Turtlely Awesome Project

  
What do you do when one of the schools pond turtles starts laying eggs?   
 You invite down a 3rd grade class (and a few extra friends) to join your kindergarteners and start learning about turtles of course! 
   
 

We are watching a documentary, doing research, doing a graphic organizer, writing, and have an art project planned!

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Garden Writing

I’m so proud of my kindergarteners (and friends) today! We’ve been working on writing about what’s around us picking out lots of details.   
We decided to use our new skills to write a book about our garden. We just sat and looked for a while to see what our eyes and ears would tell us to write about and then we wrote and illustrated our writing. 

What a beautiful day we were given to do it!

 

 “The sun has yellow petals.” ~ Hatoun, age 7

This is quite possibly one of the most beautifully poetic sentences that I’ve seen written all year.

Number Sense with Beans

My class loves playing games! Who doesn’t really!?! Today we decided to play a super simple number sense game with beans. Why beans? Because we had them. It doesn’t matter what you choose. 

We played two versions of the game. One was a make 5 game and the other was a make 10. 

  

To play the game with a partner take turns covering up some of the beans. Whoever isn’t picking needs to cover their eyes. Whoever is picking needs to cover up some beans. The one who covered their eyes guesses how many are covered. We switched each turn to make sure everyone got to practice. 

Purposeful Play

  I have started reading the book “Purposeful Play” and I am fascinated so far! However, I’d love to get some thoughts and opinions from other teachers while I read through it. 

Maybe we could even do a link up sharing some of our big take-aways. If you’d like to join me on this, please let me know in the comments. Let’s learn and grow together! 

Mother’s Day as a Kindergarten Teacher

While I’ve been a teacher for a while now, this is my first year in kindergarten. 

  
And then Mother’s Day came. Mother’s Day in kindergarten is an event all by itself. This is their first year in kindergarten and their first year to take home a gift from school. The pressure is on! 

Back to the topic, being my first year, I had my class create a painting. I liked them and then the kids enjoyed making them. So, when it came time for my kids. We painted too! Hopefully my wife and Nama will like their gifts too! 

Everything becomes a project!

   
   

Pete the Cat Rocking His School Shoes 

We had a great timethe other day in kindergarten doing a directed draw from #ArtClubForKids after listening to “Pete The Cat Rocking in My School Shoes.” We even had a second grader and a few third graders join us!

   
 

Mother’s Day

Normally groups of kids sitting at tables isn’t a “happy moment” but when it is kids sharing and working together making bags for their Mother’s Day gifts it is.This year I let the kids paint pictures for their moms. 

   
 There’s a quiet happy hum in the room. Working for mom must be the key!

Teacher Appreciation Week – What I’ve Learned Along the Way

  
As I continued to think about Teacher Appreciation Week, I began to think of my journey, what I’ve learned along the way, and what I’m thankful for. 
I started substitute teaching in 1993. Wow! That was a long time ago. I did my final student teaching in the spring of 1996 at Cahaba Heights Elementary. I’m thankful for that class. They gave me the first real taste of teaching and taught me just how rewarding and fun teaching could be. 

My first “real” position was at Cornerstone Schools of Alabama. I was hired to teach 2nd grade the Friday before school started. In my four years there from 1996-2000, I learned the need to be flexible and that you don’t have to be dependent upon textbooks. 

In 2000, I began my first journey with Birmingham City Schools at North Roebuck Elementary. In my 7 years there I learned that school could be more powerful if we changed our attitude from “got to” to “get to”, mastery was very important, and that sometimes students just need to be convinced that they can do something. We have to believe in them and show them that too. 

I took some time off teaching for a while. I came back to teach almost half a year at McAdory Elementary School. That class may never know how important they were to me. I was so scared coming back after time off, but they helped me fall in love with teaching again and they taught me that classrooms need not have walls and that letting students direct some of their own learning was more fun and more effective. 

In 2011, I started working in Hoover at South Shades Crest Elementary. I taught 3rd grade. There I learned the value of a second chance, the power of relationships, and began a transition in my teaching philosophy. 

In 2013, Inverness Elementary became my next home. While there I learned the importance of being true to what you know is best for children. To each and every one of your students. Fair warning, it may not be accepted by everyone. Do it anyway. 

I’ve now come back to Birmingham City. I’m having the time of my life. Who knew I’d ever end up in kindergarten. I have a new respect for every kindergarten teacher I’ve ever met. This year, I’ve learned even more. We have to be child-focused, intentional, and developmental correct. We have to make each and every child the most important one in the room and do everything in our power to prepare them for what’s to come. I’ve also learned that education is more important than standards. The whole child has to be developed and nurtured. 

Each and every year, at each and every place I’ve been, I’ve not just been the teacher. I’ve also been a student. My kids have taught me more than I would’ve ever imagined. To my students, it’s an honor and a privilege to have ever been called your teacher. 

#TeacherAppreciationWeek

Teacher Appreciation Week – Don’t Forget Your Journey 

For many schools this week it is Teacher Appreciation Week…. 
I want to start this week by saying thank you to all of the staff of Ruhama Baptist 4K, Comer Elementary School, Alliance Christian School, and Ramsay High School. 

You poured into me a belief that education was important and that I did have a purpose in this world. You gave me the tools I needed to do what I do today, not because I am a teacher, but because I can read. I can write. I can do math. I can think for myself and solve problems. I know how to get sent to the principal’s office and grab the corner of her desk. I know the importance of sharing and getting along with others. I know how to work with a group. I know that everyone’s opinion matters even if it is different than mine. I know what it is like to have someone care enough for me that they pour their lives daily into their work just so they can see me learn and be better. Many of you modeled for me a genuine and honest care and concern for me and my future.

Thank you is really not enough. Please know though, you did make a difference in the life of this child.