Monthly Archives: July 2009

we’re getting there


Today was a significantly better day!  We had a total of 16 kids – our high so far this week!  They seem to be getting our rules and routines down – I hope tomorrow goes even better!  It was a relief that today didn’t go like yesterday did – we are taking steps in the right direction!  I kinda like that all the kids didn’t show up on the first day of school – that way as more and more children start coming there are already some who know the rules and routines.

All of the children have now completed their first day drawings and they are being proudly displayed on our walls!  It’s interesting too see all the different drawing abilities the children have!  Some can draw people, houses, and flowers while all others can do is randomly scribble on the paper!  But I still love to see their drawings up on the wall and they do too – it helps make the room more personal for the children.

It’s interesting to see all the different approaches the teachers took to getting their rooms ready.  Most of the other teachers put up bulletin boards with posters and other art work on them.  Others decorated their room to fit a specific theme.  I like to just clean off and prep my bulletin boards with new paper and boarders (if needed) and then leave them blank.  Ready for this children’s creations.  My room looks really bare that way – but within and week or two their art is up all over!

The first month of school I do an ocean theme.  Yesterday and today the children painted seahorses.  They used florescent pink, yellow, green, and blue paint and used crumpled newspaper as their paintbrush.  I had them make the newspaper “jump up and down like a rabbit” and the texture this creates with the paint really looks neat!  We’ve also read “Mister Seahorse” by Eric Carle – and our seahorses look very similar to his!  The children were excited about this!  I really like doing this theme and so far the children seem to be enjoying it as well!  Tomorrow we will start making jellyfish!

herding cats


I felt that today was very chaotic!  We only had 13 – and we went through the same routines and over the same rules we did yesterday – and yesterday went very well – but today was another story!  We both felt like the children were doing the exact opposite of everything we said!  It was just so tiring and we felt like we were fighting a loosing battle!  I don’t like feeling as if I’m fighting with the children all day!

And I have one little boy, who I swear, doesn’t know his name!  We sometimes have to call his name 8 – 10 times before we get a response!  And I know it’s not his hearing.  When we talked to mom and dad they said that they don’t call him by his name at home but that he “should know what his name is” – really?  Am I in some sort of joke here?

I’m frustrated because I feel like we took many steps back today – and I thought that we could be moving forward.  I know they’re just testing – seeing what we’ll allow them to get away with – it happens every year – and I hate it!  If it lasts longer than a few days, I’m talking to parents – because I’m done.  So, I’m praying that it will go better tomorrow – after all, it can’t get much worse!  🙂

my new bunch


So today was the first day with my new children – and I had a TON of kids out today!  We only ended up with a total of 10!  I was very surprised!  But despite this fact – we made the best of it.  We go over the rules and routine as we go through our day.  I only get easy activities out like legos, blocks, coloring – I introduce others as we go along and the children learn how to treat items respectfully.

I felt weird all day though.  I tried to stay in the moment and talk with my new kids and try to get to know them – but it was hard.  My mind kept wandering off – I found myself thinking about my old kids and how their first day was going.  I kept looking for the ones I knew stayed at my school but are now in different classes.  I miss them.

I don’t know my new class – and they don’t know me.  They can’t discuss books or play more difficult games or carry on more in depth conversations.  They don’t know our routine, our rules, or our little inside jokes.  But most of all – I don’t love them.  Yet.  It all takes time.  But now, we’re all just trying to figure out how we all fit together – and it’s a bit awkward.  However, I look forward to a time when this is all behind us – and I can say I love them.

going, going….gone


Well, the end of the year came and went.  Monday marks the beginning of the new school year – and my new class.  A very bittersweet moment.  I already miss my old class – but I am excited to see what the new school year holds.  I have to admit that I don’t feel at all ready or prepared for what lies ahead.  I’m not sure why – I just have this nagging feeling that I forgot to do something important.  It’s probably just paranoia.  I just need to believe that everything will go smoothly and keep on top of things.  I sometimes have the tendency to to slack on organization during the school year and then have to clean my mess up during the summer.  I’m going to try to make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

Ms. Bennet and I have decided to do a monthly newsletter for our parents as well as write on our white board what we learned and did each day.  Hopefully the parents learn to appreciate this.  Also, since we have to do “paperwork” we decided upon practicing our name writing, doing some sort of math or science activity that will have a recording sheet to go along with it, and a letter of the week page.  No tracing or redundant line drawing for my class!  We’re hoping 3 papers a week is enough for the parents!  We want to spend the rest of our time actually being productive learners!  🙂

So, I wish my old class luck as they start their new adventures Monday.  I am confident that I let them out of the nest with the correct tools to continue on in their learning – I know they are going to soar high.  And I am looking forward to and anticipating meeting my new group of kids – and together we will all start another journey into the wonder and excitement of pre-k…

Artwork by:  Rachelle Anne Miller

getting closer


2 more days. I didn’t accomplish as much as I hoped I would today – but I made some more progress.  Each classroom is given two storage cupboards and I managed to clean out and organize 1 of them today.  Well – almost.  I have to finish the top shelf tomorrow.  Then move onto the next one!  I have WAY to much stuff and not enough space!  So, I’m trying to get rid of things that I don’t use or things I only use sparingly.  It’s crunch time – and hard decisions must be made!

Ms. Bennet has been a big help!  She’s made multiple sets of names to be used in various ways around the room, helped organize the cubbies for our new group, helped me with some cleaning, and taken everything off the walls and prepped the bulletin boards for the first day of school.  She has also taken the children and kept them busy so I can have time to get things done.  I couldn’t do it without her!

I think it’s finally hitting home with the children that they only have 2 days left with us.  I’ve heard comments the last few days like, “I wish I could stay in your class forever!” and “I don’t want to go to a new school!”  I’ve also been getting a ton of hugs (much more than usual) and many of the children have been very clingy!  I love this class and it’s soooo hard to let them go – but I know they will do great!  I keep reassuring them and being positive…but I know they must be nervous about what lies ahead.

4 days left


I spent most of the morning with a bucket of hot, soapy water washing everything from the doors and window blinds to the cubbies and shelves.  LOTS of work!  But, I think everything is nice and clean for next week and my new class.  Ms. Bennet kept the children out for a good long while and when she brought them in I just worked around them.  Most ignored what I was doing but some watched and talked with me as I cleaned.  I still have a TON of work to get done by Monday – but at least the I made a small dent in all my work today!

On another note, today, just 4 days before the very first day of school, we all finally got our class lists for next year!  For me, that’s cutting it a little close!  Lets see how it all breaks down:

Total # of Children:  21

Number of Boys:  8

Number of Girls:  13

Wow!  Lots of girls – I hope they’re not all drama queens and get along okay!  🙂  I’m not too worried with my list though, I’m familiar with most the children already.  There are a few who I fear aren’t ready for a pre-k class, but the pace will just have to be slower with them and hopefully they will catch up.  I also have 2 children coming into my class who don’t speak English – a brand new experience for me!  To top it off, neither of us know Spanish!  I hope they are quick learners – because I’m not sure what to do about this dilemma…and I’m hoping it will all work out in the end!

just stay calm


I have returned from my much needed and long overdue vacation!  I had a great time away – beautiful scenery and a moderate climate – who could ask for more?  I missed my kids while I was on vacation, but I’ll miss them more on Monday when I go to start class and I don’t see their faces!  So I’m trying to make the best of every moment I have left with them.

I have to admit that I kinda had a mini panic attack this morning (and another one this evening) when I got to work and realized I have 1 week until the new school year starts!  Where did the time go?!    I feel like I have 10 million things to do and no time to do them!  I’m currently in the process of making a To-Do list of all the things I’d like done by Monday.  It’s pretty long…so I’m going in early tomorrow to work in my room and I’m going to ask Ms. Bennet to keep the children outside for as long as she can in the morning so I can work in peace.  We’ll see how that goes and how much I can get done.  I might have to take this plan of attack everyday this week.  I really wish I worked in a school where I had access to my room in the evenings.  That would be soooo nice!  What a luxury!  I wouldn’t be so stressed then – but I’ll just take it all in stride!

Wish me luck – I might need it!  🙂

imagination at work


I had my class out on the playground this morning and half the class was playing a game together.  I moved closer so I could watch and hear what they were saying.  As I walked up to the group I observed one of my girls lift her hand to her ear to make a phone (like the sign language “Y”) and say, “Hello, 9-1-1 here – what do you want?”  As you can imagine, I immediately wondered what kind of game they were playing!

After observing for awhile, I kinda worked out their game.  One child was a police officer.  One child was the police officer’s dog.  The other children were cats.  The police officer and her dog would run after the cats, capture them, and put them in “jail”.  The cats who were still free would break the cats who were in jail out and the game would resume.  Every so often the roles would change so each child got a turn being the police officer, dog, or a cat.

I thought this was a slightly bizarre game – but they seemed to really be enjoying it and played it for almost an hour!  I must say, they have good imaginations to come up with this on their own.  I also loved how they decided to take turns playing the different roles – with little fighting about who’s turn it was!  It was a proud moment.  I’ll miss these guys!