Thursday, November 16, 2017

Two Hoots and A Holler

Hoot #1
It is so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is already here, and Christmas is right around the corner.  Time flies when you're having fun!   We are thankful that we are off the week of Thanksgiving because the days leading up to it have kept us super busy!  We have had a Veteran's Day Program, train safety presentation and visitors, a field trip, and our Thanksgiving feast!  

Our Veteran's Day program is always a big hit!  It is a Walls tradition to have this awesome program.  It takes a lot of preparation to make it happen from the staff, but it is so worth it!  We love that we have the opportunity to honor and celebrate all of our veterans.  

Obie, the little train, was brought to our school from CN Railway!  The students always have so much fun learning about train safety and riding the train around the school!  

Here we are at the Orpheum in Memphis, TN waiting on the Rhythmic Circus to begin!  The show was very entertaining and fun! 

We celebrated Thanksgiving by eating lunch in our best Thanksgiving attire with all of our kindergarten friends!  The students loved making their hats and vests!  They even got to eat lunch on their place mat that they made! 

This week has us like.... 

Hoot #2
We are so proud of how much progress our kids are showing!  We have been working really hard on writing and math.  We have began writing in our journals daily, and the students are loving it!  They are taking so much pride in their stories.  We also have been learning part-part-whole in math.  This is a very hard skill to understand at first.  We are beginning to see our students understand the concept because of their hard work and perseverance.  The best part about all of it is that we are seeing our students become more independent and grow into risk takers and problem solvers...and that makes our hearts SO happy!  

This Week's Holler...
This week we would like to holler at Herding Kats in Kindergarten.  We love her fall math activities to use with our dollar spot finds at Target!  We also love how she incorporates videos into her blog posts! It makes teaching a whole lot easier when teachers like her share all that they know!
Herding Kats in Kindergarten

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Two Hoots and A Holler

Hoot #1
Last week, we had the pleasure to have some 2nd graders come to our class. They have been working on Reader's Theater and wanted to share with us. It was a delight to watch some our former students. They did a wonderful job!

Hoot #2
This hoot is really nothing to celebrate, but I wanted to share. I lost my first Jitterbug a couple of weeks ago. He was not a student that was currently in my room. He actually would have turned 20 on November 12th (the same day as my birthday). When we would see each other, we would always smile and give each other big hugs. He would tell me his plans, and I would let him know that I was here if he needed anything.
When this happened, anyone (not a teacher) would think "it's been 15 years since he was in your class, no big deal." One may even ask themselves, "Did I do enough?" As teachers, we know that simply couldn't be farther from the truth. We love them long after they leave. It cuts deep, real deep. You feel that you need to do something, anything, but do not know where to start. You just pray and hope that they know everyday when they leave your room that they are loved. Our students that leave and return throughout the years are no different. Those that are reading this understand that. Through our daily struggles of meeting standards, deadlines, and  paperwork...we are enough. We meet these kids where THEY are. We love them for who THEY are. We pray for who THEY will be. We provide them with a safe place, away from their everyday lives. We meet their social needs. We let them know that they are loved. God bless our students!
Teachers we are enough!

This Week's Holler...
This weeks holler goes out to Jennifer Blanchard at the Practical Primary Teacher.  We have been struggling with writing this year with our classes.  When we came across this blog, we were so excited to read how she helps her students write in her classroom.  As teachers, we learn from each other, and we learned a lot from her blog!  Go check her out! 

Practical Primary Teacher

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Two Hoots And A Holler

Hoot #1
We continued celebrating and learning about all things fall this past week.  Ms. Jamie's class made Witch's Brew for snack one day.  The kids LOVED this activity so much that they shared it with Ms. Jodi's class!  Students have to listen and follow the directions carefully to make their Witch's Brew just right!  Then at the end they have to stir it all up and say "BOOOOOO!"  They took this task of stirring and saying BOO very seriously!  

Hoot #2
We wrapped up all of our October festivities and learning with a field trip to the pumpkin patch on Halloween Day!  The students had so much fun on our first field trip of the year!  They got to experience a corn maze, hay rides, pig races, petting zoo, and a pumpkin patch!  I heard some talking about it after we returned to school, and they said that this was the "best day ever!"  


This wonderful adventure wore us out!!!

This Week's Holler...
This week's holler goes out to Kristen at A Day in First Grade.  She has TONS of inquiry based, hands-on learning activities!  We love her science units in her TPT store, and so do our students!  Definitely hop on over to her blog and see for yourself how AWESOME this teacher is!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Two Hoots and A Holler

Last week was all about Fall. You can't do fall without Scarecrows. We talked about the job of the scarecrow and read The Scarecrow Hat by Ken Brown. Then we made text to self connections by discussing things that scared us! This is the followup activity that we did.

Bryleigh wrote, "I see big spiders."
Hoot #2
Do you ever have those moments in your classroom where you want to pull your hair out?? You know, that moment when, for some, your students have forgotten how to be a classroom community, and you need to have a "Come to Jesus" talk? That can look so many different ways to so many different teachers. This week, I was busy with my students in my class, when one of them said, "um, Mrs. Jamie, what is Mrs. Jodi doing?" Well, I wasn't certain but I took this picture!
Later, I found out that Mrs. Jodi's class was having one of those moments. She took her girls outside and held hands in a circle.  These girls shared what they liked most about each other and how they can be a better friend. This, not only built their self-esteem, but it also hit so many of our speaking and listening skills. My point is this, instead of raising your voice reminding students for the 100th time about expectations...sometimes it better to just model it.
This Week's Holler...
This week's holler goes out to Megan at First Grade Roars! We absolutely love her Small Group Guided Reading Prepped post! It contains everything you need to get started right away, meeting the needs of your students.  Go check it out!!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Two Hoots and A Holler

Hoot #1
We learned all about pumpkins last week.  On Monday the students walked into the room to see a HUGE pumpkin in their classroom.  We carved a pumpkin on Friday after reading Pumpkin JackPumpkin, Pumpkin, and reading non fiction texts on pumpkins.  The students loved getting to use their 5 senses to explore their pumpkin.  We got to smell, touch, see our pumpkin.  We tapped on the pumpkin to see what it would sound like, and the class determined it sounded like a drum.  I had a few that were brave enough to taste the pumpkin.  They decided that pumpkin pie tastes a lot better! 

We dug through all the pulp to get all of the seeds.  Our pumpkin had over 550 seeds!  Each student took home 20 pumpkin seeds to plant at home, and the rest were planted at school.

 We voted on what kind of face our pumpkin would have.  It was a tie, so we carved a two faced pumpkin!  One side was happy, the other was scary. 

After carving and planting, we did pumpkin brace maps.  The students could easily label the parts of a pumpkin and recall the vocabulary used because of this wonderful hands-on experience! 

Hoot #2
Over the past week, we have had a lot of visitors!  We had the librarian from our town's public library come read to us!  They love listening to stories! 
We also had Ned's Kindness Adventure come to our school! 
 The Kindness Adventure assembly shows that kindness is the key to making friends and respecting others.  It was very entertaining for students.  The students were engaged and interested the entire time!  It had a very good message.  It allowed students to see schools and children from a different culture, and learn to respect others' cultures. We are selling "Kindness Treasures" this week in our school's snack store to help students to remember to be kind and pay it forward. 

This Week's Holler...
This week we have been really focusing on our writing.  Students have had a very hard time with writing this year.  After stumbling across a blog about writing from Abigail over at Kindergarten Chaos, we decided to take a few steps back and start over.  We have been working really hard on our "Drawing Journal" and focusing on how important illustrations are when writing.  We have seen so much improvement in our students writing!  We are moving on to labeling and lists next.  We loved her character cards used to help students understand the importance of a setting and adding details.  Check out these illustrations from some of our kinders using the character cards! 

We literally went from scribbling on paper to actual pictures!  Hop over to her blog to read all about it!  Thanks Abigail for sharing your ideas!  You Rock!