Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Manners and a unit on Feelings

Few weeks of school have passed smoothly but my class still needs to get a hang of classroom expectations and good manners. So i decided to use the story  "The day a monster came to school" by Kathleen Pedersen. I downloaded the free unit from her blog
It has a story, fantastic pictures to form class rules and great posters to encourage whole body listening.
Kids had fun listening to the story and found it funny to imagine a monster in school.
We brainstormed appropriate and inappropriate behavior and made our manners chart. 

We made our own monsters and children talked about good choices.

We also sang the five little monsters song. The idea came from Deanna Jump's blog.I made finger puppets to go along with the song.

Children had a blast learning about manners through this unit. I am hoping that their enthusiasm to make good choices won't diminish any time soon. Which teacher doesn't like a class full of kids who make good choices especially with LISTENING ! 

We also did a mini lesson on feelings last week. We touched on four basic feelings- happy, sad, angry and scared. We sorted various pictures and made a collage.

I made some activities for center work.

 You can download by clicking on the link below:
 This is a feelings chart that i made for each child. Children circle the feeling with which they relate. Click on the picture to download

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Alphabet Word Wall

I am so happy at the moment that i can dance without music. I am off to the place which makes me super ecstatic and at peace. I like to believe that my stay in Singapore for over 5 years made me the person i am today. They were the most enjoyed moments of my life so far and the fact that i will be missing two school days, just expresses my desire to be there. When people ask me what is it that attracts me to the city, i always fail to draw up a list. Because i will never be able to put in words what i experienced there. I can just say that they were the picture perfect moments of my life !

This is how i feel at times when i reminisce about my old days but i also strongly believe that life is too short for regrets. I am like a bird of passage and the discovery and exploration of new places gives meaning to my life. But Singapore will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first baby step to the many more steps that i would be taking in my life :) And i am grateful to God for letting me experience the good Ol' days once again.

And because i am so excited i am putting up my alphabet word wall pack on TPT for free till Tuesday.
It has alphabet cards and pictures of words beginning with each letter. The cards can be used for games, center activities and of course on the word wall.

Alphabet Word wall cards
Click on the link below to download:

And i will end this happy post with the happy song by Pharell Williams !

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Back to school books and crafts

Survived 7 days of school and managed to accomplish quite a bit with the kiddos.I am a happy teacher though there is much left to do before i can actually take a sigh of relief. :)

To help children settle down, i love to read them lots of books. Its fun for them and helpful for me as i get to convey many important things without sounding boring !

I can go on and on about my favorite books but i am going to be calm and composed and will try not to sound overly excited.

These are the just a few books among the many that i love

I'll start with 'Kissing Hand' by Audrey Penn. This is an ideal book for the first day of school. My children always relate to the racoon and i normally get few kids who feel mousy and shy on the first day. This book definitely helps sooth jittery nerves. 

After reading the book, i let the children make a kissing hand for their mom's and dad's. They trace heir hand and add a heart and then stick a poem .

 I found the poem  at Kinder Alphabet. blogspot

You can download it here: kissing-hand

The next book is' Pete the Cat, rocking in my school shoes'. A must read if you want the children to feel excited about the various places in school.
Children love singing the chant in the book and my kids jumped with joy when i told them we will do a Pete craft. They had a blast choosing the color of Pete's shoes. Many kids requested me to read the story again even though we had read it a few times.

An amazing video that goes well with the book.

'David goes to school' is my favorite book ! OK, i am saying that for all the books i am mentioning but the character of David is so real , i think every kindergarten teacher relates to it. I personally love David and honestly enjoy having sweet and playful kids like David. All right ! nobody READ that :)
It is a super fantastic book to talk about good and poor choices.

The idea for the craft and the rule chart came from 'The first grade parade blog spot' and 'teaching,loving and learning. blog spot'. However i made a few changes and this is how our chart looked .

If you would like to download the craft template and the content of our rule charts please visit my TPT store by clicking on the link below:

'Chicka Chicka Boom Boom' is a sure hit with the kids because of its catchy name and the way it is written.
We read the book and then practiced reading our names. We sort the letters in our names and then count the number of letters.

The last book that will feature on this post is 'I like me'. Its a hilarious book and i love the fact that the piggy talks about her round tummy and curly tail with much aplomb in the book, telling us that we must appreciate what we have and feel proud of it.

I love singing the 'I am special song' with this book. The lyrics go like this:
I am special, I am special
Look at me, Look at me
Someone very special, Someone very special
That is me, That is me
 Children look in the mirror and draw themselves. We also do a discussion of why we think we are special.

Hope you enjoy reading these books to your kids as much as i did.

I would like to end this post by applauding all the people in the education sector who work so hard to make a difference in the lives of children. One such organisation is Jodo Gyan. They help develop the math curriculum in our school. But their real work is so great and inspiring that i can't put it simply in words. They work with the underprivileged children and honestly there is no dearth of poor in my country.They have not only opened a school but work towards providing education which would actually produce thinkers and creative people in the years to come.

I loved the logo of their school and had to post it here:

It says that when you learn you don't just mug it up but true learning happens only when you understand it !
Need of the hour in our education system !

Giving their view point to the teacher.
 Multiplication was never this fun !

3 cheers to all the people who work at the grass root level and provide quality education to all !

Monday, 7 April 2014

First Day of School

The anxiety that the first day of school brings with it can't be described in words. The first day always gives me jitters. You don't know the kids and to handle 24 of them at once can be nerve wrecking. But the first day also brings with it a newness and freshness that makes you super excited to start the year.The planning, preparation and setting up the class gives me a great high. So this year was no different and i took precisely 3 days to give my class a makeover( Thanks to all the wonderful ideas on Pinterest). My classroom is quite tiny, so i couldn't make many changes in terms of moving the furniture. But still given the space at hand, i tried making it a warm and welcoming place for the kids.

This is the view from the entrance. My co-teacher hung silhouettes of boys and girls and wrote names of children on them. 

This is the calendar and the whole group meeting area.

Months and days of the week

Helpers chart

Daily Attendance Chart. I love Owls and have placed them in different places in my class. Children read their names and turn their card around when they come in the morning. The backside of the cards have their pictures. We count the number of boys and girls and write it on the pink/blue chart.

This is the birthday chart. Dr Seuss is another favorite !
I found a very cute birthday song from Teaching Divas.
You can download by clicking on the link below.

I put up different shapes with a little poem for each shape.

Pete the Cat on the door ! 

I love this cat and i would soon be reading the book "Rocking in my school shoes" by Eric Litwin and James Dean to my Kids. It is a super cute book to introduce various places in the school.

This is my favorite space in the class. The reading area !

Word Wall 

This board is to display children's work. They made self portraits on the first day.

 This is my desk. I did mention that i love Owls ! :)

 This Owl is our class mascot. The shelves are for children to put their work.

Our brain break ideas basket and the Sound Muncher which we will be using when we study letters.

You can download the brain break template by clicking on the picture below:

Children decorated the first letter of their name.

We have been singing some fun songs by Dr Jean to settle the kids down and to help them to know each others name.

Looking through My Window 
I made a picture frame with cardboard and held it in front of my face as i sang this song to the tune of “Go In and Out My Window.”

I’m looking through my window.
I’m looking through my window.
I’m looking through my window,
And I see my friend (first child’s name)
The child whose name i said looked through the frame and took another child's name. The song continued till everyone had a turn.

Another fun movement song was

Shakey, Shakey 
Child’s name, child’s name, sick in bed.
Called the doctor and the doctor said.
Come on, child’s name, you’re not sick.
All you need is an exercise trick.

        So stand up and shakey, shakey shakey.      
               Get down and shakey, shakey, shakey,           
          Turn around and shakey, shakey, shakey,      
              Sit down and shakey, shakey, shakey.          

The first day went off fabulously for me and each child had a smile at the end of the day. I made a small goody bag for them with a poem i found on Pinterest. 

I altered it a bit since we don't get 'smarties' easily in India. I substituted smarties with 'Five Star'
You can download the Poem with the 'Five Star' version here.

You can download the Poem with the 'Smarties' version here.

I would like to end this post with a picture, my husband took of the park which is right across my home. I know it is off key in relation to the post but it is a beautiful picture because it is rare to see natural beauty in the concrete jungle that Gurgaon is ! And it definitely puts a smile on my face. :)