Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting there!

I have spent the last three days getting my classroom set up. Now I am done as much as I can be until I get my class list.

I cannot wait until August 24th. This year is going to be rough, but totally awesome.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The countdown begins

29 days until the first day of school!

I'm setting up my classroom this week. I'm excited.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Preschool invades our spare room

They're waxing the floors at my school, which means everything comes home! Most of the furniture is stacked in my classroom, but all of my things had to come home for the summer. Lucky for us, we have a spare room. Okay, it's the room we keep the dogs in when we leave, but they don't mind if I add things to their room. It's amazing how much JUNK I have accumulated in just a year of teaching. Piles of baskets used for my library, a net full of balls, bins that go in my cubbies to keep little fingers away from teacher stuff, big books, small books, board books, books on cd, shelves, art examples, a blender! It took me three trips to get this all home from school in my little Honda Fit. My floors should be waxed next week or the week after, and then I get the joy of hauling it all back.

That part I really can't wait for though. I have a new layout in mind based on what did and did not work last year. I can't wait to rearrange and set up. This year, I had circle time near the cubbies. This was bad because the kids kept laying in the cubbies! Next year, it moves to the opposite corner of the room. I'm also going to arrange my long library bookshelf so it creates a room divider between the cubbies and everything else. I'm hoping this will keep the kids out of the cubbies when it's not time to be there. My art center is moving near my huge window sills so I can use the window sills for storage and move the shelves I was using to split science and math into science and math. This year, my layout didn't really allow me to have two separate centers for them, and let's just say it was a mess.

Oh I can't wait for August!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Lining up

It is a feat to get 15 three year olds to line up. Some of us are lucky enough to have doors that open onto the playground and eat in our rooms, so it's a nonissue. I have to take my kids down the hallway for the bathroom, the playground, chapel, and lunch. The first week or so, I was frustrated. They were three and had no idea how to stand in line and I had no idea how to make them stand in line.

Then I remembered that at a previous daycare I worked at, the toddler teachers would get their kids down the hallway by singing a tune that went "Put your finger on the wall, on the wall." Now, we can't do that, because there's art covering our walls. But I took their tune (which is "If you're happy and you know it) and made my own. I take my students names written on sentence strips and tape them in 'line order' on the ground. Then we sing this song to line up.

Line up Song
(To the tune of "If you're happy and you know it")

Put your toes on your name, on your name
Put your toes on your name, on your name
Put your toes on your name if you want to go (outside/to lunch/to chapel/potty)
Put your toes on your name, on your name.

Our line is nice and straight, yes it is
Our line is nice and straight, yes it is
Our line is nice and straight because we're really really great
Our line is nice and straight, yes it is.

We are quiet in the hall, yes we are
We are quiet in the hall, yes we are
We are quiet in the hall so the other kids can learn
We are quiet in the hall, yes we are

When we are not in the classroom, we line up by singing this verse first

Make your line nice and straight, nice and straight
Make your line nice and straight, nice and straight
Make your line nice and straight, make it really really great
Make your like nice and straight, nice and straight

It works like a charm! It still took us a good solid month to get used to walking quietly in line and watching where we were going, but I made great progress using this song. Also, it made me laugh once because one of my students called out "But YOU aren't quiet in the hall. YOU are singing!"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I can't get away

I use my iPod for music at work. It's easier to create playlists, I don't have to worry about scratched CDs, and it's more compact than having all of those CDs running around.

Today I clicked on "most played songs." My #1 most played song is Lisa Loeb "The wake up song" with 154 plays. That is the song that I used the second half of school to wake everyone up from naptime. My #2 most played song was the song we used for cleaning up. In fact, of my top 25 most played songs, only two are songs that aren't from school.

I guess I won't be using that playlist at home!

Monday, June 22, 2009

It's been a while

The summer doesn't really leave me with very much to talk about preschool-wise. I'm excited to report that next year, I will have the younger threes again. I've gotten a sneak peek at my class list and it's almost full! All great kids, too. I think I'm going to have another excellent batch of students and parents next year, which is good. I had the BEST class this past year, so I'm completely spoiled.

Anyway, so over the summer this will probably just end up being a hub for my ideas. That way I can keep track of them and if my computer crashes (which it does), I don't lose all of my ideas!

- All about today pocket chart.
- A headphone hub thing so more than one kid can listen to a book on cd. Also, headphones.
- Enough spray bottles for each kid in my class. Then I want to do this when we study fall to spray leaves onto a tree.
- I want to split my book subjects up. "Animals" can be changed to "insects" "fish" and then maybe just animals. I don't know what to call left over animals, but I had too many animal books this year. They didn't fit into two baskets and that's too much.
- Pillows for my library. Last year I had beanbags and they busted, so I threw them away. Pillows won't make such a mess.
- Enough smocks for everyone, but I guess I will settle for large t-shirts.
- Velcro that isn't sticky. I took the velcro I had this year off with a razor, but it was such a pain, I'd rather not deal with it again.
- Scissors that actually cut construction paper easily. We had those safety scissors this year and the kids would get frustrated because the scissors would bend the paper instead of cutting it. As long as I teach them how to hold scissors properly, they can handle ones that will actually cut.
- I'm going to laminate a piece of posterboard and tape it to the wall for a "whiteboard" that they can reach and use in an alphabet center. I need to surround that with something raised though, so they don't write on the walls.
- A tension rod used for curtains. One of the other teachers had one on her windows to store her big books there. I love it. I'm stealing the idea.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

This is what we did for Mother's Day. It was very well received by all of the parents and took a solid week to get done! We started out by painting the pots. We used washable paint, which I do not think I will do next year. It soaked into the terra cotta pots and we had to do eight layers of paint. (Not that the kids minded having to paint so much, just that I started to get concerned they wouldn't be done in time!). The handprints are done with Crayola's Model Magic. This is very lightweight, which worked great for our purposes. The kids painted dowel sticks green.

Then I set up to getting them all put together. I ran through three HUGE hot glue sticks. The flower petals and leaves are foam. I have the dowels sticking in the pots using a styrofoam block. After I took this picture, I got the bright idea to use my multitudes of Easter Grass to stuff them and cover the styrofoam.

I love them and we got a ton of compliments on them. I think I'll do it next year, too.