This week we read, “How Full is Your Bucket? For kids.” In this story, we learned that each of us has an invisible bucket we cart along with us everywhere. With each negative interaction or event drops of “water” drip out. When your bucket is empty, it can be hard to be kind or helpful. It can also make you feel sad or irritated. On the other hand, with every positive interaction or event, our bucket fills up. We also found out that when we are kind or helpful to others, not only do we refill their bucket, but add new drops to our own, too.
Some days, your bucket seems to be leaking like a sieve. Your alarm clock didn’t go off. You burnt the toast. Your dog stepped in the mud and then jumped on your pants as you walked out the door. All of these tiny little things take from your bucket. Children and adults are more quick to anger, irritate, judge, and outright react without thought when their bucket is empty.
We’ve been noticing when our buckets are losing water and when we can help fill another person’s bucket. Today on the playground, I saw children filling buckets by sharing binoculars, taking turns on the swing, helping others build once a building had collapsed, and by inviting friends to join them in play. If you notice your bucket is a bit low, try a small act of kindness. You’d be surprised how quickly it will fill back up.
Today, our class met with our fourth grade buddies for the very first time! After all the children were paired up and introduced, they each found a cozy place to sit and read a few good books to one another. Very soon, the gentle hum of students reading filled our classroom and the occasional eruption of laughter was like icing on the cake.
Our class will meet with our buddies many times throughout the year. In the past, we have used this time to play outside together, work on special projects, and sit with one another during all school morning meetings. The students, both young and old, look forward to this special time and are always eagerly waiting for the next time they will get to see their buddies!
On Monday, all of the North Hills Campus traveled to the city campus to hear Kate Messner speak about her journey as a writer. She talked to the students about how different experiences in her life have inspired her to write some of her most beloved books. The idea for Seamonster’s First Day was written when her son saw something large that was floating in the lake near their home. Her son asked what the object could be, as it appeared to be swimming in the water. This got Kate thinking. What if it were a sea monster? What might a sea monster’s life be like?
She also discussed how she researches the material for her stories by trying to experience the events for herself first. When she was writing Marty McGuire, she actually kissed a real frog just as Marty does in the story. She explained that, while it may seem strange, this process helps her to fully embody the moment and she is able to then tell a more descriptive story.
After the presentation was over, we paired up with our city Pre-k buddies to color and assemble our sea monster hats, enjoy a small snack, and hear the story of Seamonster’s First Day. Before we knew it, it was time to get back on the bus and head back to school. It was an excited and fun-filled day!
Book writing has become especially popular in Pre-K. You might have noticed the small, stapled pages coming home recently. These little blank books are available for the children to use whenever inspiration hits. Today, of course, the theme was centered around creepy tales.
You’ll notice that most of the books that come home are filled with pictures at this time of the year. When the children are writing, we are nearby encouraging them to tell us about their story. We also might suggest that the child could use some letters to help remember the story. In the Fall, most children prefer to stick to a picture book style, sans words. As we progress towards Spring, you’ll notice many more letters and words appearing in their tales.
[***A very special thank you goes out to one of our Room Parents who prepared a large pile of these well-loved, blank books.***]
A new interest has popped up in our classroom today as the students created and designed their own library system! Several students worked together to write books, design library cards, and decide how their library would be run. They decided, after several discussions, that people would get a new library card each time they checked out a book. The library card would show a picture of the cover so that you would always know what books you have at home. If you check out two books, naturally you would need two library cards.
They also decided that to belong to this library you need to pay a membership fee. “This library is trying to make money so you have to pay”. Thankfully, you only have to pay this fee once and then you can come back as many times as you would like.
The pre-k library even got a special visit from Ms. Bednar, WT’s librarian extraordinaire. She was able to view the pre-k library in all it’s glory and even got to check out a book. While this may sound like an easy task, it can be quite difficult to check out the book of your liking due to a finicky scanner. If it beeps while scanning your book that could mean that the book is ripped or “inspired” and would need to be fixed before it can be checked out. Luckily, they can put the expired or “inspired” book in a special machine that can mend them.
So if you are looking for a good read, and don’t mind the initial membership fee, visit our library on your next visit to Pre-K! Just keep your fingers crossed that your book makes it through the gauntlet that is the borrowing process.
This week, we wound up our pet study by finishing the imaginary pet books we began two weeks ago. The children worked hard designing illustrations to support the text. We have many interesting pets represented, including one call a “ham”. Oddly, the “ham” is drawn as a humanoid shape. It also eats bunnies and people. When questioned by a peer, the student responded that the “ham has a funny diet. It eats everything.” Other pets include a lizard, many fish, a puppy dog, and a Pegasus.
All of the completed books will be placed in the author’s portfolio for your viewing pleasure. Remember that we’ll be scheduling Parent Conferences soon for March 2.