Alphabet Party!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

To celebrate the fact that we learned all of the letters in the alphabet, we had a two day ALPHABET PARTY!  We did many activities revolving around letters.  We played Letter UNO, we made ABC books and then shared them.  We constructed each letter in small groups.  But the most exciting thing we did was our SECRET LETTER BALLOON POP!

I was so excited for the balloon popping activity and I thought that the kids would remember this for years...well, I was right, but not exactly in the way I had envisioned.  Who knew that I would have so many kids that are intensely afraid of popping balloons!  WHAT????  All the kids were excited when they were given a balloon with a secret letter rolled up inside.  The kids were all smiles until they learned that we would be popping the balloons to find their secret letter.  About a third of the kids burst into tears.  Ok, I can handle this.  We took those kids outside to wait until all the ruckus inside was finished.  My teacher buddy calmed those guys down while the rest of us happily popped away.

So many smiles and giggles and happy kids (finally).  Great fun!  But what?  More tears??  Now I had kids who didn't want to pop their balloons- they wanted to keep them forever!  "But honey, you need to pop it to find out your secret letter."  After lots of coaxing and negotiating on my part all the balloons were popped, the outdoor kids were returned to the group, and all of the kids had a letter in their hand.  The next step was to find their letter match.  Kids had to circulate around and match the capital to the lower case letter.  We had planned to have the pairs put themselves into alphabetical order as the next step, but we ran out of time.  Did I learn anything from the experience?  You bet I did!  Would I change things for next year?  Of course!  Was I exhausted at the end?  Completely!

Valuable Learning Experiences

Friday, October 5, 2012
We are very busy in kindergarten.  Every moment is filled with teaching the core standards, but I have managed to incorporate developmentally appropriate activities into my afternoon rotations.  Every afternoon the kids rotate through 5 areas.  They meet with me for reading/writing/math/science or social studies activities (1), they work with a parent on a project relating to our unit of study (2), they work at their desk completing an activity to reinforce the day's lesson (3), they work on the iPods (4), and lastly, they go to a center (5).  These children chose to work with blocks to build a race track.  They collaborated and came up with a very intricate design then raced cars through the tunnel.  I was very impressed and wanted to share the creativity and cooperation that these kids exhibited.  I feel that activities like this are just as important as all of the other things we have going on in the classroom.
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