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A NC Mom to 4 wonderful boys, Wife to GREAT Husband, & TK Teacher!! Hey... Add a comment if you want!! I'd love to hear from you!!!

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Plymouth Has Come To TK

Well, it took me and my son about 2 1/2 hrs to put together, but we finally created our Native American "Village" and Mayflower ship.  We came to school to put all the items together so the little ones would come into class and be excited and when we came into the school we received a stinky surprise.  Some of our Pumpkin Literacy project decided to implode and cause a great deal of smell and mess.  It took us an hour to clean it all up, and THEN on the way out the wonderful, sturdy garbage bags that the school provides, broke and nasty, smelly pumpkin guts fell out all over the place.  Oh... what we do for our little ones!!!!
Sorry about the rant!!  Never the less... We created and finished our little history exhibits and they were ready for my guys and girls!!!  They loved it!!

My son really wanted the kids to have a "stove top" to put the pot on over the flames, but we couldn't figure out what to use, so he rigged this string.  It lasted about an hour with the kids... but it was cute ;)

I made the flames, logs and rocks during our 3 day weekend over the Veterans Day holiday.  The tutorial I used can be found here... but I have to say I really just free handed it and sewed them together as best as I could.  I figure the kids don't mind the tattered ends, and I was right.  They just loved it and have been using it for so many different things.

This is our TK Mayflower.  I couldn't find a photo of the sail without kids in it, and due to privacy issues at our school I am unable to have kids in the photo, even if I block out their faces... sooooo, this is our sad little sail-less Mayflower.  We added some telescopes, oars and the kids have been using our blocks to make planks, bridges and seats everyday. I am so happy with their use of the areas.
Next week I will add more props to each center.  We will introduce some clothing, utensils they used and some animal "pelts" to create Native American clothing.  These have been such popular centers this past week, I am seeing a lack of focus when I pull kids for individual work time.  I am thinking I may have to create a work area for individual work time away from the hustle and bustle of the free centers.
I am excited to be able to start adding things to my blog.  It has been a long time since I was blogging everyday on my Kozy Kids blog but I am starting to remember to get on her more often!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Leaves and Fall

Fall has finally made it to our neck of the woods here in NC and what a beautiful sight it is.  The weather has a nice chill to the air, the breeze brings with it a wonderful fresh air smell, and we are loving spending amazing mornings outside in the Outdoor Classroom. 
Last year my team teacher and I decided to utilize an area in our nearby nature area, that is owned by our school, but shared with the community.  We took the students out there and let them play, just PLAY.  We found the results to be dramatic.  The time outside in the natural environment brought a calm to our rowdiest students, it brought a confidence to our shyest students, and it brought out abilities that our students didn't even know they had.  It was wondrous to see.   
This year we brought our newest charges out there and although they love it we have had different challenges than last year.  Some of our boys are a little aggressive with the sticks and the "play" has become more of the fighting type than the exploring type.  The last few weeks has been a lot of work for us teachers, but as we continue to creep along the learning path the students are beginning to get it.  They are beginning to see the leaves as roofs for fairy houses, they see the logs as balance beams and the sticks as something to help them balance and not a weapon, and they are beginning to see the beauty in the squirrels, insects and sound of the rustle of leaves in the breeze.  Amazing!!!
We decide to take the book Leaf Man by Lois Elhert to the Outdoor Classroom and read it in the round (which is a place we created to sit and talk).  We pulled out the blankets and found spots on the logs and enjoyed a great rendition of the book. 
Then it was time to create our own Leaf Man with things we found in the Outdoor Classroom.  What fun we had!!!

Our Outdoor Classroom is a special part of our program.  Hearing the words, "Get your boots on!" is like music to the 4 year olds ears.  They get so excited and can't wait to get out there.  It is a great way to connect our classroom learning to real life experiences and I am so happy to be working in a school that has one. 
We also completed our first Family Project.  We love including our families in our classroom work and this was a fun way to start that home-school connection.  We did a Pumpkin Literature Project.  The students choose a pumpkin, then choose a book, then choose a character from the book and made their pumpkin into that character.  We had some great characters!! The kids loved to talk about their project as they created them at home and I loved getting the play by play from them as the week went by, then to finally see them all come in was exciting for them as well as me!!!

Don't you love them!!! 
 I don't know if the minion is my favorite or the Llama.
It is wonderful to love your job as much as me!!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Classroom Photos... Finally!!!

It has been very hard keeping this blog up and running and I apologize for not writing each day.  I, of course, forgot my good camera at home on the day of our Halloween party, but we had our kids documentation camera so I took some photos with that.  A little blurry, but that's okay :)
My room is quite big actually.  But it seems like I have no wall space to use.  I have a beautiful USA map and I have no where to hang it up so the kids can see it/use it.  So, it sits under my science sensory table waiting....
 This is a view from my doorway to the room... I acquired both my supply cabinet and my team teachers cabinet since my room is bigger.  So that little bump out is occupied with cabinets, water cooler and refrigerator.
 Again, another view from the doorway... you can see my tables in the middle, my circle area and Smart Board, my writing and science area beyond the meeting area, and my block area. I made the pumpkin bean toss game for our Halloween Party, the kids loved it.
 A wider view... my housekeeping is off to the left where the play stand is and next to the housekeeping is the free art center and across from the art center is the sensory/easel area.
 This view is from my writing center... that is my bathroom door to the right, my desk area and the cubby area at the door.
Close up of my desk area.  It's a mess and I am having a hard time organizing it.  I try, but I am a piler upper... Then I try to put things where they belong each day after school and I say to myself... "Ahhh... that's where that was."  In front of my desk is my computer desk where we usually have 2 tablets for the kids to use, but I was charging and downloading some ebooks on to them at that moment.
So, that is my classroom, just a few weeks late... Okay, a few months late ;)  It has been a great year so far and I wish I had posted about our tasting party, outdoor classroom, literary pumpkin project, and all the wonderful things we have been doing.  But, now that I am back on this computer for something other than report cards... I will get back on the blogging wagon!!  So, hopefully I didn't lose all my 7 followers ;) and someone will read what we have to say :)