Saturday, July 21, 2012

My School Year in Review

This year has been particularly exciting for me, as it was my first year back from maternity leave with my little boy. It was great to get back into the swing of things and see some familiar faces in the classroom upon my return; I couldn’t believe how much my students have grown up while I was away. And as always, it’s a pleasure to meet new kids for the first time; because I just love teaching young minds and watching them accomplish so much throughout the year. I felt ready to go back to school in the Fall, but I admit I missed my baby like crazy!

From September to December things were pretty busy with getting to know my new students and reacquainting myself with my previous students. We also had a few eventful holidays to prepare for; I had forgotten how much fun Thanksgiving and Christmas activities are in the classroom!

Every year I choose different themes for each month, 10 in total, and this year was filled was some pretty exciting themes! We had a “Rainforest” theme in February where students learned about animals that live in the rainforest, the different layers that make up a rainforest, and where in the world rainforests grow. We even had a special day for the students to try different fruits from the rainforest, so I brought in exotic fruits from our local grocery store, and it was a huge hit, even the pickiest eaters in the class tried (and loved) the different fruits!

We also had a really fun “Hibernation” theme in January. The children learned about animals that hibernate and animals that migrate to warmer climates in the winter. For our special day this month, the children had to bring in, not just any stuffed toy, but a stuffed toy of an animal that either hibernates or migrates. And this was really fun for the kids as they got to tell me where the animal they chose hibernates, how it hibernates, and whether it is an animal that hibernates or migrates. The children always have so much fun with these special days.

Academically, my students did very well this year and were very busy working on various activities. The five year olds concentrated on phonograms, sentences, multiplication, and exchanging with the golden bead material, while my four year olds started sight words, reading from the readers, addition, and the golden bead material. My youngest students spent most of their time in the Sensorial, Culture, and Practical Life areas of the room, In Language and Math I worked with them on their sandpaper letters and numbers, and some students moved onto more concrete math and language materials.

Overall, I had a great year with my students and I look forward to seeing them in the fall. Next year will be easier on the emotions as my boy will be joining me at school for the first time, though he will be in the toddler Montessori room with another teacher. :)