We talk about kindness every day. We try to think about how the other person might feel if they are left out or not included in the game. One little boy summed it up perfectly, "If you don't let someone play with you, their heart will break right inside of them."
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bible story time is one of my favorite times of the day. We have the best discussions and these kids continually astound me with the depth of their understanding and their utter faith. Today we had the story of Moses offering to take the punishment due to the Israelites for their sin of worshipping the golden calf. I then asked “Who do we know that took the place of sinners so they would not have to suffer for their sins?” Their hands immediately shot up. “Jesus” they answered confidently. I then asked if they remembered a story (from long ago) about someone who offered to take the place for his brother. Another hand tentatively rose into the air and the student answered “Joseph’s brother??” Wow! Yes, Judah offered for Benjamin! Their minds amaze me. Praise God for these young believers and their faith.
After I pray in the morning, the kids raise their hands and we talk about what I (we) prayed for. This reminds them to listen to the words of the prayer, since we are all praying together even though I am the one saying the words. This morning in my prayer I thanked God for the school and thanked God that the parents send their children to this school. One student raised his hand to say that we prayed about thanking our parents for sending us to school here. So I asked him if he thanks his parents and he replied yes. I then asked him "Do you like it here?" "He said yes and then a minute later raised his hand and said "I love it here!"
Oh my heart.
As you know, the weather has been bitterly cold so we have had indoor recess for the past couple of days. Often topics and questions come up that can be answered relatively easily, but other times I have to resort to the computer- more specifically You Tube.
One student asked me, "Mrs. Maatman, how do you think they make crayons?"
"Great question, and I don't know."
(After prescreening), we watched a very short video by Mr. Rogers on the making of crayons. Super interesting and well received by all:)
Well, today, in light of the freezing cold temperatures, I said, "Let's try to freeze a bubble outside." Momentary madness on my part.
It was -4 with the wind chill.
So I geared up and they all stood inside watching out the window as I tried to blow a bubble, catch it on the wand, and wait for it to freeze.
I was unsuccessful.
They were greatly amused.
After I trudged back in, one student piped up "Hey, let's just watch it on 'Try to freeze a bubble dot com'".
So we did.
And the temperature was -10 and the bubble froze ----on the video.
So maybe it just wasn't cold enough outside.
We may try again:)
I have been known to forget things, at times. Well, today we started a new letter, Ss, and when we start a new letter we have a routine. We try to think of words that start with that letter, we write it in the air, we write it on our chalk boards, and we write it on the IPad. I have occasionally forgotten to bring my IPad to school. Today, I remembered and a little girl raised her hand and said, "Mrs. Maatman, I think it is fantastic that you remembered your IPad today". And she grinned.
The power of positive reinforcement is never to be underestimated.
Storytime is one of my favorite times for the day-I read to them and they literally do not move a muscle. Then we often talk about the books and that's where it can get very interesting. Last week a student brought in a book called Vote for Otto (very fitting as we are learning letter "O"). So, I started to talk about the upcoming Presidential election by asking "does anyone know who our president is right now?" One student answered "George Washington". "No", I said, "but Wow! you knew the name of our very first president so that's fantastic!!" Then another spoke up that it was Barack Obama and all the kids agreed they had heard that name before..... I didn't take that any further:)
So, then I asked if anyone knew the names of the 2 people who want to be President. A student knew it was Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump- Wow!
Many agreed those names sounded familiar.
Another student then very quietly raised his hand and asked "Are they both wicked?"
All eyes on Mrs. Maatman.
"Yes," I said, "Yes, they are."
So disappointing for them- and me.
Thursday at the end of the school day a K student came up to me as we were getting ready to go home and said "Ya know, Mrs. Maatman, I really like it when your hair is all tangley."
"Ummmmmm- curly? "
We talk a lot in our classroom about being thankful and discussing what we are thankful for. I hear " Mom and Dad", "church", "toys", "food" and others quite frequently. I heard a new one this year. "I am thankful that God gave us grownups"- we often are so thankful for the children that God has given us, it's good to be reminded that they are thankful for grownups.:)
We had a great time at the zoo. The animals were extremely active and we had fun learning about them. One new exhibit at Lincoln Park Zoo is a monkey habitat-we learned the meaning of that word, too "habitat". As we stood watching them jump, run and swing a student solemnly turned to me and said "I know the name of this monkey, my brother told me." The kids all leaned in to hear the name "It's the "red-butt monkey" he said in all seriousness. The kids all gazed in wonder at this font of wisdom and I (with a straight face), said" well, he does have a red butt, but he is actually a snow monkey".