Besides it being the month of love and giving the past two weeks in room two have also been about the oceanic world. During this time the children have learned about some marine life, like the jellyfish, whose numbered tentacles had to be matched with circles, starfish, sharks, dolphins and angelfish. The children reviewed sink or float by placing certain fishes in a jar that resembled the ocean. In addition, the children will also be creating and learning about the different zones of the oceans and what kind of animals reside in each. During this time the children have been read literature that includes Rainbow Fish, Commotion In The Ocean, as well as Pout Pout Fish.
It is of a great importance that we teach kindness to our children as early as preschool. Our students mirror very well the way the adults around them talk or talk. Therefore our hope is to try our best to be great role models for them so that they copy our manners, and pleasant way of talking and acting.
In order to teach kindness in our classroom, there are a few activities we initiated. Here are a few examples:
· Wishing kind thoughts to the ones we love
Around holidays, when we were singing the songs” We wish You a Merry Christmas/ And a Happy New Year”, we talked about sending someone kind thoughts on certain occasions: like holidays, or birthdays. E.g. we wish Mia on her birthday to be happy and healthy.
When someone was sick, we talked about sending kind thoughts:” May Margelie feel better so that she comes back soon to school”.
· Read books with stories of kindness
We read the story “The Rainbow Fish” and we discussed the importance of sharing with our friends. We read the book “Oops! Excuse Me Please!” and talked about kind manners.
· Bring a smile to the classroom
When we talked about our rules, we discussed largely about how we feel every day, and we talked about how our smile can be contagious to others, and how our happy face can generate a state of well being for the ones around us.
· During small group time activities we practiced manners, talking kindly to others, making compliments to our friends, practicing fair ways of playing with our friends (e.g. playing together and sharing our toys; trading our toys; and waiting for our turn).
· Imaginative gamesin which I offered various scenarios, and I asked the children to be king in their response. For example, my puppet Jane is really upset, as she was not included in any of the games children were playing. I asked our students to kindly ask her to join them in their games.
Each time we talked about manners, gratitude, we were singing specific songs like: ”Please and Thank You”; “Gracias”, “Don’t Forget to Be Thankful, Don’t Forget to be Nice”.
· Being Helpful
We praise our students each time they are helpful. Helping us clean up or doing different jobs is another way of being kind.
Our hope is that these themes are helping our students be kind, and nice to each other every day.
This year was filled with love and smiles. It was bittersweet saying good by to the children that we grew close to this year. We saw so much growth over the year and it was fun to celebrate with families and community member just how far our children had come. We look forward to hearing the success stories of our children in the future.
This year was the first year that our school had a Teacher of the Year award. The teacher that was named was Ms. Towanda of room 4 along with her assistant Ms. Ruby. Each of the teachers was awarded with an award based on the highest area they scored in a given criteria. The criteria was: attendance, letter or recommendation from their teacher's aide, number of CE credits, parent surveys, personal teaching philosophy, professional designations & affiliations, evaluations, quality of lesson plans and team work. We are happy to celebrate the wonderful teaching staff here at Jefferson Park