Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Thanksgiving festivities were quite enjoyable, both in and out of the classroom, despite the fact that little green sick bugs have penetrated the confines of our school. It seems constant hand washing, Purell, covering our sneezes and Lysol are no match for these tenacious creatures.

In the classroom, Kindergarten Cafe continues to be a big hit on Friday afternoons. So much so that the second grade teachers felt inspired to integrate their study of 'how-to' procedural books into K cafe.

Their second graders learned how to make Oreo Turkeys (pictured above) and once they were experts they came in to teach the kindergarten children how to make them.

Moms and Dads were kind enough to supply most of the ingredients:
2 Oreos
6 Candy Corn
1 Mini Peanut Butter Cup
1 Chocolate Covered Peanut
1 Toothpick

The children worked in small groups. The 2nd grade students used the 'how-to' books they created (see here) to make these yummy treats with the younger children.

Everyone worked well together and it was especially interesting to watch the teaching styles of the older children. Some were naturals while others were less patient and could use a bit of finessing.

Out of the classroom, my oldest nephew Jamie and his wife Randi met Joy and I to view the Macy*s Balloon Inflation spectacle. We braved the rain and the crowds for an opportunity to see our favorite characters lying face down in the streets on the upper west side of Manhattan.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Learning Centers: Writing

I was reading the teachers guide to our math curriculum (Everyday Math) and came across an idea for a math center to make writing numbers more fun for children.

The idea was simple. Simply scoop some finger paint into a Ziploc bag, zip it closed and bam!

Instant fun!

We gave it a go and it really is that simple. In addition to number writing we encouraged the little ones to write letters as well.

We took it one step further by putting the bags on the light table so it really pops.

Please note: pounding on the bags with your fist is perhaps not the best idea.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Happy, Happy, Happy

There is a song from the Broadway show Romance/Romance with a lyric that goes "I'm so happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy, happy and at ease.

It is sung in wild abandonment for the joy of being alive and in love even though things may not be perfect in every aspect "the main point is true, I have not felt this way for an incredibly long time".

Of course, I tend to think that my natural and right state is one of happiness but it is always nice to show appreciation for the joys in life (and for a certain Joy in mine).

Teaching kindergarten is a delight.

Halloween surrounded by the anticipatory excitement of little children cannot be matched.

Feeling a little tug on my shirt by a small girl with a shy smile who wants to give me a birthday card and gift is something I will always cherish.

Blessings are abundant! I am so grateful.


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