Thursday, August 29, 2013

Long time, no post...

School is back in full swing here in north Georgia. With starting a new year in a new grade level and dealing and sorting through my one year old's major food allergies to all dairy, pork, and citrus we have been just a little bit like the traveling circus. Oh, I forgot to add that our air went out too. Anyway, I feel like it has been a long time since I posted. 

I want to start by saying that I LOVE KINDERGARTEN! When my principal asked me to go to kindergarten, I was so excited but a little nervous. I had been teaching second and third grade for years, focusing my instruction on gifted and high achievers. But when she asked, I can truly say that I was so excited. I honestly feel like kindergarten is the perfect fit for me, and am so thankful every day that she placed me there. But... I have never been this tired in my life. As  a kindergarten teacher, you never get to slow down and rest. 

My school system started school on August 9th. We welcomed 23 precious babies to kindergarten in my class. On the first day of school, I introduced my kinders to the Daily 5. I have used the framework in the past and love it. I never have to worry about centers on Friday; they are already done. Students learn how to use the materials and can every activity can be easily differentiated to best meet individual learning needs. I was excited to be able to attend the Daily 5 conference for the 2nd year in a row. The "Two Sisters" are AMAZING and I truly recommend their workshop to all teachers. At the workshop, two things really stuck out at me.

First ~ They constantly stated that teachers need to make Daily 5 work for them. It will run differently in every classroom. That is okay. 
Second ~ I can't tell you how many times they stated, "we wrote this book in 2005-6. We do things a little differently" or "this isn't in our book but it should be". I always felt bad that I wasn't able to get in 5 rotations. Some years, 3 rotations were pushing it, and this year my kinders and I are pushing it to get 2 in. But listening to Gail and Joan speak, they too had felt this burden and some years only had 3-4 rotations. 

The first day, my kiddos made it to 36 seconds of stamina. A little scary for me. Honestly, I had the worst case of jitters and worried that this wasn't going to be possible for my kindergarteners. They were just too young. We are about to finish week 3. They are know up to 18 minutes (Yes, you read that right) of reading stamina. We have also introduced listening and writing. Today, my kinders made their first Daily 5 choices. It went a lot smoother than I thought it was going too. I still had a few that would say, "umm.. home center" but I think we finally got on track. Listening is still a little rocky. They really struggle with that whole volume control button ~ the whole class doesn't need to hear the story blasting while you are singing to the top of your lungs the Pete the Cat song. If you are worrying about the transition to Daily 5 in kindergarten, don't. Practice and model, practice and model. Even though I am only about halfway up and going (I still need to add buddy reading and word work), I feel like my kinders are getting this process down pat. I plan to add a few more detailed posts about Daily 5 in my classroom in the upcoming weeks. 

I want to leave you with an adorable picture of my littles. My family owns a chalet in Pigeon Forge, Tennesse and we try to get away whenever possible. Not having any air last weekend was a pefect opportunity for a get away. I snapped this adorable picture of my two littles riding the duck ride at the park. My daughter clapped and waved the entire time. I sure did love my weekend with these two precious littles after a long week of work. 

Now I'm off to bed to get ready for Friday. Happy Friday everyone and have a wonderful long weekend!

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