Saturday, May 23, 2015

So Cal Link Up

Here we are at the end of another school year! 9 more school days for us to be exact. I feel both happy and sad about that fact since this year's class just happens to be one of the sweetest groups I've ever taught. Good thing I have something to take my mind off of not being their teacher anymore...
A TRIP TO TENNESSEE! I am so excited that I am finally taking advantage of teacher summers and spending a month at home. I get to see one of my best friends get married and then (fingers crossed) might get to be home for the other BFF's birth of her first born! I am looking forward to a few of my favorite things when I'm there:
I can't wait to hug my grandparents and spend extended, not-rushed time with other family members and friends. So ready to slow down and live that Southern way of life again if even just for a month! Then I'll of course be back in beautiful So Cal in July to enjoy another favorite...
I also get to take some time to plan and get ready for the upcoming school year, print and file, organize and clean, and do all of those other teacher things that we start missing when we're away from our classrooms for too long! One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year to be ready for the upcoming one is to go ahead and print some things I know I'll need during the first couple weeks of school. I like having resources ready and at hand so that I can focus on other things that I know will require my attention!
Daily warm ups are a great way to kill many birds with one stone! I have created a packet of daily warm ups that are sure to motivate your kinders to practice their early literacy skills! Your students will: 1) Get practice writing their names, 2) Get practice reading and writing letters, 3) Practice identifying and coloring letters, 4) Practice identifying color words and sorting things by that color, and my favorite 5) Establish a routine of coming into class ready to focus and work first thing every morning! Click below to grab a freebie from the larger packet: KINDERGARTEN DAILY WARM UPS {LETTERS, COLORS, SHAPES, NUMBERS}
We're not done! Link up with some amazing So Cal teachers for their freebies, and try to make it to the beach this summer! And keep scrolling to enter our giveaway for a Tieks gift card!!

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Friday, May 22, 2015

A Summary of Spring!

As I write this post, we are 9 school days away from ending our year together and kicking off the summer before first grade! However, the last time I wrote a post, we were well into the doldrums of "winter" and the end of the year seemed so far away. SO much has happened between then and now!!
Towards the end of February, we finished up one of the Writing Through the Year units by Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump. This unit was the "how to" of the units, and the kiddos wrote recipes for their favorite foods. Our culminating activity was for me to pick two recipes that were completely written with the full list of ingredients and cook them! I always LOVED when my teachers would bring food into the classroom. The kids helped me chop, mix, blend, and assemble the recipes. We had strawberry banana smoothies and pepperoni pizzas!
In March, we were visited by the always-mischievous Leprechaun who had no problem destroying our classroom!
And unfortunately, the traps that the kids so carefully built did nothing to stop him!
Then came a glorious two-week spring break, from which we returned and went on a field trip to the beach!
While we were there, we spent time exploring our environment for living things. I was surprised to see what the kids picked up on that I wasn't even thinking about! We had a very interesting conversation about whether or not seaweed is living. I also had 14 parent chaperones which was amazing! So much great questioning and conversation, I love these parents!

We had SO MUCH FUN using Vowel Surgery and Punctuation Police from Elizabeth Hall!! Some of my kids referred back to these days when we created our memory books as their favorite day of kindergarten!
Then came another field trip, this time to see Greg and Steve in Concert at Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center! It was most of my students' first time on a school bus, so they were excited!!
Just a couple of days later was our school Jog-a-Thon! The kids ran as many laps as they could in 10 minutes and MAN they are more competitive than I thought! And I'm also more out-of-shape than I thought...
And before I knew it, it was time to host Open House! Woah that came up quickly...
Thanks for the checklist inspo, Jen @sparklinginsecondgrade!
And today, we began our final countdown (cue music). 10 days left until Ms. Hodges becomes Holly again and these sweet kids become first graders! I started this tradition a few years ago, not sure where I got the inspiration from. The kids and I pop a balloon each morning which I have pre-filled with a note that will dictate a fun activity we will do that day! Today it was "sit wherever you want!"
Phew! My fingers hurt. Can't believe my year with this sweet, sweet class is almost over. I would teach them all summer if I could, no lie. This is one of those classes that teachers dream about. Better stop with the sappy stuff now, I'll save it for their last day on which I will be a blubbering mess :)

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