Saturday, September 3, 2011

Frustration, soapbox, and help needed!

This past week was really difficult. I know that the beginning of the year is tough in Kindergarten. I'm not expecting things to run smoothly until the first six weeks is over. The kids are doing pretty well. They've picked up on the morning routine pretty well and they can use my promethean board on their own pretty well. What is frustrating me are things that I have no real control over. The sink and bathroom area in my pod are going through a makeover to accommodate students with special needs. I completely understand that this needs to be done and am excited at how nice it will be when it's complete. But the men doing the makeover were not using their looking eyes or safety while completing it. They brought up large pieces of wood in the middle of 2 kindergarten classes and left a lot of power tools laying around unattended. This made me so angry which is kind of ridiculous on my part I know. I just hate being interrupted and the part of the day from lunch to getting to specials is my most difficult part of the day as it is.
Then the second thing that is frustrating me is our new math series. I can't get a handle on how it works and I only have part of my teaching resources and materials. I was really hopeful about the new series and I am still trying to hang on to that optimism. It's the Envision math series created by Scott Foresman. I think part of my problem is how I'm setting up the lessons. I have always taught my math whole group on the carpet to introduce the concepts. But my carpet area is not working. The kids don't seem to have a concept of what is their space and what's their friend's space. So I think I'll try at their tables for part of the lesson. If anyone is using this series and has some advice, I would appreciate it. I'm just having trouble getting a handle on it. Of course it doesn't help that I seem to run out of time before I can get a lesson done. That's another frustration. Only having 3 hours (minus bathroom breaks, snack and transition time) to teach everything I need to teach. It seems like something suffers each day. I read DeeDee Wills' post about transitions and time saving yesterday so hopefully I can put some of that into play and do better managing my time. I'm also considering trying the carpet bags that I saw on KinderGal's blog.  So if anyone has any suggestions or experience with trying these ideas, I would love to hear them. I've got to figure out some ways to make these things run more smoothly before I have an evaluation. I know these are things that I will be marked down for. (Another thing stressing me out)
Here's my soapbox for the week. Kids spend too much time playing video games and watching tv. I have several kids in my class who have no experience with pencils, crayons, scissors, glue or interacting with real life kids. My boyfriend is always saying he's not going to have cable and I just about die. I don't know what I'd do without my trashy tv but after these few weeks in school I might have changed my mind. It isn't that my kids aren't capable of using those materials they just need someone to show them how.
Ok my soapbox is over with and so is my venting. I'm so thankful to have this blogging world to get those things out and to look for resources to help me. I would appreciate any comments with suggestions that you have.
I've been trying to list the positives and things the kids are doing well with. So here they are:
  • I love my kids! They have great personalities and are so excited to be at school. I'm enjoying getting to know them a little better each day. 
  • Morning Routine- putting their backpacks up and notebooks in their cubbies
  • Lunch time - They've improved in going through the line and they also do a great job of being quiet and eating their lunches.
  • Being creative in the house center and the block center
  • Getting books to read after they finish their work. 
  • They "read" their brown bear, brown bear book they made.
  • Dismissal routines
  • walking in the line - I gave them numbers and a line order and that seems to be helping a lot with the kids who couldn't stay in one spot in line and liked to skip ahead. 
  • Crying - I didn't have any tears Friday when they were coming in or when I was taking them to specials. 
What are some of your positives for the year?

1 comment:

  1. I am totally with you on the TV thing. I have turned the tv off at my house on the evenings my husband teaches a class and everything has been so much better! It's like it brainwashes the kids and sucks them in no matter what show is on. We had a much smoother routine in the evenings. I just have to get it shut off in the mornings now. It drives me crazy that my husband always has it on. It's like he can't live without it!