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:
A thank you note. The book and song is Abiyoyo.
A homemade work of art. I love the ILU (I love you)
initials, along with the child’s initials.
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.
A fabulous year Jennie!
It was, FR. Thanks!
Some great keepsakes. What a marvellous year you’ve had with the children.
They are treasures for me. It was a great year, Darlene. Thank you!
I love this letter and look back at all the year has brought to you and the children. it’s a beautiful way to end the year and I would be so happy as a parent to receive this and I’m sure it will be a forever keepsake. p.s. I’m a huge fan of that flag
Hi Beth, each year I send two letters home to parents at the end of the school year- the chapter reading letter, and this reflections letter. Besides a keepsake, it is wonderful for parents and children to ‘relive’ all the events of the year. Like you, I think it is a beautiful way to end the school year. And that flag…OMG! 😍
It was a great year! Thanks for sharing it with us, and I’m looking forward to hearing about Gloria’s Summer plans…what will she be doing, and where will she be spending it? I’m staying tuned in to find out! 🥰 Happy Summer Jennie!
Thank you, Deborah! I’m glad you enjoyed this. Stay tuned this weekend for more on Gloria. 😍
Jennie, the parents, and students, will never forget the impact you made. Your rich and diverse ways of teaching~and the best~you give love and teach empathy through even having the kids write thank you letters. This may be too much to ask~could you fly to Alaska and Washington state to spend a few days with my grandkids? Perhaps a project? Tee hee! We ALL want Ms. Jennie as our teacher! 💛❤️💚 Karla
Awww… that is so very kind, Karla. Thank you! 🥰
It’s my pleasure, truly, Jennie! 💛🤗
What a treasure trove of a year. Now wonderful memories.
WOW! Those children learned a LOT! Encouraging curiosity and creativity is the best thing a teacher can do.
They did learn a lot, Liz. Yes, if I can foster curiosity and creativity, the rest flows. Many thanks!
You’re welcome, Jennie! As long as that natural curiosity and creativity isn’t squelshed by formal education, people are set up to be life-long learners.
Can you tell I would hate teaching in a public school? 🙂
I don’t know how teachers can survive teaching in the public schools right now.
I don’t know, either. The testing and paperwork overtakes interacting with children. That is fundamentally wrong.
It is. During my last year of teaching college composition, I was seeing the effects of students who had gone through K-12 under No Child Left Behind. They couldn’t think for themselves, and they didn’t understand that writing is a form of communication with other humans.
Astounding!!! What an inspiring summary of your (too-short) academic year!!!
Thank you, Will! 💕
The end of year for teachers must be like the beginning of the year for parents. Only a bit harder you won’t have them in your classroom anymore you might be able to see them grow from a distance if you are in the same building as them. Thank you for sharing your memories ❤
If they go on to Pre-K and kindergarten at our school, I get to see them, and that is wonderful! Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed this.
Indeed a wonderful year, Jennie. You and Gloria have a right to be proud.
Thanks so much, Don!
what was the most memorable event for you Jennie?
Pen-Pals, when Lucy found the compass rose on our Big Book Atlas and we used the compass on my phone to walk everywhere, Blogger Pete Springer visiting from California, writing and decorating giant thank you letters, play performances, and of course #1 chapter reading and #2 Gloria.
That wasn’t just one answer!
sounds like a lot of happy children!
I think so!
What a wonderful idea! It’s a tangible representation of the wonders they got to experience in your class. Kudos.
Well said, Pam! My best to you.
A terrific way for them to appreciate what the year has accomplished!
Hear, hear! Well said, and best to you, John.
Jennie, your teaching is simply wonderful!
That is so kind, Charles. Thank you!
Reblogged this on charles french words reading and writing and commented:
Here is another wonderful post from the excellent teacher, Jennie!
Thank you, Charles!
Now, enjoy your break 🥰
Thanks, Ritu. Will do! 💕
A wonderful year for sure.
What a lovely memento for the children and their parents 🙂 x
Thank you, Carol!
What a wonderful year! I’m sure you have mixed feelings as your students move on. Sadness that you won’t see them for a while, but joy in knowing they will continue to learn and make you proud. Unfortunately, for the other educators, your students will someday have, there is only one Jennie. Thank you for what you’ve done and for what you will do in the future.
Hi Pete, I do have mixed emotions.
Fortunately, I have a smile deep down inside, knowing I have given children ‘something’. It’s different for each child; some will remember reading, some music, some block building, some swinging on the playground. Whatever it is, they will remember feeling loved, and that’s all that really matters. Many thanks!
What a wonderful letter! I love the child-centred and cross-currilcular approach you have to their learning and how you always take advantage of their curiosity. I just wish all children had such a rich learning environment.
Thank you so much, Sarah!
What a wonderful memory for parents, Jennie.
Thank you, Jacqui.
Reblogged this on NEW BLOG HERE >> https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.
Thank you, Michael!
You all had a wonderful year, and you organized it to a great pleasure for all, Jennie! What a fantastic letter. I am waiting on Gloria’s speech. 🙂 xx Michael
Thank you, Michael! Gloria’s summer adventure is fabulous- blog post on Sunday!
Such a great service you give to the parents. They must be overjoyed to read about what happened in the school year.
Best wishes, Pete.
I think recapping the year helps parents to remember, and also relive special moments together with their child. Thank you, Pete.
Such an awesome and wonderful letter, Jennie.
What a lovely thing to do, sending out these ‘love’ letters. ❤
Thank you, Debby. Recapping the year and memories for children and families is priceless. The ‘love’ letters were wonderful. 😍
And great to look at again in years to come. 🙂
I think so, too! 🙂
Jennie, you put tremendous work into everything you do and it shows! What a wonderful review for parents! I love hearing about Charlotte’s day, quarter and year! It’s great insight into the activities she’s getting into and how that’s shaping her learning and her personality! 🙂 Lovely!
Thank you very much, Jen! It’s wonderful for parents to get an inside view. 😍
An amazing year for your children Jennie.. and for you I am sure.. The parents must be so proud and also thrilled you are part of their children’s lives. and Gloria of course ♥
Thanks so much, Sally! 🥰