Today we concentrated on our handwriting and on being the best citizens that we can be. Before I go on to say how great my class is, I better just confess my shortcomings. I got "my Maria" some lotion for Christmas (side note: as close as I can tell, we have four custodians named Maria in our school). But I didn't get it ready early, and then Maria was not there for several days before Christmas, so her lotion and my appreciation were still sitting in a cupboard at home. Oh, since I am taking little side trips, let's talk about that appreciation. "My Maria" is the best. She comes in when we go to recess and she cleans my room, vacuums, washes the desktops, and leaves our room smelling much less like dirty socks than it did before she came in. And when my boys are acting up in the bathroom, she helps me, and she tells me about it and she's always polite. So.... I appreciate her, even if I am not the best at showing it. And it's high time I showed her. We talk frequently about it in class, that the students should thank her for cleaning, and we should all thank her for all the things that she does for us. My students are really good at being respectful and appreciative (with the possible exception of this afternoon and I completely blame the sudden shift in the barometric pressure) so they are naturals to say thank you and show appreciation.
Marry the above with the fact that we have not practiced our handwriting as much as we should have. So Ms. Horn decided that for handwriting we would write a letter to Ms. Maria. As soon as we finished our morning work, we started writing a letter that said: Dear Ms. Maria, Thank you for keeping our room clean. Love, _________. We gave her the letters, told her thank you, and gave her a bag with the lotion in it. She teared up. That gave us the opportunity to go back to our room and talk about filling buckets and being good citizens.
So maybe we didn't accomplish all the things I thought we should have in Kindergarten today, but I feel confident that my students are learning what it means to be a good citizen and to appreciate people who help you, the people around you, people who are part of your "family" whether it is the biological kind or a school kind of family.