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HOPE

Happy New Year! 

This year I choose HOPE as my #OLW.  


As I think of what I would like to focus on this year, I think of HOPE. My heart yearns for HOPE as I move forward this year.

HOPE for my family. HOPE for myself as a wife, mother and educator. HOPE for my students. HOPE for our future in these uncertain times.

I have always been a dreamer and believer that anything is possible.  May HOPE be my guiding light in the new year.


STEM Resources for Little Builders

Are you trying to integrate more STEM into your classroom?  

Me, too!





I've gathered a collection of STEM resources for littles builders.  These are some of my favorite items for the classroom.


TECHNOLOGY FOR LITTLE BUILDERS 
Our students are digital natives. We know that they are using technology in and out of the home. Why not give them the best technology has to offer! These tools will challenge your students in new ways. 



Bloxels allows you to create your own video game by creating your own character using the Bloxel blocks and the Bloxel Builder app. This game combines both physical building and interactive online play. 

I am excited to use Learning Resources Code & Go Robot during Hour of the Code.  This little bot is a perfect way to introduce coding to my students.  

PlayOsmo has been a classroom staple for a few years. The games allow for collaboration and increases in difficulty. Tangrams and Words are classroom favorites.


ENGINEERING FOR LITTLE BUILDERS
STEM is all about constructing and creating. That is what I love about it.  These engineering tools have endless possibilities and uses.


Snap Circuits are an oldie but goodie. It is great for someone who likes to discover how things work. 

If you are working on force and motion, a Marble Run is a must have tool.  

Brain Flakes, Squigz, ETI Construction Toys, and MagnaFormers are perfect for open ended building. These toys are fantastic for the engineers in our classroom. 

Lastly, don't forget everyday items like cardboard boxes, paper, and other recyclable household materials. They are great for many STEM related projects that your students might work on throughout the school year.  

What I love the most about all of these STEM resources for little builders is that they help students become creators and thinkers.  We all know that this is what our students need the most; opportunities to shine.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links.  

#BeYou


#BeYou.

Seems easy. But, sometimes it is hard.

When I began this blog six years ago, it was fun. It was carefree. It was easy.

But, then, it became complicated. 



I began to question myself. Is my content worthy? Do teachers like me? Am I good enough?

This in part is why I have blogged less and less.

But, I miss it. I miss sharing #thegood that is happening in my classroom. I miss having an outlet to tell my story with my students.

So, I've decided to tell #mystory.

This blog will be my outlet to share my teaching journey. It may not be picture perfect or Pinterest worthy but it will be real.

And, if you are still reading....Thank you!

Thank you for spending a bit of your time here. I hope that you find something that inspires you in some way because that is what you have done for me. I am a better teacher because you.  So, thank you!

One last thought....

#BeYou

Integrated Technology with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a timeless classic used by many in kindergarten and first grade classrooms.  

This year, I am adding a technology twist inspired by my reading of The HyperDoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps. 



I have created a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom hyperdoc which my students will use in Google Classroom. Students will watch a video of the story, sort letters in their name and even sing the alphabet song. This extension activity will be completed in small groups with me guiding them through the process as this will most likely be one of our first activities using Google Classroom and #GAFE tools.  

I am excited to see what other integrated technology lessons I create inspired by our learning.


Read Alouds For the First Day of Kindergarten

A new school year is almost here.  These are some of the books I will read on the first day of Kindergarten.  I selected these books because they are engaging and kindergarteners can easily identify with the characters.

INTERACTIVE BOOKS
I want my kindergarteners to know that they are readers; even on the first day of school. These engaging, short interactive books get students to actively participating.

Fairly Fairy Tales by Esme Raji Codell is my favorite choral reading book. Within the pages, we find a little girl and her mother reading a bedtime story. Along the way, we discover a story that combines a mixture of questioning and fairy tale characters with a modern twist.
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Press Here and Mix It Up by Harry Tullet have readers interact with the book. With each page turn students eagerly await what will happen next. This is a perfect book to use if you want to also teach carpet or rug expectations. Often, even my most squiggly of students, will sit up tall and raise their hand to have a turn.

The songs and videos of Pete the Cat books are just right when your students need a bit of movement and fun. It's all good when you have Pete the Cat by your side on the first day of kindergarten.



FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL BOOKS
I want to acknowledge my students feelings about the first day of school.  For many of my kindergartners, this is the first time that they have been away from home for an extended period of time. These books help to ease and comfort them.


Dad's First Day is a great read if you have parents in the room with their child on the first day. They will be able to relate to the mix of emotions Oliver's dad is feeling.

In I Don't Want to Go To School, Simon says "No way!" to going to school. But as he discovers, school is a fun safe place to learn.





CLASSIC KINDERGARTEN READS
I also make sure to share a few "classic" reads that students may recognize from preschool if they attended.  No, David!, Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom are always within reach on the first few days of school. They are great for teaching many concepts and are timeless classics.

What are your must read books for the first day of kindergarten?

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