Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Fifth Annual Teddy Bear Float Parade!

Last week during morning meeting one of the children asked, “When is the Teddy Bear Float Parade Ms. Purdin?” I assured her we will be having this time honored tradition very soon. If you are not sure what I am talking about, not to worry – the information is going home in the folders tomorrow – or you can download the notice: bearparade. This event has become a favorite among the Johnson School community. Since it has been going five years, I love that most of the children come in already knowing about it because they were parade spectators when they were in pre school.

Previous year's floats lined up for the parade

Save the Date – Thursday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m. families are invited. We will parade through the hallways and show everyone our very creative floats! Since I coinside this event with our bear unit (which we learn about real bears and do fictional writing about bears) I do encourage the floats have a teddy bear. When I announced this project and few worried faces appeared around the circle. A few children expressed they don’t have bears at home. If you find this is a problem, please let me know and I can help you solve it.

Have fun with this project and let your child use his or her creativity. While this event will fall on the day before Good Friday this year, it doesn’t mean the floats have be all spring or Easter themed. In the past we have had skateboarding bears, recycling trucks, fire engines, pirate ships, beach bears and lots of sports-themed floats. I can’t wait to see what this group comes up with!

Ms. Purdin 🙂

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A Community of ‘Passionate Scholars’

Recently I attended an open house for a doctoral program where the professor running the information session used the term, “passionate scholars.” When completing her own doctoral program, she came across an article with this title. It intrigued her so much that her thesis stemmed from the topic and she researched what it took to be a passionate and successful doctoral scholar. As she talked, I kept thinking about the phrase, “passionate scholars” in reference to my own students.

What does it mean to be a passionate scholar in Kindergarten? Can young children really be passionate scholars innately or is it something they learn how to do? I think it happens to go both ways.

An example of interactive writing by our class.

To me, I see it in students who come in with their own interests or hobbies that make them excited about learning new things. I see it in children who challenge themselves to keep going even when something new might be difficult for them. I see it in children use their creative thinking to change ordinary things into extraordinary ones. I see it especially as we come into the spring and the children are becoming more independent and confident in their skills and abilities.

In our art workshop, children created their own books with words and pictures. Every child was “passionate” about their book because they were able to choose their own topic. The books will make it home soon, but first we are author sharing them at morning meeting! They love sharing their stories with their peers!

The children have also become passionate about writing. We are doing more modeling of writing as a whole group and children are taking turns “sharing the pen” with me. On Friday, children wrote pieces for St. Patrick’s Day about what they would do if they found a pot of gold. They came up with some great ideas! It is now a class book in our classroom library.

It is our role as adults to model how to be passionate scholars. I’m sure many of you are doing this without even knowing as you answer your child’s questions, or take them for a walk around the neighborhood to look for signs of spring, or even when you are reading good night stories to them. I do it as well at school by modeling the purposes of reading and sharing with children about my interests and hobbies outside of teaching.

One final note, the doctoral program I visited unfortunately turned out to not be quite the right fit for me. It is more for people in higher education rather than K-12 education. Knowing this as I left, I did let the professor know I was glad I came just to hear her speak so passionately! Hopefully soon I will find a program I am passionate enough about to start going back to school!

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Brushing Up on Dental Health

Heard about this important topic on the news tonight and wanted to share it with you. Cavities are on the rise in young children, which may mean a trip to the operating room, not just the dentist chair.  To read the full article in the New York Times click here: Preschoolers in Surgery for a Mouthful of Cavities.

Ways to Prevent Cavities:
1. Help your child brush his/her teeth twice a day (this is non-negotiable!)
2. Drink tap water (our tap water has flouride – bottled water does not)
3. Help your child choose healthy snacks and drinks


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Marvelous March!

March has certainly come in like a lion, and the children came back from vacation with an ferocious appetite for learning! Last week, I introduced new challenges, which the children were able to meet right away. The morning and afternoon routines have slightly changed to give children more independence, which gives them confidence by doing things themselves. (I’ll admit it – I like to “stuff” the folders myself so I know things are getting home nice and neatly, but releasing that control showed me they are very capable to do it for me!)

Term 2 finished on Friday (yes, we are about two thirds of the way through kindergarten) and I spent the weekend working on report cards. I am pleased with all the social and academic growth that has occurred during the second term. This time of year is a magical time in Kindergarten – the children really come into their own. They grow and change so much between now and June. It will be exciting!

Friday was a special day – it was Read Across America day in honor of Dr. Seuss. I hope your child shared with you that we had a special guest reader from the fire department at the beginning of the day, and our 6th grade buddies came down at the end to read to us. What fun!

Look forward to more MARVELOUS things we will be doing
in the month of MARCH!

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