Oh hi there! Guess what? 88...We have been at school for 88 days already, over half of the year is gone, vanished, just a faint (but wonderful) memory. Also, it happened to be the year I was born, I know NBD right? To mess with your mind (and every 5 year old in the world), it is not only the number that has eight groups of ten, but also eight ones – go figure! An 8 also "looks like an S, and closes the gate", or a "headless snowman"... The things that amuse the mind of a Kindergarten teacher... or at least this one...Anywho! We last chatted (or I typed, and you read) in November, so lets reflect since then, shall we?
“Let it go...some people are worth melting for...” If you have any young ladies in your life, or even know anyone under the age of thirteen – you will know this already classic song and line. Frozen, the tale of Anna and Elsa – the two sisters who’ve won over hearts all over the world - including this twenty-seven year smitten heart. Our Christmas concert this year (which COMPLETELY BLEW THE SOCKS OFF OF EVERYONE), focused on the tale of love and family. This was our FOURTH production in 2.5 years! Our cast was selected based on their audition, as well as behavior. Again, these kids were there before school, after school, during school - singing in the hallways, their classrooms and their homes. Complete with blue spotlights (for the ice curse), an ice castle literally made for a Queen, ice stairs that the kids climbed on, and a ballroom, the set and props were incredible. The staff really out did themselves, with a few helping hands, we managed to host an incredible evening. The kids were superstars, the words “born naturals” were mumbled in the audience and everyone left a little jollier. I could not have been prouder. Our lead girls struggled through the idea of “resting their voices”, resorted to drinking lemon and honey water at home and lots of tea. They practiced day and night, they memorized lyrics, they found costumes, and they were still at school ready to go the very next morning. I could not have been prouder.
2015 has brought us so many adventures already, including two new students – one kinder and one grade one. They are adapting to life in our room quite nicely.
What else have we been up to? Well we received our Coho Salmon fish eggs last week and they are already hatching. The ladies at the Quatse Fish Hatchery have been extremely helpful and patient with me as we start taking care of our little friends. We watched a video on the eggs hatching. The kids loved the alevin fish wiggle so much that we’ve incorporated that into our brain breaks! They love to get up and shake all our wiggles out like the fish. They’ve also proceeded to name each and every one of our 75 eggs, with only minimal arguments over whose is whose (picture 75 different names – including Fluffy, Anna, Olaf, Elsa and Sish). We will be able to release them when they are close to 900ATU, which will be close to March Break! The two primary classes are going to top the semester off with a releasing ceremony into the Quatse River. We will be singing and dancing the Salmon Dance (with our culture teacher), and celebrating our twins – who bring good luck to the salmon. We will finish our celebration with a tour of the hatchery, and some time to play in the center. This is always a favourite of the year! The kids love Listen to the Ocean in the theatre – we have literally watched it about 6 times in my three years here. They love dressing up in the costumes, playing in the fish aquarium pop up tank, learning about the salmon by looking at all sorts of samples, and of course, my favourite, visiting the giant statue of an orca whale hanging from the ceiling.
Ahhh March Break! It is only a few short months away – not even if you think about it – less than two months! Wait, stop Court. We can’t think future; we need to think in the present. Be in the moment, and be there for our children every minute of everyday, in everyway.
All right, lets talk numbers…
I started benchmarking - I was nervous. I need to input my data still, but according to the DIBELS target sheets, three of the four Kinders I worked with today are performing at or above grade level. I also assessed one of my grade 1’s who is reading 72 words per minute (in Read Well he usually reads around 95WPM). I love helping these little ones reach their goals; I love it when they see their own success. They are so excited too! I love seeing that light click for them, or watching the “I got this” moment. Not only are they decoding, and reading faster and at an earlier age but also they are building the confidence that is necessary for future success. They have started developing healthy work habits in Kindergarten that I only pray continue into later grades, and in other aspects of their lives. They are returning homework, putting in effort and trying their best. Most days.
Attention grabbers (my random TIDBIT of the night)!! We do the typical lights off and "When the lights go out, put your hand on your head - STOP, LOOK and LISTEN" Then we all yell STATUE at the end and they have to freeze like a statue... We also do: Teacher: "One, two, three, eyes on me" Students: "One, two, three, eyes on YOU"; "If you can hear me touch your nose, if you can hear me wiggle your toes. If you can hear me touch your ear, if you can hear me shake your rear" (They go crazy for the word rear haha!). BUT the other day, one of my students said to me, "Miss C, what if we do this really cool thing, where you say - READY TO ROCK, and we say - READY TO ROLL" ... my heart melted. They are coming up with their own way for me to manage behaviour and it is the cutest thing. We did this on a Friday (and the school was closed on Monday), so when Tuesday came around I thought I wonder if they will remember... and sure enough, they nailed it. Anyway, moral of the story - five years old and my kids LOVE to rock and roll! I suppose no matter what age, we all want to rock at something :)
Take this last message with you...
All my love,