Saturday, September 22, 2012

PreK Days

So someone told me recently that I should add a few posts here and there about what my day is like when I am not at home wrangling my precious teething princess. 

I have taught  at a small Catholic school for 5 years now and it blows my mind to think I have already been there 5 years, but it really blows my mind to think that I have been teaching for 11 years now! I still remember arguing with my mom about what I should major in at school and her telling me I should be a teacher and I also still remember me telling her she was crazy because I was going to study anthropology (boring!) and I even took a fashion marketing class (because I have so much style and fashion sense). Well she was right of course because she is almost always (not all the time), but almost always right and once I took my first child development class I was hooked. Then I started teaching in a tiny school in a little red house called Thackston School Branch and I knew what I was meant to do. That little school is no longer there, but the people I met and the lessons I learned there were invaluable.
I absolutely love my job and couldn't imagine doing anything else or teaching any other age. I also happen to have a pretty great teaching assistant (I hate calling her that because she should get just as much credit as I do because she is that awesome) who keeps me sane everyday.

My classroom a few weeks ago before they took down 1 half of my chalk board to get ready to install my new SMART BOARD!!!!!!!!!! 

Currently we use the Letter People curriculum and yes I get to play with puppets everyday. This is Mr. R and he wins rainbow ribbons for his roses.
but we also try to add in even more to make each week more successful and fun. No matter how much I do I always feel like I could have done more or done something better. Especially now that I have my own child I always try to think if this was my child that I am teaching what would I want her teacher to do, teach her, or treat her. I believe children should be allowed to create and discover without too much intervention from me. I like to give them the freedom to make choices and use their imaginations. I guess I am a cross between a convergent and divergent teacher because there are some things I feel like should be done a certain way like letter writing and behavior, but when it comes to the creative aspect of preschool I feel like children should be given a variety of supplies and given the chance to create their own versions of what visual they are given.

So what have we been up to lately?? Well thanks to Pinterest  I feel like this has been one of our best years yet. One thing we have changed this school year is instead of doing every activity as a class I have adopted something from my friend Nicole who teaches right next door. She learned about "Jobs" from her time as a student teacher and now we have adopted it for our classroom. I think that might be one of my favorite things about being a teacher. I love that most teachers are so open and willing to share because all we are all trying to do is make everyday as successful and fun as it can possibly be and if you have a good idea or see a way I can try to be a better teacher then by all means I am always open to suggestions. So now like I said instead of doing every activity as a group which can be difficult because I like to be able to work as closely as possible with my babies to make sure they are getting everything they can out of each activity and this permits me to do this. Each day during our afternoon work period each table is completing a different activity and each day we rotate these activities until each table has completed it. I have 5 boxes that I keep the supplies for each activity in so when it is time to work I have everything right at my fingertips and a convenient place to keep everything together. Now how do I keep up with which table does which activity each day you ask? I have a chart that looks something like this that hangs on my board
My boxes are pink, purple, green, and blue, but  I have 5 tables and only 4 squares so how does that work out? Well 1 of my tables is usually being pulled by my assistant Mrs. Cathy and she is either assessing them or doing some 1 on 1 work or they are doing the same activity as 1 of the other tables. How I know who does what each day is by moving our table shapes around. Each table is labeled with either a yellow triangle, red square, green circle, orange diamond, or a blue rectangle. This helps when I need to call a table to do something I just say blue rectangle table line up, or green circle table get you snacks, etc.
 Each shape sits on a little plastic bracket and each day they are rotated. Whatever shape is not on the chart is my assessment table for the day and the other tables complete whatever activity is in the corresponding box.
Then the next day I rotate them. Blue is off the chart, red moves down to blue, green moves down to green, yellow moves down to purple and orange moves to pink.
I had to get the hang of doing things this way and running 4-5 activities instead of just 1 at a time, but now that my students and I ahve gotten used to it after a few weeks things are running smoothly. It helps that my babies are so good and so smart.

So what have we learned about this week. This week we met Ms. F who has funny feet which makes her different from everyone else. We talked about being different and then we talked about all kinds of words that start with F and one of our special words was Farm so this week we learned all about the farm.

Some of the activities we completed (these pictures are not from my class, but I will take pictures this week)
F is for Fox

Planting a Pattern

Pig Shape Graphing

Farm Animals
Chicken, Cow, Pig, Sheep, Horse not pictured

Cow Glyph

This week was so much fun I am so excited for next week and meeting Mr. X and x-rays, teeth, and 5 Senses. 

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