Tag Archives: progress reports

where we left off and other updates

Standard

The last time I posted I was talking about our valentine grandparents tea and that went off without a problem and everyone had an awesome time!  Even Ms. Lezze-Faire made an appearance and seemed to enjoy herself!  The children made little flowers with sucker centers for the favors…we had enough left over to give each teacher one!

The rest of that school year went fairly well with the majority of my students being more then ready for Kindergarten.   That left me feeling good for what this year would bring.  But, being the buzz kill she is, Ms Lezze-Faire came to me literally days before school was to start and told me that I basically sucked at doing my job.

She said that a certain parent (and that parent’s kindergarten teacher) had complained that the child wasn’t ready for kindergarten because I hadn’t done my job properly.  She said they had complained that the child couldn’t sit still for long periods of time and couldn’t color correctly.  She said this was due to the fact that I didn’t do worksheets in my class.

Um, hello?  Are you serious?  First of all, if the only 2 complaints they had were about attention span and coloring, I think that’s pretty good.  Secondly, some children will always have a hard time sitting for long periods, especially if what is being done doesn’t hold their attention.  Thirdly, who cares if they aren’t perfect at coloring?  It’s coloring…not brain surgery.  Duh.

So anyway, she told me that I had to do worksheets or that she’d fire me and find someone to replace who would do them.  So there.  That’s what I got 2 days before school started.  Fine.  I’ll do what I have to do to keep my job.  No one wants to be out of work in this economy.  So i started scouring the internet for paperwork I liked…which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Let me be clear on this:  I am not against paperwork…I’m against worksheets.  They are different.  I don’t like the thought of children tediously tracing something or counting pictures and circling a number.  I don’t like the thought of children drawing a line to match two pictures on a paper.  It’s just too passive…and doesn’t really engage the child in learning.   I have no problem if the children are doing an activity and recording their findings (that’s what real scientists do after all).  I also have no problem with my children creating books and filling in letters or stamping a certain amount of items or something similar.  So for a lot of my paperwork, that’s how I set it up…the children are simply doing a hands-on activity and recording what they find (much easier with number activities…letters, not so much).  It has seemed to work so far.

This year I have 10 children showing up consistently.  I have 12 on my roll.  I only have 3 girls…and lots of wild crazy boys!  Sooo….I’m trying to find ways to keep them interested and engaged…which is not as easy as it sounds.  So far, I have done okay…but I think I can do better.

Mid year progress reports have just gone out and most of my kids are right where I want them to be…so I’m happy.  I’m hoping they continue to progress over the next 5 months…and hopefully the ones who are behind start to catch up.  Now that I know where they are all, I know who to spend more time with and what area they need extra support.  I look forward to telling you all stories of our days together…it feels good to be back.

Advertisements

it’s been too long

Standard

Well, I’m back – and before you can say it – I know I’ve been gone too long – almost a month!  I don’t really have any good excuse.  I’ve been sick (twice) and Ms. Bennet has been sick – and out almost a week.  And all the kids have been getting sick.  So I’ve been a bit stressed and really, really tired and haven’t felt like logging on and posting about anything!  But I’m back – and I have to say I’ve missed my blog!

First, an update on Jumpy.  Well, there really is no update – he hasn’t been back to school since that first week and the office hasn’t heard or been able to contact the family.  I’m hoping they found a school that could better meet his needs and that they are happy.  And, as horrible as this is going to sound, I feel a bit relieved.  I was worried about how I was going to handle his situation (and his possible special needs) while still giving the rest of my class the attention they need.   Don’t get me wrong, I would have given it my best attempt – I don’t back away from challenges – I’m just glad I didn’t have this one extra thing on my plate right now.

On another note, Progress Reports went out this last week!  I’m always dreading progress report time (I do them 3 times a year:  December, April, and again in May) because I fear that the children won’t show any progress!  I was happy with how all the children performed!  I have about 5 (out of 20 kids) who I feel will not be ready for Kindergarten.  I recommended they do another year of Pre-K.  I’ll see how their parents respond to this suggestion next week.  I can’t force a child to learn.  Those few children lack focus and give up really easily.  I’ve been asking their parents to help them at home (don’t know if they are or not) but little to no progress has been made.

So, now that I’m finally feeling human again (and not sick and exhausted) I’ll try to post somewhat regularly!  Spring break is here (we don’t close for spring break – we just don’t do academics) and the sun is supposed to be out all next week!  We are doing a unit on bugs/insects and the weather will help us so that we can explore outside to see what we can find.  Thanks you for being patient while I’ve been gone!  Like I said before:  It’s good to be back!  🙂

oh happy day!

Standard

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!

staying focused

Standard

I’m already pondering Mother’s Day.  Yes, I know – this early!  I actually woke up in a slight panic this morning because I have no plans on what my children will make for Mother’s Day – silly, isn’t it?  My goal this year was to be prepared in advance for all the holidays and big events in our school year – and so far so good.  But looming in the not so distant future is Mother’s Day.  I like to make something that the mother’s can keep for years to come – and if I can use a hand print that’s always a plus.  I’ve done pot holders, tiles, and jean pockets (with magnets on the back) all with hand prints in the past.  Nice keepsakes.  I have no idea for this year.

And if worrying about Mother’s Day wasn’t bad enough – it just brings up thoughts of Father’s Day – which is always way harder for me!  Especially considering that all my children don’t have a father present in their lives.  So, for now I’m going to put these things on the back burner until I manage to deal with more pressing issues – such as getting my progress reports out to the parents.  I would ideally like to put them all out on Monday – but looks like this time I will just have to send them home as I get them done.

I really don’t like writing comments on each child’s progress report – they all start to sound the same after awhile.  It’s even harder with those few children who are way behind the others.  I know the parents must be at home thinking, “Why is that teacher not doing her job?!” and then they go and complain to Ms. Lezze-Faire and she gets on me about worksheets again.  It’s a vicious cycle.  Let’s not take into consideration that the child doesn’t show up to school most of the time and when they do it’s practically lunch.  It will still somehow be my fault.  Or at least that’s how I feel.  But we’ll see how it goes.  Right now, I need to refocus on working on those progress reports.

one day down

Standard

I’m tired – and it’s only Monday!  I wish I got a Spring break – I could use one!  It would be nice to have a week off to sleep and rejuvenate!  Oh well.  I knocked out quite a few progress reports today – hopefully I can be done by Wednesday!  That would be sooo nice!  Then I can write final comments on them and send them home on Monday.

Tomorrow I’m going to go in early to set up the the room for St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m taping tiny footprints to the floor and moving things around to make it look like a leprechaun was in our class the night before.  I’m also leaving a tiny pot of gold along with a note from the leprechaun for them to find!  Should be fun – I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of it!  Then we’re going to play a shamrock number game.  I’ll let everyone know tomorrow how it went!  But for now…I’m off to sleep!

hectic week ends

Standard

It’s finally Friday!  Whew!  I thought it would never come!  Haha!  It just felt like a really long week.  On Monday and Tuesday we had vision screening so kids were constantly getting pulled from class to have their eyes tested.  The constant interruptions were very annoying – but we managed.  The children were excited to get tested because after their turn they all got a sticker!  I wish it were that easy to please everyone.

Wednesday we had two injuries – both bled a lot!   One of our girls somehow found a staple and managed to get it stuck in her thumb – then she yanked it out!  Ouch!  We had to change her shirt because the sleeve (the part by the wrist) was covered in blood!  But once Ms. Bennet got the cut clean (it was a very small cut too – not much bigger then your average paper cut) all was fine.  Then in the afternoon we were outside playing with balls when a boy fell and hit his head on the fence!  Mom got there right after it happened – but that one bled a ton and he ended up with 5 stitches!  Poor thing!

Thursday a little girls mother in my class called in and said she wouldn’t be there because she had lice.  Yikes!  Not what we need right now.  So we spent the day cleaning and trying to check the other children.  No more cases have been found this far – thank God!  I still have to finish washing our playhouse items (which I had to bring home in a tied garbage bag) and then everything is done.  Lets hope no more cases pop up this weekend.

Today I had visiters from another class because thier teacher took the day off.  They were good – no big deal.  Obviously I had to keep reminding them of my rules and how we do things in my class – which took time – but it was really no big deal.  They all seemed to have a good time!

Throughout all of this stuff going on I was trying to get progress reports done – and I failed!  So I’m disappointed in myself – and I will have to work harder to get them all finished by the end of next week.  Let’s hope all the children show up and no surprises happen so I can get through them.  I don’t think I’m even half way at this point!  But, right now, I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the start of my weekend!  🙂