Monthly Archives: September 2009

name magic

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I wanted a quick art project today.  Something that went along with our All About Me unit and was easy to prep.  Something that the children would enjoy.  After much thought – I had it!  Crayon resist painting!  But, I thought, how do we get it to go along with the theme?  I decided they could paint their name!  What’s better than celebrating each child’s name with an art project?  I knew they would love that (and they did)!  What I did was take a 12 inch by 3 inch piece of white construction paper and write the child’s name on it using a white crayon.  Then I invited each child over to paint their paper using liquid watercolors.  As they painted they watched their name emerge!

I thoroughly enjoyed watching each child complete this art project.  They would start painting and then suddenly their face would light up with surprise and I’d hear: “Look – a letter!”  I’d smile and ask them if they thought more letters would appear as they painted.  Usually they’d start painting faster – some naming the letters as they went.  I loved the way their faces would light up when they realized that it was their name they were uncovering!   It was magical for them – most had never done this kind of art project before – and I love when I can watch them experience something for the first time!  🙂

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teamwork

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Today a group of 5 children sat on the area rug in our room and worked together to put together a 48 piece floor puzzle.  Once they completed it they stood up, cheered, and clapped their hands.  They were so proud of themselves!  And I was proud for them.  They invited everyone to the carpet to see their masterpiece!  Then they took the puzzle apart and repeated this same scene twice more.

It was nice to watch them work together.  When one child wasn’t sharing pieces or being especially helpful I would hear someone say, “We need more teamwork!”  I loved it!  They tried to talk it out and use trial and error to find where pieces went – I was proud they just didn’t get frustrated and give up!  I love going through my day and looking for moments like this!  And when they decided they were done, I made sure I let them know how proud I was with all of them!  I hope this behavior continues!  🙂

our hands

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I’ve never done class books in my classroom before – but recently I’ve been finding ideas and reading about them on various teacher websites/blogs and so I’ve decided to give it a go!  Thus, today we started our first class book!  Our class book idea is taken directly from Mrs. Levin over at Pre-K Pages (her blog is in my blog list at the left of the page)!  Thanks a bunch for the Here Are Our Hands class book idea (go to link for pics) – she has lots of other ideas too!  It goes great with our All About Me unit – and I think the children will enjoy looking at it in our class library and comparing their hands with their friends hands!  We used multicultural skin tone paints to blend colors that matched each students skin tone and had each child (who was able to) write their name!  So far it’s turning out very nicely and I think the end product will be super cute!

I’m curious to know how many of you out there make class books?  And how do you use them once they are complete?  Any ideas would also be welcome!  I hope you are all enjoying your new school year!  🙂

yummy

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Since we are in the midst of an All About Me theme I thought this would be a good time to learn about what each of us likes to eat!  On Tuesday I sent a note home asking for each child to bring a piece of their favorite fruit with them to school today.  I had decided we were going to make a “Favorite Fruit” Salad.  So this morning we assembled and ate our treat.  Each child (after thoroughly washing their hands) got to use a plastic knife to cut up the fruit they’d brought (after I’d prepped it – if needed) and put it in the bowl.  We had apples, peaches, kiwi, bananas, grapes, watermelon, blueberries and more!  I was very pleased with the variety of fruit everyone brought!  After we had all done our part we dished it up and everyone got to eat and enjoy!  We also talked about what each person had brought and how altogether it made enough for all of us to eat.  We also talked about how working together we made something we all  could enjoy.  We had so much left over we took the rest of the salad to the kitchen for the other teachers to enjoy!  A fun, tasty project – and a good way to end the week!

*thump thump*

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Today we worked more on our “I Like…” collages – they are turning out great!  I’m also taking note on who needs more scissor practice and who is progressing at a better rate.  Besides our collages, we did an activity today that the children were very thrilled about!  I bought 2 stethoscopes (one for each teacher) and the children were able to listen to their heartbeat and their breathing!  They were stoked about this!  I loved watching their faces light up when they realized what they were hearing!  I love these moments!  Isn’t our job great?  🙂

snip, snip…

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Today we started “I Like…” collages.  Basically I give the children magazines, they cut out pictures of things they like, and then glue those pictures to a piece of paper.  Simple, easy, and the children really enjoy this activity!  I like it because it gives us a good excuse to practice our scissor skills.  We have scissors out with our playdough – one way we get informal practice – and we’ve snipped a couple things before – but this is new for them.  I sit at the table and show the children how we hold the scissors correctly – then I let them have at it!  It’s nice because they don’t have to worry about cutting on a line and they still get practice.  So far the collages are turning out nicely – and they help us learn more about each other.  A good project for an All About Me theme. 🙂

invisible?

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Today when I logged onto my computer I read this article on Yahoo talking about the most surprising top ten lowest paying jobs.  Read number 4.  Are you surprised?  I wasn’t.  It made me wonder why.  Are we undervalued?  Misunderstood?  Why do we always end up on lists like this?  Why, when we have such important jobs, are we forced into obscurity and looked down upon in society?

I recently took a trip to go and see my sister.  I met some of her friends (all have at least a Masters degree) and when they asked me what I did for a living, and I told them, they checked out.  They dismissed me – it was like they felt it was below them to talk to me.  I was literally ignored the rest of the evening – it was like I was invisible.  That hurt.  And just because I teach the very young and only have an AA.  And it wasn’t the first time something like that has happened.

Why are we underpaid, under-appreciated, and overlooked?  Is it because we aren’t unionized?  If so, I think that’s a silly reason!  Is it because we’re not part of the school districts (in most, but not all cases)?  That’s another silly reason!  Just because our children are small doesn’t make our job any less important then a college professor’s!  In fact, it’s more important.  We are a child’s first point of contact when it comes to education.  We have them before their brains are fully formed – we help form their brains and essentially help form who these children become – so why don’t we matter as much as all the other educators out there?!

I’m venting, I know – but lets face it, I’m not the only one who feels this way.  I hope that with time people will come to see that we aren’t just glorified babysitters – I hope in time we get the respect we know we deserve.  But in the meantime I will continue to do the best I can as a teacher – not for society or those people who look down on me – but for the children who matter the most.