Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday's Teacher Talk

Today is the very first Tuesday Teacher-Talk!  Once a month, I'll be sharing a special teacher-friend with the blog world!  September's featured-teacher will be Ms. Angel Smith.

What is your teaching background?
Well I stepped into a 5th grade science teaching position the day after I graduated.  From there I went down to Kindergarten and have been teaching K, K-1, or First grade for 10 years (wow I feel old now).  I have taught in diverse schools and school system; everything from migrant title one to affluent/low free and reduced lunch. 

Where do you get your best ideas for teaching and learning?
I get my best ideas by “borrowing” from people around me.  I am not afraid to ask my teammates where they got something cool and if I can use it.  I always try to share my ideas also; just by copying something for a fellow teacher you can open the door for great collaboration.  My biggest rule of thumb is to ask this very simple question “Would this be a fun way for me to learn?”  If I don’t enjoy it then how can I teach it effectively?   Choose wisely my friends. . . students can see right through you!

What are some of your favorite organization strategies?
OHHH Do I have to pick just one?  I have really started to incorporate pictures in all my centers/charts and schedules around the room.  I not only place a picture and title on the outsides of containers but I have begun to put a picture of me holding what belongs inside that container or drawer.  I just snap a quick black and white photo on the computer and print it out.  (You can also have the students hold the items)  I tape this inside of the bucket or drawer that way the students see the picture while everything is open as they are cleaning up. My next step will be to place of pictures on the shelf the container belongs in.  I strive for a class that can take things out and put things away by themselves.  My room might be a little messier than most but my students are actively learning and are responsible for their classroom.

What do you do in your time away from school?
I have two boys who keep me busy swimming in the pool and hunting for frogs or lizards.  I try to enjoy nature as much as possible and watch mind numbing A&E shows late at night!

What are the must-haves in your classroom?
*Legos-With the mini figures 
(You can do so much learning/teaching with Legos)
*Packing tape
**Free Journal (A plain composition notebook that has no rules. It is their space to draw, write, keep busy, let out frustrations, or just be silly)  (I never grade it and only point out the positive things)  

~Want to learn more about using Legos in a kindergarten classroom?~  
Take a look at the links below for some ideas!

A simple, but easily extended activity from Lego Education.  

Check out what April from Chalk Talk has to share!

Chalk Talk

Thank you Ms. Smith for taking the time to share!  


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