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Monday, September 24, 2012

Wow.. Time flew

I can't believe it has been over 3 weeks since I posted last.  I have to figure out how to teach, be a mommy, a wife, a maid, a chef and now a blogger :) 

To catch all of you up, after the first day of school, I did a few more get to know you activities that first week. 

I had my students write a book last year called How To Survive Mrs. Kunst's Class.  Each student got a letter and had to come up with a rule or advice for the next class on how to make it through their year.  Since I have the same students, it was even funnier to read it to the kids this year.  I especially liked reading the one about making sure to compliment my outfits and bring me coffee :)

I did a great lesson using The Important Book.  First I read the book to them and we noticed how the author wrote details about the important things to them.  Then we interviewed partners in the class and found out the important things about our new friends.  The students then filled out a page for our own Important Book.  I took pictures of the partners and then put together a class book.  They loved it!
I also read Oh, the Places You'll Go for our theme this year.  We took large pictures of Hot Air Balloons and wrote 3 goals on them, anything from this trimester to when we were 35.  Then we wrote what we wanted to be when we grow up on the basket of the hot air balloon and added a person into the basket that looked like us dressed up as what we want to be when we grew up.  They turned out so cute.  I put them in teh hallway with some whispy clouds for all to see.


The last book I read that week was The Worry Stone.  It is such an amazing book with beautiful pictures.  After reading the story, I passed around a basket of "worry stones", aslo known as dollar tree rocks, for each student to use as a worry stone.
The next week we got into curriculum and I tried to get used to my new schedule.  It is really diificult to teach in half hour chunks all day.  It makes teh day go by fast but I feel like all we do is get things out and put them away.  We use Scott Foresman for Reading, Reading Street and Envision Math.  I'd love to share ideas of how other teachers use these programs :)
Our skill of the week last week was Cause and Effect.  I did a great lesson on this using clouds, rain drops and rainbows.  All week referring to this visual.  Then on Friday, I read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and we kept track of all of the Cause and Effects we heard and then drew pictures of each one and put them on a poster.  I thought the book might be too childish but my students LOVE stuff like this.  I want to do it every week if possible.  Which brings me to my next question.... what books do you use for teaching Theme?  Such a hard concept for my students to grasp :)  Please share your ideas with me! 
Thank you for sticking through this big gap between blogs and this super long post!  I am really going to try really hard to do this more often!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


What a great first day!  I must say, I have a great group of 26 kids and a student teacher that is working out great!  All but 4 of the kids I had last year which makes things easier and harder at the same time. Easier that things run smoothly, and they know pretty much what I expect and how tod o things.  More difficult in that I can't do everything the same way and have to be a little more creative to keep their attention.  Today was no exception. The kids knew what to do when they came in and helped the new ones to know what to do. But because in my mind they knew what to do, I didn't schedule quite as much time for certain activities, which led to me being behind schedule most of the day.  Oh well, there is always tomorrow!

So I started my day off with interest inventories on their desks.  They put away their supplies and got right to work.  Then I did my expectations powerpoint with the classroom tour.  I then read
and we created a list of things that would give us drops in the bucket and things that would take drips away.  I love this book for how easy the kids can visualize the meaning.  It was then time for a quick snack break and recess, followed by Music class.

When we came back into class, I passed out blacnk lined paper and told them to be ready for a quiz.  They panicked a little.  I then began the test which were all questions about me. Some were true/false, some were multiple choice and some were complete the sentence.

1. Mrs. Kunst went to the local high school, true or false.
2. Mrs. Kunst 's favorite flavor of ice cream is a) chocolate, b) vanilla, c) cookies and cream, d) none, she hates ice cream.
3. If Mrs. Kunst were to go on an all expense paid vacation anywhere, where would she go? a) Europe, b)Australia, c) Florida, d) China
4. Mrs. Kunsts's radio is set to which station in her car a) country, b) pop music, c) rap
5. What does Mrs. Kunst like to do in her free time a) read, b) scuba dive, c) paint, d) cook
6. How many years has Mrs. Kunst been a teacher?
7. How many books did Mrs. Kunst read this summer?
8. How old is Mrs. Kunst?
9. True or false, Mrs, Kunst has never been out of the country.

Then they switched papers and learned how to correct papers in my class.  This is a really fun way to teach this important skill.  Plus it was a fun way for them to learn a little more about me.

By this time it was lunch.  The next thing we did was go through our desks and arrange supplies and make sure our name was on each folder.  I also told them a little about each book or workbook in their desk.  This is when I looked at the clock and about had a heart attack that I had 15 minutes to have them empty their cubbies and practice their afternoon going home routine and tell them about the morning routine.  Choas for sure!  Oh well, most of them already knew right? :) 

Tonight I am feeling sleepy and my throat is sore, but am looking forward to tomorrow.  We start our Oh, the Place You'll Go theme! :)  Check back again tomorrow to see what we are up to!