Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day Celebration

As a reminder, our Valentine's Day Celebration will be held the next day our classroom meets.  Please make sure you bring your child's Valentines, their decorated box, and any item you have signed up to bring for our party.

Parents are still invited to attend our celebration and enjoy a day of our Valentine centers as well.  Looking forward to showing off our classroom and how awesome your kids are!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slow Down the Time

Today schools had a 2 hour delay.  I took advantage of it and decided to help my daughter make her Valentine's Day Box.  

I hope I'm not alone in this, but sometimes when we think its the best time to do the given task . . . it really isn't the best time because they're not ready.  Well, there I was trying so hard to convince my daughter Zoe into coming over to do the box when she finally said "I can't do it, just do it for me."

So while she's sitting on the couch watching a Barbie movie, I think to myself "Shelly this is the only time this week you are going to have the time to get this box taken care of.  You have school work to do, assessments to do, speech therapy for the little guy, and this and that and then this other thing before you do that other thing . . . I hope I'm not alone here.  :)

Needless to say, I decided to just do it and get it over with.  Then when I finished and I brought my "Masterpiece" to her to share she said to me "Oh that's it, I can do that."  Do you have any idea how much I wanted to say back to her "Oh really Zoe, you think you can do better than this. Well then go ahead and try."  BUT I didn't.  I realized, it wasn't that she didn't want to make the box (because my daughter LOVES anything with a glue stick, construction paper, and markers!), its that she wasn't ready because she wasn't finished with the first thing she was doing.

How often do you we do this?  Rush our kids into doing something because its "the only time" we have to do it.  With all this snow, and ice, and freezing temperatures; I think we've been reminded a bit to slow life down and enjoy doing the crafts and spending the time (when they're ready) for something awesome!  Turn off your cell phone, put the technology aside and just enjoy making a wonderful Valentine box with your little one.  You will treasure the moments!  I promise.

By the way, she TOTALLY NAILED IT!  You totally can't tell which one I made and which one she did.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Valentine's Day Box

Valentine’s Day Celebration will be on Friday, February 14th.  In the case of a snow day, our celebration will occur the next school day we have. 
                                AM Celebration will begin at 9:45.
                                PM Celebration will begin at 1:30.

Parents are welcome to join us!  We will have Valentine’s themed events in each of our centers.  Parents and other guests will be invited to join your child as they explore these centers.  We will also personally pass out valentines into our friends’ boxes and enjoy snacks before our day ends.  PLEASE SIGN UP FOR OUR LIST OF ITEMS IN THE HALLWAY FOR OUR CLASS PARTY.  We are always looking forward to celebrating in our classroom!

If you choose to bring Valentine's from your child, please ensure they bring a Valentine for each child.  Attached is a class list, some children enjoy writing individual names on each card while others choose to solely sign their own name representing who the valentine is from.  Also, please help your child decide if they want to either make their own valentines or purchase pre-made store versions; either way the children LOVE seeing the personalities of their friends through these tokens.

FAMILIES WILL MAKE THEIR VALENTINE'S BOX AND BRING IT IN ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14TH.  Please DO NOT bring in the box prior to the day of our party.  Allow your child's imagination to be used in their creation of their box.  Please ensure your child's name is visible and large enough for a child to see and read as they will distribute their valentines.

Here are a few ideas that you can use for creating your Valentine box.  (links to pages for directions are available on our classroom blog)  You can also google or you tube ideas for more assistance on this creation.  Keep in mind, little hands will need to get in and out to both distribute and personally enjoy.

Made from a cereal box

Recycled Milk Jug

Fabric Box, with pattern

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kindergarten Preparedness

One of the questions that comes up in every parent teacher conference usually is "how do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?"

West Virginia Dept of Education has a great site from their "Office of Early Learning" This site offers a great amount of information.  Family Resources area offers links to view both documents and presentations to assist in the transition and understanding what areas of development your child should be at.

Follow the links for more information.  

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten? document prepared by West Virginia Department of Education

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Technology in the classroom

Technology is loved by some and lower on the list by others.  So let's talk a little about technology that we have within our classroom.

Classroom computer center
This is the center where our students are able to use either a desk top computer or a lap top.  We also have our listening center (books on CD) available.  In this center, our students are learning how to explore the computer, using the mouse, and doing it with a friend usually!  Using both sides of the brain while on,,, or Letter CD Roms are all available.

We use a timer to limit a child's exposure "screen time" in this center, while also enabling other children to explore it.  While we do offer free centers, and the ability to pick and choose the centers they want to explore; our classroom sizes are up to 20 and we want to ensure every child has the opportunity to explore this one.

The Computer center is popular, and our children love to play games on them.  As their teachers, we assist in choosing the site of play. They are learning letters, numbers, cooperation (as they work with a partner at their center), and so many more things while at the computers!

Ipad Center
Children sign in and out on their Ipad clipboard with their name.  Spending an average of 10 - 15 minutes of play at this center (to give space for others).  We have one center purchased Ipad.  This device is where any Itunes gift cards donated to the classroom have purchased apps with.  We also have two Ipads that Miss Shelly brings to the classroom with her (almost daily), enabling our Ipad center to have 2 devices used daily.  We not only play fun games on these devices, but we play educational games!

A Favorite on the Ipad is an app "Teach Me Kindergarten".  This app uses Math (adding and subtracting, combined with number recognition), Spelling (hearing the word, listening to the missing letter sound and finding the missing letter), Dolch Sight Words, and letter/number writing.  This app is available on both of Miss Shelly's Ipads and we have the capability of having 25 children per device for their own personal growth.  If you ever want to check out the apps available, please ask us and we would LOVE to show you the devices!


While some families do not promote an extended amount of "screen time" for their children.  We work diligently on ensuring children are choosing rounded centers without spending their time on the computer or Ipads throughout choice/free time.

Television and Wii
We have not yet used either of these devices within our classroom, although we anticipate using them during our Olympic themed week showcasing the Wii Fit board and ski jumping.  While we use this technology, the children will be using clipboards and learning how to properly document and graph their jumps.  A little bit of technology mixed with Math = learning through play!

Our Bee-bots are county owned.  We have them for a few weeks and then they will travel to another classroom for a few weeks.  We will have the opportunity, hopefully, for them again towards the end of our school year.
These are robots that our students program to follow a grid placed on the floor.  The beautiful thing about these is that the teacher is able to design the lesson as they want.  We have done two lessons so far with these bee bots.
  1. Initial showcasing, we had numbers and gross motor skills (jump, sit up, wind mill, jumping jack, etc.) on the grid.  The Bee Bot was programmed to stop at a number and then stop at a skill.  What ever number it stopped at we had to perform that many tasks.  (Connecting also number recognition and letter recognition).
  2. Small group setting (no more than 5 per group), with the numbers 1 - 10 on the mat.  The children were asked to take turns.  The first student programmed the Bee to stop at the number one (letter recognition) while the other students encouraged (understanding how to work in a group setting) them and checked their results.  Then once the bee bot landed on the correct number the next child took their turn towards #2 and so on and so forth.
**More pictures of the Bee bots in use will be on the blog this week** (I'm so sorry as I left all 3 Ipads at the school this weekend and they contain all of the pictures!

You can find more information about Bee-Bots by clicking the link.


We post loads of pictures on TS Gold as well as this blog.  Our children will now begin to also take pictures, using our child friendly camera, and we will be uploading them onto their personal TS Gold page as well as sending some great ones home with them!

If you have any further ideas for technology in the classroom, we would love to hear your ideas!!!!!