were made of a fairly course yarn, and we had to take them outside and shake them every day before they were rolled away.

What a good start to the teaching year for you and Lauren. Lucky kindergarteners to have two amazing and dedicated teachers.

Do you think the authorities would notice if a grown up aged 44 sneaked into your class?

Care and huggles to you and Lauren, starting another school year's adventure and journey,

Michelle and Zebbycat downunder.

lettuce said...

i want to be in your class

Salty Miss Jill said...

I wish I could be in your class!
Looking forward to hearing about the upcoming year. :)

Gary said...

It looks like I am getting enough students to start my own kindergarten bloggers class, but since everyone is scattered across the globe it may have to be an internet class. Let's begin with everyone sharing their favorite children's book. :)

Kerry said...

Hi Gary, Your room looks great! Hats off to you for teaching kindergarten, it takes SO MUCH energy! Good luck this year.

WAT said...

And I will of course be anxiously awaiting the new Lauren and Gary vids.

lettuce said...

how could I pick only one favourite??!!


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