Ok, I'll actually talk about the Open House now, which was really wonderful. Got there and was greeted by, I think, the school secretary. So sad, I still can't remember faces very well, they still blend all together a little. Ick, I can't believe myself... Anyway, I walked into the room and saw the teacher and another parent who I had met yesterday, so I went to sit with them. Just started chatting away and got something to eat. After a few minutes, Principal Daly stood up and introduced each of the staff. The school itself is small. Two classes each of 2 1/2 year olds, 3 year olds, 4 year olds (Jr. Kindergarten) and 5 year olds (Sr. Kindergarten). And each teacher had an assistant who was also introduced. After that, we mingled some more and then the teachers opened up their classrooms for us to visit and also talk to them for a short bit. Maya's teacher is Miss Mac (short for MacDonnell) and she is from Canada. She talked a little about some of the things they will be doing and projects and such. Apparently, the foreign schools around here for 1st grade and onwards have entrance exams and, in the past, some kids have failed the ones for 1st grade! So, Miss Mac said that they will be focusing a lot on reading, writing and arithmetic. I think that's great, actually. It will be good preparation for the way school really is. Plus, Maya does enough goofing off at home, I don't really want her to not be challenged at school. But, by the sound of it, Maya might already be ahead of the rest of the class. They are doing three letters a week, learning the sounds and how to write them. Maya already knows all of them. They will learn basic three letter words. Maya sounds out 5 to 6 letter words already. In math, they are focusing on counting 1 to 50 this semester. She can count to 110. So, in certain things, she knows stuff already. But other things, I hope they will get to sooner rather than later. Things like simple grammer, spelling and writing words by sounding them out in your head, addition and subtraction and counting by 2's, 5's and 10's. According to this year's Goals and Objectives handout, those things will be second semester. I did ask if she would go according to each child's ability (slow or fast) and she said yes. We'll see how Maya does when homework starts next week.
Some other things that were talked about were some of the extra activities that Miss Mac has planned. One thing was a Classroom Memories Book (my ears perked up with that one!). Miss Mac and Miss Flores (the assistant from Peru) take pictures a lot. Throughout the year, those pictures will be placed in a scrapbook. From time to time, she will choose a student to bring home that book. Over the weekend, that child will choose a picture and then write a sentence or two about that picture and/or draw something about it on that scrapbook page. Another project is called, "My Pet Dragon". Maya's class is called the Dragon class (the other KG class is Dinosaur), so that's where the name of the project comes from. Anyway, a student is chosen randomly throughout the year to take home a small stuffed dragon. The student keeps the dragon as a pet over that weekend. Sunday night, the student draws a picture and writes a sentence about what he or she did over the weekend with the Pet Dragon. I saw last year's book they did (Miss Mac taught the Jr. Kindergarten, the Tiger class, so they had "My Pet Tiger") and it was really cute.
Other such things are Bag of Rhymes. This is a game to introduce rhyming (when Miss Mac started to talk about this, she turned to me and said, "Although, Maya already knows how to rhyme and is quite good at it! She hears words that rhyme and she will stop and say, 'Hey! That rhymes!'" I was so proud. LOL). The student puts something from hom inside a ziploc bad. As a clue for the other kids, that student will write a word that rhymes with the object in the bad. The other students have to guess what the thing inside the bag is. She had other cute ideas like this - I should see if I can come up with anything else too, since she wants more ideas.
Afterwards, we talked a little bit about how Maya is adjusting. She's doing well. Actually, Maya is the only new student in that class - all the other students are returning! Because of that, she had a bit of trouble with some of the kids not wanting to play with her right away. But that was only the first week, this week has been better, Miss Mac said. Maya got invited into a weekly playgroup with three other girls every Thursday. We were quite happy with that! Maya was just so excited, Thursday morning she woke up singing, "I'm going to a playgroup today! YAY!" LOL She had a great time, and I think it will be wonderful for her. Hopefully, I can make good friends with the mothers too. One of them, already I have hit it off with and we plan on doing a one-on-one playdate for our daughters.
Anyway, I talked to Miss Mac more about volunteering. I want to do a yearbook for the children for them to keep at the end of the year, since Miss Mac keeps the Classroom Memories book and the My Pet Dragon book. Wonder of wonders, Miss Mac did the school's yearbook last year all by herself! This year, looks like I might be in charge, or at least co-charge, since this is my first year. And I said that I would help out during field trips and such.
I figure I should get involved in the school even though Maya will only be there for one year. Nadia is already on the waiting list for next year's 2 1/2 year old class!