Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Learning Carpet....you have GOT to see this!

I discovered this carpet, called The Learning Carpet, several years back.
I.AM.IN.LOVE!
It's amazing!  If you aren't familiar with it, you should definitely click on their website and see the many, many, MANY possibilities this carpet can do for you and your students.
 
 
So what do I need it for?  Well, I am looking to have a defined space in my new classroom (countdown to move in is on....2 more weeks!!!) for a math area.  I would like to house my math manipulatives on a shelf and have this carpet in front of that.  I love all the possibilities that the carpet has to offer...patterning, number sense, graphing, sorting....and then you can use it for your literacy block too....sequencing the alphabet, sound sorts, creating CVC words....the possibilities are endless!
 
So I am reaching out to my friends worldwide to help me....
 
I wrote a blog post back in April about a new Canadian website for teachers called My Class Needs.
It's the equivalent of Donors Choose which is based out of the United States.
Teachers can post things that they would like to have in their classroom and donors from around the world can donate directly on the website to help fund that item.
And which teacher that you know of doesn't need things for their classroom?
Best part is, all donors get a tax receipt for their donation!
 
Click {here} to take you to my project.
 
My first project back in April was for a guided reading table....I was so happy when my table was delivered in May!  I love it and use it daily with my students.  Thank you to all the generous donors.
 
I would really appreciate any and all donations. 
If you do decide to make a donation of any amount to my project, please enter the giveaway below to win $100 to spend in my TpT store!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
 

Friday, October 18, 2013

It's a Construction Site!

I can't believe that we are already half way through the month of October and in nearly 2 weeks Halloween will be here!
 
I've mentioned that I will be moving classrooms in previous posts....now I can finally show some pictures of how the room is progressing! 
You have NO IDEA how long we have been waiting for this.  You see, housing 27 students in a tiny classroom has been very challenging.  So moving to a bigger room, with our own new kindergarten play area and hallway, is so exciting!
A few more weeks and this will be my new room..... (this is only one angle, it's actually really big!)
 
 
I hope to be in the week after Halloween.
Time to start packing!
 
In class this past week, the students were interested in skyscrapers and buildings which was recently sparked by one student who came back from vacation from New York City and was talking about visiting the tall towers there.
I showed the class pictures of the CN Tower, located right here in downtown Toronto, which many of them said they had been to before, as well as other famous structures around the world.  We printed these pictures and hung them at our block centre.
And this is what happened....
 


 
The children began to create skyscrapers on their own!  They were beautiful!
 
I also decided to put out a basket of nuts and bolts (continuing with the construction theme) to see what would happen.  Not only did the children enjoy screwing them together (they were, by the way, all shapes and sizes which made it much more difficult than it looked here!), they also enjoyed taking them to the blocks centre and adding them to their creations.
 
 
Yesterday we took the children outside and viewed the construction of our new classroom from there.  We got a lot of great pictures!  And they couldn't stop talking about it.
So on Monday when they return, I'm putting setting up an invitation for learning all about construction since it continues to tie in so well with our much anticipated move!  Stay tuned....
 
Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Nature Names

Every September, when it's back to school time, we plan some activities we would like our students to create, explore, and have fun with.
Last year, we did rainbow names, where each student glued on coloured pieces of construction paper overtop their name.  They were adorable!

This year we decided to do something a little different with our names.
Part of the Full Day Kindergarten program encourages the classroom to take the role of the "3rd teacher", or a place where each student feels welcomed, safe and comfortable - just not with an abundance of loud colours everywhere.  An idea we are moving towards is making our classroom look and feel much more like our homes.
That being said, I am slowly transitioning out of the loud colours everywhere and bringing in softer things.  For example, the children still decorated their name this year, we just didn't use the colours of the rainbow.
 
We took the children on a nature walk the second week of school just around the school property.  Since we are still under construction (my new classroom should be ready in a few weeks time, fingers crossed!) we didn't have far to walk.  I was a little hesitant taking the children outside for the first time, but we talked about the rules - everything from staying with the group to not harming nature (such as flowers still growing) - and it worked out beautifully!
We gave the students some large bags and baskets and had them think about items from nature to collect to use to paste over their name.
 
And this is what we got....


Beautiful!

Sorry that this next picture is so far away.  We displayed each name on the large wall at the back of my classroom.


I just started taking a course every Tuesday (until December) entitled Kindergarten Part 1.  The instructor, Joanne Babalis, is fabulous and has a very inspiring blog, My Classroom Transformation.
This idea was taken from her classroom blog.
If you are looking for a FDK classroom that embraces the idea of child-centered, nature-based, holistic environment, then you have to visit Joanne's blog.
It is truly inspiring!

I can't wait to share with you some of the other transformations taking place in my classroom!
More pictures to come!