Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Are they ready?

I just got back from a informational roundtable about the latest kindergarten readiness assessment that our state is looking to pilot in the fall and roll out officially the following year. It was a really interesting meeting that brought up a lot of excitement about the possibilities of a common assessment as well as concerns about how this will really look...Who will give the assessment? Will it be done before the school year starts? How will we find the time to fit it in if the assessment falls on the plate on the classroom teacher?

One thing that REALLY surprised me was that only 6 kindergarten teachers were at the meeting, 4 of which were from my own district! This could be a potentially huge development in kindergarten and classroom placement, yet the majority of people at the meeting were early childhood specialists. Do you find this odd, or it it just me? I think this is mostly due to the fact we only found out about the meeting (or the possibility of the assessment even!) last week. Most teachers are busy with their own family lives on a tuesday evening, so i'm sure a lot of them couldn't make it even if they wanted to.

 I am really concerned that if not enough kinder teachers are involved it could end up being created for the "ideal classroom" and not realistic with the demands already on our plate.

I really enjoyed being a part of this roundtable and felt like our notes and opinions were taken into account, but am still a little nervous about how it will all turn out.

The council began this process in january and are implementing it with little time for change or feedback. I am crossing my fingers that it turns out to be a positive READINESS assessment and not another kindergarten assessment for the teacher to add to their testing agendas.

I am dreaming of something that can be done before the school year starts and help evenly distribute students between classes with valuable starting information on each child.

So this leaves me wondering, What do you do to assess your kindergartner's readiness before they start school?

**P.S. sorry if this is a poorly written post. I tried to keep it coherent but I am running on 3 1/2 hours sleep...Off to bed now!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What would you do?

Can I just say there are 14 days left of school and I am feeling it?! I know this isn't the subject for my post, but I couldn't help it.

Onto the real subject. What to do when your (school) children are being naughty under someone else's care. Another teacher, an aide, their own parent....it drives me nuts! My students have learned what to expect with me. They are not perfect, and neither am I, but they know that misbehaving will NOT be tolerated.

So what do you do when you catch your students misbehaving for someone else? I am always torn between speaking up or letting the person in charge handle it. For instance, it is easy to step in and stop the behavior when it is happening during a parent led lesson or library. But it is harder for me when it is outside of "my control" like before/after school. Like when you are talking to their parents and they are being really disrespectful.

Or what is happening currently in my school. Some of our kinders go to "extended day" letters class (read title 1 interventions) while the rest go home on the bus. I send the letters class off to lunch, put the others on the bus and then it is my prep time for the day. Letters class is taught by our reading specialists and then at the end of their day they listen to a story read by an assistant in the hall outside my room until their bus arrives. This is about 15 minutes. I haven't had them in my "control" for over an hour by that point and recently they have begun acting up big time during the story.

Let me say that it is not just my kids. All Title 1 serviced 1/2 day kindergartners are involved in this story time. Even a few pm kinders arrive early to listen to the story. It is a lot of tired kids, ready to go home and play, trying to sit and listen to a story. The assistant always says "you don't have to listen, but you need to be quiet". needless to say, it is not working. they are LOUD and she is constantly stopping to redirect them. I have gone out there a couple of times to talk to them and told her she can always send them to me, even if they are not in my class. But, it is just getting worse. I feel like i've stepped in but don't want to step on her toes at this point.

But honestly. They are obnoxious and in the hallway. If I was her, I would be going NUTS. heck, I am going nuts just listening to it from my classroom!!

So tell me, what would you do in this situation? Or in general when a student of yours is being disrespectful? Do you step in and stop it at the risk of undermining the adult in charge? Or do you leave it to them and let the naughtiness continue??

I have a feeling the kinders can feel the 14 days left as well...even if they don't know what it means! Sigh...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I've been thinking a lot in the last couple of weeks about how happy I am when the sun comes out and warm weather comes around. It's no surprise that in Oregon there is no shortage of rain or cloudy/cold days, but it might surprise you that we have one of the most beautiful summers you could ask for. Yes, it still rains occasionally during the summer. But I swear it makes us appreciate the sunshine that much more!

This beautiful sunshine usually peeks its head out of the clouds for a day or two during may, but doesn't normally last long until at least June. This year we are extra lucky and it has been sunny with little to no rain for at least a week! I'm talking sunshine and weather in the 70's and 80's! wow!

I find myself in a happier mood and filled with "extra" patience in my classroom. Is this what it is like teaching in warm and sunny places?? Maybe I should move to warmer pastures! (everyone who knows me says YA RIGHT!!)

I'm an Oregon girl born and raised!

I guess I'll just continue to bask in the glory of Oregon sunshine (when it decides to grace us with its presence)

32 days!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Butterfly update

As I got to work this morning I was filled with dread as I walked over to where I had left the butterflies yesterday.

Would they still be there? 

Would they be alive?

I am happy to report that there was only 1 butterfly left in the grass! All of the others had flown to find food or other butterfly fun. I took the lone little butterfly to the nearest rhodie bush with blooms and he seemed to be content. Or at least he didn't fall right off the bloom. phew. 

Crisis averted!

My favorite quotes from the day:
*"I saw one of our butterflies in my backyard! really, I did! I know it was ours!"
* During "fun friday" (yes, he got to go outside!) " Look! our butterfly is over there!" -all the kids ran to see. They swear it was ours.

I love the optimism kindergartners share with the world! It brightens my day! (and so does the 80+ degree forecasts throughout the weekend and into next week! woohoo!)

Hope you all had a happy teacher appreciation week and have a fantastic mothers day! I'd love to give a big shout out to my mom. She is truly the best! I can't imagine a better mom and friend and am so blessed to have her in my life!! Thank you mom for always putting up with me and showing me what true patience and love looks like. I hope to be half as wonderful as you are when I am a mommy!

Happy mothers day to all of my other special friends and family who are mothers!! Grandmas, Sissy, Mother in Law Cathy and everyone else who is wonderful! thank you for all you do!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Butterfly fail

Our class has been patiently waiting for our butterflies to emerge from their chrysalises. As of today 4 of the 5 had come out and looked like they were ready to leave the classroom, but we were waiting on the 5th little guy. Today I noticed that one looked like he was stuck in the tray with cotton ball soaked sugar water...upon further investigation I found the problem...all of the water had evaporated from the balls and it was now pure sticky sugar lining the tray. Oops! I tried to rescue the guy and keep some dignity (I am GROSSED out by touching insects!) but then I got nervous that the new sugar water would cause the same sticky mess.

Our 5th guy came out early this morning and looked pretty happy. Wings dried and he was moving around. I jumped at the chance to let the butterflies go outside at the end of the day so that I could calm my "butterfly suicide" fears and lessen the classroom distractions that have been a daily occurrence.

The class was super excited to let the butterflies free! only problem is, there were no flowers blooming outside! What?! the only rhodie bush that had blooms on it was in the middle of the parking lot, and it was am kinder dismissal time. I was NOT going to go down that route with the kiddos in my class this year!

We let them out by one of the other rhodie bushes and hoped they would fly away quickly. 4 of the 5 immediately fell into the grass. I thought for sure the kids would crush them in their excitement. I sharply reminded them to stay back so they wouldn't step on one by accident. Only 1 flew away. the rest sadly laid in the grass....

The kiddos seemed happy to have let the butterflies go. But after I put the kids on the bus I went back and they were still there. so I left the sugar tray and hoped they would get a little bit more energy up so they would fly away on their own to find real flowers to eat...

part of me is really nervous that when I go to school in the morning they will still be where I left them...not sure what I will do if that happens?!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

OMG it has been forever!

Wow! I thought life had been busy before, but right now it is at an all time high for me! (all mostly good stuff, too!) I haven't even had time to read my favorite blogs, let alone update you all on life in Bee's KinderGarden!

Stopping by for a quick update! I hope to write more soon :)

  1. In the classroom
  • We have caterpillars in their chrysalises! Can't wait for them to come out!
  • Last day of CARE training was yesterday! 5 seminars and lots of hours have made for a really great experience! can't wait to share more on it later :)
  • my mom subbed for my class again yesterday :)
  • I have a new student starting tomorrow! I knew 17 kinders and 1 more for reading wouldn't last! It's still great, though!
  • Gearing up for our fishing trip in june!
  • missing Mrs. Sneaker!!! She had her beautiful baby girl and is out on maternity!
2. Mrs. Bee's life
  • running a 1/2 marathon (my first! can you believe it?) at the end of this month!
  • Got into the Nike Women's marathon half in october with some of my running besties and sorority sisters! This will be my 2nd time running in this race, but thinking I like the 1/2 training WAY better!!
  • Left the restaurant and am now working in the pro shop at the same health club! loving the hours and pace of the new job! Much better for me! (I get home around 8:30 now!)
  • Tonight is my first night on my own in the pro shop! wish me luck!!
  • No longer have our kitty, LONG story but things are so much better for us now!
I'm sure there is a lot more to update on, but that should do it for now! I'm off to get ready for work!

Happy Wednesday!