Thursday, August 22, 2013

Going Going Gone.......My STUFFFFFF

             Two days of inservice under my belt with one more to go.   We received so much information in a short amount of time.  I am still processing what I learned about the brain and the effect of neglect on a child.  This was a fascinating topic lead by a local clinical physiologist Joelle Van Lent.  She was honest, informative, frank, and funny.  It was a great reminder to pay attention to each child's individual situation.  It's your gentle response to these children that will help them become successful individuals in your class.
           A new year means a spruced up room ready to receive new kids with bright shining faces.   Are you a person who likes "stuff" as much as I do?  My classroom is loaded with "stuff".  After teaching for 20+ years one accumulates more stuff than you have room for in your life.  I thought when I packed up my room in June I purged a lot of "stuff".  It felt so good to get rid of "stuff" I no longer needed.  As I have been reorganizing my room these last few weeks I continued to purge more "stuff".  Then came inservice and a new administration who doesn't like clutter!  Guess what clutter is?  Yes, you got it, STUFF!   I have thrown out, given away, brought home, and just gotten rid of so much of my "stuff" that it hurts and feels good at the same time.  How did I become such a hoarder of "stuff"?  At this point  my room is really looking empty.  Well definitely not cluttered!  Now how am I going to keep myself from collecting more stuff?  Any tips out there?
         Here is a video I created with my class years ago.  It's my kindness video!  These kids are going into 4th grade this fall and they were a great bunch of kids to hang out with.  Enjoy this little song my teammate, the very talented Ms. Ernie Hemingway wrote.  The message?    Become a K.C.K.
Kids Creating Kindness.

          I will spend some time this weekend calling all my kids to help relieve a bit of fear and to get them excited for the new year, new possibilities, new challenges and becoming fantastic first graders.  
I love chatting on the phone with them.  I always chat with mom or dad to answer any questions they may have before school starts.  This always makes our first day so much easier for all of us. 

 Get ready for your phone call kids.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

It's all over!

      Yes, summer vacation has come to and end for Vermont teachers. Oh how I'll miss the lazy days of sleeping in and beach lounging.   It has taken me about 2 weeks of putting my classroom back together and weeding out the old junk that I've been holding onto.  It has been a time of "letting go".  I've "let go" of a lot of my teaching materials that I don't use any more and feeling great about it.  My mission was to rid my classroom of clutter and I am well on my way.  Things are looking good at the moment.  I have one major component that has yet to be added to my classroom.  My own PC computer lab of 12 computers.  Yes, I got word that I will have one to one in my classroom for next year.  I am very excited and nervous.  This will be the beginning of my classroom transformation.
    Check out how my classroom currently looks....just now waiting for the computer lab to take over the front portion of my room.

       Now onto the decorating.  I have created some great new numbers with number words and months of the year for my wall.  I need some jazzing up of my walls.  I haven't decided what to do on my hallway bulletin board yet.  I'm waiting for some inspiration this coming week during inservice.

    I have been reviewing the common core standards over the summer and this morning came across some fantastic videos from the Teachers College produced by Lucy Calkins and based on her book the Pathways To The Common Core.  The videos are very well done.  They all start with a great overview of what you'll see.  I will be referring back to them throughout the year I'm sure.  Check them out if you are struggling with how to incorporate the CC Standards in your work with young children.

This summer has been a time of transformation in my yard.  I took my pool out of my yard and replaced it with a beautiful patio.  I love love love it.
    Both of my kids are off to college and the nest will be empty again.  It will be quiet around here but I know both kids are happy and thriving and so I'm happy.

Here's to another great year!