Heard in the Classroom – 2015-16 ed.

One of our three year old girls was told by our assistant teacher, “My ears hurt, your voice is too loud.” The little girl said to her, “Well, put your fingers in your ears then.”

One of our 4 year old girls called Miss GayLynn (the assistant) over the to reading corner. She told her to read to herself, and to look at the back, because that’s the end.

I wrote a 5 year old boy’s name. He said it wasn’t his name. I didn’t use the D’Nealian ‘k’. He asked why I used the wrong one. I said I guess I made a mistake. He responded with, “You need to focus your attention!” (This is wording from the Second Step Curriculum we use)

One of our 5 year old girls said “What if Asians were real?” We were a bit confused… we asked her, “Do you mean aliens?” She looked at us in disbelief, “No, aliens are real, I mean Asians!”

When a teacher asked one of our 4 year old boys, “How did you sort that?” He said, “Really fast!”

I asked a 5 year old girl if she knew where her dad grew up. She looked at me as if that was a ridiculous question, and said, “With my uncle.”

One of the random things heard in our classroom: “that is not a weapon, it’s a hot dog.”

One of our 5 year old girls told me one time: “My great aunt Barb is in the hospital. They buried her once. Now they’re trying to dig her up.” I asked why. She said she didn’t know why they buried her in the hospital. I asked if she died, she said no, she was just in the hospital.

We really never know what we are going to hear in the classroom! Sometimes we wonder where kids come up with their stories. Sometimes, they are just plain funny! I’ll post more as the year wraps up (if I remember).  ;-)

A Conversation with a Three Year Old

This was an actual conversation that happened at preschool yesterday with a three year old boy. We were standing in the bathroom in our classroom, he had a little BM in his pull-up. I was helping him get cleaned up. I’ll call him S (for Student)…

S: “Don’t get in my butt cheeks.”

Me: “Well, I have to get it all… when you have to poop, you can just tell the teacher and go to the bathroom…”

S: “No, it’s too hard.”

Me: “Well, maybe you need to drink more water.”

S (after looking at me like I was nuts): “Water makes you pee.”

Me: “But sometimes, if it’s hard to poop, you can drink more water, and it might help soften your poop up so it doesn’t hurt.”

S: “Blasted goldfish make me poop. I don’t like them, ’cause I don’t like to.”

Me: “I don’t like flavor blasted goldfish either.”

S: “You should try the regular ones, they’re really good!”

 

Yes, this conversation is pretty much word for word how it happened. I just have to laugh at the seriousness of this preschooler was in his statements. What also cracked me up, was the complete randomness of the direction of the conversation. I hope it gave you the same chuckle it gave me!

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

A Tongue Twister Year

Wow… I thought we had a lot of similar names last year… we have 4 classes, and between those classes, we have MANY similar names! I’m usually pretty quick to learn their names, but this year, I am messing them up left and right! Here’s a little picture of why:

This year, we have 3 Lilas (all spelled differently) and a Layla. We also have a Lily and a Lillian (who also goes by Lilly).

We have 2 Finns, 2 Isaiahs, and 2 Landons. The Isaiahs are in the same class, as are the Landons. We also have a Logan, and a Lucas who sometimes get called Landon, because there are so many of those L boy names!

We have an Alison and an Allie in the same class, and another Alyson in another class (who also goes by Aly). We also have a Callie, who we keep wanting to call Allie…

We have a Paxton, Peyton, and Paisley, two of which are in the same class.

We have a Keagan, and a Teagan – not in the same class, but we still mess them up some…

Can you imagine how crazy it sounds in our classrooms as we are trying to get all these names straight? YIKES!! I think we will be using name tags a bit longer than usual this year!

A Fitting Start to the New School Year

Every year, we have our annual “back to school” staff meeting about a week or two before our preschoolers come back. This year, our meeting was at Lord of Life, the church where my career in Early Childhood Education began. It seemed a bit appropriate that the year I have a whole new team, our meeting was at the place where it really all started for me!

My career in Early Childhood Education officially started in 1998. OK, it really probably started when I was 10, and my neighbor and I would tag-team babysit for several families. At age 11 or 12, I was co-nannying with her over the summer for a family that had 3 boys. I babysat until I had a “real job” at McDonald’s when I was 15. No job was quite as satisfying as working with young children (though, admittedly, working as a shift manager at Pizza Hut had some similarities).

In 1998, I was attending Bethel College, now Bethel University, for Early Childhood and Family Education. I had started attending Lord of Life as a church member, and saw they had a job opening for a part time position running the nursery. I was hired as the Associate Director of Nursery Services. My primary job responsibilities were to coordinate nursery volunteers, manage the on-call child care program our church had for parents attending small groups or other events at the church, and writing articles for the church newsletter. Later, I started up the 2 year old Sunday School program. It was a fun job that incorporated all the things I loved – working with children, volunteers (and volunteering), and writing. Even when I left the official position, I continued to volunteer in the nursery.

Since that time, the church has started up its own preschool (which started when I was still working the Nursery Services position, though I was not part of that). It also has allowed the Anoka-Hennepin District to house one of our Kindergarten Readiness classes there.

Today, we had a great class on the importance of music and movement with young children. Did you know that being able to follow simple rhythmic patterns at an early age can predict how well a child will be able to read later on? That was one of many things we learned or were reminded of today. After the class, we had our meeting which mostly consisted of meeting new staff, and being reminded of all the services we have available to us and to the families we serve. The entire day was a great reminder of just why I love working for the school district!!

We have been diligently working over the past couple of weeks to prepare for the children who will be walking through our doors next week. I have met the new Assistant Teacher and Special Education Teacher who I will be working with. We have talked about where we want to start the year, and know things will evolve as our team becomes more cohesive. I am excited about the new school year with a new Team, and new students (though, many are returning, or families we have previously had)…  it just seemed fitting that it officially started where my whole career started!🙂

 

Side note: I ran into two different women I recognized, who were working at the church today. Even though I haven’t even attended the church in over 9 years, they both remembered me. I recognized both of them, but could only recall the name of one. :-( Though it was strange that they both remembered me, it’s nice to be remembered!🙂

Playground Tricks

For the first time, I am co-teaching summer school. I am working with preschoolers in a classroom held in an elementary school. The children ride the bus to school, eat breakfast there, and ride the bus home at the end of our morning. They attend school 4 days a week.

A huge benefit to teaching in a school? We have a playground! We have been able to go outside all but two of the days. This has a noticeable impact on everyone’s moods and energy levels, including the teachers’.

Today, a 5 year old girl was hanging on the bars. She was able to get her feet up on the bar, and hang upside down. Most of the other children who were trying, were not able to hang in this same way. I asked her if she knew how to do pull her legs through and do a flip. She did not say anything (she tends to be very quiet most of the time). I told her I would show her how, and she nodded. I climbed to the higher bar (at my chest level), hung upside down by my knees, flipped my hands around, and pulled my legs through. She thought this was pretty cool, and proceeded to successfully try it. The look on her face was priceless! She got a huge smile, and continued to do it over and over. Each time, she gained more confidence, and soon was even able to pull her legs back through the other way (a trick I tried, but no longer have the core strength to do).

Soon, other children were trying the flip. One boy couldn’t get his legs up over the bar, but he was able to pull up so the bar was at his waist. I could see him trying to figure out how he could do a flip. I again took to the “high bar.” I pulled myself up so the bar was at my waist, and showed him how to lean forward, kick his feet, and flip over. He cautiously tried to flip over the bar, needing a little help. Other children lined up to try to0. Each of the 5 or 6 children needed to be spotted the first time or two, then were able to do it on their own! With each success, their smiles got bigger, their steps more sure…

Without a playground, and a gorgeous morning that had us decide to stay outside longer than usual, these children might not have learned a new way to move their bodies, or developed that little bit of extra confidence today.

Google Drive – A Real Time and Money Saver

At the end of every year of preschool, I put together a compilation of all the pictures I’ve taken throughout the year, and give it to parents. For the past several years, I have burned all these pictures to disc to give to them at Preschool Graduation. The sorting of 4 classes, and the burning of an average of 70 discs per year, takes a LONG time!

Last year, I must have bought a bad batch of discs, because about half of them didn’t even work. I had to reburn several discs of pictures. As a busy mom and teacher, who was already working my summer job by the end of the school year, I was very frustrated at the HOURS it took to do this, and by the extra money it took to purchase a new batch of discs to burn onto.

You may ask why I bother. The answer is two-fold. 1. When my son graduated from preschool several years ago, his teachers gave us a disc with a video they had put together at the end of that year. I so appreciated it, I vowed I would do the same thing every year. While I don’t create a video, I do put all the pictures together. 2. I do it because parents appreciate when I share pictures of their children from the times they cannot be with them.

This year, I thought of a new solution… what if I just sorted all the pictures by class, and put them on my google drive? I could then sort each class into a folder, and share a link to each folder with the parents of the children in those classes. It was as simple on my end (once the pictures were sorted), as clicking a button to get the link, copying it, and pasting it into an email to the entire class parent list (which I already had set up in Outlook). While you need to have a Google+ account to view them, it is free and simple to sign up for an account. I didn’t have any parents complain about me sharing the pictures this way, and had several emails thanking me.

By using Google Drive to share the photos with my preschoolers’ parents, I saved myself probably 20 +/- hours of work, and close to $50 in supplies. I’d say this was a great solution! I will definitely be using it again in the future!