Showing posts from November, 2012

How to Keep Kids On the App of Your Choice

I love using iPads and iPods in my classroom, but keeping kids on the app that I have designated for the day has been almost impossible without an adult to keep an eye on them- until I learned about a wonderful feature called GUIDED ACCESS .  A participant at the Catholic Ministries Conference in Dallas told me about Guided Access in October, and since then I was eager to try it out so that I could tell you all about it.  She said that all I had to do to use Guided Access on my iPad or iPod Touch was to make sure I had fully updated the operating system to version iOS 6.0 or later.  All I had to do was download it and that it would probably take about an hour. My heart sank, because the way she described it sounded terribly confusing to me and “techy.”  If it was that hard, how would I manage it with six iPads in the room?  And furthermore, how in the world would I be able to explain it to all of you?  As far as I was concerned, it was a deal breaker, and in my mind, I just let

Fall Bulletin Boards to Crow About!

I just LOVE fall, and fall bulletin boards are fun to make!  So when I saw this project that Hadar from Miss Kindergarten made with these scarecrows and crows, I just couldn’t resist!  I  love the way it turned out, so I thought I would share it with you here.  You can pick it up in her TPT store .  No, she didn’t twist my arm or ask me to share this with you; I just decided to do it myself! We only made one of the crows, and we decided to use white stickers rather than have the children cut out the white circles.  I also really prefer to give children squares and rectangles and have them cut off the corners to make circles and ovals, so we did that rather than xerox her masters for most of it.  We did use the masters she provided for the hat and the hands, feet, and cuffs, though, since those are not circles or ovals. It’s really nice that this project creates a frame for the children’s writing, since we are supposed to always display the children’s writing now an

Teaching Holidays Around the World, Plus Tips for Using Google Earth with Young Children

Do you teach Holidays Around the World?  Here is an EASY way to teach it, and combined with the wonderful tool of Google Earth, your kids will LOVE it!  My kids really did!  There’s no prep, and you won’t need to go to the library or book store to try to find ten different books on ten different holiday traditions.  (Those books are almost ALWAYS way too long for the children to sit through anyway!)  Sound good?  Keep reading! Many years ago when I was a brand new teacher, one of the teachers I worked with gave a folder with some Christmas Around the World coloring pages.  There was one coloring sheet for each of six or seven different countries, and they featured a Christmas holiday tradition on each one.  She told me that one of the teachers at our school had drawn these pictures for the children to color, and that what I was supposed to do was to talk to the children about each country’s holiday traditions and show them the picture.  Then the children could color it as a fol

Helping Kids Learn to Solve Problems Without FIGHTING

*Note: This blog was written in 2012, and updated in 2022* This year, I have been blessed with a talkative, but sweet group of 28 children!  Yes, there are 28 of them!  But we are now at the end of our first trimester of Kindergarten, and we have hardly had any fist fights, pushing, or kicking, etc.   We have had some other small problems- especially with children forgetting to raise their hands before talking, a little bit of mischief and silliness here and there, but hardly any problems with fighting!  I am not entirely sure if this is just a result of luck or pure coincidence that we have not had too many problems of this nature as compared to past years, but I would like to tell you what I am doing differently this year and you then can judge for yourself.   The Classroom Management Collection  helps a lot to reinforce the rules. And we now have an ANIMATED version! (Pictured above is the old version!) If you have been following my blog for at least a couple of mont

Morning Routines That Really Work for Pre-K and Kindergarten!

A few weeks ago, a teacher asked me to describe my morning routine, and this is a question that is asked of me from time to time.  And while I have posted my daily schedule, I have not really described very well how I get my class started each morning.  So this blog post will tell you how I generally PLAN on starting off each day- not that every single day goes as planned, of course!  You never really know what is going to happen each day when you open up the door to all of your little sweeties, do you?  That is the wonder of teaching; each day is filled with new challenges that are similar in nature but still entirely new and keep you thinking on your feet every minute of every day.  It’s an exhausting, but wonderful job! AND… I am so happy to tell you that Krista in the HeidiSongs office has been working very hard this week and has already completed the second set of Hidden Sight Word Worksheets!   This set includes worksheets for all of the words that are on Sight Words 2,