Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy 2013!!

Can't believe it's 2013!  This is my 19th year anniversary as a teacher!  WOW!  It's hard to believe I've been doing this for that long, but I still love it! :)  Never a dull moment and each year brings fresh changes and a new batch of kiddos to enjoy!  When I think back starting out as a young 22 year old, I see how much I've learned and how my education philosophy has grown.  I went to a college that was very whole language with a bit of phonics sprinkled in.  I love the theme approach, but I knew that I wanted to teach with more phonics when I got out there.  I started in Jan. at SWCS taking over for a teacher who was leaving to have her first baby.  I had the joy of teaching right next door to my Mom, and got to do that for 14 years while I taught first!  We had SO much fun together!

While teaching first, I fell in LOVE with the Abeka phonics curriculum!  The "special sounds" help kiddos read and spell so well!  The other day, I pulled out the Dolch sight word list, and once you know the special sounds, it cuts that list down to like 60 some words.  Anyway, it's safe to say, I'm sold on Abeka!

After 14 years in 1st, an opening came up in Kindergarten/Pre-k, and I was offered the job.  I knew God had already been working on my heart to move, because the desire was there even before it was offered!  I pulled out my favorite book, "Creative Activities For Young Children" by Mary Mayesky and started re-reading what a developmentally appropriate K/Pre-K room would look like.  I wanted to include music and movement, poems, appropriate play areas, crafts, and of course Abeka academics.  That summer was a whirl wind!  Between two planned trips, one to Chicago and one to Yellowstone, and the cleaning out of two classrooms, my summer was busy!

Five years later, it's safe to say, I LOVE teaching Kindergarten!  I've seen how important it is to have a varied classroom with academics mixed with learning through play.  The silly songs and poems we learn help the kiddos to become readers with expression and fluency.  The Abeka curriculum provides just what they need to be successful learners.  Kindergarten is a busy place full of fun.  Yes, at times it's a bit noisy and messy, but it's controlled , and learning should be fun!  I love listening to the kiddos in centers as they discuss and learn together, or watching that light bulb go on during academics when they finally get that concept!  So, here is looking forward to a GREAT 2013 and all the fun learning that will be experienced!  Beach day and 100th day are coming soon!  I've been pinning some new ideas!

Happy New Year, and Happy teaching!

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