Thursday, June 23, 2011

Separation Anxiety??

Quick thought...

I know, you're thinking, "she's not capable of a QUICK thought."  BUT I AM!!!

I've always known that teachers get super attached to the shorties they hang with (the students... in case I lost you).... but this year, I got to be on the OTHER END of the attachment disorder (not that I actually consider it a disorder).  When moms used to walk away from the last day of school with tears in their eyes, I must admit that I usually had a thought of; "oh come on, give me a break, don't cry just because you have no idea how you're going to entertain them all summer."  ;)

But THIS TIME... I was the mom... I was walking away... so thankful for all of the wonderful experiences that my jakey had at "peesooah" this year.... and realizing that I have become really attached to the teachers there.

So now I "get" why moms cry.

It's normal.... I'm normal.... right?

Jakester and "his" Marcia... :)
Last day of Preschool

Monday, June 20, 2011

929 Is a Lot of Anything!

So, today I did something UNTHINKABLE... we went on a field trip... and I didn't. take. any. pictures.  Crazy, I know.  Well, actually I took ONE... of a grandma and her sweetie with HER iPhone... but that doesn't count.  I was itching, but fought the urge.

Today marks the exact 3 month anniversary of my preschool job.  In that time I have taken 929 pictures!!!! Well, I have taken many more than that.... 929 is the number that is left after I deleted the junk photos.  And this weekend I was busy finalizing and burning the (18 minute) memory DVD that I am giving to the staff and students as a parting gift AND the giant envelope of pictures that I printed off for them.  So, as of today, I declared that I was not taking another picture.  GASP..... the staff in the room doesn't think I can do it.  I'll show them!!

So... more about the "field trip."  We went on a CITY BUS RIDE.  That's it... no destination, no time frame, no clue where the bus was even going.  We walked outside, saw a bus, RAN for the stop, got on and rode.  Once we got to the big bus terminal (which was the highlight) we asked which bus would take us back and we boarded that one.  WOW... WHAT A RUSH!!  The looks on the kids' faces said it all.  They were in AWE.  The pully string to let the driver know you want to stop, the bumps at the back of the bus, "whoa, look, a tire shop," "hey, dat my dad work," and "WOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWW look at dat big riber (river)"... it was a creek.  And, of course, we saw "DONALD'S" (McDonald's).

It seemed silly to have no destination.. .but the kids loved it.


It's killing me to post this without a picture.

But I shall resist the urge.

Killliiiinnnngggg mmeeeeeeeeeee.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Burn The Worksheets

Lately I have been seeing a lot of "Preschool Workbooks" in the stores.  It makes my skin crawl.  Sometimes I even say swear words... I know, hard to believe that I would say a bad word... lol.  I know that many parents think that they need to get their kids "ready" for school.  WHICH ISN'T TRUE!!  But even if it was... THESE BOOKS JUST AREN'T GOING TO DO IT!!!!!!!!!!  

There are many things that you can do to get your child "ready for school."  Start with these ideas:

  • Spend time together... radical idea, I know.
  • Play with Play-Doh
  • Give them opportunities to play with other kids... preferably annoying, whiney ones... those ones will teach them the most about patience, forgiveness and graciousness.  
  • Give them "school" supplies and let them go to town with them.  Creative exploration will take them further in life than all of the letter recognition in the world. 
  • TALK to your child.... another crazy idea.
  • LISTEN to them too... now THIS is getting out of hand
  • READ, READ, READ... and then read some more!!!
  • Ok... this one is going to ruffle some feathers... PUT YOUR CELL PHONE AWAY (and other distractions) for most of the time.  So often I see parents (I am guilty of this too) that could be interacting with their kids, but instead they are being a text-a-saurus while their kids are being "shushed."  Put the electronics away, turn the TV off and TUNE IN TO YOUR CHILD.  Even if it's only 30 minutes per day... they deserve it.
  • Let them spend time AWAY from you... it's healthy for both of you... and gives them a new perspective.
  • Playgrounds, rocks, back alleys... OUTDOOR ADVENTURES.  Slather on the sunscreen, squirt on some bug spray and head outside.
  • STOP doing "Kill and Drill" activities (like worksheets, flash cards and "learning" digital games)... even if it were important for your child to know their letters, sounds, numbers, opposites, shapes, etc, etc, etc before Kindergarten... WHICH IT IS NOT.... there is a better way to teach these concepts.  Let learning be fun!  And I don't care how many stickers and colorful pictures you put into those workbooks... they will NEVER be FUN!

OK... rant over.  Try setting up some activities like those shown below for you and your child to explore together.  The learning is disguised as FUN... PLAY IS LEARNING... PLAY IS FUN!!

Enjoy your kids.  Enjoy learning.  If it feels like "work," just stop it.  Kids weren't meant to "work," they were meant to PLAY!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Returning to my ROOTS

YIPPIE and YAHOOOOOOOO... I am heading back to Kindergarten.  I am so excited.

Just last week I was given the green light... and I have had my Kindergarten Thinking Cap on since.  I have been stopping by the spare garage to look at the boxes and boxes of resources that are waiting to come out of hibernation.  I had a chat with my puppets... "Hey guys, guess what?  You're off of Pogey!!! You're GOING BACK!!!"  I swear I could see the excitement in their eyes.  ;)  What?  I know what you're thinking... "what a nut... she talks to puppets."  But nobody makes fun of people that talk to their plants.... so I'd say that talking to a puppet is totally acceptable.... after all, they have mouths.  :)

This is "Stylin' Stewie."  He's been my colleague and friend since University.  He is most excited to get back in the game.

Bailey Bear is really excited too.  Poor Luke thinks that Bailey is HIS bear.  I guess he'll figure it out.   This is a picture of Bailey before his first day of Kindergarten....  we have BOTH changed a lot since this picture... yikes!

I think that Teaching Kindergarten is just like riding a bike... you never forget how... and when you start back up, you remember why you loved it so much in the first place.  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Seriously... can you believe that they PAY us to play?  Best. Gig. Ever.

The last couple of days have been rainy... and the next few are SUPER busy... so we took advantage of the slump and had a little sensory party.

It all started with a Mentos and Diet Coke EXPLOSION.  We have done this before.... but this time we used "Steve Spangler's Geyser Tube."  The package doesn't lie when it promises a 25 foot spray into the air.  Check out the video.  I bought the "geyser tube" at Michael's... with my coupon it was less than $6.  And I paid less than $2 for the bottle of diet coke.  And that my friends, is the most fun you can have for under $8.... guaranteed!!!

Here are the Nylon Splats... watch THIS VIDEO for a "how to" video from The OOEY GOOEY LADY.

And some Salad Spinner Art... easy peasy..... always different... always SOOO FUN to make.  I "borrowed" this idea from a blog... that I can't find now.  So I shall say "source unknown" to avoid any law suits.

On the muddiest day yet, we read "Mrs. Wishy-Washy" and made a class book that went with the story.. using REAL mud... from the REAL outdoors.  I know... it's crazy... but so are we.  Thank you to Mrs. Carolyn for coming up with this awesome idea.  Who knew mud could be so "educational."

Last, but not least.... the CLEAN MUD... another idea from Lisa Murphy, the "Ooey Gooey Lady."

This is SUPER EASY to make.  It's just bars of Ivory soap (put through a cheese grater), toilet paper and warm water.... awesome... and CLEAN!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Preschool Spaaaaaahhhhhhh Day!

It all started with a fleeting idea: "wouldn't it be fun to make a salon centre and paint finger nails and do pony tails?"  And we allowed the thought train to get TOTALLY carried away.... and it was soooooooo awesome!

On Thursday we had "SPA DAY" in Preschool.  One little guy was calling it "spot" day.  Awwww.  We gave massages, pedicures, manicures, hair-do's and refreshments.  It was the most fun day at school EVER!  The kids (and staff) were SO very into it... we literally kept the spa going until the end of the day. The novelty didn't wear off, and we put our schedule on the back burner and just enjoyed the moment.

Here are some photos.  Each photo that is used doesn't identify the children.  I wish I had permission to show full faces... because there are some very adorable shots.  :)

Here are some cuties enjoying the pedicure station.

And EVERYONE wanted nail polish... toes and fingers.  We didn't have any gender restrictions.  And parents were ok with it.  And I'm guessing that the boys will still have their green and blue (and pink for one) nail polish on when they come on Monday).

And the "refreshment station" was a hit.  "Jimmy" (my margarita machine) came to visit... and the kids make sundaes out of the home made ice cream they had made the day before.  It was AWESOME.  One little girl didn't put her blue slush down once.  Adorable.

The massage station was the best.  They loved getting AND giving little massages.  And near the end we had everyone on the carpet... pants rolled up... getting totally gooped with scented lotion.  What a cool sensory experience for these kiddos.  It was great.

And of course, we dimmed the lights and played relaxing massage therapy music the entire morning too. I wish I could share a photo from the hair station... but I don't have any without kids faces.  :(  

I have the BEST job EVER!!!!!    Spa day will DEFINITELY be a classroom experience for years to come.