Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I have been a bad blogger. I had the flu and school has been very busy -- then their was Easter.. Here is a picture post of some of the things we did for Australia. I didn't get photos of everything before it got sent home and I read a ton of non-fiction books about the kangaroo, Tasmanian devil, wombat, koala, clown fish, platypus, Australia... but I didn't get photos of the books I returned to the library and I just packed up Australia so I wasn't going to dig it all out for photos!

 We made the cutest kangaroos with little joeys in their pockets.
 Collage of Australian animals.
 The Great Barrier Reef using stamps and markers.
 Cut and paste animal and continent.

 Cute Lego platypus made during choice centers.
 Platypus Puppet
Aborigine Dot Painting
 One of the homework assignments was to make something advertising Australia to potential tourists. All of my families did a great job!

 I did snap a few photos of books we read about the Great Barrier Reef
Now I have to get ready for kindergarten round up! I am meeting my potential sprouts for next year tonight!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teach Them well and Let Them Lead the Way

 What are your best memories from elementary school? I remember sitting on the orange carpet in the library while the librarian read me Amelia Bedelia. I didn't get any of the humor. She patiently explained why the mistakes were funny and let me check out THAT book! I remember performing in my nightgown and saying "more cookies?!" in the third grade play. I remember putting on a heavy smock in art and painting with smelly gritty paint in frozen juice cans. I remember the hard stuff too- spelling tests, lice checks, timed multiplication tests...

Today my school district has proposed cutting out ALL elementary librarians, music, and art teachers for next year in order to meet the budget reductions.

What is happening in education in my state is outrageous. What could happen in my district is unthinkable.

I feel like as a teacher I have done all I can do. I have marched and held signs. I have written letters, emails, and made phone calls. I am weary. I am tired of the fight.

Can you imagine what your child will miss when they don't get instruction in the arts?

Here is what is happening in my state

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I am blogging from the mall. Our Union is hosting a grade-in today to show the public the school work teachers do on their own time. I can usually be found in my classroom all day on Sunday and at least until 5:00 every night. Last week I worked 14 hours outside of my contracted time.

Friday, April 8, 2011

40 Days of Kindergarten left!

You know your students are turning into first graders when they are writing in "cursive".

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Caps for Sale

Caps for Sale

They had to make a pattern and count the caps.
We practiced counting by 5s and learned that the nickel is worth 5 cents.
The next day we reviewed nickels again.
We also wrote about nickels!
Everyone made their own cap.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Africa part 2

This is going to be a huge post! We spent 4 weeks in Africa learning about the continent and its animals. I have tried to post several times, resulting in missing photos and lost posts as I click submit!

 Pocket Chart center- students stamp the African Animal in the box and write the word on the lines underneath.

 We learned about the ostrich. We compared an ostrich egg to a chicken egg- I explained to my students that I got the ostrich egg at Lion Country Safari. The kids were very impressed and full of questions. Then, I pulled out the chicken egg to lead a comparison lesson and the kids wanted to know where I got the chicken egg!! I told the class Publix and they were MORE impressed. I had to explain that the eggs we eat ARE chicken eggs. --- makes me a little worried about what they learned during the Farm Unit! We learned that male ostrich have black feathers and female have brown so the boys made black hand print feathers and the girls made brown. Download the Ostrich data collection here.

We read the African folktale Abiyoyo and watched it here. During choice time, students made there own Abiyoyo out of legos.

We learned that the female lion does all of the hunting! They made lion faces by using straws to blow a jab of yellow, brown, and orange paint together on a paper plate. I got out the sharpies for the face. They also made a lion during centers by following the directions.

 We learned about Jane Goodall and her important work with chimpanzees.

Read many books about the regions, language, customs, and folktales from Africa. One of the favorites in Bringing Rain to Kapiti Plain.

We made these adorable back packs for a safari! We talked about why each item was so important!

To get ready for our field trip to Lion Country Safari we visited the web site and used these animal guides to plan which animals we would like to see.

A few math centers and bell work activities relating to African animals.

I LOVE Anasi the Spider stories. We read A Story A Story to learn how these stories began. We also learned about the Rhino and were very lucky to get to see many at Lion Country Safari.
We also learned about Gorillas and read the heartwarming story Looking For Miza