Elbow, knees, dreams

a blog about preschool, public schools, and what it's really like to be a teacher

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Pinterest find: Classroom Organization

So I haven’t been writing in my blog this summer. What have I been doing? (You know, besides drinking cold chardonnays in the evenings, reading books, sleeping in, and organizing my house a tiny bit each day?) I have been PINTERESTING. Man, I am in love Read More...

we are on a roll

Last year I felt frustrated about my low increase in scores on vocabulary, so I started making vocabulary cards, using Google Images. (I make two for each word, so that they get used to seeing different images of the same thing for each word.) So far Read More...

either I’m very lucky or I’m some sort of genius

On Friday we had a visitor who was there to observe one of my students, who is being assessed for possible special ed services. She sat during centers time and watched and took notes. The art center was full of kids making ants out of black paper and Read More...

all the ways in which I suck as a teacher

Monday rolls around, and I often don’t have my lesson planning done, so I have to wing it. I don’t keep changing the centers activities to match our theme; it’s so much work and I don’t have the time. Okay, sometimes I do. But not nearly enough. Sometimes Read More...

the coming week

Tomorrow I will try to get up early and get to work early, because I have lots to prepare. We are done with Under the Sea (almost — I forgot to give everyone a real shark tooth to take home, so we will probably read a shark book at story time and then Read More...

what we do all day

Here’s a typical morning in my classroom: At 9:15, Miss Slinger arrives, and she puts the sign-in book (a spiral notebook numbered on two pages 1-20), pencils, and tub of journals on the sand table, which is right inside the door. She also moves all the Read More...

loud

Miss Slinger was gone today. I used to teach kindergarten and was by myself with 25 kids, so you’d think I could handle 17 on my own. And I can, of course. But it was hard; I’ve gotten so used to having a wonderful assistant teacher in the room with me. Read More...

pumpkin’s communication issues

So I saw Pumpkin’s early childhood screening, and it was very interesting. To the question, “which is bigger, a house or a ball?” he answered, “ball.” (He does that fairly frequently — he repeats the last thing you said if he doesn’t otherwise know what Read More...

what needs to be done before school starts

I met with the afternoon teacher — I’ll have to think of a good nickname for her — and she’s great. Down-to-earth, sensible, articulate, friendly, mellow, self-confident, interested and interesting. So phew, no more anxiety dreams! She has lots of teaching Read More...

4 minutes inside a teacher’s brain

Sit on your bottom, fold your legs, hands in your lap, eyes on the teacher. Why doesn’t this work anymore? Why are my students ignoring me? Why is Duck lying down on top of Ferdinand? Everybody needs to sit down and listen right now. I appreciate the Read More...

the 100th day of school

Today was the 100th day of school. We were supposed to have six adults in the room, but my usual volunteer from the university spent the night in the hospital after fainting a few days ago, and she said she was going to take the week to rest, and the Read More...

organizing centers time, encouraging independence

We have centers time every day. Some teachers call it choice time, or free play, but I call it centers time because my room is organized into centers. Each day we have a brief centers time meeting, during which I explain what will be available at each Read More...

when things don’t go well, i blame myself

Actually, things went okay today, on this, our eighth day of school. On Friday I passed out the Friday folders to the children as I was lining them up to go out in the hall to get their jackets for recess. They started opening their folders, dropping Read More...

the first two days of school

There are two boys in my class who know each other from last year and are giving me a run for my money. Let’s call them Max (as in Where the Wild Things Are ) and David (as in No, David !). Max has a face like an angel and also likes to screech. David Read More...