Monday, September 19, 2011

Sit down with me.  Let's say at a coffee shop, with some great music, good with me?   I can't wait to tell you about some amazing kids I get to spend my days with. There is the sweetest boy names Aa'JuJuan.  He is always one you can count on to be doing the right thing!  Oh then there is Abriel.  She has the warmest eyes.  She is so generous.  I just love Andreanna.  Her little button nose and sweet little voice are so endearing and on top of it she writes me sweet notes.  You will love Brea.  She gives great hugs and has a smile that totally lights up the room! Connor has this great presence about him.  The kids and I are all drawn to him.  Maybe it is his cute, kind of raspy voice that I can't get enough of. Element, may be tiny, but she is full of personality.  Whether it is her sparkly headbands or sunglasses on her head, she knows how to have style!  Emauni has a heart of gold.  She is a friend to all and is always there to help and lend a hand.  Ian M. is full of excitement.  His hugs are so sweet!  Ian P. is so caring.  He is  aware of others feelings and has a special place in his heart for his sister Ivy, oh and dinosaurs.  Jayceon is so lovable.  I am telling you when he smiles at you and just want to squeeze him!  Kayli is a girl who knows what she wants and is willing to do the work to get her there.  Lanessa is so quiet and sweet.  She amazes me at what she is taking in. For Logan you are going to want something to record him.  This kid has the sweetest voice EVER!   Matthis is a strong kid, in stature and personality.  I can picture him doing some big things.  Miraya is a small but brave.  She has a love for her brother Mikey that knows no bounds.   Nadia is so full of life.  She can be serious when needed but she has such a fun, silly side as well.  Page is so nurturing.  She wants to take care of me and the other kids.  So sweet!  Savanna S. is one smart girl.  She is my go to girl for helping out!  Savannah P. makes my day.  She has such a zest and love of life!  Sylas is a great mix of a fun kid and an old soul.  He seems to have so much wisdom, but then can turn around and be so silly.  Now don't let Thomas fool you.  You might think he is a little reserved at first.  Give him about 2 seconds. He will have you laughing. Plus he has a great laugh! And Zahryn rounds us out.  She has beautiful eyes that are so expressive.  I can count on her to straighten anything up around our room.  Here let me pull out some pictures of them so you can see.  And then let's meet here again next week.  I can only imagine where they will be in a week.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Exciting beginnings...

This weeks meets each of us with different emotions.  I am beyond excited to meet and teach your child.  I can't wait to laugh at their silly stories; yes even those things you thought they should never say in public.  I can't wait to celebrate with them as they write and read new words, stories and numbers.  At the same time, I am so very sad to be away from my daughter Lydia and son Waylon every day. I wonder how this week greets you.  So many exciting things lay before your child, and with that comes so many feelings.  Know that everyday your child is with me, I will do my best to teach, inspire, love, and nurture them as best I can.  Here are some of the experiences your child will have these first two days of this week.

Building and writing their names
Constructing our classroom name chart
Working together to write our classroom promise
Learning and practicing math jobs such as attendance taker, surveyor, leader
Being read to lots and lots
Learning about and participating in workstations

Your child's first two days are full of excitement.  Be sure to check back to see their days in pictures!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Taking a Backseat

Megan Collins,  a Cochran parent and Lock Haven University student, has spent two days in our room.  She has been showing the students how to incorporate movement with words and letters.  The class loves having visitors and even more so when they bring great ideas and activities.  I loved that while she was teaching, I got to take a backseat and watch the kids.  It is so cute to watch them interact with each other, share ideas, and respond to another adult.  I have to admit I felt like the proud mom as they would say and do cute or smart things.  It is good to have moments where I am not in "charge" and feeling like I need to be on top of every behavior.  Watching them as someone else teaches helps me to see them as the fun loving kids they are.  Thanks Megan, for teaching the kids and myself something while you were here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Love and Logic Pearls of Wisdom

We have all been there.  You say something like "Don't make me come over there."  As soon as it is out of your mouth you realize what in the world does that mean and what am I going to back it up with.  Knowing that feeling in that moment, I loved the idea of enforceable statements with Love and Logic.  I will admit that I carried around a little note card at school with some of the statements written down.  My brain doesn't ever run on 100%.  Just this weekend Lydia and I were at a coffee shop, after spending 5 minutes digging in my purse for my keys.  Lydia says "Mama are you looking for your keys that next to your coffee."  So I know that in the moment of wanting to make an statement to get 23 students attention I needed to have it right there with me.  I am proud to say that note card, although still close by hand on my desk, is not carried with me anymore.  The more you use these statements, the more they work and the more you internalize them.  Here are some examples from the Love and Logic conference I attended at the beginning of this month.

      Statements for school
"I'll listen when your voice is calm"
"You may play when there is no name calling."
"I take classes to recess when they can walk quietly in the hall."
"I grade papers that are handed in on time."
"I allow students to remain with the group when they aren't causing a problem."
"You may join the group when you are calm."

      Statements for Home
"I give treats to kids who protect their teeth by brushing."
"I charge two dollars a minute for listening to bickering in the back seat."
"I love you to much to argue.  I'll listen when your voice is calm."
"The car is leaving in 10 minutes.  Will you be going with your clothes on your body or your clothes in a bag."
"I will be happy to do the things I do for you around here when I feel treated with respect and the chores are done."

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I am thankful for being called mom followed by an embarrassed " I mean Mrs. Edler". 
I am thankful for compliment time.
I am thankful for hugs in the middle of a read aloud.
I am thankful for excitement in learning a new word.
I am thankful for being blessed with the opportunity to influence the lives of others.
I am thankful for being asked to "Watch me" at recess.
I am thankful for being needed to open, peel and cut food even when I am not at home with my own kids.
I am thankful for 23 other people that love to hear Lydia and Waylon stories since I love to tell them.
I am thankful for the honesty of kids. 
I am thankful for diversity.
I am thankful for music to use in teaching and for fun times.
I am thankful for excited volunteers even for the floor inspector job.
I am thankful for school parents that become family friends.
I am thankful for kids who desire to learn.
I am thankful for your child!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I don't feel the need to workout everyday...

So everyday, okay if honesty is the best policy...almost everyday, the class and I write together.  Call it interactive writing, call it sharing the pen; some of us like to call it a workout!  On paper it really sounds easy.  The teacher and the students talking together, coming up with ideas, and then with the teachers skillful direction, the students come up and write the letters/words on a large chart paper.  Well it actually goes more like this. 

"Well today kindergarten I was thinking we could write about rain.  Hmmmm what do we know about rain?  (All the while the teacher is hoping to have the kids write Rain is...)  Maybe we could say rain is...something.  Why don't you turn and talk to your neighbor and then we will share out."  After a few minutes the teacher gets everyone attention and before she can call on one student, it sounds like this "WOIEWJRLKJDHFOHDFIHOSIFOIDFOSIJF"  That would be the sound of 23 kindergarten students shouting their ideas.  Who know rain would be so exciting. :)  Once the rule of raising your hand to talk  is reviewed a quiet student is called on.  "Johnny what should we write about rain"  Much to the teachers chagrin,  Johnny answers "Can you tie my shoes?"  Which is echoed by a chorus of "I can".  Once the teacher, who now has removed her sweater and is beginning to sweat, gets everyone mind back on rain, a sentence is finally decided on... rain in wet.    Now comes the saying it on your fingers 3 or 4 times(hold  up a finger for each word in the sentence as you say it), then the gluing it in your head (putting your finger to your forehead as you say it each word), then saying it as you map it out on the paper.  With such gusto the teacher gets out the special black permanent marker, which has left it's mark on way too many of her pants, and says "Ok so the first word we are going to write is...."  At which point the answer is "OIWEJOENKJFNEOIUHFEO"  Okay back to reviewing rule number 5, raising your hand to talk.  Then the teacher tries the question again.  This time the answer is "I um like"  Okay back to reviewing what we are going to write.  So finally the the right word of rain is given.  The teacher timidly says "Say rain slowly...r-a-i-n".  This is followed by shouts of R R R R   or   r-a-i-n.  Now the teacher is mopping up the sweat that is dripping off her forehead and moving to open the window.  "I love that you are saying the word slowing.  Don't just shout a letter.  Say the word slowly.  (pause)  Not quietly tell me what sound you hear. "  Now the students and the teacher make the connection with Rayven's name and rabbit on the ABC chart.  One person is chosen to touch Rayven's name on the name chart and another person is chosen to touch the rabbit on the ABC chart.   Then Raven comes up and takes that special marker and makes her R.  While the teacher is helping her, she is trying (key word trying) to manage the other 22 students by having them write the letter R on their hands.  Triumph right....well not quite.  That is only the first letter in the sentence of Rain is wet.  So the whole process begins again to finish the word rain and continue on through the sentence.  By the end, the teacher has pushed her sleeves up, opened all windows and feels as though she just ran a mile. That is until they read the sentence for the last time to make sure it is finished, because that is what writers do. Suddenly the class breaks out in spontaneous applause.  Daniel calls out "Awesome, we are writers."  This time there is no reminder of rule number 5.  Instead a smile breaks out on the teachers face as she realizes, all the sweat and headache was worth it to get to that moment.  The moment when these 5 and 6 year olds' view themselves as writers. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

The magic of believing

If seeing is believing then this is a class of writers.  I wish I could capture the amazement in their eyes when they realize what they are capable of.  I see it in Zaiden's eyes when he brings me his paper with his "Z" written on it.  He timidly hands me his paper; "Teacher look, I think I wrote my name."  It is in that moment I realize how his self esteem and idea of himself as a writer is in my hand.  Thankfully I am running on a full nights sleep so I am sharp enough to realize the importance of this moment.  I take his paper, wrap my arm around him and say "Oh my word Zaiden, you are a writer.  You wrote your Z."    For the rest of the day, that paper was folded up in his pocket, ready to be pulled out and unfolded for anyone who crossed his path that day..."Look I am a writer."  They say it is the little things.  Teaching kindergarten  reaffirms this.  Some days it is a much as the Z written on the paper that calls for celebration. Now that Zaiden believes he is a writer, just try taking paper and pencils away from him.  He is writing all the time.  What looks like gibberish today will slowly throughout the year  transform into everyday words.
Ezekiel is writing about game stations.

Can you tell these girls are hard at work?!

This is Elise's story from the first few weeks of school.
This is Elise's story on the 44 day of school.  It reads...
I want a pet horse.
Mom can I have a pet horse.
(in the picture) I really want a pet horse.