Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Come Join Me On My Other Blogs

If you haven't found me over at my other blogs yet, you can find me at Home Is Where My Story Begins, Love, Laugther, and Literacy, and Cascade View Kids Kindergarten.

I've recently been posting about an Idea Room that was in the building below.  It's a new elementary school and it's stunning!

I can't wait to tell you all about the Idea Room!  Hop on over HERE to read more about it!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

About Me and Where You Can Find Me Now

Just in case you were a reader of my Kindergarten Kids blog and you're now wondering where I am, you can find me at www.homeiswheremystorybegins.com.

Hello Friends!  I'm Becca.  I'm a wife,  mom, and kindergarten teacher.  I'm passionate about all things home and family.  I love being home with my kids, hubby, and pets.  I'm not one of those people who just loves to get out of the house. I'm very social, but love being home. I'm perfectly happy being snowed in for a week, as long as I can bake, sew, play with my kids, and just enjoy homelife.  I love to decorate... and redecorate.  I always have a new sewing project waiting in the wings  too.

I married my high school sweetheart.  (Awwww.)  He thinks I'm a total dork, but loves me anyway.  He puts up with my decorating and constant changes around the house, and I love him for that.  He knows me so well, that if I'm just sitting and looking around the room, he can read my mind and knows I'm planning my next decorating move.  We have wonderful support from our family and friends.  We moved into a neighborhood that my sister and my husband's sister live in.  The kids have all grown up together, even going to the same school.  Since my hubby and I both work, we rely on the help of our family to get our kids to and from school.  Moving closer to family was the best decision we've ever made.  The grandmas are pretty close by too.  They are always willing to drop everything and help out with sick kids or childcare if we need it. 

We love our pets.  I'd have more, if I could convince my better half that it was a good idea. I think I'd get chickens. Cookie is our Holland Lop.  She's our most recent addition.  She's a snuggler, loves to run around the house, and makes me laugh when she kicks up her heels and does a 360. She's pretty cute too, but I guess there's no such thing as an ugly bunny.

Ah, Cooper.  This is Cooper as a puppy.  He was going to be our small dog.  Our yellow lab, Riley, died when he was 11.  Riley was my husband's first pet EVER.  As much as he loved Riley, when it was time to find a new dog, he asked if we could find a smaller breed.  We decided on a Laboradoodle.  The breeder estimated that Cooper would be about 50 pounds when he was full grown.  Well, Cooper weighed 50 pounds at about 4 months old and then went straight to 100! I swear, he's the size of a small horse.  So much for getting a small dog!  He's a sweetheart and he's full of personality.

Our kids are our whole lives, as I'm sure is the case with most parents. My oldest is all about sports, which thrills my hubby to no end.  He is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.  He's caring and considerate, and even likes to keep his room clean!

This little monkey is full of spunk.  She has been that way since the day she was born.  She spent her first 2 weeks of her life, at Children's Hospital, fighting for every breath.  She suffered from seizures and we were told that she had probably had a stroke.  The hospital staff prepared us to "care for her" since they expected she would be developmentally delayed from the lack of oxygen and her stroke.  Day by day, year by year, we realized that all of that "worst case scenario stuff" was a scenario we would not know as our reality.  We're glad she's a fighter and wouldn't change her spunk or personality for anything.  She's a perfectly healthy (except for the cyst in her brain), normally developing, little girl.  She loves gymnastics and soccer, loves listening to stories, and is absolutely giddy with delight when she sees a wedding scene on a movie.

I learned a love of gardening from my mom.  She always had a vegetable garden, tons of raspberries, and apple trees in our yard. I have good memories of weeding and working in the yard together, picking veggies from the garden, the smell of freshly canned fruit when I came home from school, and blowing bugs off the berries as I picked them.  My mom would always end up with a huge pan of berries, at the end of berry picking, and I would only have a handful.  I preferred to eat as I picked, and still do.

My home and garden are my happy places.  I love sitting on the deck, on a warm summer day, watching my kids and their friends play in the yard.  First and foremost, my yard is kid and dog friendly.  If I end up with a few flowers at the end of a football game, I consider it a bonus.  My kids and I garden together.  My hubby loves to be in the yard with us on the weekends.  My son has always been a really strong kid.  He lifts heavy bags of dirt and hauls them all over the yard.  He spreads wood chips in the spring, and loves watching landscaping shows with me.  He loves to be outside and will happily help on just about any project.

My daughter loves to wander the yard, but she's in it for the pretty stuff and doesn't like to work.  One of my passions is creating meaningful experiences for my kids.  We always have a project in the works.  My daughter loved collecting flowers from the yard, this summer, and creating art projects from the flower petals.

It came as no surprise to my family, when I went off to college, that I majored in Family and Consumer Science (formerly known as Home Ec.), and earned my teaching certificate.  I have endorsements in Family and Consumer Science, Early Childhood, Reading, and K-8 Education. Family and Consumer Science is a true passion of mine.  I love to cook, bake, sew, and basically do anything that seems to be a "traditional" female role. 

FCS isn't just about cooking, baking, and being a homemaker. Family and Consumer Science provides individuals and families with knowledge that helps people make informed decisions about their well being, relationships, and resources to achieve a high quality of life. The field represents many areas, including human development, family finance, housing and interior design, food science, nutrition, wellness, textiles, apparel, family relations and dynamics, and consumer issues.  I'm a member of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), as well as a member of the Washington chapter (WAFCS).

Family and Consumer Science is all about improving the quality of your life.  In my opinion, we can improve the quality of our lives through home arts.  Creating a healthy, happy, and comfortable home gives us a soft place to land at the end of the day.  I want my kids to have good memories of their time at home.  I want them to remember the smell of warm cookies coming out of the oven, the taste of homemade bread with butter and jam, and remember all of the projects and experiences we had as a family. 

As much as I love my home life, I have another passion.  I teach.  I teach little people to love learning and especially love literacy.  I absolutely love children's books, and teaching reading and writing, using children's literature. I earned my Master's degree in reading and literacy, in 2000.  It was a game changer for me.  I had always been very interested in math and science, as a teacher.  I didn't feel as well equipped to teach reading and writing.  I didn't like to read as a child and I was FAR from being a writer, as an adult.  I was trying to teach my kids to become life long readers and writers, but hated doing those things myself.  After spending two years, doing intense research and writing papers on reading and writing, I had a much better understanding of the way young children learned.  I had a clear picture of where I wanted to go with my teaching. I became very interested in Guided Reading, teaching with a balanced reading model, and especially Writer's Workshop. 

In 2004, just after my daughter was born, my school district started our Collaborative Literacy Project. It started as a group of teachers, dedicated to literacy, involved in extensive training, who would become literacy leaders in our school district.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be involved in the program.  I've been able to observe amazing teachers, discuss best practices, receive training and resources, and eventually become a demonstration classroom, hosting teachers from within my school district as well as neighboring school districts.  I don't claim to be an expert in literacy, but it's truly a passion of mine, and I'm thrilled to share my beliefs about literacy with others.

I have thousands of books in my collection and can't seem to stop adding to it. I'm always finding new mentor texts to use with my young readers and writers.  I love to teach units of study, where we can dive into a specific author or genre.  I'm always shocked at the amazing conversations we have, even in kindergarten, around the books we are using in our units of study.  Kids can be such brilliant thinkers! 

We all have our passions in life.  My passions are home, family, family and consumer science, early childhood, and literacy.  My website and blogs try to encompass all of these areas.  The mission of the AAFCS is to help people improve the quality of their lives.  My blogs are about helping people make literacy and qualilty home life priorities, thus improving the quality of life.  Isn't that what it's all about?  At the end of the day, it's all about home and family.

Thanks for joining me on this journey.  I write from my heart and hopefully you'll find a few pretty pictures too.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My New Kindergarten Blog

Are you wondering where I went? I wrote this Kindergarten blog for many years and I've recently moved schools. My new blog is http://cascadeviewkids.blogspot.com/ and I hope you'll stop by and say hello. Cascade View Kids is the new home to all things Kindergarten.  As always, you can find me at www.homeiswheremystorybegins.com and on my Love, Laughter, and Literacy blog.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Taking A Break

I will be taking a break from my kindergarten blog this year. I'm moving to first grade! I spent 11 years teaching first and second grades, before moving to kindergarten, so I'm very comfortable with the change. I'm excited for a new school year, and the opportunity to loop up with a few of my kiddos. I'm an early childhood teacher at heart, and first grade is included in early childhood, so I'm happy. I'm hoping to move back to kindergarten next year! Until then, you can find me at www.homeiswheremystorybegins.com  or www.lovelaughterandlitercy.blogspot.com.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Getting Ready For The Beach

We've been exploring shells this week!
The kids love sorting the shells by size.
There are so many to explore! We can't wait to see some live sea creatures at the beach next week!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Books We're Reading Now

For the past few months, kids have been self selecting books for independent reading time.  They keep these books in their book bags, and exchange them once a week.

Some of the books are easy readers, that kids can read on their own.

Some of these books are more challenging, and kids use the pictures to retell the stories.

We try to encourage a nice balance when kids self select their books.  Over the past few weeks we been trying to build our stamina in reading.  Just like runners need to build their stamina for running, readers need to build their stamina for reading independently.  Last week, our record was 5 minutes and 35 seconds of quiet reading.  This week, we made it all the way to 10 minutes!!! Kids were so proud of themselves.

I'd like to encourage you to continue reading with your child at home, but also try to add independent reading to their "to do" list.  I would suggest 5-10 minutes each day of independent reading time for kindergartners.  Set a timer, have your child grab some books, and let them read! Don't worry if they can't read all of the words in a book.  There is value in retelling a familiar story as well.  Please keep reading to your child as well!  It's truly the best thing you can do to help your child develop in literacy!

Happy reading!
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We've been working our way through assessments in kindergarten, preparing for the end of the year report cards.  Sight words are just one small piece that we are assessing, but it's hard to take pictures of assessment!  We have been checking kids' progress in letters, sounds, phonemic awareness, concepts of print, comprehension, number sense, probability, measurement, problem solving, communication, and MUCH more!

I am happy to report that kids are doing a great job!  Our class tends to be quite strong in letters, sounds, and ability to use their letters and sounds in their writing.  We are seeing kids use their sight word knowledge in reading and writing every day.  It's so exciting to see such an academically strong group of kindergartners!

It's our job, as teachers, to use assessment to drive our instruction.  There are a couple of areas that we have noticed, the class as a whole, tends to be a little weak in.  Those are the areas we will really be focusing on in the few weeks we have left!  We will be working on graphing and interpreting our graphs, and we will also be practicing our problem solving and communication in math.

We don't have many days left, but rest assured, we are using every minute of our time with your kids!

Happy learning!
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