Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday SOL Summer musings

This is a Tuesday Slice of Life for Two Writing Teachers
Check out their website for many more reflections on teaching.

Just this week, in the midst of summer, I was sorting through my photos on my phone, collecting my favorites from recent travels. (We traveled to Oregon for the wedding of the daughter of my best friend from college; we had a great time sightseeing and hiking.) I was delighted to see not just these vacation photos, but many fun photos from the last days of the school year...and I find myself smiling in memory. 

Let me share a few with you....

The Bucket Truck

Rain didn't stop us from heading outside to play on this day. But the showstopper was this repair truck - the children were riveted, studying every move. Children call us to be present, so curious about the world, finding joy in their surroundings.

Water Play Day

Our traditional "splash day" was also an overcast, rainy day...and our location was the crumbled surrounds of a community center behind our school (scheduled to be renovated and revamped this next year!). But that didn't stop the children from having such a great time outside, enjoying the hoses, buckets, spray bottles, sidewalk chalk, and more.

The Tablecloth

We created a process art tablecloth/dropcloth for our Teaching Resident (Ms. Kim) as an end-of-year gift. The children used found objects and nature items to stamp prints all over the canvas, choosing their favorite colors. They also used fabric markers to sign their name on the cloth. We're hoping that Ms. Kim will use this cloth for 'messy' activities in her new classroom, and remember this sweet class of preschoolers every time she does.

Marble Art

The first art activity the children experienced in the Big Cats was doing marble art on a nametag. At the beginning of the year, this was a teacher-led and supervised project. Here, at the end of the year, the children ran the project themselves - selecting paper, paint colors, dropping marbles into the paint, and rolling these onto paper. Everyone had a grand time and even enjoyed cleaning the table and supplies at the end. I got to marvel at how much everyone had grown during this year. 

Balls, Cars, Blocks, and Ramps

There was incessant creativity in the block corner these last few weeks of school, as if the children were well aware that they would no longer have access to these open-ended building materials. I was amazed by the teamwork, how well the preschoolers worked together, sharing the materials and ideas.

The Family Book

This was our favorite book to read - with individual pages about each child and family, created by the families themselves. Here, the children are helping me to stuff these pages into their portfolios, so that the pages are returned home at the end of the year. But, these boys are transfixed - not wanting to take the pages out of the book but seeking to re-read the pages about each other, noticing who's who. It is amazing how much we learn about one another during a school year.

Engineering with Recylables

We had a "free for all" with the recyclables, with me issuing an open invitation for children to create and invent with abandon. 

Helping Clean the Classroom

We had created a train track out of tape on part of our classroom floor and the children worked diligently and tirelessly to remove it, to help Mr. Thomas (our Building Manager). Again, I am awed by the focus and tenacity of young children when they desire to accomplish something.

Field Day Fun

I think we had the hottest and sunniest day of the school year for our traditional field day - but that didn't stop these preschoolers from running non-stop.

Signing the Goodbye Board

They had helped us clean the room and put away all the toys, supplies, materials. Now it was time to practice their writing skills one more time, using the whiteboard markers.

I really enjoyed this past year of teaching...I worked with a delightful group of preschoolers and their families, I had a strong teaching team, I love the physical space of my classroom in our new and permanent school building. It is fun to go down memory lane in the midst of summer!


  1. I was smiling walking through the memories with you! What WONDERful experiences you gave your students!

  2. I always love to see what those "Big Cats" are doing, Maureen. My granddaughter came up to my class every Friday & loved drawing all over the white board, as I see your little ones did too. Happy times all the way through. Thanks for a nice share!

  3. What a great reflection and keeps me inspired knowing a new school year is just around the corner.

  4. The Oregon coast is my favorite place on the continental U.S.A. It's a wonderful place to ponder and reminisce.

  5. Love the pics you shared of a great ending to your school year. One of the things I love about our slicing community is hearing from teachers with different age groups. Your pictures took me back 25+ years to when my kids were in preschool.

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