Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Let's Play Catch Up

I have a couple half-finished posts in my queue dating all the way back to what my class did to celebrate Thanksgiving, which was super cute by the way. I'll have to make it my goal to finish and post these soon. On that note, does anyone know an online program that would make it easy for me to blur my students' faces in photos to post on the blog? I have some super cute photos from our Holiday unit but I also think its important to maintain my students' privacy.
Here's a photo of our class tree, books for our book exchange, and stockings to hold you over!

I have the cutest video of them from our Holiday celebration. Toys for Tots and a faculty fundraiser combined provided enough toys so that every single student in our school had a present on the last day before the holiday break. "Santa" came to our school, carrying his sack, and ringing a bell, and strolled down the halls to wish all of our students a Happy Holiday. Then when he left, he left 700 presents in the gym to be distributed to our students.
Blurry because Santa was on the move to get back to the North Pole and prepare for Christmas Eve ;)

Or that's how it seemed for my Kindergartners. They felt so honored that Santa came to our school and brought us presents a day early. In reality, a lot of hard work went in to making that happen (I was on the wrapping committee so I can attest to this) but it was well worth it. I videoed my kids with my iPhone and their reactions were priceless. Many of my students come from lower income houses and even those that don't, almost all of them are growing up in one of the most densely populated gang communities in America. They deserve something special. We had a book exchange where students brought in wrapped books to swap and a generous parent volunteer donated extras to make sure everyone got one. There were squeals of joy when they opened their books and Toys for Tots packages (a princess floor puzzle for the girls and Hess trucks for the boys) and one little boy looked right into the camera and said "This is everything I've dreamed of." It was SO cute.

On another note, we've had some changes in administration lately. Our curriculum director resigned unexpectedly due to family illness and it was effective immediately. With that came a lot of changes. Kindergarten has been restructured and the classes have even changed slightly. This is rare for the middle of the year, but was much needed. And I have fewer migraines and spend significantly less money without the necessary afternoon coffee run. We've been allowed to incorporate some play into our curriculum like most other Kindergarten classes. We added dramatic play centers, blocks, and a movement and life skill building block to the day. On Fridays we now do free choice centers, which include paint, sand table, puppet show, etc. This is much appreciated because our kids are only 5 and 6 years old and are in school without a break from 7:30 am until 4:15 and need more play than a 20 minute recess! We also added fifteen minutes of silent reading and quiet time after recess, which we substitute for silly Dr. Jean songs on Fridays.

I still have lots of fun and crazy stories to tell from my classroom. But things have definitely calmed down a bit. I haven't been stabbed with a pencil or bitten in over a month!

1 comment:

  1. Great job, Elizabeth. I"m surprised that the "learning through play" was not there originally. Was there a reason why?