You’ve got Boogers

April 1.2014 Happy April Fools Day! Apparently, here in Australia, you can only play April Fools jokes can be played before noon. Haha who knew!? Today was awesome. 🙂 After school yesterday I reflected a lot on how the day went and how my teaching was. I I’ll be honest in saying I wasn’t thrilled. In fact I was frustrated with a lot of it. I was pretty hard on myself and might need to be reminded that it was only my first day teaching full-time. It was my first day and I loved it. But I knew I could do better. Like I said, yesterday we had a rather overwhelming seminar. Looking back I don’t think it was the seminar alone that was overwhelming. I think it was majorly just my dissatisfaction with my teaching and wanting to do a lot of work on that, but feeling the pull between focusing on teaching work and class work. Ah, the life of a teacher. Teaching and learning. Teaching and learning. Anyway, with this reflection I had an image in my mind of how I’d like class to go and a plan of how to get there. I worked for hours after we got home from the Uni last night and created an updated version of the current procedures in the classroom with a flair of Gina. 🙂 I knew it was a bit of a risk doing my own thing in a classroom that wasn’t my own. Today though, that risk paid off! My cooperating teacher loved my ideas, praised my extra effort and noticed a positive change in our students behavior! YAY! 😀 Some of the highest praise and encouragement I could receive, from someone I respect. She mentioned that I just took over! (in a good way) She commented that “You made this your classroom now” and asked for a copy of my materials to continue once I have left. Hard work pays off, and the long hours seemed to be worth it right before my eyes. One of the things I saw a need for in my own organization and also for the routine of the kids was a posted schedule. So I created a PowerPoint for each day of the week (Marvelous Monday, Terrific Tuesday, Wonderful Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Fabulous Friday) Some of my intentions with this PowerPoint. a) show the kids the order of the day. The slide show is set up so that on the left hand side you can see a picture and descriptor of the part of the day we are currently at. On the right there is a full schedule of the day and the part we’re at is highlighted in red. This way the kids can see what is coming next and what if we’re at the beginning middle or end of the day. b) Use vocabulary in a way that the kids see it daily and hopefully make a connection between what they see and what they hear. c) Day order. One of the standards that Kindy Kids are accountable for is the days of the week and the order in which the days go. By seeing the days each day and talking about what day was yesterday, is today and will be tomorrow my hope is that the students will see it twice, here and in Maths, and begin to learn the days of the week. So I started by sharing with them what exactly the Powerpoint was and how they could use it. Then I taught them a new attention getter and we practiced it a few times. From there we did roll, saying good morning to each student individually. (They typically say back “Good Morning Gina” but some days they make up nicknames and laugh after. Today’s was “Good Morning Cupcake!” I laughed too and said I’d accept that name for the day! Someone told me that tomorrow would be Princess Cupcake….even better 😉 ) In addition to roll I’ve added a the date, weather and counting the boys, girls and total number of kids. From there I took pictures of the day as it progressed and the different activities we did. Some highlights along the way…

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Cutting and pasting “Zz” words and grouping them by identifying where the letter is in the word. Beginning, Middle or End. This students was modified by coloring beginning in green, middle in yellow and end in red to help him identify which category was the proper one for each word.

 

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Two students working on a “Trace it/Try it” writing activity. These words contained the letter “Zz”. When finished students were given the option of coloring the pictures or playing a fine motor game.
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Sample piece of a ‘high’ student’s work.
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Miss Gina working on a fine motor activity with students. We were building a popsicle stick log cabin… mostly successfully 😉
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In a leveled group students worked together to sequence and match numbers between 1-20
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Two students work together to put a “hundreds chart puzzle” in the correct order.
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A student gets creative and forms letters out of popsicle sticks

I can’t upload videos just yet, but if I could I would post a video of the kids singing the “Z” song. It went over SO well!! 😀 They asked for it again and again. This reaffirmed my love for music in learning and in the classroom. For our second break today we were scheduled in the Autism Unit and I’ve been in there a few times now so the boys know me and were excited to play. Jayden, was siting on the bench so I went to sit next to him for our usual game of me ‘accidentally’ bumping him with my large hat. He looked right at me, smiled and said, “Nope, not yet.” Then he gave me an inquisitive look, smiled again and said, “There’s a booger in your nose.” I smiled laughed, picked it to appease him. He smiled again and said, “Ok, now we’re good.” That made me laugh so hard. Heaven forbid we play with a boogie in my nose 🙂 Thank you sweet Jayden for the gift of laughter. I also had the honor of going to talk to the year 9 students about Michigan. I was literally asked to be a guest speaker about my home state. That’s pretty neat huh? They were an advanced social studies class studying agriculture and were expected to write a 1 1/2 page paper on what I shared. I hadn’t prepared anything, mostly because I didn’t know what to expect, but it went so well! I talked about the land in MI, the weather, animals and farming. Set that as a base and then let them ask me any questions they wanted. I got things from “What seasons does it rain in?” “What is the health care system like?” “How is the curriculum different?” “What’s your favorite part of Australia?” “Do you like our accents?” I loved getting to talk with them. We were outside on the playground steps and we talked for over an hour. So cool. It was neat to work with students who comprehend that I’m from another country and actually have things they’d like to ask me. Australia was on my ‘To Do Before I Die’ list and so is waltzing. Cross two off baby!! Yesterday at the bus stop Ryan taught me to waltz. Then this evening we practiced on our front porch! YEAH! We stumbled and I’m sure my right foot transformed into another left food but we got it down, spins, dips and all. So pumped.

 

Cheers! 🙂

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