I know I say almost every blog that ” today was a good day .” and you may or may not believe me but I MEAN IT ! It really was a great day. Most days for me are because you see.. I Love what I do . I also recognize that children are wired to learn . This learning that takes place is not just academic it is social and emotional type learning. And being completely frank the majority of that doesnt happen without experience. Until a child experiences not following directions and being redirected , they dont know that there is a better way. Not until a child hits another child and the child hits them back or the ” hitter” has a strong conversation with the adult about how imappropriate it is to hit our friends, they dont understand consequences. So, all the little things that make up our day – good or bad – are all part of the process and even when we dont have PERFECT days they are good because that means we are learning.
ITS A BEAR !!!
Today we continued our bear unit. I was taken off guard this morning as a dad asked me not to do ” The Bear Hunt Song” that his son was scared of it. He had a bad dream about it. OH NO.. this is one of my absolute favorite songs and one the kids really enjoy. I think he was surprised when I just answered ” No. ” Yikes. I needed time to process what needed to happen. My goal wasnt to preserve my love for a song but to help his child, a child that I love , be able to cope and deal with this. You see, as a teacher I see it as an opportunity to learn how to cope and deal with life. We have taught and practiced conscious discipline all year and those skills help us to stay calm all the time not just when we are angry or upset about mom or dad leaving. We need to know how to calm ourselves when confronted with so many things.
I looked at my lesson plan for the day and low and behold the main story was ” Bear Feels Scared .” ( Those are the days you look up and say ” God is good… ” ) It was about a bear that got lost and how he felt. After reading the book we talked about the bear and the things he felt and what he might could have done to calm down. This book is not a conscious discipline book but guess how it ended ? ” And bear was home… he felt safe.” After reading the book we talked and charted. We talked about things we are afraid of and why we are afraid of them. The answer I got the most was ” in my room when it’s dark. ” Children are afraid of things unseen. So we charted what we were afraid of and what might help us. Sometimes the answer was just to call out to mom or dad, which makes total sense because you guys are safe keepers as well. Sometimes we just talked about the fear. Monsters ? Are they real ? Have you ever seen one ? What can we do to not be afraid ? First step is realizing that monsters ( as the kids described ) are not real. ( Monsters or other fears can FEEL very real to a child so do not dismiss completely. ) The key is to have a conversation and know.. that no matter what I ( a safekeeper ) or you or other trusting adult is here to keep them safe and help them work through the fear.
After charting we talked to our friend that was a little scared of the song and helped him with ideas of how to cope with his fear . Is the bear real ? No. Are bears real? Yes . Are there any at our school ? No. When we all sing and you start to feel scared what can you do ? Breathe… the drain…. come to your safekeeper. We started to sing . I kept an eye on my friend. He was reluctant to join in. He and I would exchange glances . You are safe. Breathe….. When it was coming to the part where the bear was going to ” chase ” the children I asked L if he would like to join me and stand next to me. He did. I could feel him taking deep breaths. He did it. He handled it. Does that mean that he wont have a dream tonight. Unfortunately no.. it does not But it does mean that he has been coached on how to handle that fear.
As an after thought tonight I decided to look up the conscious discipline technique on helping a child handle fear. I found this video. I want to give myself a high 5. I did it right. When you watch the video see which scenario best fits how you were raised or how you help your child handle fear. If you don’t do it the preferred way.. opps. Its ok. Now you know how to help your child self regulate through fear .
Another thing we did today was read ” Blueberries for Sal. ” This is an old book that has won many awards. WHOEVER gave it those awards has obviously NOT read it to a group of preschoolers ready to play. For gracious sake…. longest book ever. I had to ad lib and ask questions all the way through to keep the kids attention while they ate blueberries.We also graphed later who liked the blueberries and who did not.
Remember the house we have been watching ? Today we walked around the block to take a look at the progress. It is nearing completion. We sat on a concrete ledge and listened to the sounds of construction and also yelled good morning at a worker. We talked about what we thought it would look like when it was finished ? Will it be brick , or wood or stone ? Is that large opening for a garage? How will the people get up to the very top. There is a large opening in the front and one of the children is convinced that is for their flat screen TV.
Walks for us are fun. We saw the mailman and talked to him. We skipped down the street. We hopped over the side walk lines. We called out the numbers on the houses. We took GIANT steps over the side walk lines. We saw dogs and talked about what they might be saying with their ” barks.”
It was a full day… a very full day.
Last but not least ( and why the blog is late) we had a kindergarten transition event tonight. The children going into kindergarten in the fall met with their parents at the Northside library and we had a Pete the Cat fun themed night. The whole idea was to get the children in the building a few times before the first day of school. Just having already been in the building before day one of kindergarten will make a huge difference. We had 100% attendance. WOOT!
Ms Dallas and I dressed up as Pete the Cat. That was fun.
There were four stations to visit. There was a reading station where families could enjoy “Pete the Cat ” books !
There was a math station.
There was a craft station . See the Pete the Cat headband !
There was a literacy station .
Mrs Fox the assistant principal was there and kicked the night off reading the Pete The Cat Story. Mrs Paden, the principal was also available.
I would say it was a great night.
It was a great day.
So far.. its been a great week but you know what I suspect ?
The rest of the week will be great too !