Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday

I am linking up with other bloggers over at Blog Hoppin. Here is a little more about me!

Tell us a little something about you...

My name is Luanne Lewis. I teach kindergarten at a Core Knowledge Magnet School. I am married to a 8th grade American History teacher and we have one 4 1/2 year old daughter named Amelia and a daughter due in December. I was born in upstate NY but moved to Florida a long time ago. I graduated from Florida Southern College in 1999.
How long have you been teaching?
This is my 13th year of teaching! WOW. I guess time does fly when you are having fun. I have always taught at my current school under the same principal so I feel right at home. My first 5 years I taught in a self contained varying exceptionalities classroom. I loved it but I felt like an island out to sea and I wanted more collaboration and support. I was feeling burned out after having the same students year after year and I wanted a change. When an opening in kindergarten came up- I jumped at the chance to make a change but still stay at my beloved school. This is my 8th year teaching kindergarten. I am sure that one day I will go back to being a special ed teacher, but for now I just LOVE kindergarten and my kindergarten team. During the summer I teach extended school year (summer school for students with disabilities) so that helps me stay connected to my special ed teacher roots. 

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
I have decided to start the Daily 5 in my classroom. It will be pretty modified at first until I get up to speed. I am excited because I have reduced the "fussiness" of my literacy centers (which is less planning and less "fluff" for my students). I think that by using the Daily 5 my students will be more focused on the learning goals I they need to achieve each week. We will see how it all works out. I have been bookmarking ideas from other bloggers like crazy all summer.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to meeting my new daughter! I am due in December and will be taking about 12 weeks of leave. I am so sad that I cannot afford to spend more time at home with her- but I am planning on cherishing the 12 weeks I have at home!

What do you need to improve?
Math. We adopted a new curriculum last year so I used the pacing guides and curriculum pretty much as is while getting used to the new series. This year I plan to make changes and improve centers and small group work. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
A computer, projector, and document camera. I am SO jealous of those of you with a smart board! I really want one! I also LOVE sharpies in all colors and books.. you can never have enough books!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Tomorrow is the First Day of 2011-2012!

You know you are a teacher in August when you can't log into your free Pandora radio account because you have exceeded the 40 hours per month! This happened to me on Saturday. I guess that tells you about how many hours I've already been working. I don't even listen to it all of the time!

Tomorrow is our first day of school and I am ready! Here are some before and after photos of my classroom.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Student Made Alphabet Book

It is 7:00 pm, the night before our Orientation. I stayed late to finish up my room since I have a Science curriculum training right before our school orientation tomorrow . Now, I am trapped in my classroom- it is raining "Cats and Dogs" outside! I also need to go to the grocery store and I am not excited about getting soaking wet.

Last school year I was determined to get my students doing more creative art. I saw great examples of ABC art on one of my favorite blogs - No Time for Flashcards. So I copied some of the ideas and came up with my own. For each letter we read a story that related to the letter craft first. Many of the letter crafts got posted last year- you can find them if you click on the letters in my post labels. Here is an example of a completed book.

I saved the projects all year and used the book binder to make a kindergarten keepsake for each student.

The rain stopped!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What I did on my Summer Vacation

It is August.. which must mean summer vacation is over - at least for kindergarten teachers. I don't officially get started until the 16th but I've been steadily working in my classroom for about 2 weeks. My husband dropped me off at my school on Sunday and remarked that there were a few teachers also working... happened to be the four other kindergarten teachers at my school!

This summer I taught 5 weeks of summer school and then spent 11 days in NY visiting with my family. I was so thankfully to be able to celebrate my grandmother's 89th birthday with her!

I had a summer "to do" list but I only managed to get a few things crossed off.. I guess the closets, garage, and photo albums will have to wait until next summer!

 We went to a local theme park call Seabreeze in Rochester NY

 We also went to the best children's museum in Rochester as well. This was our 4th trip in 4 summers.
 Happy Birthday Gram!

First flight on an airplane!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August Calendar on Glogster

I struggle with getting through my morning meeting and calendar time. - maybe because I am not a morning person! I have thought about having some of the elements of morning meeting online to use with my projector. I don't have a smart board so I created this on I don't love the calendar numbers and I am sure I will edit this 10 times.. but it is a start! I just uploaded a ton of photos from the end of the year and my summer.. so check back for updates!