Saturday, September 15, 2012

"What's My Name?"

    Alright, it is time for me to get focused and get this school year off to a great start!
     I have been so focused on the Chicago Teacher strike and have spent my evenings keeping updated on all of it via Facebook, and text message/calls to my teacher friends in Chicago. 
    As of today, things are looking okay. Progress has been made, there is a framework for a FAIR contract, and the teachers of Chicago have found Solidarity with teachers (especially inner city teachers) all over the nation.... Very inspiring! =)
    Well, seeing as I am no longer a Chicago teacher, I am not on strike, and it has been work, work, work for me!!
    Week #2 had its challenging days (and when I say days,  I mean challenging ALL DAY!.) But it wasnt all bad and I think for the most part my little munchkins are getting familiar with our daily routine! =)
    Anyhow, here are some additional pictures of my classroom. 
    I have now introduced most of my centers, with the exception of the Writing Center (it is still under construction) and all centers are available for Free Choice Time!  Yay!!
    House Keeping/Kitchen:        
    Math & Science Center:
    The feature activity was Magnet Play. I took some random magnets and then used a glue gun to glue magnet dots onto buttons and pom poms.
    I really enjoyed watching their faces as they explored the magnets Some children even discovered that the magnets stuck on the legs of the table and on the file cabinet!
    Art Center:
    Every 3 days in the past 2 weeks, we have switched activities in the center and showed the children how to use the tools (such as glue , paper, play-doh) and how to properly clean up the art center. The activities were the usual favorites: Play-Doh and Collages.
    Listening Center:
    This is the one center that I need to spruce up! Thanks to my renewed teacher account with Scholastic Book Clubs, I hope to build up my Listening Center library this year!
    So there is my classroom!  I will try to get a large snapshot of the whole room. Oh, and the ONE center I forgot to take pictures of is our Sand/Water Center!!

   Anyhow, aside from learning the rules of the classroom and getting accustomed to our Daily Routine, our focus has been name recognition.
    Here is our Morning Attendance Check In Chart:
     I had each child decorate their own name tag with all sorts of stickers, in hopes that it might help them to recognize it more quickly. And for the most part, they have been doing a pretty good job during Morning Check In.
    I also made some simple name puzzles with their pictures and as they completed the puzzle, I asked them to attempt to write their name on another sentence strip.
(For the ones who had no clue, I wrote their name in pencil and demonstrated how to trace over the letters with a marker.) This activity enabled me to observe how each child utilized writing tools and allowed me to see which children are going to need some additional fine motor practice.
   With just observing the munchkins in centers everyday I have gained a good sense of where they are in their development, in each area.
   It's a good start!! =)

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