Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday!

Happy Friday! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share with you five things that happened this week!
This week we started our three week unit, "All About Me". This first week we spent learning all about our five senses.  Here is our anchor chart that the kids have been labeling all week. The labels are in the library to be laminated (nothing like finding a fun idea on Pinterest last minute!!) so we have just been using sticky notes!

To introduce the Five Senses, I used a Common Core in the Classroom lesson from Discovery Education. My Five Senses: How They Help Me Learn About the World is an amazing three day lesson that really helped my students understand the importance of our senses. Using the wolf from the fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood , I introduced the five senses to my kiddos. They were HOOKED! We then watched different video clips, read books about each sense and did a lot of whole group and independent writing to explore how our senses help us learn about the world around us. I plan to do a more in-depth post about this over the weekend!

This week we also began our AMSTI Science Weather Kit. Before we became scientist though, we had to brainstorm exactly what a scientist does. Here is our super cute anchor chart that will hang on our science board all year!

Our first lesson on weather began with a book by one of my favorite author/illustrators, Jim Arnosky, Rabbits and Raindrops. I love his books and so do the kids!  In theory we would have contrasted our weather with the rabbits but since the weather was exactly the same, we had a great time comparing them. My kiddos fell in love with being a scientist and observing the weather. For the first time in three weeks, they were ALMOST quiet! :)

Later we discussed different types of weather that we have here on the Gulf Coast and graphed our favorite kind! As hot as it has been the past few weeks, I don't think I blame them for liking cold weather best!

  This week we have begun our Counting Jar morning work. Counting jar is part of AMSTI Math from the Terc Investigations math book. We have PE first thing so there is not a lot we can get done in the short amount of time so we do our counting jar. The kids come in and they have a counting basket on their table. In the basket there is a bowl of buttons, four empty containers, sticky notes and counting manipulatives. The students count the buttons, create a counting basket containing the same amount, and then write the numeral (if they can at this point) and draw a picture representation of the number. The students post their sticky notes on our class counting jar. After finishing my morning work, I walk around and check their baskets. This has worked out great! We are still working on working quietly and independently but it is going really well!

 We are also starting Daily Data. Right now it is more like weekly data but (fingers crossed) it will become daily soon. Each day there will be a question for students to answer in the form of a graph. Our first question is below. We had a great discussion about what all this chart could tell us. I love the last sentence. "If you put 9 boys and 9 girls together, that is like 9+9=18." WOO HOO!!!

What amazing and fabulous things have you done this week? Leave a comment and then check out all the other Five for Fridays from Doodle Bugs Teaching!

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September Currently

Didn't we just do the August currently??? The past month has flown by and I am so excited to be starting my third week with my sweet new class. They really are doing great, if only they could stop talking for one minute!
This is my ENTIRE class! 
I won't complain too much because we do have great discussions and sharing!!!

I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade to bring you my September Currently!

What are you currently doing in your classroom? Leave a comment then click Farley's button to go check out what others are doing as well!

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Blog Hoppin Teacher Week - Who, Where, Why, When, What! FINALLY

Happy Friday! My Five for Friday is me catching up with Teacher Week 2014! Enjoy!!

I am determine to write this blog and link up with Blog Hoppin'! Monday was my first day of school and by the time I got home from working our After School Care program (that is open until 6), I was way too tired to think. Tuesday I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed for a morning of playing bloggy catch up and my teacher computer iPhoto was out of date and I had to wait for the county to push out the update! Wednesday I get to school and because of the horrible thunderstorms and lightening our network was down and I could not get online and getting home close to 7:00 every night there was no way this blog would make any since! Then yesterday was our Kindergarten Parent Orientation and after getting Finally, I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' for their Teacher Week blog link up! I cannot wait to meet so many new bloggers and touch base with old friends!

Who (or as we say in Kindergarten - All About Me!)

My name is Melissa Spriggs, this is my 10th year teaching! I taught a year of Pre-K and 9 years of Kindergarten. This is also my 7th year as the site manager of our After School Childcare program.

I have been married for the past 3 years to the most wonderful husband EVER - Avery! He is so kind and understand of my crazy teacher brain. One of the latest examples of how amazing he is happened just the other week. I flew to Washington DC for a bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends. Only one week before school starts and I gave up a precious weekend - totally worth it but still I was freaking out. I flew in to Fort Walton, Fl (2 hours from home) at 10:00 Sunday night and spent the night in Pensacola at my BFF's house (1 hour away). Monday morning I got up around 4:00, went home to grab my school bag and came straight to work for our First Day Back meeting as teachers. Needless to say I was exhausted! Avery had placed my bag in the garage as not to disturb our three fur babies. To my surprise, he had cleaned out the ENTIRE garage - something that had been on my list all summer. When I got to school, he had sanded, painted and delivered 3 bookshelves to my room, and when I got home, the entire house was clean! So yeah, I have the best husband EVER!!!!
Avery and I celebrating our 3rd year anniversary first with dinner at our my FAVORITE restaurant - Felix's and then in New Orleans! It was his first time eating at Cafe du Monde and wasn't quite sure how to eat the beignet and not be covered in powdered sugar! (In case you were wondering... 
Beignet 1 - Avery 0!)

I aslo have the cutest nieces in the world! 
(Just in case you missed my obnoxious many posts about them this summer!)

And I have the sweetest fur babies! Bear (15 yo Chihuahua) Lucy (12 yo Rat Terrier - we think) and Newman (7 yo Chihuahua).
My friends are my rock! I love them like sisters. In fact, Amanda and I (top right pic, on the right side with the precious baby) have been friends since we were 9 and are parents treat us like sisters!

My non teacher friends that love me and my crazy teacher brain!

My teacher friends that share my crazy teacher brain!

I love going to the beach! I love taking theses sweet girls even more!!

 I love Darius Rucker!!! My sweet hubs got me tickets for my birthday last year!!!

I love frogs! I like these cute ones as well as real ones!

Where I teach:
Welcome to my home away from home!
 Our school wide theme is "DES is going Global". Each grade level picked a continent as its theme and Kindergarten is Africa. Myself and the other three teachers close to me decided to make a jungle mural!
 Here is my wall with (what else) TREE FROGS!
View from my door. I have two bulletin boards that are empty and waiting for reading and writing anchor charts.
I have 5 tables, 4 to a table.
 We use community supplies. This is my first year with the name plate/pencil holders and so far so good!
 Student paper trays for organizing finish work and notes home. Their folders go here in the morning after I check them. In the afternoon the students put anything in their tray in the folder to take home.
 Calendar and STEM wall. Along with empty boards to fill with anchor charts!
I love this book shelf. My AMAZING hubby and I sanded and painted it last year. This holds my CDs and working with words center.
My Mess!
This is by far the messiest place in my room. I like to call it organized chaos!

Why I teach Kindergarten:

To be honest, I NEVER wanted to teach Kindergarten. I thought they were babies and I did not want to spend my time wiping noses and tying shoes. God put me here just for that reason and 10 years later I love it! I have learned a lot about patience and tolerance. I still don't wipe noses or tie shoes but I do actually enjoy teaching them how and seeing their confidence soar with each new skill they learn! I love seeing the progress they make during the year. I love when parents say, "How did you get them to do that?". I have learned that these "babies" can be as independent as you let them and teach them. They can learn to do absolutely ANYTHING I teach them. I love proving other educators, who have not experience Kindergarten, wrong they say "kindergarteners can't __"!!!!

When I am teaching - My Scope and Sequence!
So i have seen some amazing and extremely cute scope and sequences and now I am obsessed with making mine cuter in the future but for now, this is my no frills  tentative scope and sequence. Our system did not adopt a new reading series this year and is moving toward Project Based Learning. With that we are starting collaborative planning and will be unpacking and mapping the common core ELA standards. 

(Click Frog for File)

What I Like to Teach:

This one was hard for me! It is also the reason I went into elementary education. I have a hard time picking just one. I love teaching reading, I love literature, I really love math (especially now that it is all hands on)! But if I had to pick just one, I would pick Science!!! Since becoming AMSTI (Alabama Math Science Technology Initiative) I have fallen in love all over again with science. It was my favorite subject in elementary school and it is my now my favorite to teach. With the science kits we get, everything is so hands on. In fact, next week we begin our weather kit and I cannot wait. Here are just a few pictures from last year of us being scientist!

Now HOP on over to Blog Hoppin' and check out all the amazing teachers and Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!

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