What’s not to Love?

I have a confession. A confession that may not only shock you, but force you to look at me differently. Force you to see me though eyes that you never thought you would. I have been holding this confession for a while…waiting for the perfect time. It is a confession of which I have weighed the pros and cons. Weighed the impact it would have on my untarnished reputation as a silly, stiletto wearing pre-k teacher. I have decided…it is time.

I..am a member of a book club. Okay..so maybe the book club consists of only 3 of my closest friends. Well..we don’t actually have a set day to meet, and our discussions consist more about making each other laugh with our genius moments from the week than discussing the books we have read (and by genius I mean the complete opposite. If you do not know the opposite of genius, you may need to take a little field trip to my pre-k class. immediately. I will help you.), but it is a book club all the same.

I realize you may be surprised to know that I read things other than glossy-paged magazines. For that matter, I’m sure you are quite surprised that I even realize books contain words with more than 2 syllables. That I read the gamut from historical biographies to the Shopoholic series…(okay…seriously…you must give it up. gamut? 3.95 GPA. Proven. Just now. I deserve some props. Props: Praise. Recognition. Congratulations. It’s okay, I’ll make you an urban slang study guide.) Sorry… I got distracted by the big pretty word…where was I? My reading the gamut. If it has words, I will read it. Unless those words are boring. And by boring I mean western. I realize you are completely and utterly sitting in total shock from this information. ::snapping fingers:: snap out of it!

I read. A lot. Yes…I read trendy magazines. No..it is not the majority of what I read. My favorite book is a well-worn, tattered paged historical fiction novel about Anne Boylen. I love this time in history. I mean, come on…who wouldn’t want to wear fantastic dresses and hang out all day in a King’s court? Who wouldn’t like to learn fancy dances and have meals prepared as if every night was the most special night ever to be celebrated?

Sidenote: be on the lookout for my birthday celebration. Yes..we all dressed as princesses and princes. Best. Day. Ever.

Sorry..back to Tudor History.. I have read everything I can find about this time. Twice. There is something about getting lost in a book…getting transported to another time and place that I love. There are even times where I would rather read than ::gasp:: watch TV. Okay..now this totally depends on what is on TV at the time. Honestly, passing up American Pawn shop to read? Probably not. I need to know the value of random things such as the value of the original pair of glasses Dwayne Wayne used to wear on A Different World or the wig Martin wore as Sha NayNay (if you understand these references consider yourself a SPARK student in early 90′s television. Bonus points if you remember Sha NayNay’s spandex biker shorts and fanny pack. Or fanny pack in general. If not..you must google these things. Your day will be infinitely better if you do.)

Now, back to the mind-blowing subject at hand. Me. Reading. Historical Fiction. Well, I’ll really anything. It’s a gift my dad passed down to me. He has given me many…a hot pink velvet chair for Christmas…a fantastic pair of jeans for my birthday…but the gift of reading. My fav. (fav: a shortened version of favorite. Meaning the one I love the most. Used for texting purposes. If you do not speak text this is your first lesson)

This gift of reading is a gift that I hope to share with my little 4 year olds. A gift they hopefully will not even realize I am giving….a gift that they will fully realize long after their year in my crazy class is over.

Today I continued my gift giving with one of my favorite books about Valentine’s Day, Happy Valentine’s Day Mouse! I mean..it is almost Valentine’s Day after all…I’m sure it’s a law somewhere that you have to read this book. This is a holiday where one bestows gifts on those they hold dear. Or..in this case..bestows gifts on those who make my day filled with laughter.

Case in point: While reading this book about love and friendship, I was feeling all warm and tingly just thinking about the concepts being taught. That is..until I heard two of my little friends having an in-depth discussion..compelte with hand gestures, head shakes and puckered lips. Really…I was waiting for the finger snap..waiting for the “oh no you didn’t and the jewlery to come off.

Now let me explain these two little debators. They are the ones who dress up in kitchen with every sparkly dress, scarf, and purse they can find. It is known that the purple high heels in dress up are for them. No one is to touch them. They are the ones who could run my classroom if ever I had real emergency…you know, like if I had to leave for an unexpected sale on Nine West shoes. They are the ones who, at four years old, would actually know what a Nine West shoe is. They are best friends. They are me at four years old.

So I hear them…debating over a word that was read.

Mini Me #1: It said Champ. Ch-Ch-Champ.

Mini Me #2: Nuh Unh…take off the Ch and put a Tr. That’s what it said. (insert head shake and puckered lips here)

Now… I will let you do the phonics.:: Expectantly waiting on you to laugh as loudly as I did.:: It was not my best teaching moment ever. I couldn’t help it. Face hid behind the book. Laughing. I guess I could have used this time to review what was a cover of a book. To review where the title could be found. All things that would explain hiding my face. None which would explain my laughter.

And also: I didn’t know whether to be proud that she had used her phonemic awareness of switching out beginning sounds; or concerned about the word she created. I let it slide. I didn’t even slightly want to open that discussion. They seemed to have it under control. Moving on. Turning the page. Desperatly finding any explanation as to why I could be laughing. Any reason at all. Laughing? Me? Oh, no…I just had something in my eye.. it made my laugh. Uncontrollably. Doesn’t it everyone? No? Hmmm…that’s odd. Subject averted.

Sidetracked. The gift of reading. As we read this book today, we learned two really big, fancy words. Author and illustrator. We talked about who would want to be the author and write the story. We talked about who would want to be illustrator and draw the pictures in the story. We went on a hunt for the exclamation point in this book; we went on a hunt for the question mark in this book. We learned. We began relating to this book. Began having an emotional response to the pages that were read. Okay…so maybe the emotional response wasn’t as deep as if we were reading, lets say, East of Eden by Steinbeck (I’m a reader..I told you this. I realize the shock value is still there. It’s okay.) but it was a response. Relating to the story being read and wanting to know more. Wanting to read. Developing a love for books. Today we decided that we would pretend to be illustrators of this story . We were going to make Valentines. Just like Moose did. Here’s what we made:

And just to prove there really is a method to my madness, here’s a happy little list of things that I will be using this work sample to evaluate. Notice the word happy. Lists make me happy. They make rainbows come out and the birds sing.

My happy little list:

1. Fine motor: Cutting out the heart all on their own. Yes some of them look more like a straight line than a heart, but it is their straight line. They are proud and I know who needs help. And also, take a peek at their fine motor strokes..the ones they used to scratch away the paint. It’s a little hint as to who has mastered precise control of their writing tool and who has not.

2. Using adjectives: Although they do not know the fancy word adjectives yet, they do know what descriptive words are. ELA goal met. Check it off. Done.

3. Following 4 step directions: First they had to color. Second they had to watercolor on top. Third they had to cut. Fourth they had to decorate. You know..I’m not really sure I could have remembered all of those. Gifted. I have a class full of gifted four-year olds. I am convinced.

4. Cooperative learning: Which…in a four-year olds world is much like me trying to navigate traffic on the interstate. Difficult. Tricky. They had to pair with a friend and describe their heart. They then had to listen to their friend describe it also. Yes..contructive critisim and kind words were heavily taught during this lesson.

And voila! Valentine’s Day bulletin board! C’est fini! J’aime! (Yes I’ll help you..don’t I always? C’est fini! J’aime! : It’s finished. I love.)

valentine's
 

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Skittles to my Justin Beiber

singing into the random crayola marker that I had lying on my desk…which…is,no doubt, doubling as my microphone…duh. Didn’t you know that? It’s the only logical thing to do with a Crayola marker. And I am absolutely giving you the shouldn’t-you-knnow-that-everyone-knows-that look:: Ahem ::clearing throat:: Now..where was I…singing.
And I was like baby, baby, baby, oh
Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh
I thought you’d always be mine, mine
I realize there are many people out there rolling their eyes..covering their ears..making noises with their mouths as to block out this song. One little boy in particular..I know you’re out there. I can see you. Trying to cover my mouth from the glouriousness that is coming from my lips. The reason for this wonderfully annoying song? It is fun Friday. This..is…much to my dread what my little loves have decided is their Fun Friday treat. Many things were offered. Musical chairs…coke a cola cupcakes (with a cherry on top, mind you)..trips to Disney World. Nope. Justin Bieber dance party. I was not swaying them. They are people who know what they want. I appreciate that. As a matter of fact, I applaud them for this decisiveness. It is a trait I do not possess. Unless, of course it is for Starbucks. Peppermint white mocha. Everytime. Decisive. Well…unless I want a caramel mocca…those are really tasty. And then there’s just the regular peppermint mocca…okay …maybe decisive is nowhere in my repertoire of skills. (Yes, I said repitiore..in correct usage. It’s been a while since I have blindsided you with big fancy words. Honors student people. Honor. Student.)
Whew..sidetracked. Honor student with ADD. Now, where was I? applauding my four-year olds for being the decisive decision makers they are. I applaud them loudly. I even throw in an Arsenio Hall style “Whoo Whoo” every once in while. Afterall..Someone has to keep this 90′s late night tradition alive Sidenote: for those of you who think Jersey Shore invented the fist pump, we may need to catch you up on pop culture TV history. I accept the challenge.
Now back to four-year olds. I applaud them..Unless of course, their desire is to have a dance party to anything and everything Justin Bieber. As this..do not applaud. I do not raise my arm fist pump. I do not shout “Whoo Whoo Whoo” I stare blankly at the excited faces sitting in front of me and have a mental conversation with them. “Really? You are really going to make me listen to Justin Bieber. Are you really going to ask me to endure this strange form of torture? Is this payback for the time I taught you simple addition using skittles that I wouldn’t let you eat until the lesson was over?” As I am having this conversation in my head, as photo montage flashes before my eyes. You know the kind..slow triumpant music playing while scenes from you life flash. The kind where everything can be fixed and solved in a mere 4.5 seconds. Tears of joy..hugs..emotional embraces are almost sure to follow. I had one of these, I saw four-year old faces smiling as I sang to them. Even asking me to sing louder (this is why I love them. This is why I love Ann..she lets me sing). I saw them trying their little hearts out to learn how to make patterns as my principal evaluated me for COMPASS (yes, I survived. I think I shall make a t-shirt to wear.) I saw them bringing my a box of Kleenex as I suffered through a cold. Yes, the entire box. I was told “It looks like you may need this. Your sneezes won’t stop.” I saw them patting my back as they hugged me when I was having a sad day. I saw them love me for everything that I am. Bad singing and all. So, I embraced the torture. I learned every single word. I mean..come on…there’s Luda and Starbucks in this song. It was fate. Written just for me.
Tutoring Lesson: Luda: short for Ludacris, a pop culture rapper. Try Wikipedia. If you do not know of this Wikipedia, I cannot help you. I only teach tech 200 level classes, and you…I’m sorry to say…must take the 100 level pre-requisites first.
So here we are..having a fun Friday dance party. And yes, of course I choreographed a dance for them to learn. It’s what a good teacher would do. And I, for one am not one to slack on my duties. We are celebrating. Celebrating that it’s Friday. Celebrating that my evaluations are over. Celebrating that these little loves are in my life. They make my world one big celebration.
Speaking of Celebrations, I live in the South. Looking at you expectantly…come on..make the connection. You can do it. Celebration. South. February. Come on.. Mardi Gras! If you did not get those clues, we are not to be password partners until we work some clue decoding skills out. I’ll help you. Or..well…you know..thinking about it…you may want to find another password tutor. I once gave the clue circle for the word freckle. Hey..I teach four-year olds…that clue was golden in my world. (tutoring pause: golden: perfect, acceptable, the best clue ever)

Now…let’s see..Mardi Gras. This sparkly festival was the subject of my COMPASS evaluation lesson. Pretty colors, glitter, feathers…of course I would pick this subject. For our lesson we had Krewes of 2 students. (hit the pause button: krewe: pronounced crew. A group of people who hold Mardi Gras balls and participate in the Krewe of Krewe parades. They are..in some way..the Mardi Gras cool kids. I would like to point out cool is spelled with a “c” here and not a “k”. There are certain people in my life who are at this point falling out of their chairs..feet in the air..laughing so hard they are crying. I will not go into the reason for this laughter. It is too embarrassing. No amount of bribery will get it out of me. Well…that’s not really true is it. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t pass up a new Michael Korres bag.
Now..lesson. Mardi gras. Krewes of two. While in their Krewes, they had to create a Mardi gras beads pattern. We talked about how patterns have names just like we do. We talked about how to give them a name( ABAB AABB), and how to write the name. Then I let them get to work. Here’s what we did. Check it.

Let me start with telling you about the new love of my life. Meet Dudley. My bright and shiny new kitty cat. He is a pre-k rock star. The Robin to Oliver’s Batman. Dudley’s favorite holiday is Mardi Gras. He is king of Mardi Gras. Standing on the float, wearing the crown, throwing only the biggest of beads. However, on this day..Dudley’s beads lost thier color. We had to help. We had to put color back onto this beads. In a pattern of course.

King of Mardi Gras

Next we separated into our Krewes to make patterns.

Mardi Gras Patterning : Here is the workmat we used. We used purple, yellow and green circle cut outs as the beads. I placed each one in a page protector for those little friends who wanted to write the name of the pattern. This way they could use an Expo marker and just wipe it off.

mardi gras collage

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Autopilot

Auto Pilot:

Idiom

2.

on automatic pilot, functioning in an unthinking or reflexive manner.
 
I, my friends, have been functioning for the past few weeks on autopilot. A fabulously dressed…amazingly accesorized … still super fantastic teacher on autopilot, but autopilot all the same. There are times in our lives when we look back and don’t really remember the footsteps it took us to get there. Or…there are times when driving (especially in the morning… pre-starbucks) where we drive somewhere, but do not remember the journey. This second one…not so safe. Come to think of it…the first one either.
 
So….as my New Year’s Resolution, I have decided that even though my autopilot still rocks…it is time to turn it off. It is time to get back in the driver’s seat. First stop. Blogging. You should feel extremely special you are so high on my priorities list..we may need to make you a certificate. It’s kind of a big deal. Well…okay..to be completely honest, you were second. Teaching was first…come on people. Come. On.  This is not to say we haven’t been having the time of our lives in pre-k. We have.  There have been award worthy days…complete with interviews and red carpet. Seriously..I’m not kidding. I interviewed my little loves about pre-k. Teaching sentence structure people. Language. Kind of important. It’s amazing how much a little one will talk when there is a microphone in front of them. Who am I kidding? It’s amazing how much anyone will talk when there is a microphone in front of them..and by everyone I mean me.   Have I mentioned how much I love my classroom mic?  It’s a rather unhealthy relationship.
 
sidenote: I will point out that I am not using an extreme amount of urban slang today. I decided you may need a refresher course of what we have learned so far. You know, A little review. Maybe I should make you a handout.
 
So…there I was on autopilot. 
 
Pouting. When my brain becomes overloaded (and we all know this not difficult to do) it just stops. I become the stubborn 4 year old who crosses her arms digs in her heels and refuses to move. The only difference being, that instead of school appropriate…uniform acceptable, tennis shoes…I am wearing heels. Which will get stuck in the ground when I dig them  in…causing me to fall flat on my face.  Get a mental picture of that. It’s okay…you can laugh.
 
 Now, you all have proof that it doesn’t take much for me to fall (refer to my previous post…picutres included). So I decided that before I dug my heels in…before I fell. Flat. On my face. I would be proactive. I would get it together…I would once again be the highly organized…always on top of her game teacher you have all come to love. (Okay…I honestly couldn’t get that sentence out without laughing.  Those who know me well know this is the exact opposite of what I am. Those who know me well know that I will no doubt need a minimum of 4 reminders of things. All things. Dates. Names. My name. What day it is. You  name it. I’ll be reminded about it. Case in point. Today is the first day back from Christmas break. I was called no less than 4 times to remind me we had school today. I am not kidding. 4 times…complete with texts and voicemails.  I did remember. All by myself. I get no credit. I will also point out…I was early. okay…well on time. Same difference)
 
First on the list of getting it together…highlighted, underlined, bold faced..my desk. Brought upon by a conversation I had today with a friend about teachers’ desks. As I’m having this discussion (the word discussion sounds so much more officail…doesn’t it) about desks, I begin looking at mine.  And can I just say..Christmas was not so merry to the cleanliness of my desk. It did not make my desk sparkly and bright; Santa’s elves did not come down from the North Pole and organize it as a special gift for me. I mean, really..what’s more important than sparkles and organization? The lump of coal on my desk.. Pre-K Paperwork. If you are a pre-k teacher you completely just made a face that says “uugghh….do I have to think about this. No..unh unh…i don’t wanna” Your arms are crossed…your head is turned away from the screen in defiance and you are humming the theme song to Gilligan’s Island.  This was me. Digging in my heels. Covering my eyes and playing “You can’t see me” with the piles of paperwork on my desk. It took me a while, but I eventually realized that, yes…  Mr. Paperwork could see me…and not only could he see me but he was laughing at me. Hysterically. 
 
sidenote # 2: wouldn’t it by funny if you could actually make a pile of paperwork laugh at the owner of said paperwork. Make it so that every time it was sideways glanced at..blankly stared  at… or flat-out glared at…it would hysterically laugh at the poor person doing the looking. Hmmm…I think I shall begin the invention process on this.
 
Off track. Paperwork. Organized. Getting it together. I am never one to pass up a good laughing at. I welcome it. Ask my 4 year olds. They will absolutely tell you. They will tell you that their teacher is the sillest…most ungrown-up grown up they know. However… don’t so much love paperwork laughing at me. I was making a stand. I was going to conquer the pile of paperwork. Laugh no more. My first thought? Taking my arm and dramatically swiping it across my desk. ..sending paperwork flying…like confetti at New Year’s. (yes, I am smirking to myself right now at the thought of doing this. I absolutely would get a sense of satisfaction from this process) As fabulous as it would be to do this, I decided I should maybe..somewhat…be a grown-up about this. My solution? An End-of-the-Month Paperwork binder. Now..you would think this would be simple. Get a binder…punch holes in the paper…done. ::giving you a look that says “really? Come on…you know better than this…haven’t I not taught you anything?) Nope. Rule #136…Cuteness really is just as important  as organization. I am waiting. Are you writing that down? So here is the result. My paperwork binder. I would like to point out..not only is it pink..but also leopard print. What more could you ask for? Peace out peeps. (this one is simple people. You should remember. Think..you can do this.)
 

Oh…printables. Check it.

front of monthly folder , Inside of monthly folder , yearly roster

 

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Signs of the Times

::standing next to chair in super serious voice:: Hi..my name is Lauren and I am addicted to technology. It’s true. Addicted. I use to be the girl who never really knew where her phone was. Maybe it was in between my car seats. Maybe my couch ate it. Maybe I left it sitting on the floor of my closet as I decided which shoes to put on. If I did know where it was, it most probably was not charged. Which…worked in my favor sometimes. You know..for those phone calls you just do not want to answer. I always had the perfect excuse. “Oh..so sorry I didn’t get the phone call about that super important party planning meeting after school…I lost my phone.” or “Awwwe…I’m sorry I missed that extremely interesting story about your cat trying to catch the string, but my phone was dead. Dang. I bet it was a fantastic story.” But no more…those days are gone. I. Am. Addicted. Smartphone..iPad…iPod…addicted. They each have a safe little home in my purse where they are kept out of harm. Their charges are placed in a sparkly gold bag, which is also safely tucked away in my purse.

Now, I realize people in the olden days functioned without these glorious inventions. They made due. They used things like maps, and rotary dial phones. They wrote letters on paper and used this thing called the Post Office? I also realized that my little loves have most probably never heard of some of these ancient items. I went on a treasure hunt. First on my list: record player. The response “Teacher..that’s a giant CD” Fantastic. We have a long way to go.

Next up: Rotary dial telephone. They had not a clue what this was. Not one clue. Me: “I know it’s hard to imagine, but people use to not have cell phones. People use to have actually be at home to call someone.” Now here’s where I really blow their minds: “A super long time ago, people had no phones at all. They had to go visit someone to talk to them.” They are done. Lost in their confusion. A world with no cells phones? A world without instant conversation? A world without being entertained at every second of everyday? This could not be. We had to stop for the day.

Day 2: Today I decided to go another direction with this little lesson. I decided I would play on their interest..you know…dangle a carrot in front of them. Or in this case…dangle a text message. As we are practicing our phonograms, I pull out my phone. ::In my most serious voice:: “Hey guys, hang on a second..I have to send a text to Oliver very quickly.” (sidenote: Oliver is my cat. In my pre-k class he is the King of all Cats. Oliver can read, write, drink coke from a can..whatever you name, he can do it. He’s pretty much a supercat) As I begin to text I look up at my class. Confusion on my face. Starring blankly at my phone. I scratch my head. I pleading look at my class. ::worry filling my voice:: Guys, I have forgotten how to spell the word I need to text. Can you help me? Please tell me you can help me. I really need to text the word cat to Oliver. He needs to know what kind of food to buy at the grocery store. (cat also happens to contain 2 of the phonograms we are learning about). I instantly see hands pop up. Instantly see 4 year olds sounding out the word cat. Hearing them figure out what sound they hear first..in the middle…and last. They are on a mission. A mission to save my text message. And they do. They help me spell the word cat. They are my rescuers. They must be use to it..they have to rescue their silly teacher often. After sending my text to Oliver I tell them “See guys, when we learn all of our phonograms they will not only help us read…but we will be able to text.” A round applause. I’m not kidding they literally applauded. Shouting “Yeees!” I’m pretty sure I even saw a few jersey fist pumps. Should I be concerned that they were more excited about learning how to text than how to read? Hmmmm….TTYL (that’s text talk for Talk to You Later…get with it people. This is the convo of the future.)

So..we review our phonograms during calendar time. I like to ge tin as much teaching in the mornings when their little brains are awake. Although…mine…not so much. It takes coffee….lots and lots of coffee. So I decided to share with you what our daily calendar looks like.

Maybe one day soon I can upload my calendar flipchart. It’s one of my favorite teaching tools ever!

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Lessons Learned in Vegas

3:30 Wednesday afternoon. Sub plans typed..supplies grouped by the day they will be used and pre-k kids promised a class fish if they are good for the sub. (Yes…I bribe them. Come on people…I dance on tables if they have good behavior…do you really think I’m above bribing them? Really?) With my It’s Time Get Out of Here checklist complete I am out the door. One word: Vegas. An adult’s version of Disneyworld. Hmmm…does the word adult apply to me? Sure..we’re just gonna go with that. Adult. I’m an adult. An adult who is going to a wedding…a wedding in VEGAS! Yes I told my kids I was leaving on an airplane. They now wave at every airplane they see hoping I see them. They do this even if I am standing right next to them. So…as I am telling my little loves that I am going to Vegas, one of my little sweets raises his hand. He waits patiently to be called on..and then asks with all sincerity: “Are you going to see Obama in Las Vegas?” Hmmmm…..I can see why he would think that. That is absolutely what I think of when I think Vegas. Obama. ::slowly shaking head back and forth:: It really is a good thing we do not get social studies grades in pre-k.

Now..I did not meet Obama in Vegas. I did however, meet  Mr. Jimmy Choo and Mr.Christian Louboutin…well, not really…but I did go the stores..which is basically meeting them. Right? Let’s be honest…taking a picture next to a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo’s is my equivalent to a 4 year old taking a picture with Mickey Mouse. And can I just say, that as I walked into the Forum Shops, I’m pretty sure I saw people lining the stores holding up signs that read “Welcome Home” and “We’ve Been Waiting for You”.

Ahhh…Vegas. The last place I would expect to get a lesson on world culture and character education. The last place I would expect to find a lesson to bring back to my little ones. But that I did. As I walked through the shining, sparkling, stores and looked around at all the people, I began to realize exactly how sheltered my life has been. Hearing stories of people living in Thialand for 2 years, going to Spain for a year, or even just listening to the different languages being spoken around me, made me do a little soul-searching. Sure my little ones know about Swamp people. They absolutely know about Billy the Exterminator…

Yes...one of my little ones absolutely drew this at art center.

 …but do they know about world cultures? Do they  know how some children have nothing to eat? How some children have to go to work instead of school? Do they know that there are children who do not get to walk up to a water fountain for water whenever they are thirsty? That there are kids out there who.. (I know..gasp!) do not own a DS? For that matter did I realize that the price of one pair of those glittery shoes would feed a child for a year?

 I live in the South. We have traditions. Deep rooted traditions. We are taught these traditions from a very young age. They are traditions that I cherish…that I love. I love hearing the Cajun accent of my mother talking to her brother. I love knowing that every spring we will have a crawfish boil. I am proud of my French speaking grandfather and my hardworking grandmother. However I also love knowing that there is a bigger world out there full of traditions I know nothing about. Traditions brought out of humblness. Traditions of hard work and skills that have been passed down through generations. Skills that have nothing to do with catching alligators. Traditions of cultures older than any books written. Cultures and traditions so far out of my comfort zone that I will learn more than the children I teach. 

Whew…I got deep there for a second. You didn’t think I had it in me…did you? I do. Full of surprises..I’m telling you. Hang around…you’ll see. So this year will be the year I begin to incorporate some of these cultures into out learning. Hmph. Who would’ve thought. Vegas. Of all places…has made me a better teacher…a fabulously dressed better teacher. Honestly…did you really think I would go to Vegas and not go shopping?

I mean really…how could I not buy this hat? ::talking super quick as if to explain:: I stayed on budget…I didn’t charge anything..I ..I…come on it’s Vegas. Peace out Peeps (we all knows what this means by now…right? If not..you are really going to need to contact me for tutoring)

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Procrastinators Unite

This was me last Tuesday.

Sub plans. Does anymore really need to be said? And not only 1 day of sub plans…let’s try 3 days of sub plans. For a pre-k classroom. This is a task not easily met. Especially for someone like me who, we all know, cannot sit still for more than 5 minutes. Who, when forced to sit still for more than 5 minutes, will find exactly 5,267  other things to do. Like…decorating my Chick-Fil-A cup from lunch… who cares that it’s just me in the classroom. It needs my name…you know…just in case. One can never be too careful.

 

 Or…going on a treasure hunt to fill up sand and water center. In Louisiana we have roughly 2.5 days where the leaves are actually fall colors. I had to take advantage. It was out of my control.

Or how about hanging up work samples..that soundrd like something important. So what if these work samples are from August. Doesn’t August work deserve equal rights. I’m sure August work wants to be displayed too. I had choice, but to take the time to display them for everyone to see.

Now..onto sub plans. I could do this. I had this. ::worried look on face:: No…I really did not. I did not have this. By 4:30 here was my progress….

I mean..at least they were decorated. That counts for something..right? And I had made lists. That’s progress. After 45 more minutes of staring into space, organizing my desk drawers, and making playlists (older generation: see explanation below) I gave up. Threw in the towel. Procrastinators unite! I am the president of club procrastination. I thrive under knowing a deadline is approaching. And by approaching I mean within the next 5 minutes. After all…it was only Tuesday..I had still had all of Wednesday to get this done.

(playlist: putting your favorite songs onto a list for a specific purpose. Ex.  the songs on the list titled Songs-to-sing-while-driving-on-a-sunny-day  list would be completely from the songs on the list titled Songs-to-sing-while-cleaning-the-house. Now..all of you who are of the older generation..I have helped you become a tad more techie. Use your new knowledge.)

 

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Shhh….I’m Trying to Study

::running towards you…in slow motion. Arms extended..sappy music playing in the background:: It’s you…it’s really you!? My how I have missed you. It has been much too long. I am sorry. I have engrossed in studying a cool people slang dictionary (yes. There is a real website. I will not give you the exact website. It is inappropriate. Well, 25% funny…the other % disturbing and inappropriate. Not for school use. Not for adults over the age of 40 use. Trust. You be horrified. Just take cool peeps slang 101 from me. I will filter for you.) I have been studying in preparation for getting my Master’s Degree in Cool Peeps Slang. I want to be bilingual. It is a lifelong goal.

I have also been exercising. At the mall. I can count it as exercise. I am walking. And lifting. Bags…heavy bags. exercising. So with studying and exercising I have been a little preoccupied after school. But no more. I have realized I will most probably never be bilingual, and well….well…the shopping..ummmm….I could tell you I won’t shop everyday. But would you really believe me? Really?

My focus is back. Okay…maybe not entirely..seeing as how today was my grade level team’s day to provide lunch for all the teacher’s in the lounge and I was supposed to being the appetizer. I remembered this info at precisely 6:43 this morning when I texted my para who in response replied: “Ur awesome wonderful para has an appetizer to bring” I would like to point out 2 things here: 1. Yes, she used Ur. Txt slang for your. I am overcome with pride. 2. She knows that a. I don’t cook, and b. I was going to forget. She makes my days sunny. She is who I want to be when I grow up. We really should all thank her for today. She is the reason we had pinwheels. And let’s be honest. I would think a pinwheel was some sort of carnival ride if it weren’t for her. If you ever see her hug her. She works with me. She needs a hug.

So here I am. Sitting in my classroom. Listening to silence. No Dr. Mike (Dr. Mike. If you do not have his CD, get it. It is magic.) playing, no one incessantly saying my name…over and over and over. Silence. Almost too quiet. Come to think of it, I kind of like noise. I like to hear little ones talking. Sharing. Laughing. In my classroom, mostly laughing. At me. Philosophy: You can only learn when you are happy. My job is to 1st make them happy and 2nd to teach them. Learning is supposed to be fun. especially at 4. They have enough time to stress about school. This year…we learn by play. We learn by experiences. This is the kind of learning that will last long after workbook pages. And don’t worry. No teaching cool people slang to 4 year olds. Them teaching me  slang? Absolutely. Case in point:

Me: ::as a little girl shows me a picture she made in the art center:: That is beautiful. I love the way you made a happy face and a sad face.

Her: Those are opposites. ::turning to walk away. Stops. Turns around:: Keep in tight teacher.

::in bewilderment:: What does that even mean!? I guess I shall have to get back to studying. Deuces. I’m out (cool people slang for goodbye. Use context clues people. Context. Clues.)

Shares for the day:

Aside studying and shopping I have also been getting my classroom ready for open house. You know…the night where the entire family…moms, dads, cousins, brothers, bother’s best friends’ sister, dog…the night they all come to your classroom. It’s supposed to be just a quick walk through of the classroom…no big deal. No big deal except to every single teacher to ever teach. I mean…especially to me. A perfectionist…who..is also last minute. Not a fabulous combination. Ask my mother. It drives her crazy. I really should record these answers to play back to her “Yes, Mom…I know I’ve had a month.” “Yes, I know I should have done a little bit each day.” “I know..I know…it wouldn’t be so much if I just planned ahead.” I need to buy a recorder. ASAP.

Sidetracked. I’m telling you adult ADD. Shares for the day. Open house. Back on track. So open house is here. Art work on the walls….new bulletin board up….classroom sparkly and new. Welcome to pre-k.

My bulletin board for open house. Based off of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We learned all about our capital letters, made a graph of our capital letters, and made capital letter necklaces (our of ellison di-cuts and yarn).

 

The we made the letters in our name “walk up” the Chicka Chicka tree.

 

We even made a graph about the number of letters in our names.

 

Here are the printables for the graph. Enjoy!

 

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