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Posted by on in Early Childhood

welcome to kindergarten

What's the rush? Childhood is a precious time!

"Redshirting", not just in athletics. The competition is fierce. In Kindergarten! 

Mixed emotions. Interesting articles lately about redshirting. It's way more common than I thought and it actually affects all of us, all grade levels. What a big decision. It's more than birthday cut-off dates, or 'maturity'. In some cases it gives a step up to catch up, it can also be used to get to the top of the pack, the delay adding a distinct advantage.

 In our preschool, kids are definitely ready for kindergarten. The 'fives' are showing their collective muscle and I notice a lot more chasing on the play areas. Less looking for worms and snails. More boo boos.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

Do you remember the first time you had a sleep-over? Along with that first loose tooth, this is one great big rite of passage.

Lately I find myself spending more time listening to the ever-present Eugene rain, Soundscapes and relaxation music. If I look at social media I get fixated on mindless, fun stuff or very inspirational real life stories and musings.

Except for the littles, not much makes sense to me right now. I kind of feel like that scene in the movie "2012" where the North and South Poles switch places. Maybe I am sort of like the Woody Harrelson character, sure those secret ships will take us up and away. 

Now a fan of therapy dogs Max and companion Ruby, Esther the Wonder Pig, cat videos, although I am allergic to cats. A lot of wonder and wonderful, kind-hearted people in this world. That's what I'm focusing on.

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Posted by on in General

transgender bathroom1 1024x751Today I am writing about transgender teen Gavin Grimm and the simplest civil rights issue of all, which bathroom to use.

I never thought I'd be writing about bathrooms. It was not exactly my favorite part of being a Principal. But it still mattered. A lot can happen in a couple minutes in an unsupervised bathroom. Bullying is usually out of sight and I doubt there are cameras.

I admit I have gone in men's rooms on more than one occasion, when the women's lines were their usual snake down the corridor. But I have never had to worry on a routinized basis which door to enter.

When I have Morgan, our Kinder with me, she knows to walk into the door with the picture of the skirt, not the pants door. But what if she decides later that she is really wanting to be with the pants door?

After raising four kids, I understand how a parent feels, being 'mama and papa bear' to protect our unique children. Really we are all the same, and we owe respect to any and all variations in society at large, at home, and in this situation, at school.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

 preschool

"Let's start at the very beginning. It's a very good place to start. When we read we begin with A B C...."

Who knew I'd love teaching littles? Not me, that's for sure. 

Preschool KWLW: Here's my learning update, month seven of my what was I thinking in year forty six? Who else in their right mind would start over, at the very beginning. Like how to hold a pencil, how to handle a book with love and repair ripped pages. I think I'm doing pretty well with the goals of the literacy grant, but I'm not working in sequential order like I usually do. I feel so out of sync, then all of a sudden, voila! the pieces come together.

Show and Tell and Circle Time offer time to structure, hold a class meeting for a couple minutes, sing, stretch and say our affirmations. Growth Mindset oozing from every pore of all of us. I lead Circle two days a week. I set and Close and bring puppets, props, a costume, tell stories, you know where I'm going here. Family learning.

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Posted by on in Early Childhood

pennies

Rain clouds and rainbows, every cloud offering "pennies from heaven". Lately we've been finding a lot of pennies. It definitely took some looking, as political storm clouds, snows, floods and other things dominated our conversations.

I feel like I'm just catching my breath, so much has been happening so fast.

Hope. Belief.

My late husband always told us he would leave pennies around to let us know he was our angel, and that's been happening a lot. I found one in my shoe the other day and my kids report similar experiences. What's weirder is I've been finding random pennies at school, too, some real and some fake from the cash register. So I'm taking this as a sign, despite some really rough things in the past weeks, the future is bright. 

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