Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Teacher's Assistant

Emerson's new preschool is a cooperative preschool where both parents and teachers contribute to the development of the children.  Believe me, there is A LOT of parent involvement.  Emerson goes to preschool three days a week; Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Everyday a parent of one of the children in the class assists the teacher with daily duties, bringing the snack for the day, and clean-up. It works out to about once a month that each family has to help assist.  Not too bad!!!  Last Wednesday (10/13), I had my second opportunity (my first being in September) to help assist in the Frogs' classroom.  I brought my camera along so I could document just what goes into helping in a cooperative classroom.

We started the morning at 8:45 (class starts at 9:15).  Emerson was a great helper, she helped me put out all the cubbies in the hallway, put all the names on the attendance board, and once I rolled up the Playdoh, she put a ball at each spot.

Cubbies are out!!

Ms. Tara is very organized and has a schedule ready for the assisting parent.

Nothing like a little Playdoh play to start the morning!!!

Once all the children have arrived, Ms. Tara begins Carpet Time which consists of a morning prayer, morning song, weather and calendar activity, and the daily activity associated with the weekly theme (this weeks theme was apples).  The child of the assisting parent always gets to help Ms. Tara with the morning weather report and counting out the days of the calendar.  Just one of the perks of having your parent help in class, the other is being the line leader ALL day!!

Carpet Time!!

Assisting Ms. Tara with the weather and calendar activity!!

That weeks theme was apples, so the daily activity was to cut an apple open and learn about the seeds and the importance of the seed.  After reading a story about apples, it was time to stamp paint with the apple and make stars!!  I didn't get any pictures of this since I was trying to keep red paint apples out of green paint and blue paint apples out of yellow paint!!!

Right as we were cleaning up from the apple stamping, it was time for the fire drill.  Yes, I was the lucky parent who got to assist on fire drill day.  All the kids did a great job and walked in line to the furthest parking lot away from the school and successfully there were no tears from the loud fire drill siren.

We had an exciting day that day, the Bookmobile also came to visit the school.  The class didn't get to enjoy the mobile that day, but as the assisting parent I went in and picked out about 15 new books for the class!!  Brought back a lot of memories from the bookmobile when I was in school!!

On the way back in from the fire drill it was time for recreation.  I went in to set-up for snack but made it out to the playground in time to take a few pictures of Emerson and her friend, Haegan.  I also made it out in time for a nasty fall Emerson had off the playground equipment.  It was nice to be there and comfort her , not that Ms. Tara wouldn't have done a great job, but sometimes Mommies are best!!!

Emerson loves being line leader, and was very quick to let all her classmates know she was at the front of the line!!

Snack Time!!  
(on the menu that day: cheese sticks and wheat thins...Yummy!!)
I love the manners Ms. Tara is instilling in the kids.  They say prayer before snack, and then when they are finished, they have to ask to be excused from the table and clean up their spot by 
throwing away their trash.  

After snack, Ms. Tara splits up the class; half the class stays in the classroom to do learning centers and the other half goes to the pond room with the assisting parent to play with home living centers.  The child of the assisting parent always goes with their parent to the pond room.  While Emerson's friends played on the road carpet and made bridges with blocks, Emerson decided she was going to have a picnic, wearing a cheerleading uniform with all the babies.  No one ever accused her of being a tomboy!!!

The kids get to play for about 30 minutes and then Ms. Tara puts the clean-up song on and like magic, all the kids get up and start the 30 second routine of cleaning up all their play accessories. Then it's a mad rush back to the carpet for story time, student of the week activity, and the day's closing prayer.  Each week there is a student of the week, usually the student who has a birthday that week.  Each day they get special time on the carpet where they bring in their favorite toy, favorite book and then on Thursday, they are interviewed by the class.  Isaac was the student this week and brought in the book Green Eggs and Ham!!

Emerson was a great listener, she loves Green Eggs and Ham!

After the closing prayer it's usually right at 12:15 and parents are waiting for their children outside the door.  Ms. Tara dismisses the students one-by-one and then the parent assistant starts the clean-up process.  Clean-up is pretty easy; vacuuming, wiping down the tables, collecting the cubbies, wiping down the bathroom and straightening up.  It takes about 20 minutes.  

I had a great day assisting in the Frogs' classroom;
 I'm looking forward to my November day (or maybe I can convince Daddy he gets a turn)!!

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