Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year, New Ideas, New Freebie

I still can't believe how quickly the time has gone! We are half way through the school year....can you believe it?!? I always feel so old when I talk about how time flies, but it is true!  Time seems to slip away quicker and quicker each year. 

I don't usually make New Year's Resolutions but this year I did.  I have decided to try and spend more quality time with my family.  I spend lots of "time" with them, but over the holidays I realized that a lot of it isn't "quality".  The kids are in the room and I'm cleaning or making dinner, or reading emails on the IPad, but I'm not really "there" with them.  So this year I am going to make a conscious effort to put down the broom (our world will not fall apart if the floor doesn't get swept for a day!) and just be there and enjoy and play with my two beautiful children.  Since making the resolution, we have been on so many more walks and we have had such fun just playing on the floor together.  It has been wonderful!

So I am making that same resolution in the classroom.  We do a lot of work, but I'm going to make sure that all of the work that we do is "quality" work so that we have more time to play.  Play is so important and I think sometimes that is forgotten....not just structured play, but good old-fashioned run in fields, build fairy houses, and get dirty kind of outdoor we used to do when we were kids!

Yesterday we read the book  "Squirrel's New Year's Resolution" by Pat Miller.

If you don't know it, it is a great book for New Year's Resolutions.  I shared my resolution with them and then they created the most wonderful, thoughtful and insightful resolutions themselves...I wasn't sure what I was going to get, but almost every child had a different thing that they wanted to work on...and they were pretty dead on with areas that they struggle with.  I had everything from "I want to read more books" to "I will learn how to swim without a floatie" to "I am going to be nicer to my mom" to "I will put my toys in my toy box more" to "I won't argue with my cousin as much".  I love Kindies...they are so cute, yet so self aware. We partner talked about their resolutions and I think that really helped them figure out what they needed to work on this year.  When they are all done, we shared them in a "Talking Train".  I love love love talking trains!  You put kids in two rows, side by side (so two kids are sitting shoulder to shoulder with the next two behind the first two and so on).  The kids love getting on the talking train!  I have a little toy whistle that I blow and call out "All Aboard!"  That's the cue for partner A to talk and share their writing.  B listens.  I give them a warning when it is almost time to switch to partner B's turn: "train is coming into the station!" so that A can finish up.  Then it is B's turn to comment on A's writing and then share their work.  Did I say that the kids LOVE this?!? It also takes a lot less time than having the whole class share out one at a time!

Here is a copy of the New Year's Resolution page if you would like it.   The picture will take you to my store to download :-)

I have also just made 7 new differentiated math centers and activities for learning the teen numbers.  More on how that goes in my next post...this one is so long already!!  I'm really excited to get using it in the classroom though!

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions this year?  I would love to hear them!
Take care,

1 comment:

  1. I just found out about this book! I'm going to have to read it to my class. Thank you for the Happy New Year printable.

    First Grade Schoolhouse