Everything I Know I Learned in Pre-K

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Oct 24 2011

Today was better…

EXCEPT FOR THE PART WHERE MY M,TLD TRIED TO SHOW UP UNANNOUNCED FOR AN OBSERVATION!

Today was my 6th day in the classroom, and things are hardly where I might want them to be… My M,TLD told me last week that she was going to contact me this week about when a good time for her to come and see my class would be. Well, she didn’t. Instead, this morning at 7:45 when I arrived at school, the morning coordinator asked, “You know someone’s coming to observe you today, right? [Our director] just told me.” Well thanks for letting me in on the secret!

Thankfully, I had some (I think) pretty good stuff planned out, and I’d put some serious thought into how I could best control my kids on the carpet last week. I noticed that a big problem in keeping the kids calm and controlled on the carpet was that they didn’t seem to know where they should sit, a more basic issue even than knowing how they should behave. I printed out gingerbread man shapes on white paper, with a child’s name written at the top of each page. I then had the kids color “themselves,” and I laminated them before taping them to the carpet. This morning was the first time they were completely taped to the carpet, but I had introduced them, and what the kids were supposed to do with them, last week. They love them- they show them to their parents, friends, and siblings, and show them off to one another. Additionally, it’s easier to tell them to go to the carpet if they know where they are supposed to sit. The best part is that they are helping them to recognize their names in print! They know what their drawings looked like, and now they are associating their names with themselves outside of their cubbies.

During morning meeting, we worked on finger-pointing and rhyming using the nursery rhyme Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater. I plan to extend the lesson throughout the whole week, and will ultimately use it for assessing concept of word (COW) with them. We then broke out into tables and did pattern work by finding our letters (Dd and Ee) in trails across worksheets and coloring them. Finally, we drew pictures of what we remembered from Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater. All in all, I’m glad I had planned what I did, and that it turned out pretty well. Especially since my M,TLD was there.

Can’t wait for paper maché tomorrow!

5 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Hello, I am currently a student in the process of gaining my early childhood education degree. When I read your blog I felt very nervous for you since you had no idea someone was coming in to observe you, but you handled the situation very well. I also really liked how you gave the kids a place to sit during carpet time. I would have never thought of how effective giving assigned seats could be and clearly it worked for you. I will for sure keep that in mind when I have my own classroom one day.

  2. Nikki K

    I am currently a student in the process of gaining my early childhood education degree. When i read your blog I felt very nervous for you since you had no idea someone was coming in to observe you, but you handled the situation very well. I also really liked how you gave the kids a place to sit during carpet time. I would have never thought to give them assigned seats and clearly it worked for you. I will for sure keep that in mind when I have my own classroom one day.

  3. CY

    I don’t understand why you are so nervous about your MTLD visiting. I want my MTLD to see me in good times and bad. If all she sees is the good, how is she possibly going to help you?

    I also like the assigned carpet seats. Giving kids choice usually ends up with chaos.

    • It’s not that I was nervous, especially since I didn’t have time to be… However, I would have liked her to let me know. I would have particularly liked her to follow through on promising to discuss the visit with me BEFORE coming. I am looking forward to her insight, but there’s also an element of confusion in my classroom at the moment, since I’m new (and the 4th teacher this year), and students are coming and going. I would have liked to have at least two full weeks in the classroom before she popped in!

      • eminnm

        I feel your pain–my MTLD observed me on the 3rd day of school this year. Which, you know, was super helpful and we were totally doing important, observable things, such as practicing going to the carpet six times. Oh well :-)

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