June 2016 – Della Larsen's Class

My top 4 reasons for using Google Drive in kindergarten

June 27, 2016

What’s the best way to integrate technology in a kindergarten class? Is kindergarten too young to start with Google Classroom?My top 4 reasons for Going Google.1. More and more districts are going 1:1. I see so many administrators purchasing chrome books, and I pads. I remember just a few years ago when no one in my school had an I Pad. Now they are in every classroom. We may not be 1:1 yet in my school but technology is becoming more and more abundant.                                             2. It’s paperless!!!! Yay, yippee, halleujah, no more long lines at the copy machine. I can’t tell you how many lunches, and planning periods that have been cut short because of that dreaded line at the copier. Not to mention everyone’s most feared phrase – paper jam!Just think you can send homework, notes to parents and worksheets all digitally. No more lost papers. No more mountains of papers.3. It’s so much easier to differentiate. Even the youngest learners can see their work just doesn’t measure up to the child next to them. As the...

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What’s The Secret To Sucessful Reading Groups In Kindergarten?

                                         They say that teaching kindergarten is a lot like herding cats. It is! But it doesn’t have to be. Getting behavioral control of a class is the first step to a successful year.   Who doesn’t love a new beginning. One of the best things about teaching is the clean slate every fall. Sharpened pencils, crayons that have never been used. Caps on EVERY glue stick. It’s also a time to look at what has worked and what hasn’t. The first few weeks are when I spend that extra time estabishing routines. The routines that will make my life and the kids’ learning so much easier. I honestly think the most important part of a guided reading group has nothing to do with reading. It has everyting to do with structure and routine.                                              The best teachers can get their class to run like a well oiled machine. It all starts on the first day. Lots of people will tell you...

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The secret to loving teaching for 30 years.

June 11, 2016

“I love my kids.” Every teacher I know has spoken those words. I do love my kids, but I NEED my summer break. I know all my non-teacher friends become increasingly jealous this time of year. I know they work hard too. But no one, I mean no one works as hard as a teacher, a kindergarten teacher to be exact.  Well, maybe our brave military,  cancer nurses, air traffic controllers, ok I admit it there are people who work harder than us.  But we work hard!!!!      I’ve been teaching for 30 years. 30 years, I know thats more than some of you have been alive. Teaching is exhausting. It’s like being on stage for 6 hours every day. Then going home and learning all the lines to a new play for the next day. Years ago I read a line that says the difference between a CEO and a teacher is that a CEO manages her decisions from a seat and a teacher manages from her feet. It can be mentally, physically and emotionally draining. I honestly wouldn’t have lasted 30 years teaching without those 2 little gems- July and August.  You know what I do...

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Graduation Day

June 5, 2016

                                      I sat through my oldest son’s high school graduation last night and I had a lump in my throat the whole time. I fought the tears and almost won until the  principal told the kids to turn around and wave to the people who love them the most. After a moment of scanning the hundreds of eager parents, he found me in the crowd, we locked eyes- he smiled and waved, I blew a kiss. Cue the tears and tissues. Whether it’s kindergarten, 8th grade, high school, or college; every graduation tugs on our heartstrings the same way.  As teachers we sit through countless graduations. Our hearts fill with pride to think how far our students have come.  Only we truly know the work that went into getting those little ones from not knowing any letters to actual readers. Every year it shocks me as much as it shocks them that they are actually  ready for first grade.  However, it’s totally different when you are sitting in the audience straining to see your own child cross the stage.          ...

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Don’t forget to write! Avoid the summer slide.

June 1, 2016

                                            So, a well deserved summer vacation is almost here. Thank goodness! Adults and children both need a break from the hustle and bustle that is a school year. But that doesn’t mean learning has to stop. I know I plan on catching up on some reading while sitting on a beach. My favorite thing for kids to do over the summer is read and write.                                         If we can keep up with these skills during our break, we can avoid the “summer slide”.  I love having kids read for pleasure over the summer.  Reading what you want or what interests you is a great way to build a  life-long love of reading.                                          But what about writing???   My own kids struggled with writing in the summer. They usually left it to the last week then made a mad scramble to...

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