Friday, July 31, 2009

Theme Week - Last Day - School Day

Today we are practicing for school! Devin will be going into Junior Kindergarten (JK) and he will need to be able to do a few things he doesn't right now. For starters, he needs to work on putting on his own shoes and doing up his jacket. He doesn't have to be able to do these things, the JK classes have student helpers who do come and help the teachers get the kids dressed and ready, but it would be ideal if he could put his runners on by himself. He can do most of it, but usually can't get his heel in; he can however put his sandals on by himself, even with the back strap. He can put his own coat on, but can not do up the zipper. Next he needs to be able to wipe himself after going #2! Jasmine's stools were... well formed we will say, while Devin's not so much, so this process is much harder for him to learn and much more important (you know they are gooeyer)... anyhow enough about poop! He can actually wipe himself now, except he doesn't seem to be able to fold up his toilet paper and he just prefers us to do it, so now we take turns and it seems to be working! Another thing is his pencil work or lack there of. He has no interest in writing, drawing or coloring. Well, he has started a bit more scribbling in coloring books the last few weeks, but his attention span is short! He can recite his alphabet and count into the teens and he can recognize likely over half the alphabet, but he does not do any printing. He can do a circle and a line and we have really been working on the "D" for Devin, but it's not great and it's huge! From nursery school we know that Devin loves circle time and loves playing and exploring. He is a very hands on kind of kid with great gross motor skills, jumps from very high, climbs up the stairs carrying heavy objects and rides a scooter like a crazy! He also needs to work on his conflict resolution - still, ongoing!

Jasmine on the other hand has to be able to go to school for a full day and she has to be able to feed herself 2 lunches due to our balanced day. I will also need practice in packing her lunch. It is suggested that I pack and label 2 seperate lunches or a breakfast and a lunch. They eat once at 10:25 and then again at 12:50.

Okay, so on to our day. Our day started outside with our backpacks on and we took a pretend walk to school. Put all our bags against the wall of the school and played outside until school started. The bell (a triangle instrument we have) rang and the kids came running in, had to change into their indoor shoes, hang up their bags and grab their show and tell and meet at the circle!

During circle we had calendar time where we counted up to today, talked about the names of the months that we knew and then Jasmine sang them to us "en francais". We discussed what summer was and the sort of activities you do in summer. The girls did great, Devin however thinks you go to the store in summer and have a fight - he needs some work I guess! As part of circle we had music time and each of them chose a song for us all to sing and then we tried doing a round with 3 songs that are all the same rhythm.

After music time was over we did some table work. I made them each a little stapled booklet last night, it had a maze, a number page, a letter page, a page with directions (like draw a line between the matches or circle how many) and then a coloring page. We worked our way through the first half of the book, but with Devin it was tricky! He did better than I expected though.

We were ahead of schedule and they were ready for a break, so they had free play in the basement until nutrition break #1. Jasmine had to know which snacks to eat and Grace and Devin got to practice opening containers and putting away their garbage. Then it was time for recess, where we played in the back yard. The kids had fun with our new patio swing - Thanks Cynthia!
After recess it was art and the kids got to make whatever they wanted with all our craft supplies. Devin glued many buttons and googley eyes onto paper, Grace glued sparkly flowers and feathers and Jasmine cut foam and stapled pieces together to make a train (all her idea - I was impressed).
Then it was time for gym and we headed outside to practice sports of all sorts. We started with throwing a beach ball and catching, then moved onto teeball, throwing a football into a pool of water, soccer passing/shooting on net/goalie, basketball, frisbee and duck, duck, goose. PHEW! I would say the collective favorite was teeball, although quite a few baskets were scored! And of course they LOVE duck, duck, goose! We came back in for nutrition break #2, with a hot meal program (Ichiban noodles) being served in addition to their snacks. We leave on holidays tomorrow, so my fridge is pretty much empty, making 3 snacks for 2 meals was a challenge! We had indoor recess next down in the basement for free play and then story time followed with nap time. (We will be travelling tomorrow, so I figured we needed to fit that nap in.)After nap the kids had time to work on math. My good friend Cynthia used to teach kindergarten and had boxes of counting supplies. When she moved she was going to throw them away, along with the patio swing above, so we took them off her hands. Kids did patterning with screws, bolts and washers, adding with little rubber chickens, color sorting with many different shades of buttons and on and on.

Devin says he wants to go to real school and being friends with his teacher, I know it will be a whole lot more fun than today's book work and twinkle, twinkle little star! I will caution you though Lisa, he did bite Jasmine today in their outside conflict - 1st one in a long time, but I will say I was preparing the hot lunch at this time, so was not readily available to hear what was happening and assist the conflict as usual! As for Jasmine, I know she will be quite good at school and I am friends with her teacher, (hi Natalie) as well, so am not worried about her at all, it's when she gets home that concerns me. She'll be so tired and temper tantrumy that I might go crazy! We are working on weaning her from her naps and teaching her strategies to deal with her tiredness and frustration, but when she is tired she simply doesn't care to use them!
All in all, it was a great, but BUSY day!


Pamela said...

Sounds like you guys were having great fun. Grace likes doing some school stuff, so I am happy that she cooperated with you.

You are an awesome friend Laura. Enjoy your trip!


Mom On The Go said...

Wow! You are so much more prepared than I was. Did you know that you can buy special lunch bags for balanced day schools - - and in Orleans. Or you could use the idea and make a two-opening bag. My daughter is in a school that provides lunches. I struggled last Sunday to decide what to pack for lunch to send to camp. That'll be harder for you than teaching Jasmine what to eat when. Good luck.