Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Okay, so this has been one of the MOST exhausting weeks of the year.  I blame it on a lack of sleep, but there are probably other factors like my hour and 1/2 work out every single day!  :o)  Anyway, my plan was to post my St. Patrick's Day projects before the actual day to share my ideas with the 2 other teachers out there reading my blog.  Obviously this did not happen.  So now I get to re-cap our exhausting day!

I have taught first grade in years past, and St. Patrick's Day, although exciting, was not very revved up.  Kindergarten and Leprechauns are not the same match as first grade and Leprechauns.  Wow!

Our class read this book last week:

It is a very cute book about two little children getting ready for St. P's Day.  They make cool looking leprechaun traps out of homemade items and end up getting tricked by the leprechaun that comes.  We do an "At Home Project" each month, and this month it was our leprechaun traps.  I was amazed, blown away, taken back, WOW'ed by our creations!  Check them out:

The one on the left is a shoe box designed and created by herself.  The one on the right is a real mouse trap with paint and coins glued inside.

This one has a slide at the top of the ladder  :o)

Can you imagine if you were a leprechaun??  I don't know where I'd go first!  :o)

Look closely at this one: the cup actually comes down if you move the pot of gold!

So the traps had been trickling in since Monday, and I think they are responsible for the mayhem that followed on Thursday.

We left the room for recess on St. P's Day but made sure our traps were set.  I did not get pictures of our room after the leprechaun came, but I "accidentally" left out green paint and he danced in it which made footprints wherever he went after that.  He left green footprints on all of the traps and all over the tables!

The leprechaun also left us doughnuts with green and white sprinkles, a St. P's Day pencil, and foamie shamrocks all over our room.  He gave us a card that said what wonderful traps we had made.  He took all of our bookbags and spread them throughout the room.  He also took a green Expo marker and wrote "hahaha, hehehe" all over our whiteboards.  Apparently he likes, because bagpipe music was blaring from the computer when we got back to the room.

Here is our leprechaun decoration we made (it's inspired by Deanna Jump's leprechaun glyph...we just did the head instead of the whole body)

Here's our silly Mr. Grinch ready for St. P's Day!

This was our art project for the week thanks to my teammate Kathy.  Her class made theirs last week and they were so darn cute!

Okay, so let me just say that St. P's Day in our classroom was the longest, noisiest day this whole year.  I don't know why!!!  But this kindergarten teacher was exhausted at the end of the day.  I even told my assistant that I didn't want to hear the word leprechaun for a full 365 days!!  :o)  But luckily we survived, and the students had a blast.  As long as they had fun, it was a success in my book.  Maybe the more exhausted I am, the better job we did.  Maybe I can look at it that way.  Anyway, I saw so many great ideas about St. P's Day and I'm glad that there are so many other teachers as excited about it as me!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Calling all teachers who love Dr. Jean....

Click on the picture to enter!  :o)

Monday, March 7, 2011

This One's for the Birds...

What a busy Monday!  I surprised the students with this note when they walked into their newly arranged room:

I didn't have anyone pass out, so that was great!  Today was the BEST day of kindergarten so far this year...everything went smoothly, we got EVERYTHING done that I had planned (this doesn't happen often because I always over-plan), and I still had a smile on my face at the end of the day (okay, this almost always happens, but it's great always!).  :o)

I wanted to share my newest edition to the classroom...but you have to look outside:
We have 2 bird feeders, a bird bath, and 2 decorations for the birds to look at while they eat...

The double Shepard's Crook is my early birthday present...Thanks Handsome!!!  I have been totally entertained by our red finches who have come to feast!  The sphere-shaped feeder has tiny holes that the birds climb in and sit and eat...only they couldn't figure out how to get in...until TODAY!  I saw it happen with my own eyes, but the darn thing flew away before I could snap him/'s what I got:

Seriously??  Oh well...I'll have my camera waiting next time!

At first we had no birds at all.  I put up the one round feeder, but no one came to munch on the yummy bird seed I bought.  So my mom suggested getting a bird bath because the water will spark their interest, and she happily gave me her extra one (I'm not mentioning how it was the one that my sissy and I gave her for Mother's Day a long time ago...see, I didn't say it!  Nope!).  Guess what?  The bird bath idea...genius!!  I counted 9 birds around and on the feeders at one time!!!

This is the time I have to get a little sappy and dear, wise, loving, spiritual, saint of a grandmother passed away last month.  She was a source of strength for me.  It's been a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I can't even begin to describe her if I just had to know her.  She was a very special soul.  If you can be soul mates with your grandma, then that's what we are.

Anyway, she loved her garden, and especially loved her birds.  She has 5 bird feeders at her house, and there is one bird feeder for each window.  I have so many memories of sitting at the round kitchen table looking out at the birds and watching the many different kinds and colors come to eat along with us.  This is one thing that makes me feel closer to her...watching the birds outside.

 I feel like my grandma just outside the window, checking in on us, bringing these beautiful creatures to keep us entertained and feeling loved.  I can see her now, at the kitchen table, eating fruit salad and watching the birds with me...and now it's time to stop because I miss her so much it hurts....

So here's to my soulmate... at peace, and all will be well...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Sunday!

So I am sitting here in my husband's "Man Cave" on the double recliner, and Hank is just snoozin away beside me.  It has been the ickiest day outside - we've had so many beautiful days recently, but it's rained all day long.  I know it's Happy Sunday, but I'm just not ready to get back into the swing of things yet!  We've reached the end of our Winter Break.  We were off from school Wednesday thru Friday, and it was very much needed....except now I've been spoiled, and also I keep finding LOTS of things to do around the house.

Wonderful Things to Note...

  1. Laundry is in progress!!!
  2. Our bedroom is clean!!!
  3. Grocery shopping is done for the whole week!!!
  4. We figured out how to use our Wii for Netflix instant movies!!!!!
  5. My favorite shirt fits again!  I'm wearing it as I's my cute UNC Tarheels shirt... (but I can't find the picture of it!!)
  6. I found the perfect double-Shephard's Crook to hold my 2 new bird feeders for my classroom AND it's already in my car ready to go AND it was 50% off at AC Moore's!  Happy early Birthday to me!
  7. We finished week one of P90X and we both feel GREAT!  :o)  ...sorry baby, I had to jinx us - I'm so proud of us!
  8. I got to spend lots of time with one of my newest and already closest friends, Nikki - gosh I love that girl!
  9. I got highlights again!!!!  (but again, my camera's dead so I don't have a picture of that either...)  I had gone to my "natural" color...brown...and I couldn't take it April put some beautiful highlights back in, and I am a very happy camper!
  10. I wanted a rounded-out number, so #10 is that because of Facebook, I may have a kidney table for my classroom as soon as, get this, TOMORROW!  Ahhh!!  :o)

Us...being us...

Me and my Handsome...

And there goes the laundry buzzer, so it's time for at-home-Team Johnson to fold the clothes...yuck!

I hope you have a wonderful week!!! at peace, and all will be well...

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

((PS: Check out the Classroom Pictures page at the top - I just added my new room arrangement!))

I absolutely cannot wait for next year because all of my themed lessons will (hopefully) be up and ready to read through and decide what stays and goes!  I am all about some reflective practices (thanks a lot, ECU!).  We had a blast saying Happy Birthday to the one, the only, Dr. Seuss!  Did you know that he would have been 107 this year?  Did you know he wrote over 40 books?  Did you know he illustrated his own books?

I don't have a picture of it, but we received a special freebie package from Scholastic News, and it was just in time for Dr. Seuss's birthday. It had a mini-newspaper all about the crazy rhymer himself.  We shared and learned things that no one, not even yours truly knew.  It was great!  I may have to subscribe to Scholastic News next year.

Anyway, we started the day by coloring a very cute picture of the Cat in the Hat for Morning Work.  One of my kindergarten team-mates had it from the dark ages.  They had so much fun coloring him in while looking at all of the Dr. Seuss "stuff" I set out the night before.

Next it was time to read some books after our Morning Meeting and Calendar Meeting.  We read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  Everyone was given a dry-erase board and had to come up with lots of rhyming words.

What's a Dr. Seuss celebration without reading Green Eggs and Ham?  We couldn't have the actual snack because of egg allergies in the class.  Maybe we can try next year...  I let this kick-off our word families study.  We talked about the -at word family.  Then, we made our wonderful Cat-in-the-Hat Hats!  My assistant who should be an artist designed extra-large versions of his famous hat.  We colored them in and then stapled them on to cardstock.  We taped drinking straws on the back of the hats so they could stand up.

Next up: a Cat-in-the-Hat Glyph!!  We got this wonderful idea from but tweaked it a little...  I also blurred their names for privacy reasons.  They decided at the end to put ____________ in the Hat.  So mine was Brenna in the Hat.

Here's what the boys did:


And the girls...

We had the best time!  Next year I want to include a little more with small group activities, but whew this was a busy day!  There just isn't enough time...EVER!

Some of my favorites....

  • Hop on Pop (-- Top 2!)
  • Red Fish, Blue Fish
  • Wacky Wednesday
  • Horton Hatches the Egg
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
  • There's a Wocket in My Pocket (--Top 2!)
And yes, we read them all!  :o)  Can't wait till next year! at peace, and all will be well...