Monday, October 13, 2014

What you do is what a child learns more than what you say...

This weekend I attended my first live football game, which was an amazing but also an eye opening experience. 

As a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, my job is to teach not only Kindergarten readiness but also social/emotional skills. I have really been working with my class this year on kindness, treating others with respect as people have there own thoughts, opinions and needs as well as empathy for others. I also believe very strongly about the home/ school connection as an important guide for a childs education and well being.

While attending this game, I witnessed some interesting parenting and just adults who lacked in many areas. One father was talking with his son about the other team and hearing the child, who had to be 9/10 years old, repeating was just sad. This father to me was not setting a good example. 
I walked by a lady, fan of the other team, on my way to the bathroom and she started with the "boooo" as I walked by. So I said, as I kept walking "seriously, not necessary."
Another person during the game yelled some ridiculous profanity about a player regarding a play. Now not to say I don't use some choice words at times but in the context of what I was hearing from fans of both teams, it was just sad, ridiculous and uncalled for.

It gives me more of a challenge as a teacher because I can only do so much while the children are in my class, what happens at home I have no control of but I can only hope I can have an influence on some part of their growth and development into the person they will become. There are children in my class right now that need the guidance and support along with their parents to have a healthy frame of mind to keep their hands to themselves, use kind words and give empathy to others or they will be bullies. These children have alot of potential and have already come along way using their kind words rather than ridiculing others and keeping their hands off others.

I know football is a competitive sport but in this case, the team colors were the same,  they both had different advantages but no matter what there was ridicule. The team I was routing for is strong, the other one had home field advantage. Many fans left before it was over just because their home team was losing. I did have one fan of the opposing team say "good game" to me. It was a nice ending to the game besides my team winning of course.

Where is the healthy competition children learn in little league, peewee football, kids soccer? A parent can ruin alot for their chil(ren) if parents watch more of what they do instead of just saying what their child "should do". Just like some will say "Do as I say and not what I do"...more people in general, whether a parent or not should be a role model as children are sponges and will DO as you DO in your presence or in the classroom. 

As a teacher AND a parent, I am on stage at all times so what I DO and say are being watched by many. Watch what you DO because you never know who is paying attention.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pre-K from parent and Teacher perspectives...

My Pre-Kindergarten class is graduating this Friday, June 13th. So it has brought up ALOT of mixed emotions...

In Rhode Island the cut off for Kindergarten has been September first for well over 10 years now. As a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher having this cut off pretty much gave me a job. After all these years of seeing the benefits as an Educator, I am now seeing the Parent perspective of how the September 1st cutoff effects children and their families.

I have been a Pre-Kindergarten Teacher in a few settings within the past 10 years. I have ALWAYS Loved my job to prepare children for Kindergarten. The growth throughout the school year in each child has been amazing to see. From children who were struggling with confidence, writing their name, or gaining independence to the same children showing confidence in their abilities to accomplish their tasks, writing their first AND last names and transitioning through the day and through activities independently are the reasons I have become so passionate about this field and no longer think of this as a job but as a career.

Now years later, I have my own children and my oldest has a November 1st birthday. So instantly I always knew she was going to go to Pre-K because of her birthday. Well now the time has come where children in her class and family friends are graduating from Pre-K moving on to Kindergarten and she has another full year of Pre-K because her birthday is November 1st! Though she has made some wonderful friends in her class some are staying and some are moving on.

As a Teacher, I have seen this many times and have always felt it was good for the child to get an extra year, in some areas the extra year was needed. Then I've had children that should've moved on but because of their birthday needed to be held back with only missing the cut off by 2 days and this child read at a 3rd grade level when leaving my class.

Now as a parent, I feel the same, yes she has a chance to develop some skills more before Kindergarten but I feel bad that others around her are moving on already.

She is in my class and will be again next year, so in that aspect of thinking I'd like to see her move on because I feel she would do well in Kindergarten. I love having her in my class don't get me wrong. I love seeing her interactions with the other children, having first hand knowledge of her academic skills and most of all being with my little girl everyday while working. But for her to be with me another school year may mean a harder transition to Kindergarten then if she moved on in the Fall.

Well as things are, I cannot change anything, she will be in my class for another year, then at this time next year I will not only watching my daughter practice for graduation with her friends but I will be the one giving her her very first diploma.

 
As busy and stressful as it has been the past two weeks, graduation is almost here and it will be all worth the outcome on Friday afternoon when all has been said and done. This time of year is always so bittersweet.

How do you feel about this September 1st cutoff?  If you live in another state, what is the Kindergarten cutoff?  Has it effected your class or your child?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Are you an Advocate? Part II

As parents and educators, helping our children is our priority. Helping our children means being their Advocate. No two children are alike, even those from the same family.

My daughter was saying simple words like  "mama" around 10 months old. My son will be 2 soon and his vocabulary is not close to where my daughter was by this age.

For months, I have had a big concern regarding his speech development. The pediatricians and ENT say he's fine, his hearing is fine, there is no need for concern before he turns 2. (He has had tubes since he was 9 months old due to frequent ear infections)

Well I've been researching and the process can begin before age 2 to help speech delays. I finally found a speech pathologist that I discussed ALL my concerns with and she said all my concerns were valid! This was something I had been waiting for!

She spoke to me for over an hour, she gave me some great tips to try until we can get in to see her (we're on her waiting list). He is progressing and has been saying simple 2 word sentences such as "Mama kitty" and "sit down". However a lot of his speech is still unclear and babble.

Having his teachers being on the same page with me has definitely been a help. If there is no home/school connection, then it would be the child that suffers due to lack of consistency.
 
If ANYONE tells you to wait when you are concerned for your child's development or if it is a child in your class... DO NOT LISTEN, go with your gut and be the ADVOCATE, the voice for YOUR child/ student! Its OK to do your own research and do whatever you can for YOUR child/student. As a teacher, one barrier is the parent, but if you are persistent and work with the parents you are still helping that child. Even if a close friend or relative tells you what worked for their child, remember NO TWO CHILDREN ARE ALIKE! Trust your instincts.
 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Simple Sensory fun!

This simple sensory activity is lots of fun! All you need is shaving cream, baking soda and glitter for some snow dough play. 


The snow dough has a smooth texture and is moldable.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Science/Sensory

Today I tried a fun new idea for the sensory table! I added 2 magnet wands, 2 magnet balls, some magna tiles in various shapes along with pom poms, feathers, and small bumpy gems. The children LOVED it!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fun with Pumpkins!

October has past and we had some fun with pumpkins! We worked on the concept of measuring a pumpkin by using the terms inches, how tall, how wide, and around. The children made guesses on how tall and how wide around our pumpkin was the we used a ruler and measuring tape to make our observations. Then we learned how to answer a question in a complete sentence, making this simple 10 minute activity use math, science and literacy.
For a fun finger play, movement activity we sang
5 Little Pumpkins...
" 5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The first one said "oh my it's getting late"
The second one said "there are witches in the air"
The third one said "oh, we don't care"
The 4th one said  "lets run and run and run"
The 5th one said "get ready for some fun"
Then oooo went the wind and out went the lights
and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!"

After we learned the song, we did an activity that incorporated math, creativity and fine motor skills. Each child was given 6 popsicle sticks and 5 pumpkin cutouts. Due to the various levels in my class the children had a choice to draw faces on each pumpkin and or number each pumpkin 1-5. 










Another fun creative activity we did was painting with pinecones, the children loved using the pinecones and dipping them in paint. They rolled, dabbed, and brushed the painted covered pinecones on the pumpkin cutouts.
Stay tuned for more fun activities for November!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to school!

It's back to school time! How has this week been for you and or your children?
My son started the Toddler room and my daughter is in her 2nd year of Preschool!
My new class is amazingly loaded with energy but I have lots of fun planned for the coming months!
Here are just a few things we have begun so far this school year.
We are using our 100 board again this year along with  place value chart to help with number/object association.
For language development and literacy we have our Chicken Soup with Rice poem of the month, along with our Literacy area supplied with pencils, writing sheets, ABC board, number, shape and color words...plus more!

In the sensory table, we have a multitude of colored floam to explore with measuring cups.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

It has been a while...

The end of the school year was a busy time. Between science experiments, ever changing dramatic play, assessments, parent/teacher conferences and finding out at the end of the school year the school was closing it was an exciting and interesting time.

As a fun end of the year "field trip", I had families meet at a local zoo. It was a great reward for all the hard work the children did throughout the school year as well as a thank you to the parents for the continued support and understanding.
The last day of school was an emotional turning point for me. I greeted the first child that arrived and said goodbye to the last child who departed. In one instance, I lost my job and had to say goodbye to some wonderful children and families. However,  I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the summer home with my children while looking for a new job.

This summer has been the best! I have had the opportunity to spend precious time with my children along with many play dates with now former coworkers and students.

Its sad the summer is coming to an end, but on a lighter note, I will be starting a new job that is a step up in my career and both of my children will be going to school. A fresh start and a new beginning for my family.

In this recent experience, I have decided to write my own book!
Be on the look out for more information on Children All Day Everyday!