Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I was fortunate to be invited to the California Kindergarten Conference last weekend in Santa Clara, and it was like a revival!!!  I think we all left feeling reaffirmed and inspired to create “kinder” gardens where children can grow and learn in happy, meaningful, age appropriate ways.

Make New Friends But Keep the Old
Teachers motivate me with their passion, enthusiasm, and new ideas!  I was reminded of a song I learned when I was a Brownie.  “Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver and the other gold.”  Technology is the new friend, but we must hold on to our old friends (play, centers, games, music, stories, finger plays, nursery rhymes) as well!

Losing the War
One teacher repeated a comment he had heard from a (very wise) administrator:  “We might be winning battles, but we are losing the war.”  WOW!  Test scores might be improving, but what about children’s love of learning?  What about creativity and problem solving?  What about social skills and learning to care for others?

Groundhog Extravaganza!
Don’t you love it?  Some teachers said that they call everything an “extravaganza” and it motivates the children and gets them excited.  “Oh, we’re going to have a math extravaganza after lunch!”  (I might try having a Martha Stewart extravaganza next time I have to clean!)

Bubblegum Learning
I was visiting with one teacher and he explained that teaching kindergarten was like bubblegum.  You have to give children real, concrete, hands-on experiences so that what they learn will STICK!

Transitional Kindergarten
California is moving back the starting date for kindergarten from December to September.  Yeah!  They are going to offer a “transitional kindergarten” for children as they make the change.  Ozma Ferren wrote this song to the tune of “Tiny Tim” to celebrate the change:
Transitional kindergarten where we work and play.
Transitional kindergarten, hip, hip, hip, hooray!
Transitional kindergarten, celebrate the day.
Transitional kindergarten, hip, hip, hip, hooray!

Blogger Buddies
There was a lot of buzz about the internet, websites, blogs, and the big, new WWW frontier.  I’m sure everyone who reads my blog has already leaped into the WWW and is familiar with pinterest and the pinboard.  Did you know there’s a free pinterest app?                                                                           Another good alphabet site someone suggested was

It was fun to put blogs and faces together when we met one afternoon.  Here’s Camille Johnson from