Michelle Byerley Grim, recently posted three stories of the impact such experiences have on her children. The Grims have four children in public school in Fort Wayne.
Posted December 8, 2015
Our Kindergartener came home yesterday with a car that they created at school out of "around the house" materials. I said "Wow! You and your friends are engineers." He was excited when he heard me say that word because he said that is what his teacher said they were being. (I love that!) When his siblings saw what he had made at school, they wanted to make one too. Yeah for project based learning!
After watching their excitement to make their own, I have decided that Santa just needs to go to the dollar store and stock up on cheap art supplies, throw those art supplies in our recycling box, wrap it all up, and slap a bow and name card "To the Grim Gang From Santa" on top. Who needs expensive toys when you have materials and an imagination?...Oh and an AWESOME school and teachers who inspire creativity!
Posted December 9, 2015
This evening while we were sitting in the van, waiting for our oldest to finish Hapkido, I was in the front seat reading a book. Our 5 year old son popped into the front seat and asked me "Mom, why do you read quietly?" I answered "Well buddy. I am reading quietly because I am reading to myself." He thought for a second and excitedly said "Oh hey! That's like when we "Read to Self" at school." I said "Yep. That's right." He said "When you "Read to Partner," you can read out loud. But when you "Read to Self" you have to read quietly." He's getting it, Mr. Stephen Eric Bryden.
I know a lot of my stories recently have been about our 5 year old, but I absolutely LOVE the Kindergarten year. It is such a growing year. I love to celebrate our kiddos accomplishments and also share awesome things that are happening in their schools. Teachers....you make a difference!
Posted December 9, 2015
Another school story. Today our youngest and I went to our older daughters' school because I wasn't able to watch our fourth grader in her "Common Threads" production last night. She played a chicken. (Every year the school chooses a continent to study. Each grade then chooses a country on that continent and creates a play.)
As our youngest and I watched yet another great production, I was astounded by the entire experience. The students were able to participate in the way that they chose. If they wanted to act, they could act. If they wanted to sing in the choir, they could sing in the choir and so on. At the end of the show, the teacher stood up and thanked each group....from the actors, to those who worked on back drops, to those who sang, to those who narrated, to those who made puppets, to those who played instruments, to those who created the costumes, to those who made the short films, etc. There was not a part too small and she made sure everyone knew that. EVERYONE was appreciated.
Another thing that struck me was that this production was put on during what is called a "Town Hall Meeting." It is a school assembly, where the entire school (grades 1-5) sits on bleachers and watches. I was so impressed with the atmosphere. The students in the bleachers did a superb job as an attentive audience. You can tell that the staff has worked with these kids in learning the importance and what it means to be a good audience member.
To say that my husband and I feel so fortunate that our children attend this school and have these opportunities is an understatement.
(PS. These experiences continue to teach our children life skills they will need in the future: respect for others, team work, self-confidence, creativity, etc. Oh, by the way....this is a public school and none of those skills are 'tested' on ISTEP.)