Monday, November 24, 2014


Oh, how I love art!  I am, by no means, an artist.  As a mater of fact, I FEARED art as a child.  I could not draw to save my life and it seemed that it was always part of every subject.  We had to draw models in math (pictures to represent our thinking) and it went hand in hand with the subject of writing.  That doesn't even begin to touch the traditional - Friday Art Project.  I was no good at it, and it really frustrated me, but I wished I could do art because I loved the idea of it.

When I became a teacher, I decided to take the fear out of art for my kids.  I started taking art classes for teachers in college and have spent many years practicing art with my own kids.  I can honestly say that I am no better at art than when I started, but I've learned to overcome my fear. I strive to find the art in every day life and make things beautiful around me. My big learning is that it just doesn't have to be perfect... that's all.

When I was at the NAEYC conference in Dallas, a few weeks ago, I was able to hear Peter Reynolds speak.  I could have listened to him all day.  He just GETS kids.  He knows their thoughts and fears when it comes to art and creativity and helps them think outside the box.  The books, pictured above, are a trio which really inspire kids to be the artist THEY are and not try to be perfect.  Sky Color, Ish, and The Dot are absolutely beautiful stories about the fact that it might not look exactly like a house, but it's house-ish.  Today, we did some Peter Reynolds inspired art.  It didn't have to be perfect, but it was our way of practicing small motor, trying to draw something new, and then adding labels later.  

It was good day, and we were ALL artist-ish.

(These books really are great and should be read over and over!  Check them out at the local library if you can, or keep them in mind for Holiday gift giving.)  

Math Storytelling

Sorry for the horribly blurry picture.  That's what you get when you don't tote the fancy camera to school every day.  

Story telling is a big part of our lives in Kindergarten.  We are working to develop our oral language every single day, and it's not just in literacy.  We are also working to develop our oral language in math.  Over the past few weeks, we have been telling math stories.  The math stories "sound like stories" but they also focus on numbers and addition.  

In this story, 4 little bears were driving down the road when they noticed that two of their bear friends needed a ride.  The four bears driving, plus the two bears being picked up, make 6 bears in the car.  This is a very simple activity parents can encourage their kids to do at home.  Cheerios are great manipulatives to use as counters.  Have your child pick a number (5, 6, or 7 would be a good start) and then tell stories that include number partners.  I always have kids finish up with telling the number number partners and how many they equal altogether.  It's a great way to combine literacy and math!

Happy counting and story telling!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Character Day

Book Character Day landed on October 31st.  Our school participates in the Halloween fun of dressing up, but we like to stick with a theme that supports the educational work we are doing in the classroom.  We chose book characters or Nursery Rhymes for our theme in kindergarten.  

During our class party, we had lots of fun activities and many parents to help us out.  There were games and puzzles.

Brand new playdough mats, with a harvest theme.

We did a project to go along with our Itsy Bitsy Spider book.

There were some yummy fall snacks.

There were also the cutest book characters ever!  Check out Pinkalicious below!

Overall, I'd say it was a great day!  Thanks for helping us out, parents!

Big Buddies

Last week we were able to meet our Big Buddies!  The kids were REALLY excited when I told them all about it.  We will be meeting with our buddies once or twice a month to do projects, spend time reading together, and just getting to know someone else at our school.  For the first meeting, kids were given pumpkin puzzles.  Their job was to find someone who completed their puzzle.  Some kids have one buddy and some have two.

Once they found their buddies, they wrote and drew about their buddies together.  

We are really looking forward to getting to know our fifth grade friends a little better!  It should be a fun year!