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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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Monday, December 29, 2014

Almost a New Year

A new year is almost upon us.  It is the time of year I try to assess what we have done up to this point and where will we be going.  We will continue working with my Little's that still need help with their alphabet and sounds, and also stretching those who are ready for making words from all those sounds that they have learned and have been practicing in the beginning of the school year.  I enjoy watching them really begin to understand that letters make sounds and if you put sounds together then they can make words. 

Above you will see one of my past Little's writing the word "Egg"

When we come back to school from our winter break, we will begin to restructure our routines by adding in to our center time work baskets.  These baskets will be geared to number sense work and also literacy activities.  There will be lots of beginning sound work, letter matching, and even CVC work.  Usually, the Little's are given free rein over their center choices in the morning, with only having 1 teacher directed activity each day.  Now, although each activity will be a fun game, it will be geared more towards what we are learning.  There will still be many open child centered centers, where they will be able to play and explore in their own way, but there will be at least 2 or 3 work baskets that they will have to rotate through. 
This week we will be going into school to sort through all of those unorganized areas that I have accumulated since the beginning of the year.  I have to regretfully say that I am an unorganized mess!!  If it wasn't for my very organized co-teacher, I would be left with a hopeless mess that I would have to spend a lot of my after school hours managing instead of working on my lesson plans, curriculum guide, and creating the wonderful centers that are expected in an early childhood room!!  So, into school I go tomorrow.  I will take some before and after pics so I can post, and if anyone has any idea's for organizing I would LOVE to hear them!!!! 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Funny How Fast it Goes!!

Funny how fast the first part of the school year goes.  The summer seemed to be full of travel and getting ready for the new school year, then it was getting everything ready for parent night and conferences, and then our Thanksgiving feast and low and behold it was time for our Winter play... Which went off beautifully!! Now the next few months will fly by and it will be Summer again! How does this happen??
I guess the older we get the faster time moves, my boys are growing up, the twins are driving... ACH!!! I guess that's why I love TK, I am in perpetual childhood mode.  The kids move on to be replaced with who they were just a year before, it keeps me young.
I had always wanted another child, a girl (having 4boys will do that to you ;)), but now I think about how a baby would fit into my life.  I LOVE my job and can't see ever giving it up, but if I had a baby, I would.  That's just me, I know I could work too, but I know myself and I couldn't do both well.  So, working with my littles gives me the fulfillment that I craved with wanting another child.  Plus, I get a lot of the best and only some of the worst ;)
Before break one of my little guys, which I have 12 this year with only 2 girls, said to me, "Ms Michelle, I know I love you, I don't just think it."  This is the same sweetie that tells me everyday how beautiful I am, how lovely (yes, he says lovely) my voice is, or how much he likes the clothing I am wearing.  I needed this break after such an exhausting holiday season, but that little statement brought me the desire and anticipation to head back to that classroom in a weeks time to bring joy and learning to all my little friends.  
Not that I won't enjoy every last minute up until that moment ;)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Needle Felting

My boys and I went to NY for our annual 2 week camping trip with my sister and her family.  It was a totally relaxing and wonderful time!!  Along with boating, swimming, visiting Lake George, and lots of evenings by the fire, she taught me to needle felt.  I have found a new passion.
I decided to make some capital letters for some new games I'd like to teach the Little's.
 First, I took pipe cleaners and made the letters.
 Then I took some wool roving and wrapped it around the letters.  I learned the hard way not to wrap to much or it gets to bulky and you lose the shape of the letter.
 After you wrap, you take your felting needle and stab at it to connect all the fibers within the roving. The more you stab at the wool, the tighter it gets.
 Here is what piece of wool roving looks like after it is pulled from the batch you buy.  I bought mine from Michaels and Hobby Lobby, but that was because I was impatient and couldn't wait for the better wool to come in the mail.  The best place I have found to buy the wool roving in bulk is A Child's Dream.
 Here are the letters all wrapped with white roving. To save on the colored roving I bought the white roving, which is cheaper, in bulk and wrapped my letters in that so I didn't have to use to much color in the end.  The only thing you need to be careful is that you actually cover all the white.  My Little's are only 4 and 5 years old, so I know they won't mind a little white poking through.
 Here they are all finished!!!  WooHoo!!!  It took a little while but, I finished!!!  Now I am on to the numbers!!!!


 This guy was my first attempt at a needle felted animal.  It is supposed to be Chester from The Kissing Hand.  We always read The Kissing Hand on the first day of school and I thought having a Chester would be fun.  We'll see if I take him to school.  He's a little out of proportioned, but again, 4 and 5 year olds don't usually mind so much :)

Here are the rest of my creations.  I really enjoyed making them  and I hope the Little's like them too.
Getting ready to go back to school has been a little nerve racking  but I am excited to bring all the things I have made into the classroom.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


It has been so long since I have popped over here to my lonely little blog :( 
The end of the school year is always hectic and I am still getting used to being a working Mama.  Trying to balance it all, and find the time for this blog has been hard. 
As you can see we went to Myrtle Beach, SC for a week long beach trip!!  It has been quite awhile since we took a real holiday together as a family!!  I am so glad we did.  I was a lot of fun.  Although, I NEVER thought I would get sick of eating out!!  But after 7 days of trying to find an eatery for 12 people I was glad to get home to my own kitchen. 
We planned the holiday with my husbands family, for his Dad's 80th birthday. 

I think Medieval Times was one of our favorite things to do!!! 
Oh NO!!!  

 My Twins and I!!!
 We were rooting for the Blue Knight!!!
We really got into it!!!
 Waiting to be allowed into the arena!!  I read a lot of reviews that you had to get there early and hurry into line so you could get a "good" seat.  But, we were given a specific table and had no problem seeing anything!!  Actually, I really don't think there was a bad seat I the arena. 
 My Lords waiting to be fed :)
 Our server was great!!  He made the show more fun and really interacted with the kids!!
 The horses were beautiful!!  I read about where they are breed, kept, trained, etc... and was impressed with the Medieval Times association and how well they take care of them. 

 Here was the Blue Knight... he did a great job, but the yellow knight was much more animated, so we knew he was going to win.  But our Knight did well and only got "taken out" by the yellow knight.  I wonder how they decide who gets to win???

 View from our balcony.  We stayed in North Myrtle Beach... at the Sea Watch Resort. 
It was beautiful and we could not have been happier with our room and the resort itself.
Although, there were always SO many people at the pool that it was just easier to go to the beach.  I don't think I ever set foot in the pool, but I did get to use the lazy river a few times, it was clean, cool and not very busy :)
The view was something I looked forward to every day!!
My Beautiful Family!!!
What a great time we had!!
Now it's time to get back home and get ready for camp, then back to school...
how does the summer go by so fast!!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Experiments, Lucky Leprechauns & Obstacle Course

Well, I am on my last day of Spring Break :( 
Before we left for Spring Break though, we had lots of fun with our Dr. Seuss Week.  We experimented with Eggs and Vinegar, we learned about Rhyming Words, we made Leprechaun traps in hopes of catching our tricky little Lucky the Leprechaun and lastly we ended the week with some Musical Obstacle Course Fun!!!

I found this experiment online SOMEWHERE.  I am sure it was on Pinterest!! 
We took 2 eggs and put them in Vinegar... we added a little green dye to one of them to see what would happen.  I put a clipboard next to the experiment so the kids could record what they observed over the course of the week.

By the 3rd day, we found that the vinegar "ate" away the outer shell of our egg...
It was fun to see the bubbles on the egg from the vinegar, it was also interesting that the shell just vanished.  One of the students noticed that there were no pieces of shell floating in the vinegar.  This lead to a discussion about where we thought it went or what happened to it when the vinegar touched it.  Some of our thought were...
"Maybe it's still there, but just soft"
"No, we can't see it anymore, or feel it."
"Yeah, it's mushy now, not hard or bumpy."
"Could it be like Kool-Aid??  When my mom puts Kool-Aid in water it changes color and goes away."
"Yeah, maybe it just went into the vinegar water."
It was a lot of fun listening to their conversations.  Which lead into a discussion on how the shell dissolved into the vinegar, and how the components of the vinegar "ate" away at the shell until it was all gone.  Then each child got to hold an egg and feel the differences from before it went into the vinegar.  We compared and listed how it felt.  Until, of course, a little boy squeezed a little to hard and we had green, squishy, mushy, vinegary, egg on the carpet :)

Here are our Leprechaun traps...
The kids were SO focused on making them. 
It took all morning to make them and set them up...
Boy did they have fun!!

They thought of every spot they could imagine!!!

I loved the use of the tape!!

We ended our week with an obstacle course that had to be completed to music!!  When the music stopped, so did we... no matter where we were.  There favorite part was crawling under the tables!!!
We also had fun with Rhyming Words... I made a game out of green plastic eggs.  I put one word on one side of the egg and the rhyming match on the second part and they had to find the match and put them together.  It was a little tricky as some of the eggs were bigger then others, so even though the two words may have matched, if the eggs didn't fit together, they still had to search for the correct match.  For some it was quite easy, others... not so much.  By Friday about 80% of the kids could read ever CVC rhyming word and find the correct match, those kids were asked to write the words on a recording sheet, where as the 20% who still had a hard time, were able to just play the game with a teacher and practice blending the letters to read them .
I am looking forward to getting back to school next week, although I will miss the ability to lounge around the house all day ;)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Building in TK

We have been learning about number sense in TK these days.  Lots of counting going on, decomposing of numbers and as you can see from the picture above... building.  I brought out the cups for the 100th Day of School.  I thought it would be great to build with them and thought it may get some use from some of the kids... but they have become a hit.  It has been great watching them become more confident and proficient with them, building and getting them to stay up where they put them.  In the beginning they could only get two or three rows to stay up, but now look at that structure!! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Farm Night

Well, it's been awhile, but I am going to a blogger meet up next month and realized I have not been blogging at all.  Since the holidays it seems it has been one big thing at school after another.  If it's not a performance, or singing, it is a special evening to show the parents and families the great reasons why they choose our school to send their children to. 
We had a Farm exhibit in TK and we had a blast!!  Our topics mostly centered around farm animals and gardening for food.  We had a great time learning about where our eggs come from, how to grow vegetables to eat and even where our milk comes from.  Below you will see how my room looked before the event.  The pool is for the baby chicks that we had. 
The chicks have been with us for a week and range in age from a week and half old to almost three weeks old.  They were really getting the hang of flying and would roost on our arms, and then take flight right off, flapping their wings and scaring the begeezus out of some of the kids... pretty funny actually ;)
This is just one of our little feathered friends.  They were pretty stinking this year, but we loved holding them, looking at them and talking about them.

We had a farmers market where we could "sell" all the veggies, eggs, and milk we were able to produce on our farm.

another view from the door

this is the bulletin board outside of our room... that is one of our "gardens" that we used to "plant" carrots, potatoes, radishes, and corn

view into our classroom
this was our "milking" cow Bessie... the kids absolutely loved her!!!
I don't know what they loved more, the cow or the chicks, but it was pretty close!!

we decided to make some butter from the "cream" Bessie produced ;)

 this was just an area for the littlest kids to play with some farm animals, but they found our construction vehicles in a box or something, because this is what I found when I walked over there :)

our egg stand...

this was our "garden" in our classroom.  Last year I found some great plastic carrots during Easter time, and we used those to "plant"  The kids had a great time with this also, there was a lot of talk about drought and they thought they should be able to get more water in the watering can to make sure the veggies didn't dry up... they are pretty smart cookies!!!
We enjoyed using this event as a way to practice our counting, sorting, and patterns.  We also read lots of farming books, animal books, and practiced some CVC words.  It was a pretty exhausting week, and although I truly love the event... I am glad it is over and we can get back to our normal routine... but wait, isn't Dr. Seuss Parade coming up, then Grandparents Day (at least at our school) and then Spring comes, and before you know it we will be practicing for our Moving Up Ceremony!!!  Argh... just when you think you can relax :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New Year's Resolution

Ok, we all do it.  We start the New Year with all sorts of goals, resolutions and wants... but most of those are left in the wind when the real world begins again.  Yet, we do it anyway. :)

I know I have some goals in mind.  Like keeping up with this blog.  I love blogging, it really is a great way to record what I have done and how I have grown over the course of the school year.  So, one of my New Year Resolutions is /Blog More!!! 

Another big resolution I have is to find that balance in my teaching.  Teaching TK is wonderful and I love it.  The kids bring me so much joy, and I have a passion for educating young children.  I am finding that balancing the need to learn through play and meeting the guide lines that my school sets is becoming more and more of a challenge.  I know my Little's need to play, that is their work.  I set up the housekeeping with lots of differentiated activities to help with math, reading, writing, as well as social emotional skills.  For instance, we had play dough in the housekeeping before break.  I set it up with lots of measuring tools, cookie sheets with cut outs for 1:1, different "decorations" for the cookies for sorting, and even different outfits to help promote self-esteem, social emotional skills, and problem solving (since only 1 apron has to be shared).  I do my lessons during center time, I teach handwriting, have a sensory table and lots of books.  But.... still I have parents saying, "Why isn't my child farther along!" ARGH!!!!

I bring my patience to the forefront (as we teachers have to do a lot ;)) and quietly explain the developmental growth of each child is different, that each child is where they need to be NOW, and that their child is making progress, just at their own rate.  Meeting the child where they are at is the hardest thing for a  parent to understand.

So, here I am on the 5th day of the New Year, scouring websites, blogs, and TPT in hopes to find the "AH HA" magic that will make every parent happy, every child learn, and this teacher balanced :)  I know, I know... never gonna happen... but a teacher can hope right.

I hope that all is wonderful in all the classrooms out there in blogland and I am wishing all of you a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!!!!