So, day three of our three-day school week didn't go quite as well as the previous days. I've had some time to reflect on it, and I think I can do things better next week.
For starters, after Circle Time (Miss K continued her US theme, reinforcing what she had discussed the previous two days and also reading a kid's version of the "Star Spangled Banner"), the kids very naturally chose work to do. Rather than interrupt them to introduce a new activity to the entire group, I went with it. That was my first mistake. I'm more confident now than ever that the best approach with our classroom is to work with the kids as a group immediately after Circle Time, and then let them choose their own activities.
Second, I need to finish setting up my Language area. On my shelves right now: the sandpaper letters, the movable alphabet, the metal inset stand, and that's it. Although my four-year-old likes math and enjoys the activities, she's most interested in reading and writing. When she's excited about something, she has a wonderful attitude and is extremely cooperative. I think the bulk of her complaints last week stemmed from boredom. After all, she's had a year of Montessori, and I think she's being forced to repeat some things as we get up to speed. Next week, I plan to have new activities set up with her in mind, and I'm very hopeful that things will go smoother.
Third, I plan to have a talk with my daughter and explain to her that - ONLY when we're in the classroom - she needs to work independently. When we're outside of school-time, I'm all hers, but during school, she needs to work by herself 1) because I already know these things and she needs to learn them herself (thanks Stephanie! :) and 2) because I'm the teacher, and I need to be available to help the other students. I think she'll be more cooperative if she knows that I'll work with her whenever she wants outside of class-time.
During our Independent Work time on Wednesday, Miss C's son worked with a lot of Practical Life activities, Miss K's daughter worked with the long red rods, she and my daughter worked with the numbers and counters, my daughter worked with the limited bead material, and each of them did metal inset work.
Miss C's son using a spoon to transfer split peas between two bowls:
For our Enrichment activity (which would have been PE but for Miss D's absence), Miss C led the kids in a really neat Arts & Crafts flag project that reinforced the US-themed lessons Miss K has been working on in Circle Time:
And now I'm off to get to work on my Language area!