Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Self Control Bubbles... and a glimmer of hope!

I have a confession to make... even though I've only had my Preppies for 3 days I was a teeny, tiny bit worried about how the year was going to trundle along.  I had forgotten how much work brand new Preps are (isn't that the story every year?), and these little ones seem quite disinterested in learning the routines and rules of the classroom.  As a result, every activity is super duper hard work - the only thing that will keep them settled for a few minutes is listening to a story.

And then... a glimmer of hope!  Since I have had a few kidlets struggling with sitting still, not calling out, staying away from the toys, sitting up instead of rolling around on the floor (etc!) we did an activity today using 'Self Control Bubbles'. These are just regular dollar store bubbles of course, but today they were an awesome teaching tool.  I discovered this idea on Teacher Tipster.

We toddled off outside and sat in a circle. For the first round of bubbles, the kidlets were allowed to pop them to their heart's content (with their bottoms staying on the ground of course!).  They loved that - and I did a few laps of the circle to make sure they had a good chance to pop a heap of bubbles.  I then explained that sometimes at school if we really, really want to do or say something it might not be the time or place.  Sometimes we want to tell our story on the carpet when it's not our turn, or play with the blocks when it's time to write in our Journals.  Sometimes we want to snatch things from our friends or pull faces at them when we should be listening and sitting quietly.  I told them that keeping those impulses in check is called having self control.  To demonstrate what that feels like I did a second round of bubbles... but this time we had to keep our hands in our laps and not pop ANY!

I really didn't think this would work to well at all... but as I blew hundreds of bubbles near my kidlets they stayed as still as statues! Even when the bubbles floated right into their faces and landed on their hands they did not pop a single one!  I was so proud.  I plan to remind them of this activity and maybe repeat it a few times to help them practise their self control.

After today I have renewed hope that they will get there.  They are so little and new to school, I just need to give them time and lots of help to learn what they need to do to be a super duper Preppie. :)

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!


Sunday, 3 February 2013

What a week!

Phew!  Week 1 is over and I am EXHAUSTED... even though we haven't had the Preppies for a regular school day yet!  This week we spent Tuesday and Wednesday with small groups of kidlets conducting their assessment interviews.  They came in 5/6 at a time and sat with a teacher one-on-one to chat and complete some activities to give us an idea of what they can and can't do.  There was also a chance for them to play on the carpet with the others in their group so we had a quick sneak peek at how they interact socially with their peers.  It was great to meet all of the kidlets and have a chat with them, but because we hadn't written class lists yet it was tricky connecting with kids and parents.

Thursday I was super excited to get to school because the only thing that we had to to was write class lists... then the rest of the day was mine to organise my classroom and lesson planning!  Unfortunately there was some issues with my laptop choosing not to connect to the school network, or allow me to save to a flash drive so I could take my documents and print them on another computer.  When I finally figured it out it was time to set up for the Prep Family Barbecue - a "Can you come and help for a half an hour?" that turned into hours of setting up marquees, moving chairs and hay bales and scrubbing the bbqs so we could use them (worst.job.ever!) until the families arrived. Sigh... Goodbye Thursday!

Friday rolled around and was filled with drama - we had an information session with new families to the school that went hours longer than it was supposed to.  I was able to spend a few hours in my classroom but because it had been used for the interviews and then the bbq all I really achieved was cleaning and tidying.  Things aren't looking like I wanted them to for the first day of classes... but what can you do?

Amongst all of that I went and bought a new car, found a unit to live in by the beach and purchased some classroom treasures from the dollar store.  This afternoon I am hunkering down to get some serious lesson planning done!

I hope everyone else had an amazing first week back!  

Image from Wikipedia