Friday, June 10, 2016

Five Poems for Friday!

Happy Five for Friday!! Thank you Kacey for hosting!
Summer vacation started last week so I have nothing. 
Absolutely nothing!
I did begin to clean my classroom and threw out 20 years of lesson plans. 
That's right, 20 years.

I've been teaching for over 30 years and just couldn't part with the last ten years worth of lesson plan books. Give me a few days.
It almost made me sick to my stomach and I actually shed a nostalgic tear.
A whole lot of thought went into those plans...
So, because I seriously doubt that you want to see 
pictures of the disaster that I call my classroom, 
I thought I'd share 5 of my own silly poems I use throughout the year.

Here's the original graduation poem. 
Each year I make a list of my kids and memorable characteristics and then write 
a line for every child. 

Well we've come to graduation, how fast the year has gone,
It's time to take your sneakers off and put your flip-flops on.
It's time to put your pencil down and remove your thinking cap;
It's time for you to take a trip, and for me to take a nap.
But before we break for summer and out the door I shove (use a silly voice) you;
I want to take a moment, to tell you each how much I love you.
Annie I love your beautiful eyes, and Kenny I love your giggle;
And Michael I love the way you wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
David I love the way you think and Peter the way you care.
And Christy what I would give, if I could have your hair
Sally I love your artistry and Kathy the way you sing;
And Laura I am forever thankful that you found the diamond from my ring*.
Brian I love your tenderness; And Katie I love your heart.
And Taylor I love the way you are so very smart.
Natalie I love your sweetness, Betty I love your compassion;
And Crsytal please don't ever, lose your sense of fashion.
And Joey, Joey, Joey, how much I love your zest!
I cannot wait for next year (but first I need some rest).
And all of you together! Well, you make me grin from ear to ear.
We've had a fun adventure; it's been a wonderful year.
But now it's on to first grade; and then grades two and three.
And lickity split, before you know it, you'll be as old as me.
You'll be doctors and farmers and fancy cake bakers.
You'll be pilots and poets and computer game makers.
You'll be rock stars covered with shiny jewels, you'll be fireman covered in cinders.
But whatever you are, for the rest of your life, you'll always be my Kinders.
So, my wishes for you come in one last little burst.
I hope you always remember to put other people first.
I hope you always remember to sing and to dance.
And I hope you never find frogs in your underpants.
(this line always get lots of laughs)

Here's last year's adjusted portion of the poem without the beginning or ending...

2015 Graduation Poem

Tony I love your laugh and Kate I love your smile,
And Annie I really admire, your fashionista style.

Kyle I love the way you think and Sue the way you care,
And Sally what I would give, if I could have your hair.

And my three little sidekick buddies, Mary, Martha and Sammie,
You could probably teach the class, every day without me.

I wish I had dimples like Lori’s and charm like Kate’s.
Jamie, someday you’ll be, President of the United States.

Kayla I love your neatness and Mac your Lego play,
And Tim and Ben I’m sure, you’ll make it to the NBA.

Michael I love the way you dream and Carol the way you sing.
And Alice I wouldn’t have made it, if you hadn’t told me everything.

Nat I think you’re sweet, Taylor I think you’re funny.
Pat, I’m glad you’re leaving, before I run out of money (I called him Nat by accident all the time. I had to pay him a penny every time I made the mistake. He was rich by the end of the year!)

Daniel I love your bashful smile, Vicky I love your grace.
And Georgia I wish I had your freckles on my face.

Chris you are so nice, there’s no one you don’t like,
And Laura I love how you are a ballerina on the bike.

Here are the changes I made this year. I had a small class, so it's short!
Again, this is without the beginning and end of the poem...

Tommy I love your energy, you're so athletic and so strong.
And Rachael I love your twinkle, you're as happy as the day is long.
Tim I love your enthusiasm, I wish I had your boundless passion.
And Patty...well, everyone wishes, I had your sense of fashion.
Tim, I love your enthusiasm, and whatever it is that makes you hum.
And Billy I'm excited for your future, I can't wait to see what you become.
Anita I love your serenity and the artistic way you write.
And Rebecca: how is it that something so tiny, can shine a light that is so bright?
Sally, I don't know if it will be you or if it will be Denise,
But one of you will give the world wisdom, and the other will give us world peace.
Sam and Mac, you are my angels; I love how much you care.
And Katie, you are my Buddha, I love how you're always aware.
And Darin, Darin, Darin, you're our Ever Ready Bunny,
Oh how we all wish, that we were half as funny.

The kids and parents enjoy the poem and always ask for a copy!


About two weeks before school begins, I send a decorated envelope with a little poem for each student and a letter about the Meet and Greet for the parents.
Here's the poem for the kids:
Dear Kindergartner,
Kindergarten is almost here
And I can hardly wait.
I've been working in our classroom,
And it is looking great.
There's crayons, there's pencils,
And a place to read a book.
There's trucks, there's dolls,
And a place where we can cook!
We have nametags on the desks,
And pictures on the wall.
There's so much for us to see and do,
I cannot list them all.
So I want you to come to school early
And take a little look.
We can pick your cubby and make new friends.
If you're quiet I'll read a book.
We'll play some games and learn some names
And maybe tell some jokes.
We'll fill out papers and sign some forms,
So you better bring your folks.
On August thirteenth
That's the date,
At 5 O'clock in the kindergarten room.
(don't be late).
So, don't miss out and don't be shy,
And Thursday I will greet you.
Kindergarten is almost here,
And I can't wait to meet you!

Here's the short version of my favorite poem:

My flip-flops are my favorite shoes,
I wear them every day.
I take them on vacation
And always out to play.

I wear them to the swimming hole,
I wear them to the sea.
I wear them to my friend's house,
And when I climb a tree.

I wear them to the movies,
I wear them to the store.
I always make sure they're on my feet
When I head out the door.

I love the way they show my toes,
The way they go "Thwack, thwack."
And when I'm walking by myself
I sometimes "thwack, thwack" back.

I guess it's time I changed my shoes,
And came up with another plan.
But even after I put them away,
I can keep my awesome tan!

Or as an alternate ending you could use:

I guess it's time I put them away
They're looking sort of old.
Besides, summer's almost over,
and it's starting to get cold.


What will I be for Halloween?

A pumpkin, a princess, a cowboy, a queen?
What will I be for Halloween?

A witch, a wizard, a Ninja, a tree?
I just don’t know what I should be.

A lion that roars or a bird that tweets,
I want to be something that gets lots of treats.

A pirate, a prince, a monster, a mouse,
Or maybe a ghost from an old haunted house.

Should I be creepy or should I be scary?
Should I be a spider, or an alien, or a beautiful fairy?

I could be a doctor or a dragon, or a race-car driver.
I could be a fireman or a snowman or a deep-sea diver.

I could be Elvis or Elmo or Bambi or Belle
I could be Nemo or Nala or I could be Ariel.

It is so hard to decide what I want to be,
I’m glad that the rest of the year I get to be me.

( I always offer an alternate ending. Not sure any my kids would ever want to dress like me, and I don't think I'm prettier than a princess, but it rhymed!)

There are so many costumes in which I could be dressed
But it must be special, it must be the best.

I know it, I’ve got it, I figured it out.
This is the best Halloween costume without a doubt.

Prettier than a princess and more creative than a creature,

I’m going to be my Kindergarten teacher!


Happy Thanksgiving!

The turkey’s in the oven, the peas are in the pot.
The pie is on the windowsill until it’s not so hot.

The potatoes are on the stovetop, the yams are in the pan.
Aunt Judy’s green bean casserole won’t be ready “until the top is tan”.

There’s cranberries on the table, gravy in a boat,
And something simmering on the stove that sort of burns my throat.

The stuffing’s in a big bowl, the rolls have been put out.
But there is absolutely no way, I’m eating a Brussels Sprout.

There are plates of beets and carrots, trays of cheese and meat;
My entire house is full of things that I don’t like to eat.

My couch is full of uncles; my kitchen is full of aunts.
Our dining room is overflowing with candles and flowers and plants.

The guest room is off limits and smells like grandma’s perfume.
And Great-grandpa Charlie is napping in my room!

The entryway is packed with shoes; the closet is a coat hodgepodge.
And I’m not supposed to open the door that goes to the garage.

Cousin Lily is in her crib so I can’t make a sound,
And Grandpa Joe is in the backyard – I think he’s just wandering around.

The TV is turned to football; all my toys are put away,
There’s not a single place in my whole house where I can go to play.

Well, they’re calling me for dinner and I know I can’t be rude.
Time to “sit still and mind my manners”; time to poke at all that food.

But wait, what’s this? There’s no little table - sitting over there?
No “special children’s corner.” No rickety folding chair?

And look! Mom is waving me over and dad is smiling with glee.
There’s an open chair right between them – and they’re holding it out for me.

Wow! My own nametag, my own napkin, my own crystal goblet with ice!
Wow! Everyone looks so pretty. Everything smells so nice.

So this is what it’s like. This is the fancy living.
Eating at the grown up table...

Man, I love Thanksgiving! 


Because I can't say Punxsutawny Phil and my children are even worse at it, I call him P. Philly, sort of like P.Diddy. Here's my rap to go with the art project:

Hey P. Philly, what do you say?
Let’s get to work, it’s Groundhog Day.

Time to tell us what the weather will bring.
Six weeks of winter or early spring?

Hey P. Philly, what’s the news?
Open your eyes and take in the views.

If you see your shadow, winter’s here to stay,
And if you don’t see it, spring is on the way.

Hey P. Philly, what’s that you’re sayin’?
If it’s sunny outside that means winter’s stayin’?

And if it’s cloudy out that means winter’s excused?
I hear what you’re sayin’ but you seem confused.

Well, thanks P. Philly, that’s really cool.
Now we know what to wear to school.

If it’s cloudy out we wear swimsuits,

And if it’s sunny out we wear our boots!

And in closing,
I feel another poem coming on...

Summer is here, now it's my day.
I hope you enjoyed this Five for Friday!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fast Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday.
Thank you Kacey for hosting!
I'm really, really tired this week trying to get everything ready for the end of year.
I realized things were bad when I tried to open my classroom door by pointing and clicking my car keys at it.
This pretty much sums up the look on my face.
I'm a little too busy...
It's official. I need a life. (And I don't know how to fix whatever I did to the margins and there's no one home to help me so I'm leaving it! HA) Just scroll on down to the next line.

After spending the morning working on report cards, 
I made thank you notes for my parent volunteers.
I've been teaching for more than 30 years and my favorite parent thank you is a heartfelt note. In fact, I've saved every single one!
Because I cherish their notes, I try to return the love.
It takes hours to make the cards for my volunteers, and they're a little dorky, but I hope they convey my appreciation. I always try to find a little bud vase and fill it with flowers. This year I used salt shakers and hot glued bows and name tags.

I had 13 volunteers this year!!!!
I'd be in a whole world of hurt without their dedication!
I've got the portfolios ready to go home!!

My all time favorite gift to my students is a wish jar (use salt shakers so they get air).
I found the perfect jars this year and only have to attach the poem.
I was late collecting the puffs this year and had to go up in elevation to find fresh ones!


I hope the kids love their wish jars!

No pictures for this one!
Just something I've done for years that has proven to make a difference for my kids...
I'm sure many of you already do this.
Every year I write a note to be found later in each child's journal.
Sometimes they're not found until much later!
I write something about why I think they're so spectacular.
I've had kids come back years later and tell me how and when they found the note.
This is just plain silly.
Never talk on the phone with your sister while mixing a cake.
I was so enthralled with her conversation that I left out the baking soda.
Happy weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Five for Friday

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday.
Thank you Kacey for hosting!
I haven't posted in a while because my camera has been broken!!
These are some of the pictures that survived...

 Earth Day bulletin board
We used recycled newspaper and tissue.

Mother's Day!
Here are some flowers bright and bold
Held by the hand you love to hold.
Someday the flowers will disappear
But this little hand will always be near.
We made purses to get our presents home safely!

 How To writing 
April was filled with dandelion puffs and writing about how to make a wish.
We went on a dandelion puff hunt (use salt shakers so they get air), wrote about how to make a wish, learned how to draw puffs and then
we made wishes for the Earth...

Look at this sweet puff!
This little one has been listening to her teacher!
Our three rules are to be kind, be kind, be kind.
And we moved on to learning how to blow a bubble and then wrote about the three steps.
They had so much fun practicing! This idea is from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.
We also blew bubbles with soap wands and
learned how to draw them too! I found this on a blog called The Lost Sock.
These looked cute paired with their How To papers.
I can honestly say we've  pretty much covered everything bubble!
 Friday was Cowboy day!!
I love this picture!
Not my best look...
Sheriff Welch
Those are coffee grounds on my face. I smelled great but they leave an
 interesting 2 O'clock shadow stain when you wash them off.  I get
some interesting looks at the grocery store.
My new favorite Cowboy Day project. 
The kids were so excited when we turned out the lights
 and they had their own campfire!
I wear my apron every day to reinforce all kinds of concepts.
Here are some of the ideas for sight words:
Side note: My door has been painted with chalkboard paint and has
 turned out to be perfect for our sight words!
Every week we concentrate on a new sight word and add it to our door.
Here was our word this particular week. As the kids come through the door, they rainbow write the word with chalk, spelling it aloud as they trace.
Now for the apron!
I greet them at the door with the sight word letters in my pocket and we learn Heid's song to go with the word as they stand in line.
(This is one of my favorite aprons
but the pattern is a little too busy)
Throughout the day and week I might place a blank card in front of one or two of letters.
As they come in or go out the door they have to tell me which letter is missing
or they have to unscramble the letters.
I might greet them with a scrambled sentence that 
they have to fix.
We can use an Expo pen (I usually use a black Expo pen but I took this picture at home) to make capitals and punctuation directly onto the vinyl.
Just be sure to erase soon so it doesn't become permanent!
I use question and exclamation marks too so that we can practice intonation.
Changing the picture cards as they come through the door makes it more fun for the kids.