Saturday, March 14, 2015

Five for Friday


It's been a while since I joined in on a Five-For-Friday. The blog had to take a back seat to my family and students, which is only right. With all the hullabaloo going on, I looked a lot like this guy every night.

We laugh about my blog because I have more organic farmers following me than teachers (kinder-gardening). We had another good laugh today because I noticed that my followers increased when I DIDN'T write. What's that say? I'm guessing that's not a good sign...Hmmm. Might be time to throw in the towel.

Here's what's been going on...


I had a booth for the aprons at the Southern California Kindergarten Conference in Pasadena. I can't believe I didn't take pictures with some of my favorite presenters. I was star struck for sure.

I even got to have a booth next to Fran Kramer!! I was also across from Heidi and down the way from Palma!!! Their booths were so busy you could hardly see them! And Kim Adsit was presenting in the room right next to our booth!!!!! I love her to pieces. Kathy Griffin was down the way and the Kinder League gals were around the corner!! Katie Knight came to visit and wore her apron with adorable pink rain boots. Kelley Dolling came and said hello too AND I got to sit at a table at the blogger's dinner  with Teeny Tiny Teacher!!!!!! And on and on!

We almost sold out of aprons and the very best part was meeting so many wonderful teachers. The worst part was that I didn't get to go to the sessions. Palma invited me to come and sing The Three Bears Rap with the apron fairy tale cards. I was scared to death!!
Here are some of the new apron combinations to be done (hopefully) by this week. I'm ordering black now so that we'll be ready for the Vegas conference in July!


Here are the fairy tale cards for the aprons. They work in a pocket chart as well! My favorite has to be the Three Billy Goats Gruff! The clip art is by Susanna at Whimsy Workshop. I love everything she makes!

So, in California, March came in like a lamb AND went out like a lamb. My kids don't know what winter looks or feels like. In fact, when I teach about seasons, they're sort of amazed that seasons have different weather. :)
I love their lions and lambs!

We're gearing up for Leprechaun shenanigans next week. I don't get things going until two or three days ahead of time or it gets a little out of hand. They already think that anything out of order is caused by the leprechaun. Let's just say that he's been very busy...
I'm so excited to try this idea that I saw on Pinterest (No Time for Flashcards) a long time ago. I just love it and think the kids will too! We go on a leprechaun hunt first thing in the morning and these disguises are just what we need.


I also want to encourage you to do this magic cooking project that I do every St. Patrick's Day. The kids love it and really believe there is magic in your classroom. Here's my post from last year:

St. Patrick's Day Cooking Magic

So, St. Patrick's Day is almost here. I know this because the kids are going bonkers. They're positive the little Leprechaun is hiding in the clock/intercom on the wall and we can't get anything done because they hear him giggling.

We do all the usual things that I'm sure everybody else is doing; itsy bitsy notes with hints about where to find him, we make traps, tiny footsteps across the tables, messed up class, little treats left behind. He even leaves worksheets for math and reading with teeny writing so they must use the magnifying glasses.

But there is one thing we do that makes them true believers; a magical cooking project that fools them every year. It's very easy but you really have to put on a show!

So, here's what you need: a box of white cake mix and all the ingredients
                                          2 eggs
                                          green food coloring
                                          two identical cups
                                          paper towels
                                          a paper grocery bag

Before the kids arrive, make a nest with the folded paper towels in one of the cups. Take one of the eggs and carefully tap around the upper portion. Remove the top and pour the egg into a bowl. Reserve the shell top and bottom. Put a few drops of green food coloring into the egg and mix well. As carefully as you can, pour the green mixture back into the egg shell and place the cap back on. Put the egg back into the cup and gently tuck a small piece of paper towel around and over the egg. Set aside while you get the cooking area prepared. This egg cup goes in the grocery bag last before the kids arrive. It spills very easily.

Set the cooking area up before the kids come. Place the grocery bag with the ingredients in a safe area where you will be cooking. The kids have to be kept away from this bag. I put the bag on a bench  next to the place where I sit for calendar. The kids know they can't bother that particular spot-we call it "Teacher Land." Put all the ingredients in the bag but be very careful with the egg that has already been mixed; if it spills, your magic will be ruined!!  The bowl, mixing spoons and cups are out in view. As the kids arrive, have them sit on the floor. Make sure they are back a few scoots from the bag.

Now put on your drama hat! Really ham it up! I tell them that I want to do a magic cooking project but it won't work if there is ANYONE who doesn't believe in the Leprechaun. We always invite a young man from a prior kindergarten year whose name is VERY Irish to come assist so that we have good luck. He sits in a place of honor and waves the wand over the egg mixture when needed ( he's in 8th grade now and I don't know what I'm going to do when he heads off to high school).

Ask for some magic words that they will use in the cooking project. Practice saying them with great enthusiasm while you or a helper waves the wand. When you think you couldn't possibly get them any more excited, move on to actually making the recipe.

I begin with the cake mix and pour it in the bowl ( use a clear Pyrex type bowl).Now for the fun! Do the egg next.

Tell them that if all goes well and there is Leprechaun magic in the room, the egg will turn green. Take the empty look-alike cup and make a nest that matches the one you did earlier while the kids watch. Make a big deal about it. Place the egg into the cup and cover it to match the other one with another piece of paper towel. Tell the kids that as you or one of the kids wave the wand over the cup, they need to say one of the magic words that they have practiced. Repeat with four or five different words. Really overdo the enthusiasm.

Uncover the egg and crack in a similar way to the already dyed egg. In a VERY disappointed voice, show them how it didn't turn green. DON'T pour it out or remove it from the cup. Carefully replace the lid and pack it with the paper towel. GENTY place it back in the bag away from the other cup so you don't get them mixed up. Tell them that you can try again in a minute after you add all the other ingredients. Be disappointed but hopeful and move on to the other ingredients.

Once you have finished adding all the other ingredients, very carefully take out the first egg cup that has already been dyed. Of course the kids think this is the egg that you had tried to change earlier. Ha! Tell them that their magic must not have been strong enough and that it is time to try again! Really act worried. Repeat the magic words and wand waving even more enthusiastically than before!. Very slowly remove the top paper towel. Expose the egg and take the lid off. Once they see the egg has turned green the room explodes with excitement. Settle them down (good luck!) and add the magic green mixture to the cake batter. Bake later! Time for recess!!!!!!!

Put the bag of ingredients up immediately! One year I had a very curious student who made a bee-line for that bag! I almost had to tackle that little rascal. He was bound and determined to figure out my trick and came back for years asking me about how I did it. He's probably in college now and the next time I see him maybe I'll confess! I hope you have as much fun with this silly activity as I have! You're going to be remembered for this one!

Have a great weekend!
Look at this picture that was left on my desk!
Love my glasses and the size of my body!
My diet must be working!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Kindergarten Truths

I'm linking up with the Kindergarten Connection for a quick linky! It's been weeks since I've blogged. Too many things going on with family and school to even think about a blog post!


I'm going to cheat a little and repost a similar entry from a while back.

I consider my job the absolute best in the world. I really and sincerely mean that and feel happy every day to go to work. Retirement is looming, and I just can't imagine a day without kindergarten. I'll be the most faithful volunteer in the history of our school...

Yes, I hear all those same questions and remarks about how easy it must be to teach kindergarten, too. HA! I've tried to answer the questions, but often to no avail. So instead...

here are some positives to working in the kinder world!

Ten things I've Learned Teaching Kindergarten: (these are mostly silly and not deep)


1. If they can mess up your name, they will. If your name is at all complicated or rhymes with something entertaining, they'll use it!  I remember the first time I found out my students were calling me Mrs. Belch. I was initially offended ( for about 2 seconds) and then my husband and I thought it was hilarious. When I confronted the boys, their look of horror was priceless. We had a good laugh and because they knew my sense of humor, they'd occasionally call me Mrs. Belch to make me gasp with fake horror! More often, I am referred to as Mrs. Welchie, which I love dearly. It's truly an endearment that just seems to naturally happen around January of every year. There are 8th graders who call me Mrs. Welchie!

2. Kindergartners sing and dance everywhere! We'll be sitting at circle and you can hear someone in the bathroom belting out a tune. LOUDLY. It's the cutest thing ever. When I put on one of our clean up songs ("Firework", "It's Always a Good Time") they stop at certain spots and we all break out our dance moves. They're supposed to be back at circle by the time the song ends and clean super fast to get there early so they can really get into it. I taught them how to sit down like Ellen Degeneres does to stop the music . Hilarious! We need to send her a video!

3. I speak kinderese. See this post. I can decipher a 5 year old's mispronunciation of any word they may dream up! You know exactly what I'm talking about!

4. They love to see you being silly, laughing and being playful! Dance! Dress up!

5. Just listen. They say the most wonderful things, have very creative solutions and are very funny people! Have you ever seen the AT&T commercial where they adult is sitting at the table, head resting in his hands just listening to the kids as they answer questions? It's the BEST! Watch out, they'll tell you all their family's secrets. Believe half.

6. It's very important for them to see you fail, apologize and repair. Often. Teach them to take care of the people they've hurt.

8. Don't do everything for them. I can't believe how many kids can't zip their coat or even put it on by themselves! When an adult does everything they are basically telling the child that they're not capable. Build their confidence by letting them try. Accept their effort and their confidence soars! I always tell them I won't be with them in college so they better figure it out ( I'm nearby and their biggest cheerleader)!

9. A five year old's sense of fashion is wonderful. Let them dress themselves! I love to see parents relax with the perfectly chosen outfits. There's nothing better than a child walking through the door in polka dots, stripes, tutus and bow ties that they self selected. They walk with such confidence. If you accidentally wear two different colors of shoes to school they'll think you did it on purpose. And the next day they'll copy you!

10. Plan lots of time to get anywhere. If there's a caterpillar crawling across the sidewalk, we're going to need to look at it.  Have them bring a change of clothes to school! If it snows, we're going outside! If there are giant puddles, they'll jump in them!

There are so many more things they've taught me but it would take hours! They are the joy in my day and I can't imagine not teaching forever just to be with them! Each one is a gift and deserves love and attention! Isn't it the silliest way to spend a day? We have the best job ever!