Friday, July 27, 2012

Back to School and All About Me

This past Wednesday The Little School hosted our annual Back-to-School night. Traditionally we have done this in the fall, but since all of our kids have made their new nests in their new rooms, it seemed like a good time for a formal classroom introduction.... or at least as formal as we get at The Little School. The idea was to get to know one another as a class pack, and to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Communication between the parent and the teacher is the key to the success of any given room, and Back-to-School night is the perfect time to form that bridge.

Many rooms invited the children to help prepare the rooms for the night. Joy’s Little Stars painted a banner to greet their adoring fans. Susan’s kids read the book Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler, and made the yummy (though as promised, ugly) confection for their parents, complete with homemade ice cream. Teachers baked all manner of tasty treats, while Val’s parents were treated to gorgeous gifts from parents and owners of The Chocolate Door. Sweet tooth satiated, we all set to work.

Each room had discussions of particular interest to the classes: from infant development, potty training, all the way to kindergarten readiness. That was the official part. The main fun of the evening was setting to work on “A Book About Me”. Across the school, each parent was asked to come armed with photos that depict their child’s life. The parents were presented with these questions to illustrate, narrate or otherwise interpret: 

-My Family
-What Makes Me Unique?
-What Gives Me Comfort?
-My Favorite Experience
Glue sticks and snapshots in hand, parents set to work around the kid sized tables and chatted while they created these masterpieces. Once complete, these books will live in the classroom for the kids to look at anytime they like. As we had hoped, each parent approached the questions in their own style. Some used pictures alone, others added text and doodles, and still others wrote epic tomes. The results are simply a-dorable, and the kids are going to love, love, love them.

Thanks again for coming and joining our pack!

Monday, July 16, 2012

How I spent my summer vacation

Hello, and welcome back to your new classrooms! This was big week for all of us at TLS. Each and every child came back to new rooms, new friends, and new teachers. Many teachers welcomed new co-workers and even new rooms. It is a lot to take in, especially when you’re only 2 feet tall. All in all, the children did super adjusting to their new worlds.

This is the first time we moved all the children to a new room at the same time. The teachers have reported loving it, and the buzz made it exciting for the kids. One of the reasons we have never attempted this feat in the past is because we didn’t want to displace our rising kindergarteners over the summer. It felt like we were saying: “Good luck! We love you! See ya!” No way did we want to do that to our K bound kiddos. So this year we are experimenting with “summer camp”. Offered to these rising kindergarteners only, we have just finished our first week of extra fun, extra woodsey, extra muddy, extra exploring, extra wet, extra painty, and extra wormy summer play. We asked our campers to help us name our first session of camp. Suggestions included:

- Camp Fire
- Camp Snake Fire
- Camp Monster Fire
- Camp Bug Fire
- Camp Ultimate Fire
- Camp Magic Rainbow (can you guess if we had more girls or boys?)    
As awesome as “Camp Snake Fire sounds” to a 5 year old boy, we decided it maybe was too scary for non-camp civilians. We all decided to go with “Camp Ultimate...” and let the children fill in the blank. “Camp Ultimate Hiking”, “Camp Ultimate Water Play”, etc.

Backpacks loaded, and water shoes at the ready, we explored our woods, swung from vines, sloshed in creeks, and squished in mud. We set-up a tent at the creek bed, and let nature (and extremely awesome teachers) do the rest. We cooled off inside with epic lego creations, daily journaling, Geronimo Stilton books in our sleeping bags, and and of course Chef Nate lunches.

Thanks “campers” for reminding us how to do summer the ultimate way. You may ask, “Didn’t it rain all last week?”

Pfft. Not a problem if you’re ULTIMATE.