Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wrapping Things Up!

This was our last week of school, as I already have mentioned in previous posts.  Every year I plan a special party for the last day of school.  In the past we have had camping parties, Hawaiian Luau parties, etc.  This year we had a picnic party!  The parents brought in finger foods and blankets and we had a picnic together.  The 4's class picnic ended up having to be inside because it was really windy and chilly that day.  But, the 3's class was able to eat out on the lawn!  Here are some pictures of our fun:

4's Class picnic inside.

3's Class picnic outside.
The official last day for my 4's class is also graduation day!  It's a day of mixed emotions for everyone - kids, parents, and ME!  The kids are excited to move on to Kindergarten!  But, I often hear from parents that the kids think I am going to continue to be their teacher in Kindergarten - so sweet!  For parents, it's another milestone reached in the lives of their kids.  For me, it's knowing that I've done my job as a teacher in preparing each child, the best I can, to enter into the big world that awaits them in Kindergarten and beyond.  But, even more than that, it's knowing that I have instilled a love of learning in each child and that this will hopefully continue throughout their lives.  And, as I let each child go on his/her way, I always send a little piece of my heart with them - a piece that I can never get back, but that will be filled with fond memories instead.  That's something that never gets easier - even after so many years!

Below are a few pictures from graduation.  I was not able to take a lot since I was very busy actually "graduating" kids, but there are a few.

Check out this cake that one of my awesome parents made!  There is a cake ball topper with a graduation hat for each of the kids and the initials of the school on the front of the cake - YCP (Ypsilanti Cooperative Preschool).
Here is a picture of the inside of the cake - it's a rainbow!  Isn't this the most awesome cake ever!?
A piece of the amazing rainbow cake!  It tasted even better than it looked - which is hard to do since it looked so amazing!
Here is a picture one of the kids made for me!  She wrote the words all by herself!
After the festivities were over and everyone went home, I set to work finishing up putting things away for the Summer.  Which basically means I piled everything on the counter so that when the parents move the furniture to have the carpet & floors cleaned, nothing gets lost, damaged, etc.

Here is the counter with all of the materials piled neatly out of the way.
Of course, since it is the end of the year I had a *few* things to take home with me!

My pile of stuff to go home...  Notice the beautiful flowers, cards, etc. in the front from my wonderful preschool families!
And, one of my wonderful families had this sign made for me!  I am going to find a special place in my classroom to hang it!

I am going to keep it in the wrapper until next school year so that it stays clean, etc.  I can't wait to hang it up!

I learned a lot this year - about Montessori, about how to make it work in a co-op setting, about how kids learn best, and about myself.  Here are some things I learned this year:

* I learned that there really is no "wrong" way to "do" Montessori - as long as you are following the children.

* I learned that a child's ability to learn lies in the same place as their interests.

* I learned that "Montessori" is not about having certain materials, but about having materials that interest a child and bring about a child's natural drive and ability to learn.

* I learned that working individually with children brings about a greater understanding of each child's abilities and interests - something that is not possible when working with groups of children.

* I learned that children gain much more knowledge when they are given the opportunity to choose the work that interests them.

* I learned that children learn when they are ready to learn, no sooner!

* I learned the names of all of the geometric solids - and so did many of the kids!

* I learned that I have a LOT more to learn!

Well, those are my final thoughts for this school year!  I am already starting to prepare for the 2012-2013 school year and will be posting new ideas I have, etc. on my blog throughout the Summer.  I have some ideas for new practical life work for next year - inspired by my own Froggy Boots' current obsession with band-aides!  And, I want to incorporate the "peace table" into my classroom next year, among other things.  So, keep an eye out for my future posts!

I will also continue to keep you all updated on the transition to my new blog.  I have decided on a name and am working on the new layout and trying to come up with a new header and button.

I am linking up with Montessori Monday via Living Montessori Now and Teach me Tuesday via Preschool Powol Packets!

Montessori Monday

Teach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol Packets


  1. Congratulations on a great year! It looks like you all had a great time and learned so much! Thanks for sharing with all of us!

  2. We miss you already, Mieke!
    Have a great summer.

  3. Congratulations!! It looks like a wonderful wrap-up! Isn't it amazing how much teachers and parents learn when we work with children?! Thanks so much for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday!!