Friday, January 22, 2010

Teacher Time:: Journals

We started journals in PreK -- the excitement is awesome!

In the past I have stapled paper together with a construction paper cover and a name card. This year I wanted something different, something more substantial, something they would cherish. I ended up at an office supply store and found composition books. The best part was that they were 'buy 1 get 1 free' -- so, for $5 my students get a special journal book.

We write in our journals everyday together (which was new for the kids -- we often do activities in small groups).We practice writing the date (just the number) at the top of the page each day. This is a great time to practice following directions -- open your journal to the first blank page, point to the big white space at the top, in that space write number 21 (the date for the day). The kids feel sooo important.

Students draw a picture -- any picture. If they can't think of anything to draw then I will help them brainstorm a list of ideas. Sometimes our ideas come from our weekly theme and sometimes I will give them a number (1-10) and have them draw that many items on their page (8 balloons, 2 friends, etc).

When their picture is complete, they try to write down the first sound they hear in the word. I've seen V for volcano, B for butterfly, C for car, L for lego, etc. In a couple more weeks, I will encourage a few of my students to write the next sound they hear. (phonetic spelling)

The journal is a powerful tool. They must keep them at school, but they may show their parents their work before or after class.

Try it -- it's fun!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

2 cute

It's Saturday morning and I have a couple of minutes to spare (shocking, I know)!

I'm checking in with a few of my favorite blogs and I didn't get very far when I found this to print and make with baby girl... so cute! And... I think she will love them. I'm going to print them on card stock, I think.

That's as far as I got in reading my favorite blogs before I had to share.

Off to swim lessons (and hopefully a workout for Mama).

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Phinneous:: age 8 -- the middle child --

He loves to play sports, read about sports, check stats, collect baseball, football and basketball cards. His favorite sport to play is basketball ... and he. is. good. Sadly, I cannot seem to take a decent photo of him playing basketball.

:: Freezing at a soccer tournament (mama was so happy -- he and Pepe played in the tournament together -- it was great).

:: Happy Birthday!

:: Watching big brother play soccer -- he always has his football with him.

:: Summer soccer

:: my little baseball player

:: Maui -- survived the "washing machine"

:: at the Banyon tree -- look mom, I'm in jail (great)

:: This is his "I'm done!" look -- it is at these moments that it is time for him to have some quiet time.

:: Hanging with Dad

:: Catching up on football player stats!

:: Always borrowing my phone to check ESPN or the weather.

:: ick -- salt water in his mouth

:: So proud that he caught a fish, but totally grossed out to hold it! In the end, Daddy held it for him.

My little guy -- he goes and goes and goes, but when he gets frustrated EVERYONE knows about it. He is very smart and very talented -- a pure joy!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Teacher Life:: Snowmen Names

After Christmas break, I introduce my students to their last names. Some students are surprised, some are shocked and some think that I am crazy... of course they have a last name!

Everything gets a tidy make-over... carpet squares, name tags and the job chart.

We even make snowmen.


1. Each child gets one small circle for the head -- decorate it.

2. I pre-write each child's last name on a set of larger circles. The children glue their circles together, putting the letters in the right order to spell their last name.

3. Add a hat and arms to complete the snowman.

The snowmen are absolutely adorable hanging in the hallway outside of the bathroom area. When we wash up for snack time we spend time looking at everyone's last name -- Shortest name, longest name, double letters, etc.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Favorite Pictures of Pepe

I only have six months of pictures on my laptop, but I thought I'd share a few of my favorite photos from each of the kids over the next few days.

Pepe is a great kid. He has his own thoughts & ideas, is very curious and loves to learn, is a bookworm, an athlete, a leader and a follower. He hates to be put in new situations, even if it is something he can't wait to do. He suffers from migraines at times; which makes this mama very sad. I feel as though the relationship that I have with him has grown this year... we understand each other just a little more. I will always be "the mama" -- my job is to guide and direct. Those big brown eyes and that smile make my day. He is a lot of fun to be around.

Basketball :: playing defense

Basketball :: point guard

Soccer :: He joined the world of premiere soccer this year -- he is easy to spot with all of that HAIR!
:: a powerful left foot

:: Takes time to think

:: The silliest goof-ball ever!

:: He is JUST like his Dad. They snorkeled together in Maui after the rest of us were finished.

:: He tires and will still fall asleep, just like he was a baby -- in a chair -- for a little snooze.

:: Those big brown eyes and that smile.

:: So young, yet becoming so grown up and independent.

:: Hanging with his Dad -- talking, sitting, watching

:: This is the look -- the look of I don't want to do this, I don't like this -- I see it less often, but this is the look.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

I'm bored... there's nothing to do!

Argh! That statement drives me crazy!

There is a houseful of toys and games and music and books.

How can you be bored?

I started to get really irritated, but then I realized something (which I think means I'm growing up). It is a statement for attention. Instead of saying, "Mom, quit doing homework, quit working on lesson plans, quit doing _______ (one of the many things a mom spends her time doing), I would like her to say, "Mom, spend time with me." But, sadly, she is 6... I have to be the mature one to recognize and respond.

One of my 2010 goals is to live a more balanced life.

So, step 1 -- spend time with baby girl!