Monday, August 19, 2013

Earnest the Ear

One of my favorite parts of Kindergarten is introducing my friend, Ernest! :)  Ernest not only helps manage my classroom but when the students use Ernest it just makes me smile!

One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is tattling...I know, I why am I a Kindergarten teacher, right? :)

My friend Ernest is an heard right, an EAR!  Today Ernest met all the Kindergartners and we talked about topics we should tell the teacher about and what we could discuss with Ernest.

Basically we narrowed it down to...if you are bleeding, have a broken bone, are feeling sick or going to have an accident those are perfect things to tell the teacher.  Other than that, if someone makes you upset or mad or someone accidentally stepped on your finger, you tell Ernest.

My favorite part is when people come into our classroom and there will be kids waiting in line to talk to Ernest, especially after recess, and visitors are always like "Ummm...why are your kids talking to the wall?!?"  So not only is it effective but it is quite humorous too!  But the kids take it totally serious.  And so do I! :)

How do you handle tattling??
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Monday, August 5, 2013

Remind 101

This summer as I was looking for new ways to integrate technology into our daily Kindergarten life, I read about Remind 101.  This is a great tool to involve parents (and older students who have cell phones/email) with your classroom community.

Basically, you set up your account.  You can either use your computer email or cell phone app (use them both interchangeably) and send parents a note telling them about the app!

When you set up your account, you get a "number" for parents to text to.  Then, anytime, you can email/text parents reminders throughout the day/week/year!  The best part is, neither party has the others cell phone number!  So everyone still feels a sense of privacy.

I found this note that I printed off and sent in my "back to school" envelope to families.  I can't wait to use this piece of technology this year!!  Instead of writing notes for everyone, or using labels and putting them on students' shirts (which I will still probably do occasionally or if it is just for an individual student) I can just sent a quick text or hop on my email if there is a classroom party or music program, etc...!

Here is the letter I printed off for my parents!

How do you use technology to better your classroom?
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Gettin' a little "green" :)

Hey hey hey!  One of my goals this year is to be a bit "greener"!  I feel like I use SOOO much paper for workstations in my room.  I want the students to be accountable for their station time, especially since it is an independent time while I meet with small groups.  But I do end up making lots of copies.  Since I am thrifty, and like to spend my classroom money on fun stuff, I went with option B.  I already had page protectors in my classroom and I had a collection of colored/patterned duct tape (you know, for emergencies :) ) so I went to work!

When I say I went to work, I mean my husband went to work.  If any of you know me on a personal level, you understand that I MAY or may not have a few flaws which MIGHT include not being able to cut straight or complete crafts that deal with minuscule details that require a steady hand and focus.  ( I know, I know...what Kindergarten teacher can't cut straight.  Believe me when I tell you my parents think they failed me because I can't cut a straight line to SAVE MY LIFE!)  Anyways, back on topic.  Mr. Bowder is quite the type A person who helps me out in numerous ways when it comes to completing projects especially when something needs to look straight and not crooked, like a 5 year old did it. So right away I needed his help.

We both agreed that it would be easiest to start at the top where there is an opening and a paper needs to slide in.  He then went to cutting the duct tape and he only put duct tape on one side, if that makes sense.  But you really can't tell.

Then he used it on the sides and then bottom.  I was of course doing this project with him and let's just say I finished one "decent" paper frame in the time he finished significantly more.  You can't blame me for tryin'!

I am excited to use these this year mostly with station work!  I might find a few other areas they could be useful as well!  Students will use dry erase markers and crayons because those wipe off pretty easy from the page protectors.  And hopefully I can save a few trips to the copy machine, not to mention paper!

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