As soon as the school year is over and the dust has settled, my final letter to families is a reflection of the school year. It takes families through the highlights so they can relive those moments and classroom experiences with their child. Memories are important.
I am reliving those moments, too. My keepsakes include:
Reflections on a Wonderful Year
We hope you enjoyed your child’s year-end portfolio, as each one is a walk down memory lane for teachers. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that children were building an Atlas robot? Remember when we wore our pajamas to school and had a ‘Day in the Dark’? Remember our “Peter and the Wolf” play performance? Remember how we introduced music to inspire creativity for our Art Show? There are so many Aqua Room events and memories. The year has passed far too quickly.
What did your children embrace?
Building and Puzzles. From Duplos, to blocks, to Legos, children built incredible structures that were complex and thoughtfully planned. Puzzles were a choice activity every day, from floor puzzles to table puzzles.
Dinosaurs and Robots. As soon as children watched the Boston Dynamics robots, they were curious and engaged. First, they loved the song, then their engineering minds kicked in and they wanted to learn more. Dinosaurs have been a favorite all year.
Russia, France, and India. We traveled around the globe using our favorite Big Book Atlas. From learning about wolves and watching a live wolf cam, to singing the days of the week in French, to dressing in native Indian clothing and eating Indian food, and balancing peacock feathers, our experiences broadened our learning.
Pen-Pals. Reaching out to children around the world by making cards, and getting cards in return, was a big and exciting experience. Children wanted to write words and draw pictures. It was wonderful to make connections.
Writing Thank You Letters. We wrote nine letters over the course of the year. Nine! They were all on big chart paper and elaborately decorated. The heartfelt replies were an added bonus.
Play Performances. We enjoyed planning and performing “Peter and the Wolf”, “The Story of Little Babaji”, and “Goldilocks and the three Dinosaurs.” Children continued to act out the plays on their own, on the playground.
God Bless America. This has been the favorite song of the year. Children often sang it on their own. It was fitting that it had a grand finale, taping a video and sending it to the White House- fabulous.
Books and Stories, from picture books to chapter reading, to fact books. Our bookshelf is well-used, and as popular as our block shelf. Chapter reading is one of our favorite times of the day.
Mystery Readers. Children loved the surprise of a family member reading to us via Zoom. Thank you, Mystery Readers!
Signing-In. As the year progressed, children developed letter formation and motor skills, from writing large letters, to eventually making small and uniform letters. This became a popular daily routine.
Question of the Day. What started as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question where children had to read a question and find their name stick, grew into a more complex activity. We learned how to tally vote, and we broadened our math skills- greater than/less than, identifying and then writing missing numbers, and also letters.
The Animal Game. This game became a fun, everyday activity at lunch. Teachers gave clues as to different animals, and children had to guess the animal. Following the Animal Game we always listened to a true Jennie Story.
Music and Movement. Singing and dancing along with the autoharp or the new, big technology screen has been so much fun all year. Children still want to sing the “Jack-O-Lantern” song, even though October was long ago. Most recently, they want to sing along with the Singing Sergeants, “God Bless the USA.” Yoga is so much fun, especially following along on the big screen.
Gloria, our beloved puppet, has been a constant presence of love and kindness for children. Gloria often teaches far more than we teachers can do. Recently other new friends have joined Gloria- Oscar the Otter, Elephant and Piggie, and the Pigeon and baby Duckling.
It has been a wonderful year with your children. We feel blessed. Thanks for all your support.
P.S. Stay tuned for an update and photos on Gloria’s summer.