Our AP at my school even said that he couldn't believe how much work Pre-K is. He never realized that you had to teach and help 22 kids open their milks, walk in line, use the restroom, sit criss-cross, and all of the other little things we take for granted or assume everyone innately knows how to do.
To be honest, it is a struggle those first few weeks. There is so much to go over and it is very intimidating and overwhelming. I started to feel angry and even upset. As a mother (maybe it's only me) I noticed that when Kin isn't listening, I take it personally. If I get on to her I am doing it with my emotions and she does not listen at all. My mom or Eric can get on to her and she listens. The difference is that they do not put there emotions in to it. After I realized this about myself, I knew that I was doing this in my room because, let's face it, we are together 5 days a week for 8 hours. If the kids were not listening, I would react with my emotions. I now know that there is no need to do that. It has made my class 100 times better and I feel the love everywhere.
PS: When I say I used my emotions, I am talking about you could hear that I was upset in my voice or that I would holler. JUST WANTED TO BE CLEAR ON THAT! LOL :)
Anyways, the first month of school is also a great time for kids to learn about themselves, their friends, and their family. The first thing we did was draw a self-portrait. My school uses handwriting without tears and so I gave no instructions. Just simply draw a picture of yourself. I mostly got pictures of scribbles and such.
The next day, we did teacher labeling. My co-worker saw this idea on Pinterest and shared it with us. The kids LOVED this. They told me how crazy and silly I was. They definitely had a blast. I wanted everyone to have a turn nso I wrote 22 body parts on sticky notes. I posted them on my teacher board and let one student at a time pick one. I will say that the sticky notes did not stick on my body or clothes too well. But it was workable.
The body parts I used were as follows:
eye, foot, toes, hand, wrist, fingers, ankle, arm, arm, leg, leg, elbow, neck, nose, mouth, ear, knee, hair, chin, chest, tummy, back.
The following day we listened to the Mat Man song and used our listening skills to put Mat Man together. There are several curves and lines that you use to put him together, so I explained what each part was. I gave everyone a piece and let them listen to the song. When the song said, "Mat man has 2 eyes, 2 eyes, 2 eyes..." The kids with the eyes had to put them where they go. This is a great song to help build listening skills as well. If you would like to learn more here is the site from Handwriting Without Tears. I made my own parts out of foam and googly eyes for the eyes. Here is our finished product.
The next day I explained that we made Mat Man using shapes. When we draw ourselves, we can use shapes. We even drew Mat Man on chart paper together. After we drew him together, they went to their seats and made themselves using shapes. We talked about how girls can wear dresses and I let them guess which shape that would be. They guessed triangle. *ding ding ding*
Here are their before and after Mat Man. Can you guess which is the before? :)
They really enjoyed this week and learning about themselves and their bodies.