Friday, January 31, 2014

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy Chinese New Year!  Today we celebrated the first day of the Chinese New Year.  We have been reading some great stories to learn about this holiday and the Chinese culture.  Here are a few that we have read so far, if you click the picture it will take you to the Amazon link:

 The Runaway Wok

My First Chinese New Year
I use this one to introduce the holiday.  It's very basic and explanatory.

Sam and the Lucky Money

The Dancing Dragon

I still have a few more to read, but, we have plenty of time considering that the New Year period lasts 15 days!  My colleague adopted her daughter from China 10 years ago and has kept the Chinese holidays and traditions for her.  She is very well versed on Chinese New Year so we can really spend some time on this holiday.  Here is the dragon that all 5 Kindergarten classes contributed scales to:

It has a looooooooooooooooooooooong tail!

We also have some pretty lanterns to show off our visual thinking exercise:

Did you do anything to celebrate?

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Happy MLK Jr. Day!

Happy MLK Jr. Day!  My Kinders and I have been working on our special project.  I finally got to hang it in the hall the other day.  Here it is:

 Here is a closer look:

The heads and bodies are from The Mailbox Magazine.  I made the hair for myself and all of the students.  The students colored their faces and their shirts.  This is the second year I have done this project and I absolutely love it!  The two outer posters came in a pack that I just bought at Target in the Dollar Zone section.  The MLK portrait is a coloring sheet that I enlarged and had colored.  We have spent quite a bit of time talking about being fair and being accepting of everyone.  We also discussed how we are all different and that it is a wonderful thing!  What have you done to teach the legacy of MLK Jr.?

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Positive Reinforcement

I thought I'd take some time to show two quick and easy things we do in our classroom to reinforce great behavior and hard work.  The first thing we use is the good ole' sticker chart.  My wonderful volunteer makes a chart that corresponds with each month.  This month it is mittens:

Aren't they cute?  We mainly give stickers for great behavior, if the class is working quietly as a while and when they complete testing (DIBELs, DRAs, etc.).  We also set a goal of 10.  If they get ten stickers on their chart before the end of the month, they get to go into the prize bin!  It is really simple and it gives them a goal to work toward.  They get to take their charts home with them at the end of the month too!

The next reinforcement we use are tickets!  The student earn tickets based on their coloring.  We follow the 3 Star Coloring rules as seen here.  That is not my chart, but, that is where I got the idea!  We have the chart hanging in the room and often remind the Kinders about it.  Here is the picture of our ticket bucket:

So, if they earn 3 stars on their coloring they receive one ticket.  If they go above and beyond and get 4 stars they receive two tickets.  Every week I pick one boy and one girl from the bucket and they get to go to the special prize bin! 

These systems have been working well.  What do you use in your classroom?
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Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Semi-Extended Holiday Break...

I was due to go back to work this past Thursday, and, I did.  Funny thing about it was that we were in the beginning of a huge snowstorm.  So, by noon Thursday school had already been cancelled for Friday.  Which, I am glad we only have to make up one snow day so far, but I would have loved an extended vacation!  We ended up getting about a foot of snow.  Here is my awesome hubby helping the neighbors clean up:

Not only did we have a ton of snow, the temperature dropped way below normal!  We were experiencing negative temps without windchill! I was surprised that he nor the dog were icicles when they came in!  Our dog is a Chow Chow and he L.O.V.E.S the snow!  Here he is with DD:

We only lasted for 15 minutes outside, it was beyond cold!  I spent the majority of my day cleaning the house and doing laundry.  DD helped me to take the Christmas things down and we started putting up some Valentine's Day decor.  I know it is early, but, DD loves to decorate!  I also spent some time making a bunch of these:

 They are so super simple to make and they are beautiful!  I already have some hanging in my classroom, but, I wanted to make some for my co-teacher's room too.  If you are interested in making these, this is a great video tutorial: 

I am beginning to gear up to head back on Monday.  It's going to be tough!  What did you do on your break?

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

I am linking up with Farley on time this month!  WOOHOO!  So, without further ado:

Listening:  My daughter is currently watching episodes of Super Mario World on YouTube.  This kid is obsessed with Mario.  It may or may not have something to do with the new Wii my Mother bought.

Loving:  I know today is just another day, but, there is something so fresh feeling about a "new year".  Also, I am weird and I favor even numbers, so I am happy that this year is an even number.  Yep, I'm weird like that!

Thinking:  We are supposed to be getting a pretty big snow storm.  We are expected to get 6-12" of snow by Friday evening.  They are saying it is going to start snowing tomorrow.  I am really hoping that our Superintendent just cancel school for tomorrow and Friday.  It was silly to make us return to school for two days this week!

Wanting:  I really, really, want these snow days.  As much as I want to get out of school earlier in the Summer, I'd like to spend more time with my family.  My daughter was sick for days after Christmas and she is only starting to feel better!

Needing:  My hubby now has the cold and I need him to feel better.  We have things to do today to prep for the storm!

Memory:  We were blessed to have our family and friends here at our house on Christmas Eve.  I love having everyone together; it does not happen nearly enough!

I wish you all a happy, healthy and blessed new year!  Now, go link up!
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