Sunday, August 9, 2015
Thanks, Tammy, for inviting me to join this Blog Hop!
About a week ago, all of the kindergarten teachers on my team met at my house. There are six of us this year, more than ever before at this school. We started talking about the beginning of the school year. We discussed how we always do rules and procedures the first week, and how we get to know our kids' personalities, likes, and dislikes. The conversation then moved on to songs, music, and fingerplays that we love to do with children during that first week. We like to use music because it builds language and team spirit, and it really gets the wiggles out. My true reason for using music is that it calms me down as well as the kids, and it's just plain fun! Some of our favorites include:
Chant: Who Took The Cookie From The Cookie Jar?
Chant: Bippity Boppity Bumble Bee, Won't You Say Your Name For Me?
Movement Song: Going On A Bear Hunt
Dance: Mack Chicken Dance Medley
Since I've been teaching for a long time (shh, don't tell anybody - over 20 years!), I thought everybody knew about Dr. Jean Feldman. But some people don't. I was lucky enough to see her early in my career. I love, for example, how you can tell kids to "kiss their brain" when they do something right. Former students of mine have returned in their 20's and said "Mrs. Dudley, I remember when you told me to kiss my brain!" I think Dr. Jean songs are a must-have for any teacher. For the first week of school, I like:
Name On Your Paper
Over the summer, I've also been watching free teaching webinars from EdWeb. They're really informative and convenient because you don't have to watch them all at once. They're usually about an hour in length, and you can even get a certificate by taking a quick and easy test afterward. I think these webinars are good for veteran teachers or new teachers, because there's always something new to learn.
During the first week of school I introduce a set of gentle superheroes that I had especially designed for kindergarten and pre-k. I did this because my students kept telling me that they wanted superheroes in the classroom. I knew I couldn't do things like Batman and Superman because of copyright laws, and also because of the violence. So I made my own! Over the summer, I created a new set of alphabet word wall headings using these heroes. I also recently wrapped up all the superhero products that I made so far into a big, discounted superhero bundle that I think teachers will really love, especially for the beginning of school.
Below is your chance to enter the giveaway for the big K-2 prize pack. Good luck, and have a wonderful opening week!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thursday, August 6, 2015
This is just a quick post about a book that I discovered this summer called Aunt Isabel Tells a Good One by Kate Duke. I was so surprised that I had never heard of this book before since it was published over 20 years ago! It's adorable for any pre-k or kindergarten classroom. It's not just the cute story of two little mice falling in love, but the book explains to young readers how to build a story from start to finish. The brilliant way in which the author incorporates a conversation between an aunt and her niece about story elements such as characters, setting, problem, and solution is so appealing to me. The book even has a few moments of danger to add spice to your story time. I had been looking for a very long time for a book that would really inspire my students to write stories, and I'm so glad that I found this treasure. I would love to know if you've ever seen this book before, and how you use it in your classroom.