Sunday, September 16, 2012

The First Week - Oh My!

I forgot how TIRED I would be after the first full week of school! It's really exhausting trying to get back into the swing of working and balancing my 3-year-old's schedule! BUT I survived! I got through the first week and now I have a long weekend to enjoy the holiday with my family and relax a little.

So how was your first week? I tried a few new things this year and I have to say they were AWESOME!! The first new thing I tried this year was A License to Glue from Krissy over at Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business. I LOVE IT!! The kids did such a good job. I've NEVER used liquid glue the first week of school let alone the second day of Kindergarten. The little poem and the activity sheets were awesome. The kids had such a good time with it. Now I only did one page with them because my time was limited, we skipped the page where they had to cut out the shapes and glue them onto one another, but even still... they seemed to REALLY get it! I did learn that because they put a GLOB of glue on their paper I could not use my art drying rack to dry them (the pages bent in half and the glue "poured" onto the floor, oooopppsss!)

The next new thing I did was I started using parts of Whole Brain Teaching... OK I'm not expert on WBT at all. I have watched a few video and read some blog posts but I liked what I saw and thought I'd try it out. Now I honestly only thought I was going to use the rules and the "class-yes" response. BUT I ended up introducing a few more aspects of WBT. I started with a great set of rules that I got from Michelle over at Inspired by Kindergarten. I LOVE these rules and so do my kids!! We made up hand movements to go with each rule, some of the movements I got from watching WBT videos and others I made up on my own. The kids are really starting to own the rules! I love her way of keeping track of how the kids are behaving using the rules, but I have not yet incorporated that into my room. Once we established the rules I introduced the "class-yes" response. It's taking a little while for me to get used to using this response, but it does seem to do the trick. Honestly I think I could have done any response but I like that this is short and quick. I often find myself attempting to grab my kids attention with other words and realize that they aren't listening, then I remember to use "class-yes" and poof their eyes are on me and they are listening! The next aspect I taught was "hands and eyes" I think this is the one they are having the hardest time with, but so am I. With our curriculum and how we teach its hard to figure out when to use this since I feel everything is important! BUT I'm sure we will work through this together. After teaching these few things I found myself teaching the scoreboard. I wasn't going to use the scoreboard but I'm loving it! The kids are getting it and on Thursday we had the best day ever!! They were so excited that they beat me. Because of WBT I'm find that I'm trying to talk less and get the kids to tell me what I want them to do. I'm also introducing some small hand movements for certain aspects of our day... Like I said, I'm not doing 100% WBT, I don't think that's possible in my class with our curriculum BUT I am using it in some ways and LOVING it!!

The last thing I want to share with you is a really cute patriotic project I did. *OK I CANNOT FIND THE LINK FOR WHERE I GOT THIS IDEA - SOOO IF THIS IS FROM YOU PLEASE LET ME KNOW SO I CAN GIVE YOU CREDIT!!!* I printed out a large heart onto computer paper. Then thanks to Krissy's great "License to Glue" activity my kids used liquid glue and glued pieces of red, white and blue tissue paper all over their paper hearts! Once they were done I covered them in more glue to seal the tissue paper. Once they dried I cut them out and used a small amount of oil on the backs of them to make them more see-through. I LOVE them!
This is a picture of what they looked like as they were drying BEFORE I cut them. I did learn a few things. Next time I wouldn't have the kids put dots of glue down to attach the tissue paper. I would have them (or myself) "paint" the paper with the liquid glue. I found that for the few kids I did this for, the tissue paper stuck better. It also made it easier for me to cover the tissue paper with glue at the end. I would also wait a little longer to put the glue on top so that the tissue paper didn't crinkle up as much. As for the oil - less is more... it seemed to take a long time to dry and it never really dried completely. But they are hanging up in my room so maybe after a four day "weekend" they will be dry! I'll get some pictures of the finished ones later this week.

Thanks for stopping by... I promise to post some more stuff soon!



  1. So glad you and your class like the rules! This is my first year using them also and I have been VERY happy with my kids' behavior and compassion for each other this year. It's really helped to build community and a clear understanding of expectations while they are at school.

    So glad you let me know about the shout out so I could become your newest follower!

    1. Hi Michelle! Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. Thanks for the shout out Stephanie! The glue secret really does work, doesn't it? Haven't done it yet with my group, but will have to when the glue sticks start running out!

    Mrs.Miner’s Monkey Business

    1. Krissy you are SO welcome! I am in LOVE with your packet and want to shout it from the roof tops and tell EVERYONE to get it and use it! I have NEVER used liquid glue so early in the year and I cannot believe how well your packet worked.

  3. Totally agree! I've used Krissy's tip for the past two years...not this year yet because, like her, I start with glue sticks. Much easier but they are running out as we enter week 4 of school! :) Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I used to stay away from liquid glue as much as possible... not any more! I can't wait to start using all that liquid glue that's been sitting on the shelves untouched!

  4. Love the hearts! They turned out great!

    I am your newest follower! Stop by anytime!
    Reading Toward the Stars!

  5. The first week is always EXHAUSTING! I just found your blog fro Taming My Flock of Firsties giveaway.I am your newest follower. I would love for you to stop by and visit:)

    The Resourceful Apple

  6. Hi Tammy!

    Thanks for stoping by... I just visited your site :)