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Reflecting

Published on May 18, 2011 under Uncategorized

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Watching the kids bargain and listening to the words they use makes me confident they can go to kindergarten and communicate their needs.

Guess who’s mommy just had a baby ?
Baby Mataya came in the classroom to visit this morning. ( Man, it looks like a train wreck behind them. Somebody is slacking on the cleaning this week. )

We have two days of school left after today. It seems like this year has flown by. Today at lunch the kids and I were talking about our year. I asked them what things they liked the best. Overwhelmingly the kids answered ” the science night.” That was a fun night. They also gave me answers like ” when Randy built the ramps” , ” the leprechaun hunt” and ” The day Randy wore the gorilla suit” One child said ‘watching movies.” REALLY?!!! I replied ” How many movies have we watched this whole year?” Audrey said ” ONE!” I was flattered with that answer and she isnt too far off. We have watched one WHOLE movie ( The Polar Express we did as an all day activity as a special event.) and maybe parts of movies three other days. Out of 178 days and MUCH of it with days we had to be inside all day – I’ll take that number and run with it. There are so many options to fill a child’s day besides TV. I challenge you this summer to set a limit on TV watching at home for your child. If you want some tip on how to do this you can click HERE. There is even a printable chart for you to keep up with it.

Also , as I looked back at our records we have visited over 24 different places in our community this year without once getting on a bus or spending a dime on field trip fees. We have had a blast learning about all the things in our little world of Siloam. Why talk about a fire station when you can visit one ?
We have had five large parent involvement events such as the mother / daughter tea or the dad and me pumpkin decorating and hayride.
We have had six visitors in our classroom to show us things. Rosanna’s mom taught us how to make homemade tortillas and even let us make our own. The lady from the dentist office talked about taking care of our teeth and the policeman was fun too !
We have had two new baby sisters born this year that we have celebrated at the hospital and in our classroom. We also had a baby brother born !
We have had cats, rabbits, dogs, gerbils , caterpillars ( waiting on her wings to break open the chrysalis now !) and snakes visit out classroom to teach us how to love , care and be responsible for animals.
We have cooked and cooked and cooked some more. I am not talking a mini Rachel Ray show where I cook and the kids watch and then eat a little of it. The kids here measure, mix, and pour ! We have made green eggs and ham, purple cows, buses from twinkies, trail mix and so much more. Cooking teaches so many things and is one of our favorite activities.
We didnt send home very many craft projects ( that’s not what we do). But lots of free art went home since we paint and color and create whenever we want to and with what we want to. We didnt learn a lot of little songs that have cute lyrics that are a little too long for us to remember , but we worked ( played ) to Classical music, boogied to blues and danced to everything from country music to rag time.
And yes, most of our older kids know their alphabet letters and sounds. They know their numbers ( not just COUNTING to 100 but being able to hand me 10 – 20 objects ). They know lots of positional words and their vocabularies have grown immensely. They have all that handwashing business down to almost perfect . They work out their own peer conflicts and make choices about their day. They are able to sit at circle time and small groups and interact and add to the groups discussion.
These things are all IMPORTANT.. but what means the most to me is:
We made memories.
We taught in a way that four and five year olds learn.
We enjoyed the age we are at now.. without pushing . They grow up too fast anyway.
We learned to be part of a group.
We learned self discipline and self control.
We loved.
I have had quite a year. There have been times I felt discouraged . There was even a time I was told by one ” I am disappointed with your program.” For a while, I let that get me down. Then I remember -I am not doing this for the parents. I am doing this for the kids and while I am not perfect I strive to be. I work late and dream and plan all the time for what I want to do next. If you can honestly reflect on our year and be disappointed , it makes me wonder what is expected.
When I reflect, I feel wonderful about our life and the kids we have spent the year with. I am blessed and honestly, I think they are too.

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