FETC takes place each year in Orlando and it is the BEST technology show. I was lucky enough to attend some sessions yesterday. I was so excited to get back into the classroom and try out some new things with the kids. I attended a session on video making in the classroom. We learned about paper slide videos and I showed the class a few examples from some 2nd graders. Of course I just knew my firsties could do it! Our reading theme this week was birds and we learned so much. What better way to showcase our learning than with technology. We wrote what we learned about penguins, created backgrounds, and some even made puppets to use in the video. We used a flipvideo camera to video and here they are!
I love buying books, flipping through the pages, looking at the pictures, and sitting down in a comfortable spot to take some time to read. I have to say I love reading! It makes me giddy inside when it happens for a kid, kind of like getting your angel wings. Jessica was never my student, although I would have been super lucky to have her, but would come in and take Reading Counts tests. You know my door is always open and she would walk down the halls and ask if I had an open computer. SURE come on in! One day I extended an offer for her to come back and read to my firsties. Well she did! She read a super cute book, What are you so Grumpy About? The kids loved it! They were a fabulous audience and laughed in all the right places. Thank you Jessica for sharing and I hope you come back another day and show off your reading.
We are off from school today and I asked the kids why. They knew Martin Luther King Jr. was an important man and he wanted everyone to be equal. So we talked about his life and what he dreamed for... It was unimaginable to the kids when I talked about people not getting along, using separate bathrooms, and not even talking to one another because of the color of their skin. We talked about Martin Luther King's dream and how one day it would be different.
I have known since I was 8 and in the 4th grade that I wanted to be a teacher and a mommy. I am thankful each day to have lived my dream. I have the best job in the world where I am surrounded by little friends. I am married to the most amazing man and we are raising 2 of the most fabulous little people ever! Thank goodness for dreams. I asked the kids to think of their dreams. We dressed up and wrote about our dreams. I saw it on Pinterest and these are the cutest things ever! I am excited to be surrounded by future scientists, chefs, waitresses, Nascar drivers, nurses, police officers, vets, baseball and football players, and a mommy. What a way to spend my days, with all the future looking brighter and brighter.
Zero the Hero had plastic bracelets, big earrings, fluorescent gloves, off the shoulder shirts, skinny black ties, Converse shoes, and BIG hair! Wait and he was doing the Moonwalk. Yes it was the 80s and we celebrated the 80th day of school. I read about it on another blog last year and thought oh what fun! I have to do that. I don't think the kids will ever forget it!
We dressed up and watched some clips from the 80s cartoons. Remember the Muppet babies, Smurfs, Snorks, HeMan, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I even brought in my Cabbage Patch doll, Janice Illonka Jurgensen. I know FUNNY! I showed some bands and let them hear some clips from 80s music. I started writing down some of the funny things they said throughout the day. Lauren looked at Poison and said, "So they didn't have any flat irons?" I think it was Sofia that said, "Those are boys?" While listening to Separate Ways by Journey the kids said it sounded like Christmas music. Another one asked if we were listening to jazz music. Those firsties are the best ever!
The highlight of the day was the scavenger hunt. You had to do the moonwalk to get the 1st QR code. It told you to go to the playground and jump up and down while counting by 5s to 80. Next was a QR code to a game of Simon on the iPads. Remember Simon? Then it was off to doing jumping jacks while counting by 10s to 80. Then it was off to complete the 80s puzzle. We danced and celebrated with 80s candy. Remember Charleston Chews, Mike & Ikes, Red Hots, and Fun Dip. The funniest thing was I had to teach a few to lick the Fun Dip stick to then get the sugary dip. Thank goodness Ms. Suzan and Ms. Maria kept me going. Maria even brought some Salsa Addiction salsa and chips for us to enjoy. I am really thinking about how can I make the big 100 day bigger than this?!? Check out our video...
What could be better than a day at school in your pajamas? I tell you not much! Our annual school wide pajama day is the last day before the Christmas break. Everyone and I do mean everyone, parents, teachers, administrators, everyone comes decked out in favorite pajamas. We read, write, share, eat chicken noodle soup, decorate cookies, drink hot cocoa until the end of the day. A truly cute sight is seeing all the kids on the playground playing in their pajamas. Our biggest treat was a surprise FedEx package all the way from the North Pole from you know who! The kids loved their new silver bells and I am sure parents everywhere are thankful for those bells. :) Merry Christmas!
Melissa Shaw at Ortona Elementary started a gingerbread exchange a few years ago. Each year we are asked if we would like to make gingerbread people and send them to friends all over the US. It is such a fun way to talk about the things that make us unique and learn about states in the process. Each year the gingerbread people get cuter and cuter. Take a look for yourself and look where they came from! Of course I had to give the Louisiana one to Ms. Jess. He was sporting his orange and purple gear ready to play the National Championship game against Alabama. Go LSU!
Family homework is great to hear about when it is all done. It is heartwarming to hear how families sit around, talk, laugh, and create memories to last a lifetime. Each year the December project is to trace family member's hands and talk about favorite parts of the Christmas season. It is so neat to see how creative the families get with their design. Make sure to check out the latest.
FFEA's Annual pictures with Santa just gets more creative year after year. This year John Deere let us borrow a tractor so Santa could sit with the kids for pictures. Check us out with Santa. Thank you to all that helped with this annual project! The kids love it!
Each year the local newspaper and area businesses sponsor a Santa letter writing contest. I try to enter each student and this year the Daytona Museum of Arts and Science hosted the party. Santa was on hand to see the boys and girls. I took a few pictures of our firsties! We enjoyed punch and cookies and even visited part of the Museum. Winning letters are published in a special insert a few weeks later. We were so lucky since our very own Cate won for the 1st grade division. YEAH Cate! She won a $25 giftcard to Target. Let me tell you the rest of the story. Cate was in Mrs. Zaehring's Kindergarten last year. She has a donor that gives each child $5 to spend on supplies and maybe add a little extra to pay it forward to a needy family. Each year Mrs. Zaehring invites the Salvation Army to pick up ALL that the kids and family bring in to share with a family. Cate and her family were part of this project last year. Cate used her gift card to buy items and then took them to Mrs. Zaehring to use for the annual project. It makes me proud to even know such thoughtful people. I don't know of many who know the story but it gives me goosebumps when I think about it. I hope to donate to such a worthy cause next year! On an even more special note...I think I have had my class enter this each year since it started and encouraged my own children to enter each year. This year was Kaile's last entry since she will go to middle school next year. She WON for the 5th grade division. She asked Santa to keep the soldiers safe since we are free because they fight for us each day. It was a proud moment for me since my dad served in the Air Force for 22 years. We love you Agong and pray for a safe return for all the soldiers.
The Marine Science Center is such a fabulous place to visit and we learn so much there! We learned about reptiles, turtles, taking care of the beaches, stingrays, and how they rescue birds. The highlights included see the owl, touching the stingrays, and even touching a real anaconda snakeskin. To learn more about the science center click this link. Enjoy the pictures. We had the best time ever!
I am not sure how time got away from me but I need to make up for it. Our school is such a fabulous school and I brag about it every chance I get. Our PTA is incredible and we have many functions thanks to them. Our Fall Festival was even better than it was a few years back. They are so creative! We had the rock climbing wall, jump houses, obstacle course, pony rides, and games for all to play. This year we had a photo booth and it was super cute! I think the best new thing was the silent auction. Each grade level was encouraged to rally the parents together to create themed baskets and the $ raised would go back to grade levels. Well of course I put Jess in charge and she came through in a BIG way! Take a look at our "Around Town" wagon. Our community graciously donated a make a cookbook, Walmart gift card, go cart racing tickets, an entire dental exam for a child, and OH SO much more... Jess then painted "Otters Rock" on the side and set the whole thing up. Thank you to all of the businesses that donated and to Jess for being such a ROCK STAR!
My name is Jeanne Wright and this is my 22nd year teaching in Volusia County, Florida. I am honored to be the 2009 Volusia County Teacher of the Year. That year I was also one of five finalists for the Florida Teacher of the Year. I am National Board Certified since 1999 in Early Childhood Generalist. I look forward to a wonderful year with my first graders!