Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Fun and Games

Mommy couldn't, so I spent a lot of time celebrating Valentine's Day in school classrooms yesterday. It was fun. When I spend time in classrooms, without fail I come away thankful for teachers, and grateful that I'm not one any more. Both the girls have been blessed with wonderful teachers ever since they've been in school - yes, public school.

Miss Feisty's teacher this year is a young mom with kids in the same school. She is very soft spoken, kind, and loves Feisty. I attended Feisty's conference last night and she's growing by leaps and bounds in her reading and math abilities.

The room mothers did a terrific job on their Valentine party. They had two fun projects, and good healthy snacks (I know, I know, but it's the way of the world in this school - which is good). They got plenty of the other kind of stuff from each other!

One of the mothers brought these cute mail boxes from Oriental Trading Company for the kids to decorate.

Then they made these adorable headbands, or crowns, if you will.

She has a wonderful mentor who comes in every Monday to spend time with her and love on her. This was her normal time to be there, so it worked out really well - Feisty had lots of help and love.

They made their snacks - fruit cabobs. Miss Feisty concentrated so hard on making hers just right. She doesn't like strawberries, but she used quite a few to make it really pretty.

I went home for a few hours, then back in the afternoon, just before school was out for the day, for a quick party in Care Bear's classroom. Unfortunately CB wasn't feeling her best yesterday (and is home today, much worse - probably should have stayed home yesterday, but didn't want to miss the big doin's). I felt bad for her, because she wasn't herself at all.

This teacher is very young, very energetic, creative, and dearly loved by the kids. She's so petite that it's hard to spot her at times among the kids. They were out for recess when I got to the room. I've been there several times, and each time I am overwhelmed by the amount of stuff she has hanging and pinned up and stacked all over this room. Every square inch is taken up with learning opportunities and fun "stuff." It seems a bit overcrowded, but the kids know exactly what everything is and what it is for. She has a knack for classroom control that is awe inspiring. She talks so fast, but has certain words that just bring them to attention immediately. Impressive.

The bright papers on the bulletin board are compliments written by the kids to each other and posted there.

When I taught school, the teacher's desk was large and was centered in the front of the room. Here's her tiny little space. I love the question.

For some reason, she had no mother helpers this time, so she had everything incredibly well organized and pretty much did it all herself. They were divided into 3 groups - CB's first stop was the snack station - juice, granola bars, and many varieties of goldfish crackers.

They then went to a work station where they ate and chose an activity - CB chose to do a Rebus message. They didn't have much time, so she only got about a third done. Do you think you could finish it??

The second station was a craft project. They had fun with the googly eyes - the teacher was amused.

The third station was passing out their cards to each of their classmates' decorated boxes.

CB received this awesome balloon and candy machine from her mentor.

The last few minutes were spent looking at the Valentine cards they received - much different than the ones of our youth!

Thought she wasn't feeling well, she managed a lovely smile with her teacher, Ms. G.


Tiffany said...

Oh what a good grandma you are! And those teachers are amazing!

Karen said...

What fun! I hope CB feels better soon, poor sweetie.

Becky said...

It's wonderful when kids have such a positive school experience.

Linda said...

Oh Dawn, I admire you so very much. You have given so selflessly these past few years.
The parties look like great fun!

PEA said...

Looking at these pictures brought back so many memories of celebrating Valentine's Day when I was in grade school...we even decorated shoe boxes like that for our valentines:-) Both girls look like they had a fun time but what a shame Care Bear wasn't feeling well, hope she feels better real soon.

When my boys were in grade school I used to always help the teachers with any kind of party or trip, I really enjoyed doing that. Now I miss it!!

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen a class room so full of stuff! I usually call that an organized mess! lol Getting great teachers who care about the children is so important and I'm glad both girls have terrific ones. xoxo

Glenda said...

I always loved Valentine's parties at school when I was growing up. It was such fun to pick out just the right valentine for each student. I don't remember lots of food, though! Looks like your girls had a great time! Hope CB feels better soon!

kim(nannykim) said...

Pretty amazing classroom (that last one!YIKES!). Very interesting to see how they do things. Sad that CB was sick.

grammy said...

What fun (o:
They are so blessed to have you to go to these things. Maybe I will have time to do that next year.
Great classrooms and teachers.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

I tellya, you can show all the photos you want, but I must 'fess up, the one with the smiles on those kids' faces just lights up my world!! Loved attending all the special Valentine's Day doin's with you. How fun it was Dawn. You're the best grandmother ever!

Thanks for stopping by yesterday and leaving your comment...I loved your company!

jmckemie said...

Busy days - building wonderful memories for you and the girls! That classroom - reminds me of Kym's! I call it clutter but it seems to work for her as well as her students. Her desk it just a tad bigger and in a back corner rather than those large, woden desks that were front and center back in our elementary school days. Then again, our desks then were lined up in perfectly straight, symetrical rows, too, not in circles or groups or pods! Sure hope that everyone is feeling better.

Sammy said...

This is a great post and a wonderful tribute to their teachers! I am inspired by Care Bear's teacher! She sounds amazing. (But her classroom is too busy for my taste!) I'm so glad the girls have teachers who love them. It's so important.

Do both girls have mentors? I'm curious about that and would love to email with you about it, if that's okay.

Fruit kabobs are a great idea! I may try that with my class next week. (Did I tell you that I'm working part-time now?)