Thursday, February 28, 2013

How to tell my students that I'm pregnant?

I told my kids the baby news this morning.  It was so so sweet and I'm sure I will never forget it.  I wanted to do something special instead of just blindsiding them with the information so I looked around and found a book called Our Teacher's Having a Baby by Eve Bunting.  Thank goodness I waited and didn't read it in the library.  Page one and I was crying.  And that was at home in my kitchen while I waited for my 2nd lunch to cook!
If you ever find yourself pregnant while teaching, you must read this book.  It was great.  Just be warned that you might tear up if you're anything like me.  {don't fight it, just grab a tissue.}  The kids in the story share their feelings, draw pictures for the baby, suggest names for the teacher and put stickers on her big belly...bless!  It's so cute.  I used it in a mini lesson on making connections.  After they shared their self-to-text connections, I shared mine!  It took a few minutes to sink in, but then they were super excited!!!  :)

{Sorry it's so shaky...I was nervous and excited and trying not to cry all at the same time!!}
I knew my kids would need a follow-up so I created a little packet.  The pages print in pink or blue or you can just print it in black & white if you don't know!

We only did the 1st page today {drawing my picture and what the baby will look like}.
{still in my heels with lots of hair bows}
{love the little baby in my see-through belly}
{my shirt is still regular size, my stomach just sticks out the sides!}
And the sweet notes to the baby!!
{You mom loves you.  Your mom is going to teach you.}
{I hope you can be in this class.}
{I love your mom because she is being nice to me.}
Eve Bunting did a fabulous job capturing honest child feelings in the book as they talk about being scared to have a substitute who isn't "their" teacher, being sad that their teacher isn't coming back for a while and the excitement of a new baby in general.  I also included some titles that you can use to make an "I feel..." anchor chart and an anchor chart for questions.  I suggest leaving them up for at least a few days because the questions have been coming non-stop!

Since I'm not due until September these kids will already be in 1st grade by the time the baby comes but I plan to read it all over again in August before I go out on my maternity leave.  The beauty of the download {besides being free} is that you can use it all at once or spread it out.  I'm saving the gender graph for when I go to that appointment - it'll be something great for the person covering my room to do while I'm at the doctor! - and will save voting on a name until the end of the year.  It's meant to be fun and I hope you'll share it with any of your teacher friends who are sporting baby bumps covered in stickers!  ;)

Monday, February 18, 2013

love notes.

Amy from Literacy and Laughter is hosting a linky party to showcase all of the things she loves this month.  Being that it's President's Day and I have the house to myself {thank you George & Abe} I figured it was a great day to be reflective.  If you're lucky enough to be off as well, enjoy some easy reading, link up your own little lovies & be sure to take some time for yourself today doing whatever makes you feel relaxed & rejuvenated...even if that's sitting in front of the computer screen...and even if it's already something you do every day.  ;)

Name: Kristin
Grade you teach:  kindergarten
State:  NC...a midwesterner turned southerner and loving it!
Birthday: July 26th
Favorite colors: pink
Lucky number: 44
Favorite subject to teach: literacy, specifically guided reading & small group time
Go-to snack: cheeze-its.  yogurt.  chips & salsa.
TV show: The Cosby Show.  New Girl.  Cougar Town.  Friends...
Last movie you watched: 5 Year Engagement.
Music you're loving right now: Home by Philip Phillips.  I still love it.
Always shopping at: Target.  Teachers Pay Teachers.
Word of the day: balance.  Taking time for myself but also doing some neglected housework.  ;)

A blog I'm loving right now: Sarah's 1st Grade Snippets
You have to check out her {free} guided reading & math snapshots.  So great for parent-school communication.  I love them and am thrilled she continues to make new ones!

My February pin board:

A product I adore: CoverGirl lash bast fusion mascara.
I am obsessed with glam eyelashes.  If I could get away with it I would wear fakes every day.  :)  I've tried a zillion different kinds of mascara and even stuck with a few expensive name brands for a little while {DiorShow} but I always come back to this one.  It's cheap, it's good & it layers well if you want to wear a few coats.

Mascara tip: when you think your tube is almost out, add a few drops of saline solution or contact lens cleaner to get a few more wears out of it.

Favorite hobbies/free time activities:
Blogging & Pinterest are really my hobbies.  I love to shop but don't really find myself with the time or extra money to do that as much as I'd like so I read InStyle magazine instead.  ;)  I also love the beach and being in the sun so when the weather is warm my free time will be spent at my parents' pool!

Favorite vacation destination:
Again, anywhere with a beach.  :)  We went on a catamaran tour in Saint Maarten last year and it was one of my most favorite vacation memories so far.

Best advice I've been given:
Finding the balance between confidence & humility has been life's greatest lesson.  Of course I'm still working on it but it's let the real me shine without dulling the sparkle of others.

Plus a few from my Words to Live By pin board that are too good to pass up:

Most rewarding part of teaching:
Hearing my kids use kind words & treat other with love.  I know that's not technically a score on the report card but molding such young, impressionable minds into good people is the heart of being a teacher for me.  Knowing how to treat others is what will really make them successful in life.

What I'm known for:  shoes. clearly. maybe glitter is a close 2nd.

Random fact #1:  I cry at everything.
Just about everything has the potential to make me tear up.  They can be tears of happiness, sadness or if I'm just moved by something...which is easy to do.  If it has to do with kids, God or an inspiring story, just pass me the kleenex.

{ok, ok...even if it's not something that's intended to evoke emotion, it'll probably make me cry anyway!}

Random fact #2:  I am a child.
I really think this is why I love teaching kindergarten so much.  Exhibit A: I am currently watching The Muppet Movie on Netflix while I type this.  I laugh at kid jokes.  I thoroughly enjoy kid movies.  I am dying to go to Disney World again.  I am perfectly happy to play in the sand at the beach, color pictures while I wait for my dinner at a restaurant or make a fool of myself in public.  Any chance to dress up is a good day in my book!

The loves of my life:
this guy.  who's not as little as he used to be.

my wonderful husband.

the best family I could hope for.

my best friends.

this little nugget, yet to be named.

Happy love month!  Head on over to Amy's to share your own lovies!  Or at least give them a call to let them know you appreciate them.  ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!  Who else has a sugar stomach from too many chocolates and candy hearts?  {don't let me be the only one raising my hand...}  This is a loooong post with a bunch of things we worked in for heart week, a freebie and a surprise at the end.  Let's get this party started!

{just for fun}
We made our little Valentine people again of course!

I've retyped the glyph & added a recording sheet to along with it.  After all, what's the point of a glyph if you don't read them to find information?!  {this is your freebie because I love you all!!}

{math centers}
I love scoop & count from Can Do Kinders.  I don't actually have my kids record but the practice with 10s frames is great.

My other favorite Valentine's Day math activity is from Lory's Page.  She works in sorting, graphing, counting, measuring, name it!  Fab fab fabulous.  And it keeps them thinking for quite a while!  ;)

Love this missing teen number activity from Kinder Hoppenings.  Awesome brain power happening while they count forward and back then forward again.

Thought the "I love you this much" measurement activity from Growing Kinders was so cute I had to make them myself.  We called it measuring hugs!

Aaaaand for some higher level thinking, we used Be Mine Boxes from The Inspired Apple.  I didn't have her adorable boxes so I just wrote numbers in the middle that each kid needed to work on.

Most of my literacy time is laid out for me with specific mini-lessons, independent reading time and a literacy curriculum.  This is new this year and it is a major struggle because I feel like I'm missing so many elements...but there just isn't time anymore to work it all in as the kids need it!  {ack!  Not stopping to vent, it's just hard teaching sometimes when you feel like your freedom of choice has been removed.}  But between my guided reading groups and writing time, I squeeeeeze in as much as I poss-ib-ly can!!

Love this ABC order activity from Finally in First.  Such cute little monsters!

Kinders can never have enough nonsense word blending practice and these monsters from The Art of Teaching were just as much of a hit.

Practice counting syllables with this cute freebie from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten.  My kids had so much fun with this we didn't get to the next activity until the next day!  They flipped it over and started making their own pictures on the back of cupid, flowers and chocolate!

This CVC game from A Differentiated Kindergarten is fabulous for medial vowel practice.  We didn't get to it this week but it's going to be at my game center {word work} next week.

For Valentine's day, Christmas and your other popular holidays, get these vocabulary cards from Kindergarten Smiles.  I laminated them and hang them on my writing center as we introduce new topics.  My kids love them and they're ridiculously helpful for my ESL students!!

And one of my favorites, Annie from The Moffatt Girls, put up this Color by Sight Word freebie.  If you like it {which I love for morning work as the kids are coming in} be sure to check out her other Color by Sight Word downloads!

{valentines for the kids}
I found this awesome silicone mold at Target for $1!  I bought it first, then looked up how to make heart crayons.  Luckily, it worked out.  ;)  I had my kids help me make naked crayons by taking off the paper.  I broke the big ones into little pieces and baked them at 230 for about 30 minutes.  I popped them in the fridge for about 20 minutes to cool and they were ready to come out!
I thought about making them more according to coordinating colors {reds and pinks together, etc} but thought it would be more fun to color crazy pictures with all the colors mixed together.
Bah HA!  That was a big fat lie!!!  I mixed all the colors together because it was a collection of left over crayons from various places in the classroom.  But if you bought it, the five year olds definitely will!  ;) They had a blast coloring "crazy pictures" while they ate their cookies and passed out their cards.

And I have never seen this of my kids phonetically spelled each of his classmate's names on his treat bags.  Yes, I sent home a list!!  So funny...but he knew what each bag said so it worked for him!  Still cracks me up.  
{Ethan & Jhonathan}

Is anybody still hanging in there for the surprise?!  Is your sugar coma gluing your eyes to the computer screen??  ;)  I know that most of the activities I shared with you today aren't mine and I'm trying to get some brand new things out to you...but I've been quite tired {and a little nauseous} every day after school, making it really hard to get anything done.  It's for good reason, though...

We are so so so excited.  I promise to keep posting as often as I can if you'll promise not to be away too long!  Happy day of love friends!
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