About Me

As a child, I always dreamed of growing up to be a teacher and in 1976 my dreams came true.   I am a graduate of Stonehill College in No. Easton, Massachusetts, and I received my Master’s of Education from National Louis University in Heidelberg, Germany. I have taught Kindergarten, first, second and third grades, but for over 23 years I was committed to being the best Kindergarten teacher that I could be. In August, 2011, I decided to find out what really happens ‘up there’ in first grade and I changed grade levels. I found it a natural progression for me to take after so many years in Kindergarten and I wanted to see if I had been preparing my Kindergartners along the  right path all along.  I loved first grade and now feel ready to blog about it. Being married to a career Army husband, our travels took my teaching career around the world. I have taught in Massachusetts, Washington State, Germany and now reside and teach in Virginia.  I have three children and raising them, along with teaching young children, has taught me a great deal about the social, academic and emotional development of young children.  In my spare time, I enjoy sewing, quilting, reading, baking, traveling and now blogging.     Thank you for reading my blog and please feel free to share it with all Kindergarten and First Grade parents that you know. If you have any particular questions that I have not addressed in my blog, feel free to leave a comment under any of my blogs and I will receive your questions and will try my best to answer them for you.

12 responses to “About Me

  1. Anonymous

    I am a Preschool teacher and a parent has forwarded me your blog. I agree with your teaching philosophy and have enjoyed your comments. A teacher in our school will be using the Zoophonics program in her 4 year old curriculum and I was interested in your views on this program and the use of it in a 4 year old classroom.

    Thanks so much!

  2. stephanieconlon

    I love your blog! Keep up the great info!

  3. kindergartenteacherclaire

    Thank you! Spread the word!!

  4. I’m really enjoying your posts. As an occupational therapist specializing in fine motor skills and a mother of a boy going to school in September, I’m really interested in what others are posting about FMS……as well as other topics related to getting ready for school. I would really like to see you on twitter. You could have a twitter feed right on your blog so people could follow you on twitter and be notified when you make another post. It’s new to me so I understand if you’re hesitant to go for it. As I grow my website http://finemotorskillsforchildren.com I’m going to be adding a facebook page and more blogging.
    thanks
    Karey

    • kindergartenteacherclaire

      Thank Karey for not only reading but offering tips about tweeting! I am working my way there…but will soon get it! Claire

  5. Denise

    Do your report cards match the benchmarks exactly? Our district is in the process of rewriting our primary report cards and it is interesting to look at how other write them. Would it be possible to share a copy of the blank template you use for K report cards if you use a checklist type format? Thanks.

  6. Bonnie

    I cannot tell you how reading your blog, even if it was your last one has made me feel so validated. I, too, taught K-4, K-5, 1st grade and 2nd grade. The younger graders are much harder to teach than anyone knows! So much planning goes into early development lesson plans that most parents think it is the old school of yesterday when it was mostly playing and it isn’t! We just make it seem that way. Teachers in one of my school were not appreciative of all the work I did to teach and train the children for the next grade. They actually thought all I had to do was to teach the alaphbet! We have to teach children how to sit, listen, walk in a line, eat in the lunchroom, play on the playground nicely, how to hold a pencil, how to use scissors, and even what time they should be in bed! There were so many different levels in K-5. Some students went to preschool, some did not. Some children had parents who worked with them, some were not so lucky. It was my age that finally led me to another grade level, that and my principal who knew nothing about early childhood, but thought she knew it all! I miss teaching…daily…but not the parents, and the lack of knowledge my other teachers did not understand about early childhood! I taught all the skills you have posted and just wanted to let you know how right on the button you are! Good luck in your higher grade…you will find it much easier!

  7. eve mcvey

    I am searching for a particular website which focused on the skill of retelling a story. This site had colorful printables (which I planned to laminate) to accompany familiar texts, such as Froggy Gets Dressed. The problem is I printed the printables but did not print or write down the web site. Do you have any pointers as to how to find a site with props to accompany books?

    • kindergartenteacherclaire

      Hello,
      Sorry it took awhile to get back to you, I was out of town. Hmmm, I don’t have any pointers for finding particular sites, I will tell you I do lots of searched to narrow down what I am looking for on a particular subject. When I googled Froggy Gets Dressed, I got this site
      http://www.teachingheart.net/froggybooks.htm
      which had lost of activities. You could either search a generic ‘story retelling’ or you could type the name of a particular book and see what activities pop up for it. Hope this helps.
      Claire

  8. Becky

    Hi! I was just informed that our school will be combining the K & 1st grades into one class. There will be an experienced teacher and a part-time teacher handling the 23 kids. My son will be a Kindergartner and I’m a little nervous about this. Do you have any thoughts about this combination? Thanks!

    • kindergartenteacherclaire

      Thanks for writing. I have never personally taught a K-1 class however, I have seen many work beautifully. It will all depend upon the teachers involved. Many of the language arts activities in K and 1 are similar and often the same. Your child will experience learning not only with children his/her age, but with others that are at the same developmental level as he/she is. I think you will find it will all work out, just give it a little time. Your child benefit from being exposed to children that are a little older and when he/she is the first grader it will be great experience to help the incoming Kindergartners. Stay in touch and let me know how it works out and once school starts you may have more specific questions for me.

  9. Please change your link to my site to ■Sight words http://www.gate.net/~labooks/whydolchwords.html#lists
    Thanks for your link to the information on my site.

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