Friday, August 1, 2014

Five for Friday!

I am SO happy to be able to join in on the Five for Friday fun!
Thank you Doodle Bugs for hosting!

This is going to be the condensed version. I already wrote my Five for Friday once this morning. It disappeared somewhere and I'm unable to find it. So, after a good cry, I'm attempting again.

I finally went to school to clean!  This was what greeted me. My poor plants.

It was an omen to not open the door...

I must have bolted from my classroom last June and ignored the mess. Well, I found that mess right where I left it. It's something else. The Cleaning Fairy did NOT visit me this summer.

That awful closet that I showed you a few months ago is still there. Dang.

After I sorted all my treasures, it became very obvious that there are certain items that I must consider essential to kindergarten. Here they are in no particular order:

Apparently you can never have enough...
wiggly eyes,
ribbon (I like things to look pretty),
 sprinkles and cake decorating essentials (We bake a cake for each child on their birthday),
 Clorox wipes,
glitter and paper punches for b day crowns and such (the glitter is my favorite thing to wear to the grocery store and bank),
paints and paint brushes!
My camera died at this point, but I can tell you that I must also believe in hand sanitizer, stickers, crayons, smelly markers, and dump trucks!
 Let's be reminded of what's truly important when you're five. :)

Look what I found in the back of the disaster closet! These are prints from 1957! Aren't they sweet? I need a grandchild so I can decorate a baby guest room.

I finally took some time for myself and headed to my favorite bookstore to look for a new children's book. I do this at the beginning of every school year and love sitting on the carpet (with a bunch of five year olds) while I slowly peruse new titles. I'll spend big money on a truly wonderful story. When I retire, some new teacher will inherit an incredible library!

I found this book and immediately knew I wanted to check it out. 

It's written by Todd Parr and it's lesson is to not be fearful of mistakes. We all make them and, in fact, it's the best way to learn. It has bright, primary colors and simple pictures. Each page covers a different concern for kids. I immediately related with some of the pages. Especially the one about wearing two different socks (I accidentally wore two different shoes to school last year. And by Friday, everyone was doing the same).

One of the best things I can do for my students is to make mistakes in front of them and then totally own it. When you immediately address/admit the mistake, apologize if necessary, and then model how to work through it, it teaches them that it's fixable. I love this quote. We talk how we can avoid the same mistake in the future, fix it as best we can, and forgive!
My kids see me make lots of mistakes. Lots. I hope this helps them have empathy for others and to remember that it happens to us all. I think they also have to realize that they are often much harder on themselves than others would ever be. As long as we learn from our mistakes, we can reset our sails, and move on!

 Two weeks before school starts I send a decorated envelope to my kinders and their parents. 

I've done this meeting for years. It's fun for the kids to get mail and it alleviates much of the first day of school anxiety that both the kids and parents are feeling. They learn where to line up, where they will sit, pick a cubby, where the bathroom is located, as well as where to sit at circle. After I introduce myself to everyone, the parents sit quietly (HA!) and fill out paperwork while I read a story to the kids. After I talk to the kids, ( learn some names, show them around and talk about"Teacher Land"), we send them outside to learn the playground rules, where the bus drops them off or picks them up, and where the cafeteria is (whew!). Then it's my time to talk with the parents. 

After I discuss schedules and how things run, they ask lots of questions. When we're done, they make an art portfolio and write a love note to be discovered on the first day of school. I also take a picture of each child to put on the bulletin board.

Yes, we'll have to go over much of these things again for those families who couldn't come, but hopefully this gets rid of some of the first day jitters!

I'm too tired to show you my "pencil pals" or little shoes that I made for the kids. Next time, maybe!
Instead, here's one more thing I found in my closet. Some of my old calendar things. I used to spend so much time hand making things.

I'm soooooooo grateful to TPT. It has made my teacher life so much better. Thank you to all the brilliant people who create worksheets, units, bulletin board items (the ones shown are found on Kindercraze) and on and on! I love you!

I wish you a happy weekend.!
 I'd love to hear from you.
Ladybug wish. " I wish for a plant with tons of Aphids and that I won't have to share them"
Apron news...
Newly posted in my store, Kinder-gardening:

Thank you to everyone who has left me a kind note. You have no idea how much they mean to me! :)


  1. Sandy I love how the aprons are looking! Email me because I have more ideas for you!
    Whimsy Workshop Teaching

  2. Hi Sandy, I would like to contact you privately, but don't see your email address. Can you please email me? Thanks, Kathleen
    Kidpeople Classroom