Monday, November 9, 2009

Morning at St. Mary's

This past Thursday, I got the chance to go in early to St. Mary's and work with the pre-k kids during their morning routines. Throughout the hour I was their, I noticed a lot of changes in the students, compared to when we go to the after school program. As all the kids came in I introduced myself, and gradually started playing with the kids. It's a lot different from when I went into their classroom after school because most of the kids are still waking up and not as hyper. Most of the kids came in and sat down around the table, and either started coloring, playing with play dough, or were on the carpet playing. Of course their is always one or two kids that are very hyper in the morning and are running around, and trying to show me how fast they can run, but for the most part, the kids were very relaxed and followed the teachers instructions very well. One game I played with some of the kids was a twenty piece puzzle, which they had a lot of fun with. While they were trying to sort out the pieces, it took the kids a long time to actually connect the pieces once they had found the two that connect. A lot of the times they would turn the piece in a 360 degrees direction a couple times before they found out how it goes in. Also since the kids were having a hard time finding which pieces went together, I would give them hints like, "well since this is a crayon, and so is this, then.." and they would be able to figure out they they connect, due to a little hint. After we completed the puzzle, the teacher called clean-up time, and everyone had to do their own share and put something away. One thing I thought was very interesting was when they had to line up, their was a leader and a caboose, at the front and end, and all the kids wanted to be them. They all lined up to go to the bathroom, and they sang a song as they got close to the bathroom, while they waited online, and while washing their hands. The song that helped them wash their hands was very important as the teacher was telling me because it helps them use the soap, get in between their hands on top and bottom, and to wash them completely. A big problem is pre-k is sickness' being spread, which prevents a lot of the kids from attending school, especially during the swine-flu era. After going to the bathroom, everyone lined back up and we went back in the classroom and sat down in a circle on the rug. At this point the line leader, grabber her show and tell, and showed the whole class her stuffed elephant. After, she helped the teacher with the days date, the month, and the weather of the day. One technique that the teacher used while doing all this, was saying the days in English first, then did it again in Spanish, which all of the kids were surprisingly very good at. Even when the teacher switched it up and started talking about colors, some of the kids knew which colors were which, in Spanish which was very impressive. After a little over an hour went by my time was up for the morning. One thing i recognized with the kids in the morning compared to after school, is that they listen much better. Whether it is because they are more tired in the morning and don't really feel like talking, or because at the end of the day they are more than ready to go out in the gym and run around. Either way it was still a fun time, and another great experience for me.

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