Well, life is certainly keeping me busy here on Maui. I feel like I don't have time for anything else beside school and family. We still have boxes that haven't been unpacked or found a home - good thing it NEVER rains here:)
But we did have some Halloween fun. Since I knew that I wasn't going to have time to make new costumes, and since no one here had seen them, we opted to rerun our Harry Potter costumes - and they were a hit (of course). Here's a run down of our Halloween activities:
1. Thursday Night was our ward Trunk-or-Treat. There was a good turn out, though it was really dark - not many lights in the parking lot - it's an old building - but it was fun enough. One of my students attends the ward and it's always fun to see her outside of school - it takes her a second to remember that she sees me at church stuff, too.
Here's the "trunk" of our van. The lighting effect of my cool battery operated candles isn't as spooky when the camera is flashing, but you get the picture. Nothing fancy - just whatever decorations I could find before we left.
2. Friday night was the school's Fall Festival - basically a Halloween Party. We stayed for the costume parade and contest (which 2 of the kids won in their grade level) and then headed out - it was hot and crowded in the small cafeteria. There were games and crafts, but I was ready to go home and Cameron didn't argue with me about it:)
Here's a picture I had one of the other kindie teachers take for us before we left.
Not quite as cool as last year, but close.
3. Sunday night - well, I wasn't really too excited about Halloween being on the Sabbath, so I decided to nix the traditional trick-or-treating (I was really mean and didn't even hand out candy), but instead we all watched cheesy Disney Halloween movies all afternoon and then went to bed. Terribly exciting, I know, but I just couldn't do Halloween on Sunday. And since we no longer live in a predominantly Mormon community there was no trick-or-treating on Saturday (like most of my Utah/Idaho friends had). We survived, and the kids didn't seem to care too much, they still got to gorge themselves with candy and stay up late since we didn't have school today (Monday - I did, but they didn't). However, I am looking forward to a non-Sunday Halloween next year where we can walk around the neighborhood. I better start figuring out what we will next year - we're running out of ideas that involve the right mix of 6 related characters. Suggestions???
And just because I haven't blog in like FOREVER, I thought I would give you all a little treat and include a few pictures of my classroom. Not the greatest pics, but there was an afternoon a couple of weeks ago where all the kids were playing so nicely during center time - basically free play time, but I assign the center they go to and then we rotate as time allows. Usually I'm dealing with someone or something, or reminding everyone to play nice or quiet down. But this day for some reason everyone was getting along and actually doing the activity they were supposed to. You know as opposed to building towers with the books, throwing the blocks, or chasing each other around with the play food. Seriously - you'd think I was in a room full of 5 year olds.....oh wait, I am. Well that certainly explains A LOT!!! Just kidding. I'm learning to love it all - even the annoying crazies brought on by the full moon. (Seriously, full moon=crazy kids....it's true, ask any teacher.) And you'll notice that I blacked out the kids' faces that were showing - their my kids, but not really mine, so I want to protect their privacy - I also blocked out any names that were on the walls and readable for the same reason, so excuse the dots and blurs.
This is the front of the room and our main learning area (on the rug). The blue tape are the kids' spots on the rug. They usually get mangled or torn off pretty quickly. These have been on for a few weeks, I'm impressed that so many are still there. This is also were we have our reading center with our class library. I would love to have pillows and beanbag chairs, but I'm not sure that the kids (or my classroom budget) can handle them right now. Maybe after Christmas break.
This is the favored side of the room. It has the play kitchen and the puzzle centers. As much as I LOVE that I have a kitchen, it takes up so much space in my tiny, tiny room. But we make it work as best we can.
This last picture is of the block center (that you can't really see) and the math center, which is just connecting cubes in different colors that the kids can make different patterns out of. I have pattern strips in the box with the cubes that they can copy, or they can make their own. I had originally planned to change this center out to different things, but the kids keep requesting this one, so if I don't have anything else specifically planned I get out the cubes.
I've added a few things to the room since I took the pics, but not too much. I should really take more pictures, I just don't remember to bring my camera to school. Though these were taken on my camera phone and they turned out pretty good.
Well, this has taken a lot longer to post than I thought it would, of course, but I wanted to get something up for Halloween. And I'll leave you with my top 3 reason I love being a teacher so far:
3. I get to work when the kids are in school (well, except for Juliana). We get up and get ready and go to school together at 7am and then they come to my room and supposedly do homework while I prep and then we all head home together at 3:30.
2. Scholastic book orders! It's like Christmas every month. We have an additional program that allows most of my class (17 out of 20) to order books from Scholastic for free each month. And Scholastic has great programs for teachers to earn free books for their classroom library. (Side note: If you're a teacher reading this and you don't do Scholastic book orders - yet - let me know and I'll give you referral info and we both get FREE points for books.) I just got our October order in today, so I'm a just a little excited about all the free books right now!
1. I have 20 more kids (you know, besides my own) - 20 kindergarten babies, that I love to death, who whine and cry and tattle and complain, but at the end of even the worst day they give me a hug I get to send them home to mom and dad, hopefully a little bit smarter than I got them in the morning:)