It All Began with Splat the Cat

Teaching treads a fine line between art and science, and though I’ve only ever been considered mediocre in both of those subjects, teaching is my passion. It may have taken me longer than some to realize it, but sharing my love of learning is my destiny. This post marks the champagne salute of my career. I have just been placed in a Kinder class for the remainder of the school year to fill in for a teacher on maternity leave. I couldn’t be more excited! Here is how it happened:

After nearly eight months of walking in resumes, tapping out essays for online applications and whirring through job fairs, I was invited to interview at two extremely successful magnet schools on the North Side of Chicago. After the initial interview, I was invited back to my preferred location for a demo lesson. Now, I had a pretty phenomenal experience at Loyola School of Education, but nothing can adequately prepare you to plan and deliver a lesson to students you know absolutely NOTHING about. In fact, I had never spent any time in kindergarten. They know how to read, right? They know how to write? In this particular case, I was rewarded for assuming “more” out of them than the “typical” kindergarteners.

I was instructed to plan a 20 minute mini-lesson on the comprehension strategy “connections” as well as five 20-minute literacy centers. I defaulted to one of my favorite primary texts, “Splat the Cat” and set about finding ways to make it work. Luckily for me, it worked perfectly! I have compiled the lesson and centers here for your viewing pleasure. Let me know if you use it in your classroom!!

Of course, the anticipation was killing me. There were nearly as many adults in the classroom as students! But once I was looking down at those bright little faces on the carpet, everything else just sort of faded away. It was my classroom, and I was weaving my particular brand of magic: storytelling. I’m not saying it worked like clockwork, but it did work! After debriefing about what I might have done differently, I was sent home to wait…

They called me back that afternoon and I’m scheduled to shadow this fabulous teacher until her due date.

I never imagined I would have to wait this long, fight this hard to teach, but it was worth it. If I had been scooped up by any old school, I wouldn’t have been available for this wonderful opportunity. And it all started with a cat that was too scared to go to school.

ImageDownload the centers & lesson plan here for FREE!  SplatConnectionsLP

Check out these fabulous sites for FREE online read-alouds. Perfect for primary computer center!

This site has read-alouds by famous celebrities!

KOL Jr. – Free read-alouds appropriate for K-3.

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