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Thanksgiving Feast

As I was growing up, I always enjoyed Thanksgiving. It brought my family together to tell stories, share recipes, and play fierce Monopoly tournaments. I look back to the many Thanksgiving dinners and cherish the memories. I started having a Thanksgiving feast in my classroom last year and I thought it was a wonderful way to build a family atmosphere with my class.

After our turkey parade, my class returned to our room. There parents had already brought in food for our feast. The students were excited to see the yummy foods. I rearranged my tables to create one long table for the students to eat together. Parents passed out foods and encouraged the students to try something new. Before we ate, the students shared what they were thankful for.

Parents joined in and ate with the students. We even had another class join us halfway through. My students were excited to share the foods with the other students. The students had a great feast as they were laughing and singing songs from our turkey parade.

I could not have done this feast without the help of parents. My parents spent time cooking delicious foods for us to eat. They took time out of their day to bring in the food. For that, I am thankful for such a wonderful class this year!

Another Podcast

I am finally caught up with everything after taking a week off to help out at home. I can see the bottom of my desk and I can finally clean my work table with Clorox wipes. The students and parents have been great. I had to reschedule many conferences and organize field trips and celebrations at the last minute.

The week that I missed is one of my favorite: community helpers' week. The students had visits from firemen and policemen. The students had the opportunity to explore the fire truck and see how the hose works. The students also completed a class book on what they would like to be when they grow up. I like to do that near the end of the week so the students can be shown the different jobs. Img_0517

Even though they completed the book three weeks ago, I still wanted to make a podcast out of it. I used Audacity again. By now, the students know how to talk into the microphone correctly and be very quiet when it is not their turn. We finished the podcast in less than ten minutes. I was surprised to see how well behaved they were when it was not their turn.

We are still working on reading off their paper to help with fluency. Some students get nervous and forget that they are supposed to read off their paper. I look at it as a learning experience. Each time we do a podcast, the students get better and better. I have the podcast for you to download below. Enjoy!

Download when_i_grow_up.mp3

Reading Buddies

Every Friday morning, my class becomes impatient waiting for the arrival of their third grade reading buddies. Once the third graders arrive, my kindergarteners and their buddies find a quiet spot in the classroom. The third graders read a book from their classroom and my kindergarteners listen intently. After the first book is read, my students have their buddies read their library books.

I have always enjoyed having the reading buddies visit. The third graders have a chance to practice reading and my class has a chance to hear a new story. After each story is read, I have my students, with the help of their buddies, illustrate their favorite part in the story.

I provide each student a reader's notebook. The notebook has a place for the title, illustration, and sentences. It also has a voting option that allows the student to circle one smile if they thought the book was ok, two smiles if they liked it, and three smiles if they thought the book was excellent.

I have had many parents tell me how much their child loves when the reading buddies come. My students are always on the lookout for them when we walk to different places in the school. When we do see our buddies, our straight, quiet line quickly becomes filled with waving and greetings to our buddies

Welcome to My Classroom!

Welcome Everyone! It’s that time again where you can feel the nerves and excitement in your stomach. It starts as soon as your class list is handed to you. You read the names, some familiar, but mostly all unfamiliar. It’s really the list of your new family for the next 10 months. Of course the first thing you do is ask your fellow teachers if they know any of the families, but, as usually happens, they have no idea. Then you rush back to your class and start writing name tags, filling in your word wall, making labels and so on…

I love the beginning of a new school year. Even when I was a young, I was one of the few kids who looked forward to meeting their teacher and buying new school supplies.  Now, I could go on and on about how much time I spent in the highlighter and notepad aisle at Staples—but instead I’ll introduce myself.

My name is Christina Germano. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Early Childhood. This will be my third year teaching kindergarten in Seminole County, Florida.  I am currently working on my master’s degree in Education Technology.

I grew up in south Florida, where I spent most of my summers teaching young children how to swim. During the school year, I spent many hours volunteering in my mom’s preschool class. It seemed natural for me to gravitate toward early childhood education in college. From teaching swim lessons to working with preschool students, I realized the importance of hands-on learning. As a teacher, I have always tried to create a classroom that focuses on the learning process rather than the final product. I want my students to enjoy learning.

Last year I started my master’s in education technology. Even with the long hours and late nights, and cramming projects into my busy schedule, it has been worth it. Between my professors and classmates, and even my kindergarteners, I was introduced to a new world with many options. The possibilities that technology have given me created even more hands-on learning in my classroom.

This year, I invite you to be a fly on the wall of my classroom. I will be writing about the good—and the bad—experiences that happen in my classroom. You will read about the risks I take and the struggles of being a young teacher. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and welcome to my classroom!

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Early Childhood Teacher are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.