Name: Amy Dahmke Blog
Personal info (state/family/pets/interests):
I live in Omaha, NE with my husband and 2 little kiddos! Ava is 3 years old and
Owen is 6 months. Both of my kids come with amazing stories and have left my
husband and I feeling blessed to finally be living a "normal" life after 2
years of medical bills, turmoil, and most recently...triumphs! Our house is
also home to Libby the crazy puggle and Bandit the talking cat (seriously, he
is part siamese and never stops meowing). My interests are making hair bows,
playing around with photography, and working my tail feathers off to finish
my Master's degree in Elementary Administration.
Grade You Teach: I taught kindergarten for four years before teaching first grade How long have you taught?
I have been working in Early Childhood classrooms since 2004. I worked for a
non-profit agency as a Pre-Kindergarten teacher until I decided to make the move
to public schools. After applying at Omaha's largest school district,I ended up
taking a teaching job at the school where I completed my practicum work during
college, which was a VERY rewarding experience. The school served a high percentage
of Hispanic students and was located in a low-income neighborhood in the heart of
What is your favorite subject to teach? As a kindergarten teacher my favorite area to teach wasn't from the books! I
enjoyed the"teachable moments" that occurred frequently throughout the day. It
was amazing to use those moments and watch the eyes light up as the student would
realize what was happening. In first grade I LOVED teaching math. My school
adopted a new curriculum called "Math Expressions" and the approach it took to
teaching the students was amazing! I think I was learning new things right along
with the kids!
What would we likely see if we popped into your classroom unannounced?
If you came to my classroom you would be amazed with the bright colors and
organization! Students would be engaged in independent activities while I
was instructing small group time.If you came at the right moment you would
see us dancing and singing to the latest Dr. Jean or Jack Hartman tunes and
when I say "dancing" you better believe I mean it, and YOU wouldbe forced to
join along! I am also a huge believer of providing opportunities for success
for all learners, so you would see a lot of visuals and the students working
at their own independent levels in all areas of the classroom.
What gets you through one of “those” days?
For the last 5 years I kept a picture of one of my Pre-K classes hanging in
a storage cabinet! The class in the picture was by far the MOST interesting
group of kids I have taught. The class had all personalities; from students
being sexually and physically abused to a student who could go from being my
"best bud" to charging at me with a file cabinet or pinning me against a wall
with a broom. So, on "those" days I would open my storage cabinet and think
"if I made it through those days... I can make it today"! What is one “can’t live without” teaching resource?
The SmartBoard!!!! I LOVE everything about it :)
Give us a glimpse of your teaching style by sharing a brief summary of a favorite classroom activity/project.
I loved a writing activity that I had the kids take part in last year. We read
the book, "Are You My Mother" then we talked about animal traits. The students
selected an animal of their choice that they wanted to research. They had to use
the specific internet sites to determine the animal's habitat, neighboring animals,
specific traits unique to the animal, and how the animal communicates to others
around it. From there the kids wrote stories of their own, similar to the book
we read, and they illustrated the cutest pictures ever! One other writing
activity that the kids would probably say was their favorite was writing their
personal timelines. I had parents send a sequence of memorable moments to school
with their kids for the write-up. The students loved comparing information like,
when they first walked or used the potty for the first time!
What is one of your blogging goals for this year?
Well, I had to take a leave of absence from teaching for the 2012-2013 school
year (mysalary last year was non-existant due to medical bills and daycare).
So, I am hopingto stay current on latest trends fun things to do when I return
to teaching next fall.