Friday, October 7, 2016

Ag In the Classroom

Ag in the classroom visited us this week and the students got to learn all about bees.  They had a lot of fun learning about bee keepers and trying honey!  They will be visiting again next week and the students will learn about pumpkins and gourds!

This is why you never give Mrs. Ballard the camera and put her in charge of taking pictures!!

We can't wait for them to come back soon!  

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October's Here!

Can you believe that October is already here???
We have been super busy in kindergarten and have been working hard and having fun!

 Seriously, how cute are these two!?!?!  The rest of our shipment came in from the grants that we received for our classroom.  We got six more stools today and bouncy bands to go on 8 chairs.  The students were too cute as we opened them all.  Every thing I pulled out got firework worthy oooh's and aaah's.  Never in all my years of teaching have kids been so excited to sit down and do work!  I even got a few groans when I said it was time to clean up!!!  

We have been busy in kindergarten this week learning about decomposing numbers.  The students are really doing well at breaking about numbers and using their "math talk" to tell about what they did.  We will continue to work on that, as well as number formation, next week.  

We took a week to review the letters we have already learned, and really focused on letter formation this week.  It is super important that they are following the correct path of motion when they are making their letters, along with appropriate line usage.  This is a skill that we will continue to work on throughout the entire school year.  Please use the sheet that came home in this week's communicator to help them with the letters in there name first.  Once they have those mastered, they should practice the other letters as well.  You may see them come home with their name written multiple times on the back of their paper.  When I see they didn't write their name correctly, and they have a couple extra minutes, I tell them to practice on the back of their paper. 

We are also working on print concepts right now.  Today we focused on the difference between a letter, word and sentence.  I printed and cut apart letters, words, and sentences and then threw them under the parachute.  The kids took turns running under the parachute, getting a game piece and then sorting it into the correct pile.  They were really good at telling which was which, but we are working on being able to say why.  By the end, they were really good at remembering that sentences begin with a capital letter, end with a punctuation mark and have spaces between the words.  We will continue to work on print concepts over the next couple of weeks.  

You can check out our most recent Donor's Choose project here!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Exciting News!

This fall Target teamed up with Donor's Choose to fund teachers who created grant proposals for supplies and materials that encouraged health, fitness and movement in the classroom.  I created two separate grants with things that will help the students be active listeners and Target funded $1600 leaving about $98 dollars left!  A huge shout out to Kayla Nolen, my mom, and Tina Sundaram for funding the remaining $98.  The kids were super excited as our supplies started to come in this week.  We have received a trampoline with a handle bar for safety, a parachute for active learning games, and 5 hokki stools.  In a couple weeks, we will receive 6 more hokki stools and desk bands that allow students a place to bounce their feet while working!  Here are a few pictures of our new supplies in action!

We also had the Jog-a-Thon on Friday!  I can about imagine how well these kids slept Friday night!  Not one of them ever gave up or sat down for the entire hour!  Jennika and Adam were kindergarten lap winners with 11 and 15 laps respectively. 

Make sure you get your pledge sheets and money turned in by Friday in order to count for the drawings!

If you would like to see what Donor's Choose is all about, check out my teacher page by clicking here.  You can also search for other teacher's by zip code or name by clicking in the box that says find a classroom to support at the top of the page.

Friday, September 23, 2016


W have had such a great year so far.  I thought I had been updating the website, but apparently I was clicking on save instead of publish.  Oops!   Here is what we have been doing so far this year!
 The students have been working hard on learning their letters, we did some practice with our letters in shaving cream.  This is one of their favorite things to do!  We are running low on shaving cream, and always appreciate the donation.  The cheap stuff works great! The students have also been working on numbers 1 through 5, sorting things that are alike and different, and 2 dimensional  and 3 dimensional shapes.

We also have our first Letter Olympians.  These students have demonstrated master of all uppercase and lowercase letters, including the typecast a and g. We have a few students who are really close to being Letter Olympians!

We have also had a couple color days! The kids always love when we come dressed in the same colors!  

Yesterday we had Pinwheels for Peace.  The students all made a pinwheel in art class, then on Thursday we got to plant them.  We talked about ways to spread peace and ways to be kind to one another. 

Yesterday we also learned about germs from our school nurse.  We learned how to stop the spread of germs and when and how to wash our hands. Then we did an experiment where the kids put on "germs" (lotion) and washed their hands.  Then they came back and checked how they did under the germ finder (aka black light).  It's safe to say, we still need practice washing our hands correctly. 

Finally, today we had Unity Day.   This is such a fun day for our students.  I don't have many pictures of friends in our class because the students are split into mixed grade level groups.  They complete team building activities with minimal help from adults.  It is so much fun to watch them problem solve together and come up with different solutions to the station problems.  Some of their favorites were the Sponge Bob water balloon toss, where they had to use tarps to throw a water balloon over a wall and then catch it on the other side, the egg drop, where they had to build a contraption out of tape and newspaper to protect their egg that they dropped from an 8 foot window, and Giant Kerplunk, which is exactly what it sounds like!

We have had so much fun in kindergarten this year.  Thank you for sharing your child with me.  This is the best job in the world!

Monday, August 22, 2016

First Day 2016-2017

We had an awesome first day of Kindergarten.

We learned a lot of rules and procedures today and we had a lot of fun!  I can't wait for another day tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Dear Parents,
I give you back your children, the same children you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give them back pounds heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than they were then. Although they would have attained his growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch their personality unfold day by day. I give them back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other. Ten years from now if we met on the street, your child and I, a light will shine to our eyes, a smile to our face, and we shall feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today. We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give them back I must. Take care of them, for they are precious. Remember that I shall always be interested in your child and their destiny, wherever they go, whatever they do, whoever they become. Their joys and sorrows I’ll always be happy to share.
Mrs. Laue

While I am not the author of the above letter, truer words have not been written about how I felt today saying good bye to your child.  I will always be interested in what your child is doing!  When they are on top of the world, let me know!  When they are struggling and need an extra hug or two at school, I WILL FIND THEM!  Let me know!  When they are just their regular self but think of me at the dinner table, let me know!  I love getting notes and emails from my old students.

All in all, we had a great last day!  It was a lot of fun seeing my grown up students who came to visit one last time before heading to the middle school!  This young man stopped by to see me today.  I had the pleasure of being his kindergarten and first grade teacher a few years ago, and then his sister is in my class this year.  It made my day that he stopped by to see me on his last official day as an elementary student!  Good luck at the Middle School next year!  I will be checking in with your sister to see how it's going!

This afternoon I gave each student a class award.  They loved hearing the awards and guessing which student they thought was going to get each award.  They were pretty good guessers!!

The end of the day was a little rough, I am really going to miss teaching these students every day next year!  My eyes may have been a little watery as they all got their good bye hugs! 

I hope you all have a fantastic summer!  I can't wait to see how much everyone has grown in the fall!

Friday, May 20, 2016

What a Fantastic Week!

We had such an awesome week!  On Wednesday, the high school hosted a petting zoo for the elementary school.  It. Was. Awesome.   We rode to the middle school in style!  The animals were so cute and each student got to plant a marigold and feed and pet the animals.  

This dog was the cutest little thing!  All the kids loved him/her. 

We also got to work in the garden on Wednesday.  Mrs. Vandevoorde was there, along with some awesome parent volunteers, to help the kids stuff a scarecrow and plant in the gardens.  We planted in the raised gardens.  Check out the PTO facebook page.  Information will be posted this summer of dates when the kids can come and help pick the garden!

Today, we got to have track and field day. It was such a beautiful day and the kids were AWESOME!  They all participated and cheered each other on.  I even got in on the fun in a couple of the game stations!  

A little impromptu "dab" dance party.  Crazy kids!

When we got back from track and field day, some students had the opportunity to PIE A TEACHER/PRINCIPAL!!!!

All in all, it was a super awesome week to be a kindergartner in Pecatonica!