Thursday, April 9, 2009

spring break, part 2

This week has been more fun than last week. Monday I went to Michelle's music show and tell at her school and that afternoon we went to Toadally Frogs. Tuesday, Ella had preschool and I cooked all day (16 meals frozen). Yesterday, we took our poor Gabrielle to the doctor (she has an ear infection, poor baby) and then Ella and I watched a movie and had a picnic on our floor while we watched the movie. We also went to Michelle's math night at school where we played fun math games. Today friends are coming over. Monday we are going to a friend's house. Tomorrow, Michelle is going on a field trip to go swimming (indoor) with her after school program.

Ella and I had fun picknicking on the family room floor while watching a movie. Then we curled up and cuddled. (Gabrielle slept through the entire movie. Poor sweet baby wasn't feeling well.)

The kindergartners at Michelle's school had a music "show and tell" on Monday. These are shots of Michelle and her class. They practiced using their "singing voice." They used rhythm sticks and also hopped, skipped, clapped and walked to the beat of a song. They sang some fun songs that taught high and low, loud and soft, fast and slow. It was engaging and fun. Michelle loves her music class, although she told me later that a lot of the time she was just mouthing the words, because she had a little bit of a cold and couldn't sing well.

I love her school! It is filled with student work on the walls. Every student from 3rd-6th grade learns to play violins. I love the dual immersion program and she is so excited to be learning Spanish right along with English.

It was so interesting because last week we went to observe at another school because we are probably getting a new set of reading materials at my school next year. So we went to a school in the district that has these reading materials. The people at the district wanted us to be really impressed and I think it backfired. The school felt so sterile. Few of the classrooms had student work on the walls. There were few books in the classrooms. The lessons seemed so boring...even to me. I must say that the kids were well behaved, but it did not seem engaging at all. It was so sad. We will probably get the materials, but I know that even if we do, we will have an engaging school that celebrates diversity, student writing and has literate rich classrooms. While it is critical that kids learn to read and write well, I think it is also important that we engage them and make learning exciting so they will want to continue to learn. Does every kid in my class love school and love learning? No. But I hope most do. I'm so glad that Michelle's school makes learning fun. She loves school (at least most days.)