Friday, May 18, 2012

Field Trip...Beach Trip On A Misty Moist Morning

I haven't posted in quite awhile with so much going on in my own life and with school winding down. There are only 41/2 days left with my wonders!
Today was our beach trip to Isle of Palms. We have been waiting on this trip and low and behold the weather predictions the night before were awful and they didn't improve much with the new day. Finally at 7:30 am we made the call to go anyway. Why? because if you live in the low country of South Carolina, it could be pouring down rain in Summerville, but be a great day at the beach. So we ventured forth. As we are driving we keep getting texts from parents questioning why we are even going? But since my Kindergarten peers and I are an adventurous lot and desperately need to whisk our darlings away from the stress of school, we keep on riding. Upon our arrival we see parent chaperons huddle under towels and beach hats with our "lunches and belongings" waiting for our arrival with questioning looks on their faces as we pull into the Isle of Palms county park.
My little wonders exited the bus excited and ventured forth with their teacher on a mist moist morning onto the beach. We dug in the sand, built sandcastles (thanks to some great dads that helped engineer the sandcastle building), collected shells in our baggies....
The big question arises, should we let them play in the water? Bravely I stepped in the water and count my blessings that I live on the coast of South Carolina and the water is warm. I sent the parents out into the water at their knee depth and then blew the whistle for the wonders to splash and enjoy the water. They loved it and because of our brave little step of faith, the misting rain stopped and the wonders played for 25 minutes in the water,  with moms and dads snapping wonderful pictures of the kids joyously playing in the water. We went back to our little picnic tables and ate he most delicious and delightful lunch we have had all year, changed our clothes got back on the bus and made it safely back to our school. 

I love field trips, the beach, South Carolina weather and my wonders...what a way to celebrate beach week!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Check out the super cute, absolutely to die for glyph at

Check it out before 9:00 pm tonight and leave a comment with your email address and she will send you a copy.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Someday's Even the Teacher Needs a Hug

There are some days when you go to school and you just aren't feeling worth a doodle. You wake up and you feel like the world has collapsed, but you keep on trudging into work, because that is a vacation compared to other things in your life. Today was one of those days.
Fortunately the day became brighter because of one little special boy. This little one, named "L" is a cross between the the Tasmanian devil and a kitten. One minute he is a whirling dervish of motion, emotion and words, a moment later he is like a kitten purring sweetly. Somehow that little one knows just when to sidle up to me ask for "Rocky" his squeezable busy toy, grab my neck as I sit in those little kindergarten chairs and say, "I love you Ms. W". Today he did that and he broke the mud of misery I was walking in, and brought out the sun.
"I love you too, 'L'. I love you, too!"

Friday, February 24, 2012

K-5 and a Chance to View a Website

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students.  I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program.  If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their  open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I am just wild about my wonders and their writing... so I am posting a few for you to see. Yes there is a lot of inventive spelling but the writing shows the personalities of each child! I love my wonders!

Boy does this wonder know her teacher!


This little wonder worries about everyone in her family!

This little wonder is so funny! There isn't a day when she does not make me laugh!
My wonders are phenomenal and then to top it off today, we were discussing characters so we made a chart about our favorite, Pete the Cat!
Look at the character traits they came up with!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Swagger, What?

   According to what I read in an article in The Grio, it appears that some Florida literacy company awarded Nicki Minaj and Lil' Wayne  teacher of the year awards?! Really, I mean, REALLY?
   I know I had to take a look, because I could not believe it. I was stunned! I'm sitting in front of my computer reading and my mouth dropped and hit the floor. Then I picked my bruised jaw up and reread the article. The company awarded them the awards because of their "Swagger". Now while I have to agree with the author of this article, that I don't particularly want to see my high school biology teacher, Dr. B doing a  rap to the life cycle of a frog along with big sunglasses, cap turned backward, $200.00 Nikes and pants belted at his rear end. .I do believe that we need to use some type of "swagger" (and I put that in quotes, because due to my age I am not sure if it means to rap a lesson or just to be a little more entertaining with our lessons).
   If "swagger" means to beef up a lesson so you catch the students interest, then YES with capital letters! Now, if "swagger" means that I have to call my students by "hood" names and use language that is totally inappropriate for my kindergarten students or any student for that matter, then NO with capital letters! So I am going with the first idea, that "swagger" is a term that attracts a student's attention so that after teaching a standard and skill for the tenth time, they awaken to a new way of listening, being attentive, and paying attention.
   "Swagger" is the upbeat songs I use thoughtfully, the videos I download thoughtfully, the games I make for them based on a standard (dare I say it) thoughtfully, and the books I choose thoughtfully for any lesson. Sometimes we teachers get in a rut! We forget that just like everything else in life you have to laugh, love and sing! My best and productive days of teaching are not when I am ramming a lesson down their throats, but when I am excited, when I am joyful and when I laugh with them not at them. When we do a letter song or math song that has an upbeat, like some of the songs from Have Fun Teaching, or Jack Hartmann ( who has a new valentine's song), or Harry Kindergarten! Another site is WEGIVEBOOKS, which has great books online for all ages and benefits other children globally. Yes that is my "swagger"! What is yours? Let me know because I have learned so much from the many blogs I read and follow and I am always ready to learn more!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Early Childhood Education and Prevention: Will Legislators wake up?

I am on a high horse this morning! I just finished reading several articles and I am needless to say a little miffed. Living in the state of South Carolina, we have always been behind everyone else in everything. Our education budget has been slashed to ribbons, the expectations grow higher and we have some of the toughest state standards to teach. There are those who think we do not do enough and there are those who praise us, but those of us in the trenches feel downtrodden, unappreciated, overworked, and confused as to what is really expected of us. THEN I read these two articles:

    Early Education a Crime-Fighting Weapon?

Large-scale early education linked to higher living standards and crime prevention 25 years later

I have been preaching that early childhood education and parent involvement in the early years was so important for years and when I say years, I am saying all of my 32 years of teaching (maybe less five for the first five years when I was growing as a teacher). I have watched the pendulum of education swing from one end to the other and yet never seen legislators or administrators stop it at a happy medium. When will we wake up and learn that reaching a young child and helping his/her parents know how to help him/her makes for a whole child and helps our society raise children who become successful, capable beings. Please read these two articles and pass them on to administrators, legislators, people of influence within your community. Let this be a wake-up call to others that "reach and teach them" young is so valuable to our communities, our states, our nation!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The 100th Day of School

Today was our 100th Day of school ! Phew! We made it this far and now to work hard and complete the other 80 days. It is hard to believe that it has been 100 days where does the time go! I wanted to share the 100th day collections that my wonders brought in. They did a wonderful job. So here they are and they are "wonder"ful!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I am truly honored to have been nominated for the Fascination Award. Please vote for me!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm a Fascinating blog!

Wow! I just had a most wonderful dinner cooked by my sweetie, Jeff and than as I sit down to read my email and scan over what to open first...I see that my blog has been nominated for this award, Most Fascinating blog award of 2011.

Online PhD Programs

I am amazed and honored and it was all because I wrote about Crayons and Crayon boxes, which was just a comment on diversity and how I want children to embrace it. You know after having had a holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.,  listening to his speech, "I have a Dream.." and seeing the posters and songs and ideas we as teachers use to teach diversity on this one week prior to his birthday, , do we just stop and think our work is done? Diversity is like that box of crayons and we need to keep reinforcing it everyday so that the dream can become truer, truer and finally TRUE!
Pleas vote for me

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

A linky party that shows how our days go as teachers. This sounds fun and it is super interesting to look at all the schedules of other teachers around the blogosphere.

Hook up with Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher to join the linky party. So in that case here is how my day goes:

5:00-5:45: I awaken. I feed the two dogs and one cat. I stumble around and make coffee and let the animals out. Make a toasted bagel and stare blearily at the TV while I drink my coffee and eat my bagel. 
5:45-5:50: I sip more coffee and ruminate (yes, ruminate over how nice it would be to just sleep for another hour or more).
5:50-6:05: I get moving making sure everything is out for me to wear and shower.
6:05-6:25: dress, blowdry hair, put on makeup, check out appearance in mirror and awaken Jeff, my sweetie so he can get ready for his day. Now some days he awakens me with coffee and bagel and then I ruminate on "how lucky I am to have someone bring me breakfast in bed.
6:25-6:45: I have another cup of coffee and fill my thermos, grab and pack up everything.
6:45: In the car and leaving the driveway.
6:45-7:00: I am driving to work. It takes that long because in our little city, Central Ave. has now become the busiest road in the world as all the commuters head for their jobs in Charleston. And getting to turn out in that road is like taking your life in your hands!
7:00-7:05: Getting in school, signing in and unpacking
7:05-7:35: greeting kids at door, Making sure they eat at the round breakfast table, start their morning work and making sure everything is a "GO".
7:35-7:45: Morning show on the Smartboard, Review morning work, and get the wonders to the rug for Calendar and singing and dancing.
7:45-8:10- Calendar and Singing and dancing
8:10-8:40- Phonics
8:40-9:00- Phonics activities
9:00 -9:45: Go to Specials (YES!!!!)
9:45-10:00:Return to room, story read aloud, and bathroom ( because inevitably six or seven have to go at the same time)
10:00 -10:30: Writing
10:30-11:00: Grade level ( which our district's fancy word for Shared/Guided reading lesson, because we integrate Science and Social Studies at this time for Thematic learning)
11:00-11:10: get ready for lunch, line up and move on out toward the cafeteria and LUNCH
11:10-11:45: Lunch and lineup to go back and enter classroom ( yes we inhale our food haha).
11:45 - 12:30- Math and Math groups.
12:30-1:00: RECESS and snack
1:00- 1:50: Differentiated Groups (centers) and fluency groups.
1:50-2:00: Early buses and cleanup.
2:00: leave for buses and the wonders go home
2:15-4:00: chat, prepare, have meetings, and nosh on a snack and more coffee.
4:00- 4:15: heading home
4:15-4:30: let the animals out and they usually get a treat for being such good boys.
4:30-5:30: usually have a nap while I am watching TV or reading a novel.
5:30- Begin making dinner, chores, load some laundry, etc.
6:30 eating with my sweetie, Jeff and chatting about our day.
7:30-8:00: My best friend and I usually head out for Starbucks (they know us by name and we even got special cards from them at Christmas because we are their favorite customers).
8:30: doing work, folding clothes, playing on the computer, checking email and blogs and then about !0:00 heading to bed.
10:00-10:30: reading and SLEEEEEEEEP! (apparently lately the sleep fairy has been keeping me awake so I have felt extra groggy)

Then the party starts all over again the next morning.

So How's your day go? Link up with                                  and tell us about your day!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Core Teaching (Learning) Beliefs

I was reading a blog today, Mrs. Bainbridge's blog to be exact and she asked if we would state our beliefs about teaching. I am very passionate about education for several reasons. My parents instilled in me a love and thirst for knowledge through reading, through history, through any source available. My father was a minister and because he had not had the formal seminary training (although he had been to Columbia Bible College and a missionary in India planting churches) he often felt that his knowledge was not equivalent to his peers. The result was he would study words, their etymology, their history and he taught himself enough Greek and Hebrew so that he could glean more for his sermons as to the meaning of God's written word. My mother was an eclectic woman of many talents. She had a trained voice, was trained as a pianist, she had a degree in music, was a wonderful cook and also as a missionary with my father she ran an orphanage and ran a school for native Hindustani children. Both of my parents had a British education and could quote poetry from memory that they had learned as children. So with all this as my background and early life, I desired to know why, when, where, who at an early age. I devoured books as a child because the took me places and I gained an awesome amount of knowledge just from reading. My first choice in a career was not to be a teacher, but to be a lawyer. I happen-chanced on teaching, by starting a nursery for my father in his church and it was there that I saw the young child learning and discovering and I was smitten by teaching the young child.
 It is with all this in my upbringing, family life, and experience that I state my core beliefs about education:
1. I believe that everyone can learn.
2. I believe that everyone has an unalienable right to learn.
3. I believe that a teacher must teach the whole child, that is to say not just the brain, but the body, the emotions and the brain.
4. I believe that learning is exciting! It is like finding money in your wallet when you thought you were broke and that for me is an awesomely joyful experience.
5. I believe that learning one thing leads to a desire to know more and that the thirst for knowledge can really never be quenched.
6.I believe that learning is a group effort. Learning comes from the learners and the teacher.
7.I believe that everyone should be accountable in learning...the teacher, the child, the parents and the community.
8. I strongly believe that learning is empowering, evolving and exhilarating.

  So along with Christina at Mrs.Bainbridge's Class Blog, join us in listing your core beliefs about teaching, learning and education.