Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Teacher Thank You Notes: Do or Don't?

Happy New Year!

It has been quite a while since I have made a post, almost a year in fact. Things have been somewhat of a whirlwind during that time. To be honest, I am also still trying to find my online voice...figuring out what I really want this blog to be about. I have, however, found a topic I would like to write about for my own clarity...teachers sending thank you notes to children and/or families for gifts.

As an educator in the early childhood field I receive many gifts during the holidays from the children and their families. Some of the gifts are personal and some are generalized, but all are certainly appreciated. Over the Christmas break I have debated whether or it is appropriate to send thank you notes for these gifts or not. I have gone back and forth in my mind whether I should or whether I shouldn't.

Sending a thank you note is something that many people fail to do these days, but I think teacher gifts are a unique area. Many of the cards I have received with the gifts usually have some kind of thank you message written in them so I have viewed these gifts from the children and their families as a thank you gift in itself. I feel awkward sending a thank you note in return for a thank you gift. I was also told over the break that it may come off as rude to send thank you notes for generalized gifts as it puts the gift giver in an uncomfortable situation of having to trying harder the next time around.

Would anyone care to weigh in to help me decide?

~Miss Kapua

Saturday, May 9, 2015

What the teacher wore: May 9th edition

I have been trying to find my teacher fashion-style. It's been difficult, but this week I tried out a couple different looks. What really helped was picking out the week's outfits before the week began. 

Monday: knee-length flowy skirt, tank top, sweater 

Tuesday: pencil skirt, top

Wednesday: denim pants and sleeveless top

Thursday: denim dress, leggings (This outfit was a bit of a stretch for me. I don't usually wear leggings with dresses, but I felt good in this outfit. Don't mind the wrinkles...I took this picture at the end of the day.)

Friday: shorts, t-shirt
This was my casual Friday outfit. In the spirit of teacher appreciation week I wanted to wear my "I ❤️ my Pre-K'ers" t-shirt. 

Can't forget the aprons I had made for my staff (I also had one made for myself!) for teacher appreciation week. How cute is it?! It's a waiter apron and it's perfect for holding all the little things you need or are handed throughout the day. 

I'll be trying to pre-plan my teaching outfits again for this coming week...and hopefully remember to take pictures earlier in the day. 

What's your teacher fashion?

-Miss Kapua 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Celebrating Cultures

The last few days in Pre-K have been spent with cultural celebrations. On May 1st we celebrated May Day...which is known as lei day in Hawaii. We made construction paper and straw lei. I love having the children make these every year. They look so colorful!

On May 5th, we celebrate Boys' Day (Japanese) as well as Cinco de Mayo (Mexican). Typically I usually only teach about Boys' Day on May 5th, but one of our teachers is from Mexico so I add a little bit of Cinco de Mayo in to honor her. 

For Boys' Day, we talked about the windsocks that are hung by Japanese families in the hopes that their children will grow up to be determined and strong like the koi fish that swim upstream. During circle time I brought senbei (Japanese rice crackers) for all the children to try as a treat. Our small group activity was to make koi windsocks. The children had a lot of fun! 

The first step was to cut out the white fish. The children used that to trace on a piece of construction paper for the backing. 

Then the children were invited to decorate their fish. We taped the fish to a paper towel roll to create the circle for the mouth. 

Miss Kapua's sample! 

At the end of the activity, we took a class pic and I hung them in our window. 

For afternoon snack, we celebrated Cinco de Mayo. We made guacamole! 

Ingredients: avocado, tomato, white onion, cilantro, guacamole mix, and tortilla chips. 

The children used a plastic fork to help smash the avocado and mix everything together. They also used a plastic knife to help cut the cilantro.

Doesn't it look delicious?

Snack time! (Many of the children actually liked it. I was pleasantly surprised by that.)

Stay tuned for more cultural celebrations and activities from the Pre-K kiddos. May is culture month for us!

-Miss Kapua

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What the teacher wore: May 3rd edition

This week I was feeling particularly teacher-ly with my outfits so I decided to do a blog post about what I wore. 

First, let's start with this week's diy mani...

Next, Monday's outfit...skirt and flowy vest with a tank top.

Wednesday's outfit...top, slacks, and a sweater. 

And finally Friday's outfit...maxi dress and a denim jacket. This was the first time I wore my denim jacket to work. I loved this outfit. It felt cute!

Tuesday's and Thursday's outfits didn't make the cut this week. Maybe we'll try again next week. 

-Miss Kapua

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fantastic Friday: April 17th Edition

Every Friday, I will be posting what made this teaching week great. When I say "every Friday" I mean as often as possible. So here is my first Fantastic Friday list...

1. I finally (and I say finally because the mail took really long to get it to Hawaii) received my SLANTbox from Erin. She did such an amazing job and I love, love, LOVED the box she put together for me. Everything was SO me. Thank you Jameson for hosting. I definitely recommend checking out their blogs and signing up for the next SLANTbox if you are a teacher.

2. One of my Pre-K kiddos got accepted into a prestigious private school for Kindergarten. This had nothing to do with me, but I am so happy for him.

3. We are having our first ever fundraiser tomorrow and I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the parents at our school. We asked them to donate drinks for us to sell at a rummage sale and now my office looks like the drink aisle at a grocery store.

4. I stumbled upon the 30 day teach happy challenge from Sheila Jane this week. I love the idea of it and will definitely be participating soon. Thank you for posting this challenge! 

Happy Fantastic Friday!

-Miss Kapua 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Book Review: Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

I have finished reading this book months ago, but have been struggling on how to review it. In turn pushing all my book reviews back. Boo! Like many (if not ALL) teachers out there, I don't have a lot of free time. So what I choose to do in my free time is very important and I try to do things that make me happy and or fulfilled. Reading this book was neither of those things. For me, this was one of those books that I finished reading just for the sake of finishing it.

Commencement is about four girls who meet during their freshman year of year college at a Women's College. The book included all of the things you would expect for book about a group of girls at a Women's College...a little drinking, rape, protests, lesbians, and friendships. The only things in the book I could relate to were the friendships and parties. Everything else was not in my college experience. What I can appreciate about this book is the way the friendships are portrayed. It was very realistic and I found myself taking sides during arguments.

Verdict: Not my cup of tea and I can't think of anyone I would recommend this book too. It was a bit of a slow read for me and ended in a very weird way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

St. Patrick's Day

This post is a recount of some of our St. Patrick's Day activities. Holidays are a fabulous time in preschool! We get to be goofy and have a lot of fun. We get to dress up...and we always have the "I'm a teacher" excuse. I have used this excuse many times when justifying why I am buying something. (See: outfit below)

We started our St. Patrick's Day celebrating off by doing a craft I stumbled upon on Pinterest. The children made a rainbow paper chain that led to a pot of gold. The pin for the craft can be found here. How happy does this picture look with all the colors?

Our next activity to prepare for St. Patrick's Day was our door decorations. We talked about what we would do with a pot of gold. Each kiddo cut out a yellow circle and drew what they would do with a pot of gold. They wanted to include a rainbow of hearts...which they all helped to cut. 

The day before St. Patrick's Day we prepared for our school-wide parade. We made hats and wands for the children to march around with. We had to improvise a little with the hats since all we had were styrofoam bowls that couldn't be painted. The children cut out three hearts to make each wand. We secured them to green straws and added white and green curling ribbon. 


In the afternoon before the children went home, I read The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing. The children loved that the leprechaun played tricks in the book. 

Finally St. Patrick's Day arrived! The leprechaun played a trick on us...

GREEN MILK for morning snack! The children loved it. 

They also loved my festive outfit for the day...

How could I pass up the opportunity to buy something with Mickey on it?! See what I mean about using the "I'm a teacher" excuse. But who am I kidding?

-Miss Kapua