This is going to be a long post . It will be the last two days wrapped into one and a little of what is to come.
I had hoped to blog our day during nap Monday before I left for Little Rock for a training but that didnt happen. I was so busy preparing everything to be gone ( including hunting a lost outfit that was bought for the trip ) that I didnt get a change. Beth and I arrived at the hotel in Little Rock pretty late Monday night and I had some paperwork that needed to be taken care of so I went to the gym, grabbed a salad and got to work . ( 1030pm ) Beth says I fell asleep mid- sentence and I guess I believe her. I was exhausted. Randy says all the time that I do this. I guess now, I believe him. 🙂 As I had papers spread on my bed at 12:00 Beth laughingly asked me if I ” brought my filing cabinet too. ” Yes, I am Debbie and I am a workaholic.
The training today was amazing. It was called Powerful Interactions – How to Connect with Children and Extend their Learning. There were several times I wanted to stand up and say Amen, pass the offering plate. Some things that really impacted me were :
1. When a child is talking to me and I slow down, make eye contact with him and connect I am modeling focus in relationships. ( EX. How often does a child start to talk to me and I get distracted by something else going on in the room ? What is my lack of attention telling the child ? So many things all of which are very sad…. )
2 I do not have to make every decision in the classroom. Dallas can, Randy can and EVEN the children !
3. Everyone is given an 8 oz cup of energy a day. You see it half full or half empty. ( I am a 90 5 full cup type person ) Throughout the day there will be things that fill my cup or deplete my cup. It is MY responsibility to fill my cup. I have to LOOK for cup fillers.
4. Relationships matter more than anything. If I teach children the ABC’s and they leave my home without knowing I care. I have failed.
5. The greatest resource in my room is me. I am the only thing I have control over.
6. Intentionality matters !
Todays training certainly filled my cup.
The rest of this week and the shenanigans of next week.
Randy’s Christmas present this year was a month of concerts. Concert 3 is in Mississippi and it is Friday. Randy and I will be leaving after the kids get to sleep Thursday and be gone on Friday. Mississippi trips are always good because we get to see family. Music is a great cup filler for Randy and I and our marriage. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to take care of us especially in midst of an already busy time.
The next week I will be out two days again. One day I will be with a team working on emergency management and what that looks like for places that care for children and in my case – specifically family childcare homes. The day before is Pre-K day at the capitol. As you know we have been flat funded for 8 years. We have not had a raise in 8 years though program expenses and expectations continue to rise. I have been asked to speak at the capitol luncheon as a funded provider. They want the warm cozy talk about what preschool really looks like and the difference it can make in a child’s life . Please dont be too impressed that I was asked. I think it is because I speak well and have good hair. 🙂 Anyway, it is an honor to talk about my kiddos to legislators and tell what an impact they make in my life and what an impact I know they will make in our world as they grow.
In addition to the things listed I want to give you just a little peek in ” the world of Debbie.”
My to-do list:
Write 300 words on Powerful Interactions and how we have used it in our home ( This is my second class. )
Write whatever I plan to say to woo folks into giving more money for pre-k at the capitol
Write two workshops ( one on advocacy and one on parent involvement ) for an early childhood conference April11.
Facilitate a meeting with discouraged providers and help them navigate and work through new licensing regs.
Help plan and implement plans for Arkansas Children’s Week 2015
This …. is in addition to the daily lesson plans, menu building and other regular tasks I tackle daily.
And oh yeah…TAXES. Ugh.
So, as you can see I might have a bit on my plate . I might be a tad overwhelmed . But I want to remind you that the ONLY reason these things are on that plate is because I have been blessed with a passion to love and teach children and hopefully in some small way inspire other people that live this life with them – parents and other teachers. So, lets wrap up this next two weeks with a pretty bow . 🙂
If you have read this far you deserve to know what in the world your kiddos did at my house the last two days .
Monday we introduced jungle animals.
What is the jungle anyway? What kind of animals live there ? It was interesting for the children to say that they think that jungle animals live in the zoo. I mean, many DO live in the zoo but that isn’t their normal habitat.
We read a favorite childrens book called ” From Head to Toe ‘ and mimicked the animals moves. We arched our back like a cat . We roared like a lion and we flapped our wings like a bird.
I added green stones that could be counted, sorted, stacked or whatever a child would think to do with them. I mean, not stick them up their nose.. that would be dangerous. ( I CAN be funny…. ) Gage made an L. ” Look Ms Debbie, I made an L like in Logan’s name. ”
” Giraffes Cant Dance ” is always one of the books I look forward to . Its about a giraffe that cant dance and the other animals make fun of him. Finally a cricket encourages him just to listen to the music in the jungle around him. He picks up the rhythm of the grass swaying and starts a jig. I use this as an opportunity to introduce the children to different styles of music. We listened to country , classical and rock. Do I even need to tell you which was their favorite ?
Speaking of giraffes we learned they are 18 feet tall and herbivores. We went outside to measure out exactly how long 18 feet is. Doing activities like this teaches children about numerals and estimation. Do you think 18 feet is as tall as the roof or Ms Debbie ?
Another math activity we did was ” feed the giraffe.” Each child’s paper had a giraffe and a number on it. I used little green stones as the leaves they would place on the trees for the giraffe to eat. Counting to 100 is insignificant if your child cant see the numeral 5 and hand you 5 stones.
Today while I was gone the children continued having fun with jungle animals.
During Family time Dallas read a book called ” Hippos Book of Manners.” My plan was for this fun book to be a reminder of expected behavior while I was gone . I got the report that it was a great day !
Todays main book was the ” Loudest Roar.” After reading the book the kids brainstormed when appropriate times to be quiet are and when it is ok to be loud.
After reading that book there was a game to play that focused on the letter L.
When I am gone I tend to plan a but more table / group activities to calm the potential chaos. This group loves group table time so today was perfect when they colored a lion and cut yarn to make his mane.
The kids had full days as well.
Tomorrow is monkey day. You know I have a gorilla suit, right ?