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Kate’s Preschool Adventures 12.10.18 – 12.14.18

As I was driving away from the school one morning this week, I received a text message from a member of the school’s management team. One of Kate’s closest friends from class, Keith, had spotted her and wanted to hold hands while walking to their classroom together. Even better, this week felt full of those kinds of moments. As the year winds down, I am so grateful for the friendships that Kate is building at school and the way that those relationships make school such a meaningful place for Kate to explore and learn.

I am about to head to Orlando with Kate we’re meeting her cousins on my side for a few days at Disney’s Magic Kingdom so we won't return until the start of 2019. We're sad to miss the classroom holiday party, but we can’t wait to see everyone when we get back!

Below are a few highlights of Kate’s week, December 10 – 14, 2018, taken from her facilitator’s daily note:

Kate is truly so happy to be at school every day. She couldn't stop smiling and laughing this morning and as we traveled through the halls at different points of the day, so many commented on how happy Kate seemed and how much she was enjoying herself.

We took a trip to the studio today with Ms. Cindy. Kate was in a small group with Campbell, George, Titus, and Quinn. The children's clay insects were ready (after being fired in the kiln) and Ms. Cindy talked to them about creating a "world" for the insects using all types of markers and paint. Kate, with just a little verbal encouragement, selected different color markers to use to draw and add her contribution to the collective piece. The clay insects are now in our classroom for the children to use along with our learning table and will be sent home at a later time.

This morning, Ava, Hannah and Kate played together. They were using horses and Kate was the "horse owner" (according to the girls). The horses had white bricks (marshmallows) and red bricks (hamburgers) to eat. Hannah would take Kate by the hand and/or say to her: "Come on, Kate." Ava and Hannah would sometimes leave the learning table area to go retrieve other materials from around the classroom. There were a couple of times that Kate noticed Hannah wasn't beside her. She would look around the room, spot Hannah and then run to her to hold her hand again. Reese also joined their play right before we gathered for morning meeting. Reese and Kate held hands during a portion of morning meeting. They are such sweet friends. Reese had been absent for a couple of days last week and when Kate saw her this morning, she gave her a hug.

Kate played in the building area this morning with Hannah and Reese. They used wooden blocks and soft blocks to build. Kate helped Reese make a tall tower. Hannah and Reese sang the ABC Song for Kate, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Kate also played a couple games of Chutes and Ladders, first with George, and then with Georgia and Reese. In playing board games, we've been working on Kate using the spinner (she has made lots of progress) moving her game piece accordingly, (I'll remind her to look at the game board) and passing the game materials to the next player. I can tell her (for example) "Reese's turn" and she'll pick up and pass the items to Reese.

Kate and Jason explored the learning table together, creating a habitat for the clay insects. They used stumps, leaves, and pine cones.

We were treated to another class play that some of the boys and girls worked on during small groups to present to the rest of the class. They set up the benches for the rest of the class to be an audience. I can tell Kate has familiarity in attending performances. She got a GREAT front row seat for the show.

Since many of the letters in Kate's name call for drawing a "long line down", we're able to get lots of practice each day in having Kate contribute to the letters "K", "T", and "E" in her name. The paper in her school bag today that has a letter "D" on one side and her name on the other side, she drew the "long line down" in all of the letters mentioned above. I'm having to physically guide her hand less and less each day!

Ms. Scarlett and Ms. Allison worked with small groups today to make a holiday craft. They made Christmas tree snow globes. How fun! Kate worked with George, Hannah, Jason, and Keith.

Kate played with Hannah and Reese today. First, they played with the Legos and toy people playing a farm game. Then, they played a memory-matching game at the game table. On the play yard, Reese invited Kate to play with her in the sand. Then, Kate invited me (taking my hand and leading me) to run up the hills with her.

She and Keith walked in together from morning carpool today. He made sure Kate made it to the classroom and held her hand in such a gentle and loving manner.

We visited the library today for the last time before the holiday break. Ms. Luba read stories to the children that were folktales from other countries. It was great to hear about and learn about a different culture. Kate and Reese shared a bean bag chair and also held hands the entire time. We did not check out any books today. We'll resume book checkouts when we return in January.

Kate and Reese played in the classroom today with the Legos. They also played together on the play yard, going down the slides together and also exploring the play yard together. They even spent some time in the sand, sharing an Adirondack chair. I did not prompt their interaction today, so this is a huge step forward!

Kate was so full of love and joy today. Kate was giving out lots of love, especially to her buddy, Reese, since today is her last day of the 2018 year.

Kate worked on a special project as a gift to her family for the holidays. We hope that you enjoy the star she helped to make.

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