Sunday, May 22, 2011

Father's Day and End of the Year :(

Well, it has happened once again, our school year has ended. I think the end of the school year is like Thanksgiving. I know it is coming, I understand that things need to be done, I get excited thinking about it, but after it is over I am always sad. Am I CRAZY??? Probably! Anyway, I decided that if my sweet class was going to HAVE to leave me then they were going to leave me with a BANG! I pulled out all the tricks in my preschool teachers book! Here is a recap of my last week of school for 2010-11 . . . .

The week started with what the children thought would be a typical "Marvelous Monday". Right after carpool we walked down the hall to . . . . an . . . . empty classroom! No toys, no music, no special tables, nothing! The look on their faces was priceless. I told them to "grab their bubbles" and follow me. I took them straight through the bathroom to my partner-in-crime, Christi's classroom, and there it was 16+ glorious feet of blank cardboard! (My husband and I had a new patio door install a few weeks ago. The cardboard was wrapped around the door. A preschool teacher's DREAM!) Of course we had the paint hid so everyone was dying to know what we were going to do. Christi and I pulled out bottles and bottles of paint and just about any type of brush and roller you could ask for. Let the fun begin! There was only ONE rule (I know I don't like rules but you have to have them), you could not paint OVER anyones work. Now, 1 . . . 2 . . . 3 . . . PAINT! And paint we did!
I am still amazed at how very quiet the entire room became. Of course it didn't last long. There is always that one child that started complaining and wanting another color or another brush. We were planning on changing up colors and brushes but because of the "whining" we let them continue for a little longer before the switch. Suddenly, everyone realized that this was REALLY FUN! Colors were being swapped with the teacher's help! People were being NICE TO EACH OTHER! No one was complaining! SUCCESS! Here is our masterpiece!Of course this couldn't go home with anyone so we took a big group picture and with the help of my computer genius hubby, everyone got a lovely picture!

Monday really was Marvelous!

Tuesday was busy as usual. I wanted to do a quick little Father's Day. We have been practicing our writing skills all year long and it was now time to put all that work to good use. First, we made some background paper by painting a piece of white card stock. We used a mixture of rubbing alcohol and paint (any three colors the child wanted). The effect is amazing. It is quick to dry, doesn't warp the paper AND it is a great way to get the last of the paint out of the bottle. Plus, it smells funny! Next came our hand print (we used regular strength paint here). We carefully added some old left over letters that were cut from our Ellison die-cut machine and a glittery heart left over from Valentine's Day. Finally, we added our names!! The perfect Father's Day gift!
Can you believe that the children that wrote these JUST TURNED FOUR! WOW!
Wednesday came way too quickly. Thursday was our big end of the year bash so I wanted to do something meaningful. Several weeks ago I read a book during story time about a mother bird and her babies. The mother bird took care of the babies until it was time for them to leave. All of a sudden "A" spoke up and said, "Mrs. Carrie (I know my name is Karen, but she pronounces it Carrie), you are like the momma bird and we are your babies!" Hmmm . . . an idea was born. Our end of the year project! As you can see the next was made from scrap paper that the children cut themselves. Theirs is the little hand print and that is my big 'ole hand sitting beside them. The top reads, "It is time to spread your wings and fly". And then written on the side, "But, I will always be here for you! Mrs. Karen"

Thursday was the last day for me to be with my class. It had been a good year. Of course there were difficulties, challenges, laughs, tears and a few temper tantrums, but over all it was an amazing year. Our new director, Mrs. Cynthia, did an amazing job with our May Play Day. Each of our classes rotated to different play stations during the day. My station was science and snack! My class has a small science lesson once a week and a special snack on Friday, so it was fun to share this with the other rooms. Here is our "SUMMER SUN SNACK"! A simple sugar cookie with freshly made (by the child of course) yellow icing and pretzels for the rays.It was a great way to say goodbye to all the children. We ended our day with a wonderful picnic lunch from Chik-fil-a out on the soccer field.

I'm not sure that this part should be included, but hey, it's MY blog! I wasn't going to return to school at the end of LAST year. I wasn't happy and I'm at the wonderful place in my life that I don't have to go to work each day. I work because I love the children and love my co-workers. I'm blessed and I know it. I didn't want to return and be miserable. I knew there were other schools that had asked me to join them, so I knew I had options. Then the most wonderful thing happened. I listened to God! I didn't just TELL Him what I wanted or thought I needed. I asked Him for guidance and then I shut up and listened to Him. He spoke loudly and clearly. A new director was named to our school. Things are wonderful. God is wonderful. I am glad I listened to Him and was (for probably the first time) patient. Thank you Lord for helping me to listen.

I guess I'll spend the next 90 days reflecting on my school year. I expect to research books and blogs so I can make some changes to my classroom, add more things and maybe even delete a few things that didn't work. We will see. For now, I'm taking a week off to be with my husband. Have a great week. I'll talk to you next Sunday afternoon!


  1. Sounds like you had a blast...thanks for sharing and glad you listened!! :-)

  2. Karen,

    I am so glad you decided to return and this year ended on a good note for you. You are an amazing teacher and an inspiration to other teachers. The kids are lucky to have you! Have a great summer!

  3. I love all the crafts- especially the giant mural with the photo for each kid! Thanks for leaving the link and stopping by my blog. Do you mind if I feature your bird craft in an upcoming post? artsy_momma_blogs at yahoo dot com Thanks again for leaving the link!

  4. YES! You are always welcomed to use my ideas. I would love a link to my blog if you don't mind. THANKS!

  5. I love your blog, thank you for sharing your fantastic ideas. Greetings from my creative activities blog.

  6. Great Mural art. What kind of pre-instructions that you gave the children anyway?

    1. NONE! We just gave them paint and everyone picked out a brush or other object to paint with. It was truly a magical day!

  7. Thanks for sharing your great ideas.

  8. Thanks for sharing the bird handprint craft I am using it for my graduating preschool class May God Bless you with many more years of teaching