Friday, March 28, 2014

Bring on (all) the new babies!

Today was one of my favorite days of the year again -- Kindergarten Round-Up. I can barely believe it, but this was my 6th kindergarten round-up! I love everything about this day -- the innocence and excitement pouring out of the little ones and being able to share my excitement and passion with the new parents. I especially love seeing the familiar faces in the crowd when parents of former students have new ones to send to school! Some of these little ones were actually born the year I had their big brothers and sisters. So fun!!

This day always make me think and reflect on my job. Even on the difficult years, I fall in love with my class each and every year. By the 3rd and 4th quarters, these kids really "belong" to me -- in fact, we belong to each other. They know how I talk/work/think/do things and I know them so well, I can usually anticipate their actions and answers before they happen. We fit together like a puzzle this time of year. Let's be honest -- they are so well trained. They are so independent, things run smoothly and routinely everyday (except for the occasional speed bumps!), and we have truly become a family.

But, that independence and skill means one thing -- that they can't stay with me for much longer. It's time for those little birdies to leave the nest. 

And every year, I think that I could never love another class like I love this class. But, I always do. 

So, we get ready to usher in our new batch of kinder babies. And, that's exactly what they are at this point -- babies. This year, however, my August will be unique and different than the past 5 have been. As I am welcoming and learning to love this group of other peoples' babies... Tyson and I will be welcoming our own little one. My life and my heart is about to become a whole lot fuller.

I've spent the last 5 years of my life utterly devoted to my job. My job has been my life -- not only my bread-and-butter but also my hobby. I'm not saying it's healthy -- it's probably not -- but I'm not afraid to admit I've been a little obsessed with my job. 

I nearly cried when I found out my due date. Don't get me wrong, we are thrilled about our coming addition, the timing was just a little surprising! The beginning of the year is essential to me. I spend it not only getting to know my students and letting them know me, but also setting up routines, discipline, respect, and expectations within my classroom that will keep us afloat for the year. Without these, our ship will surely sink. No... to be more clear, we would barely stay afloat, but I would be one weary captain!!

But, I have to remember -- they are my babies for one year. This one will be mine for life.

I loved meeting my new little ones today. They will undoubtedly change so much between now and August, but their bright, excited smiles will be the same! At the same time, today not only made me reflect on how much I appreciate and love my current students, but also forced me to look forward to a new, ground-breaking time in my own life. 

August... take your time getting here. This teacher/mama has a lot of work to do!!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cuteness overload!

I have been hoarding cute and funny pictures, stories, quotes on my blog in the "drafts" folder for far too long. Time to clean it out and share all the cuteness.


On our March calendar, there is a four-leaf clover. The kids and I had a talk about how four-leaf clovers are lucky and some people even make wishes on them. So, I asked them what they would wish for, and these were their responses (so darn cute!)

A pony.
A bottle of candy.
Some armor.
I had a flower.
Nice friends.
A pony.
Castle set.
A cat with some kittens.
Another brother because he only has sisters.
The movie, Frozen.
A robot.
A snake.
Another brother.
My favorite food would fall out of the sky -- bacon. [SO AWESOME]
A big sister.
A real sword.


The kids have been kind of mushy lately -- it's actually pretty funny and cute. It might be because of the baby, but the kids have been even more loving than usual. Evidence:

Student 1: "I'm never leaving kindergarten."
Mrs. A: "You're never leaving me?"
Student 1: "Yep."
Student 2: "Y'know what I'm going to do? When I die, I'm going to come back to life and come to this school."
Slightly creepy... but still kind of sweet.


Every Wednesday, we have letter show-and-tell to celebrate the "letter of the week." On that day, the kids can bring something from home that starts with that letter. They LOVE it!

Sometimes, the show-and-tell items can be quite "telling" about their family and home. Letter J show-and-tell day just made me laugh. Two little girls who were sitting right next to each other brought two very different items.

One little girl proudly shared a figurine of Jesus for her show-and-tell. She talked about how this is a very important person at her house (which seriously melted my heart). Oh, the girl next to her? She brought a picture of Jack Black, and made sure to tell us he was also a very important person in her house. I was dying inside - so funny (but maybe a little sad too...)


Mrs. A: "Kinders, don't worry if I sound a little funny today. I just have a cold."
Student: "Oh, I thought maybe the baby was squishing you inside."


I am big on the drama station in our classroom. I rotate the themes about every 2 months to keep it fresh and interesting for the kids. It's perfect for encouraging language, writing, and reading skills -- as well as social interaction, pretend play, and imagination. I LOVE IT!

Right now, our "theme" is the kinder post office. It has been super successful this year. We recently completed a big unit in writing on letter writing. So, the kinders have been applying their new skills at the drama station. They can write letters to each other, stuff them in envelopes, and even address the envelopes. Then, when they drop them in the mailbox, students are able to later "deliver them" to cubbies. They love it!

Well, I have been getting my fair share of cute letters from this station. The envelopes crack me up and the letters inside are adorable!

[Dear Mrs. A - Do you want to come over?]

[Dear Mrs. A - I love Mrs. A. I like how you teach.]

[Dear Mrs. A - You are the best teacher I ever had. The best in the world.]


And lastly, just some cute stuff from the kinders...

[I like the 'Nited State of the America and the people. I like the 'Merican flag and my friends.]

Cutest picture of our class pet -- love the heat lamps on top and accurate drawing of his habitat!

Oh, and the little girls in my class (who love drawing me pictures anyways) have a new favorite thing. Making "happy birthday" cards for the baby. :)

Time for Spring Break... I'm sure the cuteness will be back in full force the next week. :)

Saturday, March 1, 2014

So many questions!

So, the kids have been VERY excited about "the baby in Mrs. A's tummy." It's pretty cute. Everything they say about it just makes me laugh. Their innocent view of life seems to be magnified lately.

Yesterday, we were reading a "Little Critter" book about a new baby (mainly because one of my students is getting a baby brother this weekend). Little Critter was talking about how he was showing the baby his favorite games and books, but the baby wasn't paying attention. One little girl raised her hand and said, "That's because babies have these teeny, tiny little brains. And right after you show them something -- they just forget!" 

I have received some incredibly kind e-mails from my students' parents (current and past) congratulating me on the news. One of my favorites said this:

We are so happy for you!  You are going to be the best mom!  J told me today to tie her shoes extra right so that you didn't have to bend over and hurt the baby in your tummy:). Congratulations!

So cute. But, the BEST of all was an e-mail to my friend and co-worker who teaches kindergarten with me. She was laughing when I came in the door yesterday morning and told me she had to read me the e-mail she just got from one of her student's parents. Seriously hilarious. (I've changed his name to Jack for the story). Enjoy!

Hi Mrs. N,

I need your help!  Jack was excited to share the good news about Mrs. Anderson after school today!  He also was FULL of questions that I didn’t know how to answer!  So I did the best I could in my state of shock and stammered out answers that are not at all based on fact.  When he asked how the baby got in her tummy, I told him that when mommys and daddys love each other, sometimes their love makes a baby.  I know, so wrong but seriously, he’s FIVE!!  I didn’t expect these questions for at least a couple of years, after I’d had a chance to rehearse my answers calmly and correctly.  Then he asked again, "But how did the baby get IN there?"  I just said, “The LOVE!” 

Oh man…okay so then he asked me, “Well how does the baby get out?”  I was starting to sweat by then and continued stuttering. I told him that sometimes mommys need to have an operation and he interrupts and says, “But there’s no opening.”  Finally we just changed the subject.

But what should I have said?!!!  If he asks you, what would you say?  I don’t want him to have all the answers now, he’s too young…but I thought he was too young to ask in the first place.  Help me!!

 Jack's mom

To the parents out there... here's what us kindergarten teachers do. Ask the kids, "Well, what do YOU think?" And when they give you their answer, say, "That's exactly right." :)