Tag Archives: growth

going, going….gone

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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

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lazy days

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This week Ms. Bennet has been on vacation so I’ve had all the little ones to myself!  It’s been quite pleasant – but uneventful.  We have been slowly working on wrapping our Father’s Day gifts and taking them home.  I have also been working part time so far this week due to the low summer enrollment.  It’s actually been quite a nice break.  I love my job – but it’s been really nice having been so slow and my hours being cut back.  I have more time to just sit back and take in the joys of early summer!

Observing my kids now it’s hard to believe how much they’ve grown and matured over the course of the year!  I’m so proud of how far they’ve come!  They can organize games by themselves without it ending in chaos.  They can resolve conflicts without having me walk them through the process.  They are more independent in all aspects – and I know they are ready to leave the nest and go to Kindergarten.  And I will miss them – and always love them – and I hope they feel the same about me.  This year flew by – and with the few children I still have with me…I only have a few short weeks left with them.  I cherish every moment I have left – good or bad.

perfect harmony

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Today was a great day!  It felt like our classroom was running like a well oiled machine.  The children are independent and confident enough to get through most of their centers without needing tons of help.  They are able to resolve their disputes without constant tattling…a very nice feeling.  Sometimes they need help finding the right words…but that’s natural.  They are happy and engaged…you can see it in their faces.  I like knowing this…it means I’ve done my job.

They are really enjoying our dinosaur theme.  We still have our jungle in the playhouse area…but now it’s a dinosaur habitat!  I put these inflatable dinosaurs in the playhouse/jungle area.  I bought them on clearance 50% off at the beginning of the school year and I’m glad I finally have an excuse to use them!  Despite the so-so reviews of them not working, mine seem to be doing fine!  There is one that must have a tiny leak because at the end of the day about 1/3 of the air was out.  But I don’t mind adding a little air each day – it’s a small price to pay for the children having sooo much fun with them!

I’ve also added some small dinos to our playdough – and the children have been having a blast using them to make footprints and landscapes with the playdough!  Some of the kids even put a couple of them in a ball of playdough and pretended that they were hatching from eggs!  Too cute!  There are dinosaur rubbing plates to use with the crayons as well – a new experience for most of my class – but they’re starting to understand how to do it correctly! 🙂  Our oatmeal table now houses these skeleton dinosaurs as well as some brushes and scoops so the children can bury and them and then excavate the bones.  I love these dinosaurs and the children seem to as well!

Right now, we seem to be working in perfect harmony with each other – an engaged, happy class!  Let’s hope it continues!  🙂

my little writers

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I think after all the hard work we’ve done with the children, some are starting to look at themselves as writers!  I think.  I’m pretty sure.  They’ve always enjoyed coloring and any art project we’ve done – they’ve seen themselves as artists for awhile.  For the past month or so, I’ve noticed that they’ve been “writing” on their projects.  Maybe it’s just strings of letters, but they know what it says.  They have been making signs lately for their projects and labeling drawings on their own.  None of the “words” make any sense to me but when I ask them to read it to me – they do.  Some ask how to spell words and then sound them out with me as they write.  This is progress – this makes me happy!  This is what makes me love teaching – seeing moments like this – seeing their growth – their joy – even their hurt – and trying to get them through and make them see just how special they are – even when I find it hard to see sometimes.

(This picture was found through google images – but it illustrates perfectly what some of my children are starting to do.)

oh happy day!

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Progress reports are done at last!  It takes a long time to observe the children, see what they know, and then write it down and make comments to parents – but now it’s all done and tomorrow they can all go home!  Yay!  Finally!  (insert sigh of relief here)

Today we made giraffes.  I wouldn’t really call it art – more of a fine motor exercise.  I die cut a giraffe for each child out of yellow paper then I gave them light and dark brown paper and a hole punch.  They then punched out dots to glue onto their giraffe.  They all enjoyed the process – some had a hard time with punching out the dots; others had a hard time picking the dots up off the table – but they all turned out cute!

We also started making lion masks today.  Ms. Bennet and I cut the center out of a paper plate.  Then we let them put a bunch of glue on the paper plate ring.  After that they put on some crinkly shredded yellow and brown paper to make a mane (this paper was used as hay when we had a farm in our playhouse and I saved it to use for this project).  Tomorrow I will let them cut out ears for their lion and they can help staple them on.  I will enjoy watching them play with their masks and pretend to be lions!  I’m sure they’ll look adorable!

They love playing with our green playdough!  Our blue and yellow playdough turned into green weeks ago.  Usually I put out plastic knives, sicssors, cookie cutters, and rolling pins with the playdough – but lately I’ve just been putting out playdough to see what they do with it.  A first, they weren’t so sure.  But today I was proud to see them trying to make the letters in their names!  A few spelled thier names completely!  All my children (except one) know their names – but some had trouble figuring out how to make the letters with playdough.  It was nice to see them making the attpemt without me having to prompt them!  I love my class!  I don’t think they would have tried this earlier in the  year – it appears my babies are growing up!

happy simple moment

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Happy Spring!  Today as I was watching my children play in various parts of the room I saw Kitten doing something I hadn’t seen a child doing before – and it was sooo adorable!  Kitten was in the block area and she was holding a long 12″ rectangle unit block.  Nothing unusual – she put it down, picked it up – basically took it with her everywhere she went.  At first I couldn’t figure out why – but then I got it!

At one point she laid it down on the floor and walked about two feet away.  She was pretending to pick imaginary items up off the floor.  A boy came into the block area and accidentally kicked her block.  She shouted the boys name in annoyance and ran over and picked up the block.  Then she held it tenderly in her arms (much like one would hold a baby with the baby’s head on her shoulder) and said, “Shhhh, it’s okay now.” as she patted her “baby” on the back.  After doing this she started rocking her baby in her arms and singing softly as she walked around the carpet.

She continued playing this way for a good 20 mins.  She pretended to feed the baby and build block structures with it as well.  This is the first time I have seen one of my children turn a block into a baby – but it was adorable and I was very proud about how imaginative she was being.  It made me smile…and it made the stresses and exhaustion of the week melt away for a few mins…it was one of those simple moments in life that remind us of how little we truly need to be happy.  For some, all it takes is a block and an imagination.

The Joy of Books

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I love my class this year!  This is the first class I’ve had in the past few years that I absolutely adore!  Don’t get me wrong – I always like my classes – and I have always loved my job – but this year – everything has just fallen into place!  I am sooo going to miss them when they leave!  It will be one sad day.  I also love that they play so well together.  They all just get along so well!  There is almost no fighting and the tattling is down to the bare minimum!  I think it’s a miracle.  They work out their own problems and don’t seem to hold grudges – a near perfect class!  I LOVE them!

One thing that they love to do is “read” books in our book area.  I constantly find a group of 5 or 6 sitting in the book area with one child pretending to read a book to the others!  It’s sooo cute!  Our book area always has children in it “reading”.  I have gone out of my way this year to teach the children that books are special and we need to treat them that way.  Ms.  Bennet and I have made a point to teach them the various parts of a book (the covers, spine, title page, etc.) and what purpose those parts serve.  We repeatedly go over how book are to be held, how pages are to be turned, and how nicely we put books away.  We are trying to teach them to be respectful to them.  And I think our hard work has paid off!  As a book lover – that excites me!

Today I overheard this conversation between two children in out book area:

Friend 1:  See how nice I can hold the book?  (Places the book in her lap and opens it)

Friend 2:  And we turn the pages like this… (Gently turns a page in her book)

Friend 1:  That’s right because books are special!

The two of them continue to “read” their books as a few more children come to the book area.

Friend 1:  Let’s play teacher!

Other Children:  Okay!

Friend 1:  (Holding up her book)  I am going to read this book for you.  Let’s go over the parts:  This is the front cover.  (Turns book around) This is the back cover.  (Turns book to show spine) This is the spine – it holds all the pages together.

She opens the book and “reads” it as the other children listen.  When she is done:

Friend 1:  Can someone show me how we hold the book? (Another child demonstrates)

Friend 2:  Who wants to show us how you put the books away nicely?  They are on the floor!  (Two children volunteer and clean up the books)

Friend 2:  Good job class – you are good listeners!  Remember, books are special and we always need to take care of them!

Friend 1:  That’s right – now you all can go play!

This was just too cute!  I enjoyed watching them and they seemed to be having a lot of fun!  I’m glad that what we’re trying to teach them is actually sinking in and that they are listening!  It was great too see!