Friday, September 02, 2011
I have been a busy worker bee these days. I seem to have my motor on high gear and haven't been this active since long before arthritis. It is amazing how much I am doing and how quickly I can move around these days. I am so lucky that I found Dr. Miller and that I didn't talk myself out of it. She deserves an award of some kind--I'll take care of that soon!! I am thrilled to be so busy.
The primary teachers in my building are doing a unit on good health habits with the kids. I decided to work with them but to veer off a bit and to teach them vocabulary to describe their feelings--and I have told them that happy, sad, mad, and glad are kindergarten words so they must choose words that tells their feelings better. I never use the same books and materials with more than one group at a time, but I am doing so right now. I want to help them to build their vocabulary because it will help them to be able to respond to fiction, history, and biographies more clearly. We are using some great books: "Three Dogs at my Door" by Roach Van Allen, "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" by William Steig, "Frightened" by the Wright Group, "C is for Curious" by Woodleigh Hubbard, "Feelings" by National Geographic, and "This is my School" by Mercer Mayer. These books have the best vocabulary, photos, stories, and interest levels for young children. I have several charts all over the school with three columns--a smily face, a so-so face, and a frowning face--that the kids are adding additional vocabulary words to. They are really learning a lot and I am so proud. In the meantime, I am focusing on early skills of book handling and directionality with some of them, high frequency words with some of them, using letter-sounds and meaning to help problem solve, and lots of writing.
I have spent the past two weeks teaching the letters M,m and the corresponding sound to the kindergarten children. Yesterday, I had them do water color resist paintings and the mystery figure was of course, the letters M and m. Today we finished collages of photos that had objects starting with the letter "m," and we used my "M" letter punch to decorate the outside edges of the pictures. We have made the letter M and m out of Wikki stix. We have written them on the magna doodle, on colored construction paper, and on white boards. I think they know that letter. On Friday, I am moving them to the letters R and r. My goal is to teach them a way to look at letters and to give them their own strategies for looking at print. The letter M was not random--all of our children's names begins with "M" and that drove the lessons after I introduced myself to them. The letter "R" is in honor of our new class pet. I got a bunny from a nice young lady on Freecycle who was in college and was worried that her bunny wasn't receiving enough attention. She is a spayed gray Rex who is pretty nervous right now. I expect that as she gets used to us, the kids will be able to take turns reading to her.
I have three projects due for my classes next month. I will start work on them over the weekend. I need to take the atomic learning class on using the school IPad. My current opinion isn't too strong about it. I prefer my laptop and I can't quite understand the IPad. However, when I learn more about using it, I hope that I will understand it better and like it more. We will be using it to do book studies at school, so I need to gain some proficiency with it. Taking that class will be a good start. I need to work on that over the weekend as well.
This weekend is a great one in our community. We have a parade in our little town on Saturday. There is the "Indian Summer Festival," full of rides and activities. Rock Island has a big kart racing event all weekend. Monday is the biggest parade ever, the Labor Day parade. Our church has a float that most of my family will be in. Marissa will be marching with the band in the parades too. It is the last day for Whitewater Junction to be open--my pool reopens on Tuesday, yay!! We will be doing at least one big family picnic and I am letting the kids plan it.
Busy can be really good.
life is good!!