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2.2.23

You can take a teacher out of Kindergarten...

 But you can't take the Kindergarten out of the teacher.

I felt like I was standing at the edge of a cliff... with a choice... I could turn back - continue doing what I've always loved, what I was comfortable with, what I had worked so hard to perfect and establish... OR... I could jump into the unknown, try something completely different, and stretch my wings... I chose to jump...


Last May I left my position as a primary (K-2) teacher and transferred to fourth grade, which, in my district, is housed at the middle school along with fifth through eighth. After 20 years at the same wonderful school I decided now was the time to jump. 

So many factors went into making this decision... from knowing I'd able to drive my own children to school, to feeling the call to push myself professionally. But, mostly, I just felt in my heart that I needed change. The last 2.5 years have been hard on everyone, but this online Kindergarten teacher found herself burnt out. My candle blazed hot during the Covid years as I worked so hard to provide for more students. I count those years as some of my most successful and fulfilling years in education. But, as my candle burned so bright I failed to notice the wick was slowly running out, and at the end of the 21-22 school year I found myself discouraged and struggling.

Thankfully, I was able to make a change. I'm putting my reading expertise to new use as a fourth grade reading teacher. I'm expanding my technology-teaching prowess by using Google Classroom. For the first time, I get to teach one of my own children as I join my youngest son in fourth grade. I'm excited about school again. My spark has been reignited and I'm looking forward to my 21st year in teaching with great anticipation.

As I was pondering my career change someone told me, "You know, kids are kids... fourth graders may be bigger, older, and smellier than Kindergarteners, but they are still kids. If you meet their needs, love them, and challenge them, they will grow."

And you know what? They were exactly right! 

Since making a career change I have found I am less stressed, more connected with my family, and newly inspired as a teacher. All areas of my life have improved! All areas EXCEPT my online teacher-presence.

I have been "silent" online because I don't ever want to portray or promote anything other than what I am... and currently I am NOT a Kindergarten teacher. Since most of my online presence involves Kindergarten resources and ideas, I just haven't felt "right" about continuing to promote that part of my teacher-self. So, I've just put 21st Century K on the backburner while I sort things out in my head and in my heart.

And I've finally come to a couple of new realizations...

1. My Kindergarten resources are STILL RELEVANT and useful in the 21st Century Kindergarten classroom! How do I know this? Because MY HUSBAND IS A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER and he uses 21st Century K resources in his classroom EVERY SINGLE DAY! So, although I am not personally teaching Kindergarten this year, I have a close teacher-ally still putting all my Kindergarten ideas into practice. 😉

2. I am still a Kindergarten teacher at heart - the content may be more rigorous and specialized (I teach reading), the students may be older (and louder), and the grading/scheduling may be (way) different, but in the end Kindergarteners and fourth graders aren't all that different. And the values I held onto as a Kindergarten teacher are still my values today - I still believe in age appropriate integration of diversity, technology, STEAM, play, and Calendar Time!

So, I've updated my logo, I'm adding upper elementary resources to TpT, and I'm excited to continue sharing my teaching journey and the parallels between primary and upper elementary.




16.4.22

Kindergarten Lesson Plans Spring Plants

Let's do this, Week 33! We are ready to learn all about plants this week and celebrate our Earth on Friday!

3 Big Goals:

Sub Plans for 2 Days (I'm taking my daughter on a school trip!)

Sprout Some Lima Beans

Start Prepping EOY Scrapbooks

Famous Words: 

"We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors... we borrow it from our children." 

-Native American Proverb

This week we will learn all about plants in spring time along with the life cycle and parts of a plant. We'll make tulip art and will sprout lima beans! At the end of the week we will celebrate Earth Day and that will kick our our study of natural resources and ways to take care of the environment next week. In core math we will continue our unit on the base ten system.  We've been reviewing this concept for awhile in calendar so it should be easy to understand. In literacy we are pressing on with Saxon PhonicsHeggerty Phonemic Awareness, and with basic sight words. 

There are so many picture books that are perfect for this week!

21st Century K Resources for the Week:

 

4.4.22

Kindergarten Spring Animals Lesson Plans

Spring Break is over and it's time to finish the year strong! We have only 6 weeks of school left - I can't believe we are in the home stretch of the school year! But, it's not the time to let down. This week we will introduce a new behavior incentive that's sure to keep everyone on track.

3 Big Goals:

Spring Break Reset

Introduce Desk Pets

Egg Hunt!

Famous Words: 

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!" -Robin Williams

As we return from Spring Break and gear up to finish the school year it's so important to maintain consistency and continuity so that student behavior and engagement doesn't spiral out of control. I will introduce our school-wide currency system as well as our "Desk Pet Shop." Students will be able to save our school "paws-i-tives" to earn pets, their homes, and their accessories. It's a wonderful way to refresh engagement and manage minor behaviors when everyone is excited for summer, but the year isn't quite over yet. Are you looking for ideas to reset your class after spring break? The CLICK HERE to check out my blog post with tons of options! In core math we will begin our unit on the base ten system.  We've been reviewing this concept for awhile in calendar so it should be easy to understand. In literacy we are pressing on with Saxon PhonicsHeggerty Phonemic Awareness, and with basic sight words. 

These are a couple of my favorite funny spring and Easter books!


21st Century K Resources for the Week: