Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ipads in the classroom

This year we have 1:1 ipads in all of our kindergarten classrooms thanks to a digital learning grant we applied for last year through our district. I was so excited to have them (and still am!) but had no IDEA how much work it would be?

Why is it that technology never seems to work the way it is supposed to? the biggest challenge has been wireless syncing, so that you don't have to plug in each device one at a time. it is supposed to work like a breeze, but for whatever reason the ipads are always disconnecting or not being recognized. ugh. My patience is slim because of being pregnant, and these issues don't help!

It is a good thing that all of the stress goes away once you see the kinders using them! (or at least it goes away for the rest of the session and comes back as soon as they leave) It has been so cool seeing the excitement in the kids faces when they get to do something as simple as whiteboard applications. they are just so much more fun on an ipad! I am also loving the ipads as a behavior management tool. Aka, you are following my directions? No Ipad. It is that simple!  (Disclaimer: I only take them away if they are doing things they shouldn't be WHILE we are using the ipads, not just as a punishment for negative behavior)

Here are some of the apps we are loving right now. I'm sure we'll add to the list, but here is what I have loaded on the ipads to use on a daily basis.
Line Em Up
Story Kit
Letter School
Hungry Fish

What apps are you loving? what grade do you teach?

Friday, September 7, 2012

First week down!

Has it really only been 4 days? It feels like it has been 2 weeks! :) 

Is it just me or does the first week always feel like a blur? Between the get to know eachother activities, expectations teaching and practice, school tours and re-teaching of expectations it gets a little hazy. I'll give you a quick recap to my week and hopefully as things quiet down I will go back to more detailed posts about lessons I am loving!

Right now 
*I have 23 kiddos. sounds like a small class, but having 18 last year spoiled me! It feels huge!!
*So far I have a great group of eager volunteers!! I am hoping this keeps up! It will definitely help me keep my sanity during this pregnancy! I <3 consistent volunteers!
*There are 2 kiddos who are really testing me right now. I know it will get better, but right now it is hard to see how they will ever shape up. They are also very low academically, so I think it is more of a lack of structured school experiences than anything else. Yesterday when they were sent back to their seats for not listening on the carpet I overheard them plotting their "escape". oh boy...Wish me luck!
*I told the class I was pregnant! They loved it and it was so cute to hear them sharing baby names and predictions  I think this baby bee will make a great topic for brainstorming sessions! Mr. Bee liked the idea of baby name help! too cute.
*We have read MANY books. I love teaching beginning of the year social skills through books. I wish my collection was bigger, but luckily Mrs. Sneaker has an amazing collections that she so graciously shares with me! What are your favorites?
*Although I wished I could be full time, I am definitely happy with half time right now. between the countless extra hours before/after the kiddos leave and my other part time job I am exhausted!! I came home today at 3 and took a 2 hour nap. That would be a lot harder if I came home at 5... :)

How is your start going? How are you handling the ones that just don't quite get it yet. I'd love your feedback!

Happy Friday!!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

What I've been up to

Hey friends! wow, it has been a long time. Wondering what i've been up to (since it is obviously not blogging!) Here is a clue....

Don't all teachers sleep a little bit extra during the summer? Well, usually I would say yes but this summer it was an unusual amount. and when I wasn't napping, I was thinking about napping. Want to know why?? Well, here is another clue...

Yes, I'm pregnant with a baby duckling of my very own!! I'm 12 weeks today and consider myself very lucky to have my only big symptom be being extra sleepy. I'll take it!! 

So what else have I been up to? Besides working on my dye cutting, I have been working in my room to get ready for my cute little kinders who start tuesday (who thinks it is a good idea to start the day after labor day?! NOT ME!) 

Since I am obviously lacking blogging motivation lately I'll leave you with some photos from my classroom that I took today! It is starting to come together :) 
our new ipad setup! In the fancy locker I have ipads for every student! they will each take their ipad out of the locker and put it in their own tub daily. They will keep the tubs at their desk which will hold unfinished work, the ipad and a set of headphones. We got the ipads through a tech grant and will use them primarily in reading but we are so excited to use them in every way possible!! 

my "new" library area. I use this rug less frequently but love to have it set up for comfy reading for the kiddos! We also use it when doing any type of circle/community activity.

my main teaching area. I LOVE this rug!! it is the best management tool ever! seriously, worth every penny!! Thanks Mrs. Sneaker and our co-teaching partner for finding these last year!

my new desk area! I moved it across the room (well, Mrs Sneaker did!!) and am loving the new placement! 

my room doesn't accommodate all the tables well, so this is my "usual setup".  

love having both carpets!

Hopefully the start of the school year and my 2nd trimester with give me an extra boost of energy and blogging inspiration. Until then, my friends...Hope you all have a great start to the new school year!