I have to admit that being able to get down on the floor and just play helps a lot with the stress! I've been caught in the midst of singing, dancing or playing with blocks more than once this week by other teachers, admin and parents. I'm not embarrassed at all, just loving having fun!
This first week we practiced procedures, a LOT. I mean, we went to centers, played for a bit, then cleaned up and came back to carpet to talk about it. Rinse and repeat. By the end of the week we were doing 20 minutes in a center and clean up is going well too! Except for block center. I'm still trying to figure out how to make cleaning up that center go well. The OCD teacher part of me wants all the blocks stacked by size and shape while the other part of me says forget it, that takes too much time, lets just dump them all in a bin. Which way do you store your blocks??
I have to say, we are aces at hallway procedure. Maybe because we are still haven't grasped walking and talking at the same time? I don't know, but goodness, my class is quieter in the hallway than any of the older kids! We are very proud of ourselves, and I know in time we'll also figure out how to walk on the correct side of the hallway - I'm thinking of going in this weekend and putting down masking tape. Do you have anything on your hallway floors to help keep a straight line?
One of our favorite activities this week was our "magic" water color name painting. We did this activity after reading Chrysanthemum and graphing how many letters were in each of our names. I had written everyone's name their paper with white crayon and they used the water color paint to reveal it. They needed a bit of help to really cover the page in color rather than just dab it here and there, but when they realized that letters were showing up they were amazed. I felt about 10 feet tall as they were gasping and giggling at each letter revealed!
We're also in love with our Pipe Builders from Lakeshore Learning.. Color me astonished, I had no idea that these little babies would be such a big hit. Some of my kids like to build straight up - building towers taller than they are, while some build convoluted mazes.
This week I received my gift from the Reddit Teacher 2014 Gift Event. I received a classpack of Crayola Crayons! I am so excited! How cool of a gift is this?!
Some other random bits of fun:
I now have proof that there is no germ like a pre-k germ! After 3 years of never getting sick, I have come down with a head cold! I'm talking fever, stuffy head, runny nose and general crappy feeling. And of course Sullivan caught it too! We're hoping its a quickly conquered bug!
Of course, this cold put the kibosh on my weekend plans of organizing my garage and getting things back in order after the BTS craziness. Not to mention I promised that we'd open our Sand & Water table center and I still haven't decided what to put in it first. I have all sorts of great ideas for it for throughout the year, don't get me wrong. I just haven't figured out a beginning-of-the-year-less-is-more-easy-clean-up idea for starting it up lol. What do you put in your Sand table first thing?
I'm hoping to be over this cold by tomorrow so I can share my plans for next week with you - I have a bunch of cool things I want to do, if I have the energy to get them sorted tomorrow!
Oh, and for those of you who were wondering about the ice cream game seen in one of the classroom setup photos I shared. It was a freebie I made a loooong time ago! I got the little bowls at the Dollar Tree, and had to make a game to match.