Today was a rather hectic day. Not only did we try to do all the things we had planned but we also were getting our Worksampling files ready for an audit. Do you remember what worksampling is ? It is an ongoing assessment through observation of the children. I collect work ( art, cutting, writing,) pictures, videos, and written observations ( actually write out what I see the child doing .) Most of the observations of this sort are done on our phone or the IPAD. We use EVERNOTE to record observations on the children . ( This is a great reason not to assume that when our phone is in our hand that we are texting personal business or facebooking. ) I use this information to assess where the children are and what we need to work on. Lets say for example I look in Randy’s file and the last time he cut paper he still wasnt cutting on the line. Since that assessment I have given him many opportunities to build his motor skills by encouraging him to play with playdoh and other various activities. Scissors are always available in the art center and I have noticed that he is cutting ribbons . I might offer another opportunity for him to cut to see if he has progressed. I would take that cutting sample and date it to show his motor growth. I also use WSS to look at my strengths and weaknesses as a teacher. If I see that all of my children are consistently struggling in basic math skills ( recognizing shapes for example ) I might not be including that in my intentional teaching. It is quite the process. And of course.. there is a web site that we enter our assessment in with a variety of reports to gather information from . . Worksampling gives me a system to be able to take documents from one period and compare them to another period – like this drawing of Alinas family. the drawing on the left was when Alina was three. The drawing on the right was when Alina was four.
Today we made cloud dough. This is an amazing moon sand like substance that is made from 8 cups of flour and 1 cup baby oil We felt it with our hands. It was soft. We smelled it and Alina said it smelled like her baby sister. We have a cooking experience atleast once a week and this qualifies. Our cooking doesnt have to result in something to eat. Its the process, not the product.
We talked about when we go outside and look at the cloud how they all look different. It reminded us of the book ” It Looked like Spilt Milk .” After talking about some of the things we see when we look at the clouds we tore paper in the shapes of those objects. We had mountains, and flowers and many other creative answers and art.
If my mind were not preoccupied there were three more things I wanted to do today.
I wanted to use white fun foam ( or safe shaving cream ) on the table ( clouds ) and let them draw their names or other things in it. Maybe you can do this at home. It cleans up really easy !
I had planned to put blue pieces of paper on the table with numbers written on them and cotton balls ( clouds ) to play a math game. Maybe we will do that tomorrow .
When we went outside I meant to take the blanket and lay on it and look at the clouds. You for sure can do this one at home, right ?
One… I did have a bit much planned for the day. I get excited and try to cram too much into a day. Believe it or not the most important part of our day is not this stuff that I missed or the things we actually did, it is the free play time. Free play is the time that they learn more than any other.
Two.. No one actually knows , unless you are another ABC funded preschool teacher, the many other things that our job encompasses. Sometimes it’s hard to live and be present with the children in the classroom when audits, and deadlines and planning and documentation and bookkeeping are all looming in your head at the same time. I think I find a good balance. ( If you call balance working 4 + hours at night to stay caught up . )
Sigh…. I’m through whining. I LOVE my job but days like today bites when I know I didnt get everything done in the classroom that I wanted to do because I had paperwork shuffles to do.