Kindergarten Teacher

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Thanks Mom

My Mom with my first born son

My Mom (Marcia) turns 60 on Sunday and since she is my top reader I figured I would use a post to say Happy Birthday!

But, this is more than just a Happy Birthday post. I want to tell the world how amazing my Mom has been. Every good quality I have is a direct result of her. She has always been there for me and I have felt her love and support every minute of my life. She is responsible for me being a teacher. She saw my love for working with children and guided me towards my passions. For that I am very grateful, without her support I think I would have ended up as a math major.

Mom, thank you for your unconditional love.  Thank you for attending EVERY sports game I ever played and being my biggest fan. Thank you for being the best Nanna in the world. Thank you for making the best chocolate pie. Thank you for all the sacrifices I know you made and the many I may never know. Thank you for expecting me to go to college and graduate.  Thank you for all the laundry you did. Thank you for cooking dinner almost every day even after a long day at work. Thank you for being the best Mom in the world!

 

 

 

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Apps We Use in Kindergarten (update)

PLEASE vist the UPDATED LIST HERE

Storytelling:

ToontasticFelt BoardLittle Bird TalesEducreationsSock PuppetsStoryBuddy 2My StoryPuppet Pals

**I have blogged about using Toontastic HERE, Little Bird Tales HERE, Sock Puppets HERE Felt Board HERE and StoryBuddy HERE

Creativity/Play:

My PlayHome, Daisy The DinosaurToca Tea Party, Robot Lab, Where’s My Water,

Books:

Monster at the End of the BookDr Seuss ABC, Cat in The Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Go Away Big Green Monster, Three Little Pigs

Apps for all areas:

Teach Me K, Feed Me, Jumpstart Pre, Pirate Phd, Princess Phd

Letter ID/Letter Sound:

Starfall ABC, Intro to Letters, Interactive Alphabet, Letter of the Day, Alphabetimals, Alphabet Tracing

Phonics/Word Work:

Rocket Speller, Alpha Writer, Spell Animals, Sound Sorting, Phonics Fun ( I use phonics fun 1-4), Letter Sounds, ABC Magic 5

Science/Geography:

Dinopedia, Plants HD, Pocket Zoo, Barefoot World Atlas, Stack the States

Math

Intro to Math, Hungry Fish, Counting Board, Math Bingo, Pattern Recognition K, Math Magic, Let’s Make Shapes, Simple Sort

Art/Music:

 iLuv Draw Animals, Garageband, Drawing Pad, MoMA Art Lab, Kid Art

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Living Center

I used the Petco Premium Oasis Garden Terrarium

One of the things I added to my room this year that I am very proud of is our terrarium. This was NOT something I planned to do but a process of exploring and learning that led to “needing a terrarium”. You can read more about how that came to be here. It was so much fun to have this living center in our room and I cant wait to start again this year with the basics of dirt and let the learning unfold. Looking back I can’t believe how often the terrarium fit into our learning and how easy it was to come up with ways to include it. Here are a few examples of what made this center a hit in our room…

We were able to add insects that we collected during nature walks (spiders, ants, beetles, ladybugs, crickets and roly-polies)

A great place to put our chrysalis and watch the changes

Once we had snails, crickets and roly-polies the center was always moving and full of action. Certain kids in my class (especially those with a lot of energy) could sit and watch this for long periods of time and it had a calming effect.

The kids also liked to bring back plants. They learned in a real world setting about roots and how important they were to a plant. I took many weeks but eventually they had success “transplanting” into the terrarium

When it was time to grow seeds they had a wonderful place to experiment. The kids learned how hard it is for a seed to grow as many seeds were eaten by insects and many baby plants were chewed up before they could thrive. They all seemed to develop a respect for living things.

A real understanding of decomposing and the importance of insects, mold and bacteria

That homework, when needed, can be fun and engaging. When we first decided to add insects I sent home homework for the kids to dig up worms and send to school.

Some things wont decompose. Even if you leave them in there for 124 days.

Placing too much food into the terrarium attracts many fruit flies and gives Mr. Gomez a reason to buy a Venus Fly Trap. Something he has always wanted to buy. :)

That seeds growing is a miracle, something that deserves our respect and wonder.

What are some other ways you could use a living center in your class. I plan to add an aquarium and maybe even a Water Garden this year!

 

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Suggested Reading 7/15/12

I have gained so much from the blogs that I follow that suggest good reads each week. Not only are the posts great but it has allwed me to find more great blogs to add to my reader. So I am going to give it a try and share 5 posts each week I find valuable.

Ok, week one and I’m already breaking the “rules” This week there are 5 posts and one facebook page :)

 

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Sesame Street Symbaloo Mix

This Symbaloo mix contains over 35 of the most popular Sesame Street videos from their YouTube page (based on views). Please let me know if you have any favorites I have missed and I will add them. If you have questions about Symbaloo I have posts about it here, here and here :)

Click here to view the Sesame Street videos 

side note: I felt bad that I had to remove the last mix of Reading Rainbow videos because the videos were removed from Youtube. Hope this makes up for it. I am confident these will stay up since they are from the actual sesame street page. Enjoy.

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#edcampKinder

The last few days I have been in Vegas for #edcampKinder. If you are not familiar with the edcamp model you can find out more here. We think #edcampKinder was the first destination edcamp. Ten fabulous teachers that participate in #kinderchat met to have discussions about a wide range of topics. More importantly we met face to face (many for the first time) to deepen our relationships. Because of twitter we are all global educators. This is very important to me because I think it is crucial for teachers to have a global network if they expect their class to be global learners. There are many projects that never would have happened in my class without the relationships and connections I have made on #kinderchat. I can honestly say I am a better teacher because of these relationships. I know twitter is not the answer for everyone but every teacher should be working to build relationships locally and globally. I am sad to know we had several thousand K teachers form across the globe in one place (I Teach K conf) and I was only able to make a few new connections. As my good friend @8Amber8 always says the smartest person in the room IS the room. I’m glad to say I have thousands of smart people all around me because of twitter and I can’t imagine having it any other way.

If you are looking for rockstar early childhood educators to follow on twitter please start with these folks that attended edcampkinder @happycampergirl @learningmurd @Garrioch @hechternacht @havalah @tashacowdy @MauiMickey @mr_fines @lirenmanlearns @OoeyGooeyLady and I would love you to follow me also @matt_gomez. You can find a list of those that attended virtually here.

A few highlights of #edcampkinder…

– discussing all the amazing projects from the past year

– Lisa Murphy (@OoeyGooeyLady) giving the “keynote” What an amazing conversation we had with her on the second day. Next time you are in one of her sessions stand up and remind her when there are 10 minutes left #snark

– Bellagio water show with my Kindertwin @happycampergirl and my Kinderbro @mr_fines

– The announcement that @ChrisWejr is now the principal of #kinderchat. I have often referred to him as my virtual admin so this was great news

– Meeting face to face with six more twitter friends

– Bellagio buffet with @happycampergirl #foodchat

-Of course not everyone that participates in Kinderchat was able to make the trip so we invited people to attend our first meeting via Skype. I think at one point we have 6 other members skyping in from as far away as Indonesia. Here is a great picture of two of the virtual skypers chatting via skype (crazy but fun)

 

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