Using the letter of the week can insure that over a year’s time a child has been exposed to all of the alphabet, lower and upper case. It can also mean that the letters in a child’s name are not covered until the end of the year. At a perfect time for P when there is pumpkin pie the letter of the week may be T for thanksgiving. It can be frustrating to try to add this into a teacher’s theme. I personally feel that while there maybe a letter of the week schedule in your curriculum, there needs to space left for special events and freedom to choose letters with your themes.
After a week of A is for Apple, we had made apple prints, used sign language for A and apple, circled every A or a in magazine clippings, made an A with popsicle sticks and playdough, and read about Johnny Appleseed. We had even covered how A has two sounds. There was an apple taste test at snack time and I reminded the students that for Show and Share they should bring something from home about the letter A.
“Everything starts with A at my house,” remarked one student as he munched away at his apple slices.
“Everything?” I said. “What do you have in your house?”
(Really, I should have known better)
“Oh, a chair, a door, a rug, a bed, a table…”
The first day of school. That is the day when the very young must adjust to new surroundings and leave the comfort of home. It is often very trying and stressful. Yet, the very young bounce back and settle in and make new friends.
The first few days in my classroom I try to reduce the stress by having familiar items and activities out for the students.
The Art Center is stocked with lots of paper and crayons. We had just begun to do some free art at the art table when a little guy gasped, “Oh no! This is not my color.”
“What happened? Did you get your crayons mixed up?” I asked.
“Uh huh, they both had orange paper on them, but this color is different,” he almost looks tearful.
“The colors both look orange to me, one is just a different shade,” I say trying to soften things for him.
“Yeah, I guess it is just a violet-orange,” he says, giving me a very wise look for a four year old.
I do not laugh. It is very endearing to see this young boy come up with a solution and a name for the other orange. He colors around the offending color and makes a picture to take home. I am left to ponder if there really is a violet-orange and what the color would look like…
Will the teacher hear it?
“Miss Coleen, he yelled at me!” exclaims one of my students from her computer station.
“I did not!” comes a very indignant answer from the accused.
“Yes, he did. He yelled right in my face.” replies the first student.
“I did not yell at her!” says the accused again and now his voice has a small whine to it.
I knew I had to defuse the conflict, so I tried, “I was sitting right here and I didn’t hear anyone yelling…”
I did not finish my sentence before the quick thinking little girl said, “That’s because he whispered it!”