Tomorrow will be exactly one week since school started for us! It doesn't seem like it has already been a week at all though. Things in class have been going very well. I really do have an amazing group of kids!
A lot of this week has been about learning the school routine and getting used to being in my class. We will continue to do that for the rest of this week as well. The kids are loving all the centers and are catching on pretty quickly to how to respect and play with the toys. In my class I want them to have fun and play but at the same time I want them to learn how to be respectful of the toys and how to clean up after themselves when they are finished. I always make a big deal about each toy and will show them how fun they are to play with but that we don't want to throw them down or step on them because then we won't be able to play with them anymore. I know mistakes will happen and toys will get broke at some time (they are only three) but I do not think it is okay for a child to purposely mess up a toy.
Our learning centers for this week all have to do with different colors. I will go around and play with them in each center and ask them "Oh this is a neat toy what color is it?" They will always look up at me and tell me and then go back to playing. I know a lot of people think that learning takes place during learning time while a teacher is teaching and the kids are sitting and listening but it's so much more than that for a three year old. You can tell them all day long that an apple is red but they understand and get it more when you give them an apple to play with, or let them sort apples in fine motor center, cut up apple slices and let them weigh them. In my class I do go over what we are learning during our circle time but the learning center time is where I believe what we are learning truly sinks in for them.
I have a cute example of a little bit of what I am talking about. I work at a Christian school and I love being able to share God's word with the kids in my class. I want our bible time in my class to be a time that the kids enjoy and not just me sitting and reading the bible story to them. For one they probably are not listening and more than likely they will not remember what I said after about two minutes. This morning we were talking about creation and how on the 1st day God created the light. I told them that God said "let there be light" and there was light. I then went on to ask if they thought WE could do that, so I went and turned off the light and let each of them have a chance to try to get the light to come on with just their words. Of course the light didn't come on and I explained that it didn't come on because we are not God and that only Gods words could make light out of darkness. They had a lot of fun with this and they truly understood the story. I didn't just sit there and read to them I involved them in what we were learning about. At the end of the day as we were talking about our day I asked some of the kids what they had learned that day. Without me even starting the conversation they begin talking about how God said "let there be light" and there was light. I asked one kid "why cant I do that?" he looked at me very seriously and said "Mrs. Stephanie you are NOT God and only GOD can do that". I knew at that moment that they got it. Yes that's a simple story and a simple statement but they had remembered from early that morning because they were part of the story and not just being told the story!
Teaching preschool is so much fun and honestly I would be completely embarrassed if anyone actually could see how ridiculous I probably look each day while we are in class. I make BIG statements when I talk by using my hands, I get down on their level, I exaggerate my stories and make a big production out of the smallest things, and always have some crazy dance moves and silly faces (that I refuse to let anyone else see besides my class) :-) I love days like today though when I can walk away knowing that my kids learned something and most of all they had fun doing it!
**Next week is shapes! I'm excited to change up the centers some and see how they do**