Dear Hawk Families,

I hope that each of you is well, and are stepping with joy into the new year!

Wow, it sure has been an eventful first month of the new year in the Hawk’s class. It was William’s birthday on January 11th, and Kathryn and I shared a birthday several days later on the 16th. What a very special last few days it has been! I do have to share a warm thank you to each of you for your generous birthday gift to me. Oh, how I love to purchase books! I have quite a collection of children’s books, in particular, but there are always more to be bought, read, and shared together!  As well, I have been a book worm since I was young, and don’t usually leave home without a good book packed. Once again, deep gratefulness!

Another something that took place this past month, as I know Ms. Anaya shared, is that Ms. Cesilia is no longer with us. Hearing this news early in January made our Hawk hearts very sad, and we made sure to send her a great deal of love and warm wishes. Cesilia and I worked very well together, and the children loved her. Though we miss her greatly, we are excited that Ms. Gina could join us for the remainder of the school year. It has been quite a seamless transition, and the children have been phenomenal in welcoming Gina to our class. The children’s ability to adjust to the changes that have taken place truly speak to their maturity and strength. The Hawks are a wonderful team!

Jumping into 2019…

I like myself!
I’m glad I’m me.
There’s no one else I’d rather be.
I like my eyes, my ears, my nose.
I like my fingers and my toes.

Inside, outside, upside down,
from head to toe and all around,
I like it all!  It all is me!
And me is all I want to be.

~ I Like Myself!, by Karen Beaumont

Our All About Me! study is in full swing. Once again, thank you for sharing with us photos of your child as a baby, and lots of fun information about them. We have thoroughly been enjoying going back in time to get a glimpse of how we began, as wee little ones. It is helping us to gain an understanding of and perspective on how far we’ve come and just how much we have grown.

Who am I?  What am I like?  What can I do?  What makes me special?  Unique and different?

This is an incredibly precious time in a young person’s life. Each one is earnestly working on developing, at this time, what we call a self-concept, the attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that they believe defines themselves. At four and five years old, they are feeling quite autonomous in life, learning what it means to be a  separate and unique individual. As an educator, this is a most exciting age to teach. They are are coming into their own, and are bursting forth with awarenesses about themselves that can hardly be contained. “Yes, I am am artist!” “I don’t like broccoli, but I love bananas!” “I am so fast, fast like a train!” “I’m happy when I’m painting.” “Look how strong I am! I could pick up Calvary!” “My favorite color is purple!” These are words we hear everyday in our classroom, as the children are busy declaring who they are, and developing a sense of I am-ness, and self-esteem.

Throughout our All About Me! study, our hope is to support this self-development process, while building kindergarten readiness skills, particularly in the areas of literacy and math. Thus far, we have been highlighting two children a week, and learning about who they were as babies. We have been using standard (i.e.measuring tape) and nonstandard (inch long snap cubes) forms of measurement to measure just how long each child was at birth (i.e. Kathryn was 19 inches long), and how tall they are now. As well, we’ve been using a scale and one pound sand bags to figure out how much each child weighed at birth. They children are so excited and curious to learn about each other.

Several days ago I asked the children, “What are you able to do now, that you couldn’t do when you were a baby?” Here are their responses…

Pete: Growing up from a baby you have birthday parties!
Georgia: I can cut with scissors now.
William: I couldn’t draw things, but now I can!
Georgia: Paint. I loooove painting!
Betsy: I can wear big kid clothes. I couldn’t wear big kid jewelry or earrings when I was a baby.
Kathryn: I couldn’t eat by myself.
Viraaj: You know the waves that go up and down. I love them now! The waves at the wave pool!
Brooklyn: I love painting!
Remie: I can drink water by myself.
Jack: I can do staples, and use the stapler.

Once we finish going back in time, we will step into the present to learn more about who we are right now, in all our fabulosity ~ wink!

Parents, are you ready?  Have you heard?

Well, the Hawks are at it again!  When we returned from holiday break, we were asked by Ms. Rindal an Ms. Smith to help build a polar express train for the polar express dramatic play area that enlivens our big room area. Edie and Marianna know, from watching us build our smoke jumping plane earlier in the school year, that we are awesome builders!  You can probably guess that the Hawks did not hesitate to reply with a big and hearty “YES!” to their request. Immediately children began to brainstorm what we would need. They even went about drawing and writing lists ~ cardboard, a bell, tape, glue, lights, couplers (train car connecters), paint (black, blue, white, and a little green), seats, and a potty. We agreed that before we begin to build a large train for all the Calvary kids to play in, we had better do some research!

So, we’ve been reading books about trains, drawing 2-d pictures of our train ideas (blueprints), and creating 3-d small models of trains with cardboard and with clay.  This  pre-work will help us learn and know just what we will need, and how to go about building a strong mode of transportation to get to the North Pole. Yes, this is what they want to do!

When the Hawks all agreed we had carried out enough research, and had gathered enough materials to work with, we began the building process… Wow!  Upon arrival this past Thursday morning, news must of spread, because we had a large gathering of children appear ready to build!  Even teachers came to help!  Children were busy working independently, working together, laughing, in discussion with one another, referring to train books and the models they had built, helping one another out, experimenting, growing ideas, discovering, and each one filled with ecstatic joy and inspiration!

Our polar express train has taken shape, but is not finished yet!.  I will have to share with you next time how it all comes together… and if we do, indeed, get to the North Pole!

Before closing, I want to mention that the Hawks and Eagles are looking forward to taking weekly, or bi-weekly, trips to the park right up the block from Calvary, beginning in the next week or two.  It would be Friday mornings, after music with Mr. Lane, that we would venture out.  We are excited to have our feet on/in the grass (the earth), play some fun games, and enjoy being together in  a new and different setting.  You will be receiving, via Ms. Anaya, a permission slip to sign and return in the days ahead.  Please do so.  As well, please make sure that on Fridays your child is dressed appropriately for being at the park, for lots of running around (i.e. sneakers, etc.), and brings to school a jacket, layers, etc.

Well, I’m signing off!  The Calvary teachers had a wonderful staff development day exploring several schools in SF, and we are ready to begin our weekend!

I’ll close once again, with Karen Beaumont’s words…

Inside, outside, upside down,
from head to toe and all around,
I like it all!  It all is me!
And me is all I want to be.

Have a head to toe and all around wonderful next few days!

Warmly,

Ms. Linnea