Now that the summer is here, I can finally start a blog about my kindergarten teaching experiences! I've been wanting to blog for a while, but with classroom commitments, 4 children of my own and an Army husband, free time during the school year can be seriously limited! So, I'm going to use my summer break to start this blog, organize some of my themes, and get ready for next year! Hopefully I'll be able to blog on a weekly basis during the school year, now that I have the setup done.
Right now I'm working on my Back-to-School theme. Our school stresses teaching nothing but procedures and the 8 Expectations for the first 2 weeks of school. However, I find that I have a better day if I actually have some concept to teach as well. There's only so many times a kindergarten class can practice lining up before they rebell because of sheer monotony!
I love "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn and usually do a few activities around that. One that my kinders really enjoy is the "Chester Scavenger Hunt". I ask the prinicipal, secretary, cafeteria manager, computer lab coordinator and librarian in advance to be in on our "hunt". I give each of them a heart shaped sticker for their hand and a simple rhyme to read when I bring my class around. This way we get in a tour of the building and meet some of the most important people for my kinders to get familiar with. When the rhymes lead us back to our room, we find that Chester has already been there and left us a snack! Here is the link for the rhymes I use, they have a cute little Chester glyph too! I also found a Chester plush racoon, complete with a heart on his paw! I use him during the first week as a reward for good behavior. He might sit with someone during story time, or hang out at the quietest table, or even lay down for a nap with a special friend!
I also have them color a picture of a racoon and complete a sentence: "On ______'s first day of kindergarten, she felt __________". This will be the first page in their kindergarten scrapbook!