Monday, April 28, 2014

A Little Spring Recap!

15 weeks down 1 more to go! I can't even believe how fast this semester has gone.  In a week I'll be moving back home for good to student teach again in the fall.  I'll be teaching little Kindergarten babies! Weeeee can't wait!
These last few weeks have been wonderful. When there's a lot that's been going on, pictures tend to be on overload, so I'm sorry for that in advance! My brother and his girlfriend made it back home for Easter this year, so I got some quality brother time in.  My boyfriend, Chad, and myself, the brother, and his girlfriend went to a Husker baseball game. I love baseball season. Like, really love it. 

Easter was spent with my family, going to church, eating delicious food, and (still) receiving Easter baskets full of candy. (Yes, I'm 22 and still get an Easter basket!) 
And just look at him! Seriously, how lucky am I that I get him for a boyfriend?! He's a cutie. 

The next weekend was Kappa Delta's spring formal, which was also my last formal.  Kappa Delta has filled my college years with so many great memories.  This night was filled with good friends, good food, and lots of crazy fun dancing.    
photocred to the friend on the right!

 Saturday night was Rascal Flatts concert- it was SO fun! This marks 4 country concerts with this year with this girl.  She is my concert-goin' friend! 

What a great (and busy) last few weeks at school this as been! Have a great Monday, lovelies!

Friday, April 4, 2014

What's Been Going On in Pre-K?

Y'all, my preschoolers keep it real. Never do they hesitate to tell me that I'm having a crazy hair day, or that I look silly because I accidentally smeared marker all over my face, or that they love an activity I created.  Normally I love to just hear the last one, but hey, you win some, you lose some.

As I start to finish up head teaching, I reflect on how I want to improve.  I really reflect on not letting myself get too caught up in "this is what we have to do" and "this is how I have to teach it" and just LET THE LEARNING HAPPEN.

I wanted to share some of the activities and the "goings on" that have happened the past few weeks with my kiddos.  The child development lab where I'm student teaching currently focuses a lot on child-led learning and less teacher-led.  They also focus a lot on exploring and discovering and gross motor activities.

For literacy, I've read Hot Rod Hamster by Cynthia Lord
This was a great book for getting the children engaged in what they were reading.  The story goes through building a race car for a hamster and the hamster chooses what parts he wants to add to his car.  The kids loved picking out how they would have their car and making the noises their car would make (which, let me tell you, they can make a mean engine revving sound!) After we read the story, we went out into the hallway and had races with scooters.  Some kids raced, some said GO!, and some ran the stopwatch.  This activity was a huge hit!


My kids have been loving to learn with boxes.  We've done everything from exploring boxes, making them into cars, boats, bobsleds (thank you winter olympics), and painting boxes.  We've watched the book on Youtube "Not A Box".  It shows how many different things you can make from a box.  We've had scooter races, planted flowers in boxes, made patterns with boxes, went around campus with the kids and collected boxes, and have even done a sink/float activity in the pool with boxes.  I'm telling you, there's nothing better than a box to play with.  This has definitely brought back the childhood mems.

The kiddos have LOVED (and that is even an understatement) the movie Frozen and they, of course, all know the Let It Go song AND the actions that Elsa does while singing.  I've also had to braid hair a countless number of times. Goodness.  I'm in love with the movie as much as the next, but I don't know how much longer I can stand to hear that song.  Between that and the Everything is Awesome song from the Lego movie, I'm losing it.

I can't believe I only have a month left with the little ones!
Any ideas you've done in your classroom that were a big hit??

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I Have A Confession...

If you were to look at my Pinterest boards you would find out everything about my hopes and dreams, sappy wedding videos that I've literally spent time crying over, sweets I'm going to make, along with workouts I'm going to do after eating those sweets (ha!).
So, I have a confession.  I have recently just hit the 10,000 pins mark on Pinterest.  I think I may have a problem.  For real.  But then at the same time I feel like it's some sort of huge accomplishment.  10,000 pins? That is a lot of dedicated hours and organizational skills to keep up 10,000 pins.  But okay, this is getting embarrassing.  Over my "time well spent" hours of pinning, I've accumulated some favorite pins! Like....

One of my favorite wedding dresses.  I will have this dress. Swoon!

These are SO good! I've made them once but I need to make them again.  Graham Cracker, fudge, chocolate chip cookie bars.

From Pier 1- Burlap and rustic.

I could have just copy pasted my whole engagement photography board because I love them all, but this one is a favorite. 

Homemade I Spy bag!

I will make a farmhouse table one day.  But if I'm being real, the boyfriend will probably be the one making it. (not that crafty!!)

Peanut butter chocolate milkshake.  Perfect combination.

Loving this spring outfit!

If you've followed me for any amount of time you know my obsession with mason jars. Mason jar recipe cards!

This actually is a really good list of products.  I was impressed. 

Whew. I wonder how long it's going to take me to get to 20,000 pins.  Then in actuality I should be saying I hope I never get to 20,000 pins. That would mean I would spend an even more crazy amount of time on Pinterest.  ;) 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

What I've Learned Student Teaching (So Far)


Ahhh spring break.  You were so good to me! Now, it's back to reality and reality was started by teaching my little ones first thing this morning! As much as I was not ready to go back to school, I was extremely happy to see their little faces.  I received lots of hugs and stories about their week long break.  Only one month of school left...where did the semester go?? I'm definitely counting down the days until school ends but as long as I'm still student teaching, I thought I'd share some of what I've learned (so far) this semester teaching preschool.  I know there's still so much left to learn, but I have gained some knowledge!

Okay- maybe not everything, but I find that the children respond much better if you are "talking" to them in a singing voice.  I'm known as the student teacher who can literally make up any song off the top of my head and the kids immediately listen. This is gold, I'm telling you.

When settling a problem with a child, always start off by reflecting to the child what they are doing. 
 For example, if a child is continuing to interrupt during circle or literacy time, start off by saying, "You are really excited to tell me what happened to you over the weekend..."<-- by starting with you, this lets them know you get what they are wanting and you understand them.  Then finish with, "I'd love to talk to you about it when the story is over."

It's ok to mess up!
I can't tell you how many times I've had a "blonde" moment or simply just messed something up.  Just roll with what ever you're doing and adapt quickly and you will be fine.  Or, you could tell the students that "Teacher Katie made a mistake"...and then continue to hear about it for the rest of the day from the kiddos (lesson learned on that one ;))

Don't get so caught up in doing everything "right".  
The kids will sense your nervous or uptight energy and feed off of that.  Relax and focus on creating those meaningful relationships and intentional teachings, and not so much on if you sang the words in a song correctly or set out all necessary materials for a lesson.

I hope my tips can help all you teachers or (soon to be teachers) out! I'd love to hear some of your words of wisdom! I'm definitely still learning how to manage a room full of 3-5 year olds, but I'm completely loving this experience!
Happy Tuesday, friends!