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Sunday, June 4, 2017

Our Last Days of Kindergarten: Enjoying the Moments

Here is a recap of our last days together in Room 201:

Cicadas!  Lots of Cicadas.  We were one of the "lucky" classes who happened to be outside just as thousands of Cicadas started crawling out of the ground.  You could not walk in the grass without crunching them.  The ground was literally crawling...and most of the kids loved it!  Those poor cicadas waited 12 long years to come up for air and they came up during recess at an Early Childhood Center. I kind of felt sorry for them.  The kids were picking them up, observing, looking closer and asking questions!  It was a perfect learning experience.



We spent a lot of time outside.  The weather was the most beautiful we have had all year!  Here you can see some girls chalking a log.


We kept on observing and taking care of our growing lettuce and wishing it would grow faster!



We blew bubbles and basically focussed on enjoying the moment with each other.


I set out a few invitations to explore stars, but not very many visited them.  They realized that they only had a few days left to play with their old favorites... the staples of play in our room.




Most wanted to play in our building area with blocks, our new giant foam blocks, loose parts, legos, K'Nex, Magnetix, the Marble Run, Dramatic Play Area, the painting easels and the sandbox.





We celebrated our friends who had summer birthdays.  Each child decorated their initial on their birthday. Here is our finished Birthday Branch Chandelier. 


There was an obsession with Fidget Spinners so I gave them a challenge to create Fidget Spinners using anything they could find in our classroom.  They used K'Nex, Legos, toothpicks, cotton swabs, corks, tape, pencils and paper.  I was amazed at how well some spun!  They also started really studying the spinning motion!  Oh if only we had more time with each other! I could have taken this so much further!


Lots of notes were being written to friends telling them they love them and are going to miss them.  The writing center was full and our letter template paper was the most popular this last week.


I asked the kids what advice they had for next years kids to be successful in Kindergarten.  I was amazed at their wisdom!  This list is advice we should all take to heart to be successful in life!  I will save it to read to the kids next year on their first day.


I passed back the wish rocks where their parents wrote their wish for them at the beginning of the year.  They wanted me to read them out loud and you could tell by the looks on their faces that their parent's words were very meaningful to them.


On our very last day, they came in to gifts from me on their tables.  I gave them bubbles, a magnifying glass and a notebook along with a note to them that came from my heart. If you read the note, it will explain my choice in gifts.  The wonderful bubble labels came from theprintableprincess.com.



They made me read the note out loud to them because they wanted to know what it said.  That was my first cry of the day.  I could barely squeak it out.  After I read it, they all rushed me for a group hug.


Next we had field day all day long!  It was such a fun day to end on.  Here are a few of the activities:

The Parachute
Scooter Relay Race

Guard Your Pin

Limbo

Balloon Volley

Dance Freeze
 We took a break for some free play after lunch and snapped a few class pictures.



What Time is it Mr. Fox?

Sponge Relay Race

Ping Pong Ball on a Spoon Relay Race

Water Balloon Toss

Snack Break and Popsicles to help us cool off!
Then it was time for us to say goodbye.  We all sat down, snapped a couple more pictures, and then I told them through tears how special they all were to me and that I cannot wait to see what they continue to do with all of their big ideas.



We walked out to the busses one last time and gave our hugs goodbye.


It is tradition for all the busses to wait for all of us teachers to get back to the front and wave as they honk their horns and drive by carrying away our precious ones from us one last time.  It is emotional and exhilarating at the same time.


I took the beads off our our peace wreath which has hung as a reminder to strive for a peaceful environment by our door all year and hung them onto our Peace Bead Chandelier which now carries the beads of three years worth of kindergartners and their parents.



I packed my room into my closet (or as my kinders like to call it: The great big room of everything),


and left a room that will start out as a clean slate for next years new friends.


This is the hardest part of my job...saying goodbye.  Each year, my friends are finished at the Early Childhood Center and are all off to their grade schools where they will use the life long learning skills that they gathered while here and most I will never see again, but I will always wonder where their lives take them.  I hope to see some of their big ideas in the future! Have a wonderful Summer everyone!

11 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your work and the sweet souls that you have nourished. I love the idea of using the parents' wishing rocks as a returned keepsake. I teach early childhood education students, and when I ask them if they remember their grade school teachers, most can name them, but few can recall what they actually did in kindergarten. The momentos, like the rocks, the notes and the photos will ensure that the children you have connected with will certainly remember. Thanks for sharing these tender moments.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your passion. Your planning is so clear and easy to follow. You are inspiring!

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  3. You've shown us SO clearly how you link your daily plans to your weekly plans but I was wondering if you would be able to show us how you link your planning to recording and then to reporting. What does that look?

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! I will have to make a post about that! We use rubrics and checklists that I keep in student files electronically on Notability on my iPad.
      Sincerely,
      Darla Myers

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  4. Thank you for sharing the journey in your joyful classroom. I want to do problem based projects this year and your ideas are wonderful. I noticed your flower tables, how do you like them? Do they take up too much room? I currently have tables for 4 students, how do find groups of 6 students working together?

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    1. We do a lot of work on the floor! When it is project time, our room looks like a project area! Works in progress are laying everywhere! I love my flower tables! They are very spacious! They do not give me a lot of options though. They can only be separate tables. No merging together or anything like that. Good luck with your problem based projects! The kids get so passionate about them!
      Sincerely,
      Darla

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  5. Great way to help kids get a grasp of their surrounding and also helping them learn team work! Good Work teacher. You are great!

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  6. Dear Darla,
    I was catching up on some of your latest posts and back 23 weeks ago you did a super hero investigation. I saw a math activity where you had plastic hand manipulatives that were showing finger counting. Where did you get those? I have googled for about an hour but cannot find them on any search I do. I am now on a quest to have those in my K room. Thank you carmijo@passaicschools.org

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    1. I have had them forever! I think Lakeshore but they don't have them anymore. Someone else has asked me and I looked everywhere too and can't find them! Sorry!!

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  7. OHMYGOODNESS! I have to write to tell you what an inspiration your room is! I am originally from Centerville (now in Naples, Fl.) and I am in amazement of your beautiful room.

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  8. Hello,
    First of all that you for all of the inspiration you give to myself and other teachers! I am wondering if there are certain songs that are your favorites for your K class?

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