Friday, June 6, 2014

Kindergarten Author's Day

Original poem by Dashiell W. Hanson

The school year is winding down (finally!  What's with school lasting until the end of June in Massachusetts??), and last week Dashiell's school had their Kindergarten Author's Day - a celebration of the school year and a chance for all the kindies to show off all they learned during the year!

Let me tell you, Dashiell has learned a LOT.  I often think about my own kindergarten experience, and how it was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING like what Dashiell is experiencing.  Mostly I remember having to take a nap on a carpet remnant, having milk and graham crackers as a snack, playing with the kitchen, and fighting with this boy named Johnny over the plastic toy stilts (those upside down cups with ropes attached?  They were the BEST!).  And getting read to, of course.  Dashiell, on the other hand, is writing full sentences, analyzing stories, finding out how non-fiction books are organized, doing addition and subtraction (and starting to try to figure out multiplication), and writing poetry.  He does have a rest time each day, and social centers (play time), and specials (music, art, computers, library or gym), and a short recess every day, but it's crazy how much these little 6-year-olds are learning now!  But thankfully his big little brain is soaking it all in and figuring it all out.

Anyway, Author's Day was kind of a big deal. All the kids were so excited to show their families everything they worked so hard on this year!  The first order of business was to show off all of their writing skills.  Dashiell showed us his "Writing Book" first, which is a journal where they wrote and drew pictures about books that they read in class. 

Here's a example from the beginning of the year, when they read Kitten's First Full Moon:
A lovely analysis of the beginning, middle and end of the story! (I like Kitten in the tree seeing the moon in the water below!)

At the end of the year, Dashiell wrote about and drew a picture about Todd Parr, who I had never even heard of!

You can see he tried to draw in the style of Todd Parr, with the black outline around everything.  Cool, huh?

Then Dashiell showed us some of the writing assignments he had completed through the year (the ones that did not get sent home to us previously).

Beginning of the year:
End of the year:
His writing has definitely improved!

Then he showed us his Poetry Book!  This is not a book of his poetry, but a book where they illustrate poems they have read. 

Beginning of the year:
End of the year:

After showing us his work, all of the kids went up to the front of the classroom and performed a number of songs for us!  The finale was "Let it Go" from "Frozen".  As Ms. Moroney was cuing up the music, she told us that they listen to music every day and one day when they put this song on she was "surprised" to find out that every child knew every word to it!  (A little sarcasm, perhaps...)

The final event was a slideshow from the year.  It was so cute to hear all the kids yelling out the names of whoever was on the screen.  They were all so excited!

We were not allowed to take pictures of the event due to a school policy on privacy, but I did get a picture of Dashiell and Aurelia after the event!
She was almost as excited to be there as he was, sang along to all the songs she knew, and went up and sat with Dashiell on the "rainbow rug" when the slideshow was taking place.  I must say it was adorable (at least to us!).

Dashiell's teacher and the paras in his room did a great job with the whole program!  We are going to miss them so much when the school year ends - we couldn't have asked for a better kindergarten experience for our special little big guy!

Before I sign off, I wanted to add a couple more drawings and assignments that Dashiell has done this year that I am particularly fond of!  The first was from another school journal, where they could write or draw about anything they wanted:

I love how he showed the progression from seed to flower in six simple drawings!

Next is the assignment he did for his writing homework right after his birthday party at Jump on In:
It totally looks like the bounce house slide they have!  And it makes me happy to see him write about how happy he was!

And lastly, this is a drawing he did on his own at home, of the whole layout of our house!
The amount of detail is incredible, even with such simple pictures!  And everything is there, in the right place!  The car is in the driveway, the trees are in front of the house on either side of the walkway, there's a dining room, a kitchen with the wall of cabinets, the living room with the couch, ottoman, TV, and chairs, everything!  I love it!

It's been a great year full of growth and exploration!  I hope next year is just as awesome!

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