Friday, November 11, 2011


Veterans Day, like all other holidays means no school. While most of the time I enjoy these holidays for a chance to recharge both physically and mentally, today I felt differently.

As part of our routine each morning, my Ki
ndergartners write a new journal entry upon arrival. During this time, I remind them to write the date at the top of their page while they watch me write the date. On November 1st, the whole class was in complete awe as I wrote "11/1/11" on the board. "It's a pattern!" a few shouted. "It's all one's," shouted another. Seeing their observations, relation to something we've been learning in class, combined with the overall excitement in writing something as simple as a date, brought a joyous smile to my face.

Today's date 11/11/11 brought back memories of that day, and just thinking about what their reactions would have been--probably just as thrilling as it was on the first--truly made me wish I was with them today. I will be eager to share with them this once in a lifetime date on Monday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The year has finally come to a close. Last Friday, my Kindergartners and I joyfully looked back on all that we’ve accomplished. As they finalized their last journal entry, we put together a notebook which contained every entry since the beginning of school. This was an exciting moment for them. Observing the beginning of their journals, which typically consisted of random letters and included no structure, many of them were confused by what they had written. “What’s this say, Miss Molly?” they questioned.

At this point, I was eager to point out their progress. It turned out to be an automatic confidence booster as they turned each page and saw the improvement they had made over the course of the year. Here I realized that portfolios are my biggest tool to supporting their self-esteem. At this age, they will not always recognize achievements on their own, and as they progress academically and even socially throughout a school year, it becomes my role as the educator to recognize individual accomplishments.

My feedback, evaluations, encouragement, communication, and overall environment that I establish will attribute to how students feel about their abilities. Before self-esteem can be built, students must be able to recognize their individual accomplishments and believe that personal success was because of their own actions. I recognize that having a positive self-concept is critical during the early years, knowing that how we view ourselves affects future ideas, feelings, decisions, actions, expectations, and general performance in life.

Keeping a portfolio of their previous work proved to be a great way for me to show students exactly how far they’ve come and how much they’ve accomplished. Besides overwhelming positive reinforcement and constant encouragement, the portfolios I keep will help students gain confidence in their work. If keeping a portfolio is but one more thing I can do to boost their self-esteem, then I will accept the importance of my role in attributing to self-concept and do all I can to support it.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Commotion In The Ocean.

Today we read the story Commotion in the Ocean. The book was filled with wonderful creatures near or in the ocean. The children were filled with excitement to learn about all the animals in rhyming thrill. The conversation that occurred next, however, was filled with more commotion than any of the oceans combined. The conversation came towards the end when we reached a page about penguins and polar bears.

With attentive eyes, they carefully examined the bright and colorful illustrations. What stood out to them was not falling penguins or cuddling bears, but rather a tiny black and lonely starfish. I could barely tell what it was and asked, "Are you sure it's a starfish?" They assured me it was because of his pointy stature. In case you don't see it, as I did not, here is a closer look.

Now you see it? Off in the distance of the first picture? I was just as surprised as they were and asked, "Well, what's he doing way out there?!"

The answers were all very logical and Kindergartner-like.

"Maybe he needs alone time."
"Sometimes I need alone time."

"Well I hope he's not too lonely," I replied.

A moment of silence occurred before this enthusiastic soul shouted, "He's gonna jump!"

"Oh no! Why would he jump?!" I asked in shock that a Kindergartner would say something so terrifying.

"To see his family in the ocean," he assured me.
"Yeah, alone time is over," another chimed in.

Clearly, it was my mistake for assuming worse. The innocence and logic of a five year old will never cease to fascinate me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Money Machine.

Today we learned about money. To approach the topic of money, we did an overview of the names, values, and purpose of money. Doing the typical Kindergarten thing we sang a lot of cool songs about money. We even clarified a lot of key questions like "Is there a jail on the back of a penny. " I wanted to remind them that money doesn't just grow on trees, so we talked about where it comes from. I mentioned the special machines that make the money. That's where the first question arose.

"What's a machine?"

To be simple I said, "A machine is something that is made to do a specific job for you, like a computer or washing machine." I didn't get too specific with the electrical portion of it.

I went on to describe how it's not something we can own and only specific people (the government) can use this machine. That's where the final question arose.

"What's the government?"

And that's where I stopped. You can only guess why. Hopefully I haven't created a terrible image of the government, but somehow I think they'll end up discovering that on their own.

Monday, January 3, 2011

If you give Miss Molly a break...

If you give Miss Molly a break from teaching, she will dearly miss the children. She will be eager to get back to school and will happily return at the end of her break.

Returning to school will remind her about how special the children are. So, she will discover as much as she can from them to help them better their growth.

Their blossoming personalities will remind her about how really entertaining they can be. And she will further embark on the journey of sharing their joyous laughs, giggles, smiles, while learning and taking on new experiences together.

She will invest so much time into teaching everything she can to these very energetic children, that she will become exhausted through all her triumphant efforts. She will mark her calendar for her next break and press on with patience, love, and perseverance.

Working hard will cause the time to pass and her break will finally come. Yet everyone knows, once you give Miss Molly a break, she will miss her Kindergartners dearly and will be excited to return recharged!

This is just a little something I wrote to describe my feelings about teaching and a break every now and then. It has the flow of one of my favorite Kindergarten stories, "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie." And to sum it all up, teaching is: Exhausting? Absolutely. Worth it? Totally.