Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mars Science Laboratory Launch Successful!

Phew! I am so glad it launched on the weekend and not during the week!  I didn't want to have to worry about putting our "safety plan" into place in the event the launch wasn't successful.  (Basically it just involved getting indoors, making sure all doors and windows were closed and shutting off the AC.)

I wasn't able to see the launch from my backyard because of the clouds, but I did hear it.  To see a great video of the lunch, see below.

NASA Video of the launch:
Whoo hoo!  Imagine my surprise today when I checked my blog (I've been neglecting it!) and saw that that Ms. Helms at Work Smart, Not Hard Teaching Kindergarten had given me the Sunshine Award!  Thank you!!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1. Thank the person who gave this award and write a post about it.
2. Answer the questions below.
3. Pass the award to 10~12 fabulous bloggers, link their blogs and let them know you awarded them.

My answers to the questions:
  • Favorite color?      One color...can't do that....I love EARTH TONES.
  • Favorite animal?    Kitty cats, large and small 
  • Favorite number?   6 (the size of my immediate family)
  • Favorite drink?      Non-alcoholic: Coffee; Alcoholic: Gluhwein
  • Facebook or Twitter?  Facebook ...haven't figured out don't want to figure out Twitter (I don't need another addiction); Actually, my favorite is FLICKR...
  • Your passion?   Besides my family....During the school year I dive completely and totally into teaching Kindergarten; On vacations and summertime my passion is photography
  • Giving or getting presents?    Giving.  (But I will be completely honest...I love getting, when it's photography equipment or technology.  Selfish....but they are things I can use to share with the world.)
  • Favorite day?     When I can sleep in!  Or TRAVEL DAY!
  • Favorite flower?  That would probably have to be the sunflower for its symmetry, its strength, its tendency to follow the sun, and it reminds me of Europe)
  • Here are the blogs I am giving the Sunshine Award to.(Oh, this is SOOO hard...I follow HUNDREDS of incredible teachers!!1)
  1. Mrs. Jump's Class - she's the one that got me started on classroom blogging.
  2. KinderGals - I saw Kim at a Kindergarten conference in Orlando and she was great!
  3. Work Smart, Not Hard Teaching Kindergarten - gave me the Sunshine Award AND has some great Ten Frames activities (among MANY others!)
  4. Chalk Talk - Slews of great activities
  5. Kindergarten Crayons - Where do I begin....
  6. A Place Called Kindergarten - Have you seen her Totem Poles? Next year....
  7. Kinderglynn - so creative!
  8. Kleinspiration - such a great resource on educational technology, blogs, all things related to teaching.
  9. Learning With Mrs. Parker - I learn so much from her!
  10. Teaching Blog Addict - I don't know if this characterizes as a blog that I can award, but it is a blog....even if it is a compilation of great blogs!
  11. Peace, Love, and Kindergarten - as a child of the sixties, you gotta love a blog with this title!  Seriously, great ideas on this blog!
  12. Pocket Full of Kinders - love watching her metamorphosis

Sunday, November 13, 2011

If It's Broken, Fix It!

My class website, which I've had for years, finally "broke".  I don't know if it's that I am using FrontPage 2002, and it doesn't work with my updated OS or what happened.  But I am tired of trying to figure it out.  So, I opted to make a class blog instead.  I don't feel I have the freedom to be as creative with it, but I do like features of a blog that you don't have with a regular website such as RSS feeds, widgets, etc.  Now, I know that if I do a search, I could find software that makes a more modern day website which would allow for the best of both worlds, but until then, here's my class blog:  Mission Kindergarten! 

I decided NOT to make the URL have the name in it just in case I want to change the name of the blog.  I can keep the URL ( and change the design as much as my little heart desires!  (Note:  Our district uses Edline, and that's the link for my webpage off the district site....but I have a link to my blog from there and tell my parents that's where they'll find the information for my class. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Anyone see 60 Minutes two weeks ago?

If so, then you saw the new app that was shown which has opened doors for autistic children/adults.  It is called Proloquo2go.  It's amazing!

How Many Days Have We Been in School: Ten frames page for binder

It seemed like the first two months of school went by very slowly and all of a sudden....WHOOSH!!! The weeks are flying by.  What I am NOT experiencing this year that I did last year after about six weeks is that feeling of "settling in" and feeling like the frenzy has settled down.  I feel as frenzied now as I did at the beginning!  :-)  Anyone else feeling that way?  Some of us in our district feel it's because of the added pressure of the new teacher evaluation program.  I think it's a couple of things: the recession, starting the year out with an over-crowded classroom, AND the new performance appraisal system which has required a lot of effort at the time of year when our energies needed to be expended elsewhere...catch my drift?!

Today I spent all day in the School Board Meeting Room, attending the Primary Math Contact meeting.  We learned today that we will start implementing the CCSS next year in kindergarten and first grade, probably.  But, in comparing the CCSS to our Sunshine State Standards, it doesn't look like it's going to be a huge leap.  Phew!  I am about 'leaped' out!

One thing I FINALLY did tonight that I should've done at least a month ago was to create a page for our calendar binder for the children to count the days we've been in school using ten frames.  Here it is:
How Many Days Have We Been in School?