11 Questions from Alyce at Mrs. Bartel's School Family:
1. What is your favorite classroom "tool"?
My favorite classroom “tool” is the internet and the Promethean board and that I can access just about any information I want to pass to my kiddos.
2. What is your most successful classroom management strategy?
Strategies I have adapted from Whole Brain Teaching. I use some of the ideas under the tab: 1st steps. I say “class” and students say “yes.” I say it in different ways, like “classity-class,” and they have to respond in like, such as “yessity-yes.” Sometimes I say “yo class” and they have to say “yo yes.” Whole brain teaching is where I took my five classroom rules from also. I took what my cooperating teacher and her teaching partner used last year almost exactly, I changed the order a little. My five rules are: 1) Listen when the teacher is talking. 2) Follow directions quickly. 3) Raise you hand to speak. 4) Be safe, be honest. 5) Respect others, respect yourself, respect your school. When students don’t follow the rules, they have to practice them. We just started a ticket system to go with the rules. This just started today so I don’t know yet how it will work. I was spending a lot of class time writing down names of students and what rules they have to practice. Starting today, students had to “pull a ticket” and fill out their name, circle the rule they need to practice, and circle a sentence that describes their situation. Today, a LOT of tickets were given out. One student got 4 tickets. Another student found it to be intimidating and revealed to her how many times she really does break the rules in a day.
3. When did you start blogging?
I began this Kindergarten blog in September of 2012. I have done some personal blogging previously because I love to write, it is cathartic for me. Somehow blogging is cathartic.
4. What grade do you teach and how long have you taught this grade?
I teach Kindergarten and am a first year teacher. I student taught in Kindergarten and loved it. I love teaching Kindergarten!
5. How do you incorporate technology in your classroom?
Currently I incorporate technology by using the promethean board a lot. I download a calendar from Promethean Planet every month and adapt it to our needs. I use the internet to search for projects all the time and, of course, Pinterest. Pinterest, support using Skype, and interschool communication are not necessarily incorporating technology into the classoom. Calendar is the biggest daily use of technology. We use technology to look up information and find pictures and on rare occasions we might listen to Pandora. We use YouTube for wiggle songs. I love the funwithteaching videos, but lately we’ve been grooving to “If You’re a Kid” and “The Color Song” by hookedonphonics. I love the color song, I make the kids play their guitars, keyboards, and drums.
6. What is your favorite professional book?
Harry and Rosemary Wong’s First Days of School.
7. What do you like to do in your free time?
I am a single Mom and a first year teacher in a new town that is over 300 miles away from my friends and family. I don’t have free time and I don’t really remember what it was like! If I did have free time I would read a novel (or two or three), go to the stock car races, play games with my girls, craft or scrapbook.
8. Do you give your students a present for Christmas? If so, what is it?
I got my students books from Scholastic. I think every child in the world should get picture books for Christmas no matter what their age and Scholastic has some really good deals.
9. Do you have traditions or rituals in your classroom? If so, what is it?
I don’t have any real traditions yet. We do cheers (is that Kagan?) and one of the biggest morale boosters for my kids is the silent cheer. Especially at times when they are not sure if they should be applauded or not and then I do a silent cheer for them (since it’s silent I can do it in about any setting) and they light up like a firecracker on the Fourth of July. The tradition I would like to start is to eat lunch with students for their birthday.
10. What is your favorite book to read aloud?
Just one book? Seriously?! I can’t pick. Chrysanthemum is one. I love all of the Froggy books, and I love to do “voices” and I have the students “read” with me whenever it says “Fr-r-o-o-o-g-g-g-y-y-y-y!” Oh... I almost forgot! Junie B. Jones is great to read aloud and I just read Spencer’s Adventures: Hair in the Air and the students LOVED IT!
11. What is your favorite subject to teach?
It’s all amazing in Kindergarten, but I love, love, love reading and teaching reading; which is pretty all-inclusive in Kindergarten. Reading it is.
11 Random Facts about Me:
1. I love my little red dachshund and my old fat cat.
2. Artichoke dip is a little bit like heaven. We have to have it in order for Christmas to arrive at our house.
3. I did daycare for almost 5 years so I could be home with my now sixteen year old daughter. I met some amazing people that way, and the last year I did daycare I kept almost all teacher’s children. (and this is how I met Alyce at Mrs. Bartel's School Family!)
4. I LOVE the dirt track races!
5. I love Harley Davidson motorcycles and aspire to own one in the future.
6. Chocolate chip cookies are wonderful and can cure just about anything. Fortunately for me, I make the best chocolate chip cookies in the world. (Little known fact).
7. Math is not my friend.
8. I never thought I would be a school teacher because I wasn’t a very good student so I waited until I was 40 to go to school for Elementary Education.
9. I am a single Mom to 3 amazing girls and one phenomenal grandson and now a granddaughter (and a Son-in-law) have joined our gang.
10. I love going to see my students every day.
11. I like to draw. I am not super talented, but a little, and it is fun to be artsy.
11 Questions for my nominees:
1. When did you start blogging?
2. What is your favorite holiday?
3. Do you give your students gifts? If so, what?
4. Do you have rituals or traditions in your classroom?
5. What is your favorite teacher store?
6. What is your favorite genre of music?
7. What book do you recommend reading for enjoyment?
8. What book do you recommend reading for professional development?
9. Where in the United States do you recommend for a vacation or get-away?
10. What is your best classroom management strategy?
11. How do you use technology in the classroom?
Blogs I am nominating:
1.Nancy Nolan's Kindergarten
2. KC Kindergarten Times
Um.... I can't find any more blogs to nominate. I pin a lot of things on Pinterest and I have added some blogs to my favorites and I have a few I follow but I don't have many that have less than 200 followers. The one I have (Nancy Nolan's Kindergarten) could be a case of not reading the numbers right, but I am pretty sure there are only 46 followers listed. It looks like it should have many, many followers because it is a very fine blog. So check it out! Perhaps I can add to my nominees as I find more blogs to follow that have under 200 followers.