Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday September 5th

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!  It was my first week back with my new, sweet, class.  Well, not even a full week- only Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with the kids. It only FELT like a full week!  You choose the correct visual:

Here is an overview of my classroom this year that I took this morning just for fun. I guess I've never put a picture of my room on here before.  

My Back to School theme this year for the Kindergarten Picnic was Happy New Year!  I like to have a theme for that night- and leave it for the first week or so of school.  If you want to use that theme next year, try to remember it right after Christmas this year so you can get your New Year's decorations.

You'll notice blowers... Again,  this was only for the one hour picnic at night- NOT the first day of school.  Even then, I would rethink blowers.  It did, however, make the kids HAPPY and excited for school, so I guess it was a win!  It also made parents not want to stay forever in the room with all that honking, so people moved right in and out.  I didn't even plan that, but... The crowns were a quiet hit.

Yesterday, we made school buses, so I traded out the Happy New Year for the school buses. I keep a picture of each child on his/her locker so they remember which one is their locker.  It's HARD to have a locker when you are five! They do great with it.

One of my favorite moments from the Kindergarten Picnic was that I saw this picture from it on someone's Facebook page (that I don't even know), with my bulletin board in the background.  Look at that precious little minion!

We made our Friendship Salad yesterday. That's always one of my favorite things to do the first week of school.
The children sit in a circle, and I tell my friendship story with fruit.  I only use canned fruit with pop off tops. I don't cut up the fruit.  I know some people get very elaborate with this, but I found that the children get the idea of it just as well when I kept it simple.  I used 2 cans of mixed fruit.  I tell the children that this is like the mix in our classroom- girls, boys, tall, short, brown hair, blonde hair- we are all different like the fruit.  Then, I put in a can of sliced peaches.  The peaches are the times when we help each other in the classroom, and are a real "peach."  The next can is sliced pears.  The pears are for times that we help each other, and pair up to make a great team.  The mini marshmallows are the sweet, special times we have in our classroom.  We will have lots of fun times this year.   The Cool Whip is for all the times that we hold hands and stick together, when we stick up for the friends in our class, protect each other, and look out for each other in and out of the classroom. We are a class family.  The nice, yellow banana is when we make good choices and follow our class rules (which we then review...). Then, of course, I pull out the BLACK banana.  I kept it in the refrigerator overnight, so it was nice and gross.  The kids gasp.  Literally.  I tell them that the rotten banana is for bad choices- and give examples of that, as well- not being a kind friend, not sharing, hitting, not taking care of our things...   We decide that we want NO PART of that rotten banana, and they quickly see how that transfers over to our class.  I love it.  You can add maraschino cherries, sprinkles, any other fruit or ideas that you like.  I just like to keep it simple and fast, because the attention spans aren't all that long the second day of school! I send a note home that night, telling the parents all about our Friendship Salad, in case the kids forget.
The highlight of the week was making Dr. Jean's backpacks!  Here is a picture from her blog, showing how she made them. I may have mentioned once or a hundred times that her blog is FULL of fabulousness every day.

The kids had a ball making them, and they're SO easy and fun to make.  They were so excited to go home and tell mom and dad that they had ALL of their friends in their backpacks! I had to feel a LOT of muscles to be sure they were strong enough to carry ALL of their friends.

The part hanging down tucks right up under the top flap, and it looks just like a little backpack!  I let them choose the color of the handle- and this little guy said, "How did you know pink is my FAVORITE color?!" 
I love the little backpack idea. It's another fun way for children to have something to talk about at home.  It's a little overwhelming to remember everything you did all day when you are five! But, when you see a picture of a new friend (or 16 new friends) you may think of some fun things to tell about them.  I sent the backpacks home with this little poem:  (Just click the picture if you'd like a copy.)

You could put any picture inside- rhyming, Christmas wishlist pictures, pets, sight words...  Dr. Jean suggested that you send it home for the children to put a family picture inside and keep that at school with them, in case they ever get a little homesick.  What a sweet idea !

The Reading Bungalow has a great FREEBIE for the new school year at TPT.  It's called Questions to help parents talk about their child's school day.  Sometimes people get stuck with, "How was your day?" This will help the children think more about their days, and hopefully help them answer more than, "Good," "Fine," or "Not great."  I loved it.
Questions to help parents talk about their child's school dayQuestions to help parents talk about their child's school dayQuestions to help parents talk about their child's school day
This week, I posted some of my favorite anchor charts that I like to use in the beginning of the year!
Click on the picture to go see some of my favorites.
We used this morning message this first week. They already have it down!

Here is our "I Can" poster for this year. 

If we had gone out anywhere tonight, I would have worn this...

Have a fabulous weekend! Thanks for sharing my week!


  1. I love all of it! Looks like a great week! Enjoy your weekend and hope you can rest up!

    Learning is for Superstars
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  2. New Year's decorations for back-to-school! Love it! Thanks for the freebie. I was trying to think of something new and different to share at Open House. This will be perfect. Thanks again!
    Laughter and Consistency

  3. That first picture made me laugh out loud. That is definitely how I felt the first week! Love the friendship salad-we may have to do that in our class. :)

    Not Just Child's Play

  4. Love the bunny who lost his The backpack craft and poem are so cute. Thanks so much for sharing. Looks like you guys had a great start to the school year!

    Luv My Kinders

  5. I want that sweatshirt!!!!! I love the poem, Carolyn! Perfect! I'm sending it and the "Going Beyond Did you have a good Day?" home next week in my parent letter. Wonderful!

  6. All of those pictures at the top are me this week! Haha! I also need that sweatshirt. I took a nice long nap today. :) Your classroom looks adorable and I love those little backpacks!

    Hope you're enjoying the weekend!
    A Sunny Day in First Grade


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