Making success possible…in kindergarten

photo-62We are celebrating a very special boy’s 6th birthday around these parts today. My husband and I stopped by his kindergarten class this afternoon to read a story — The Grouchy Ladybug, by Eric Carle — and to do a craft. The craft involved making ladybugs (of various temperaments) out of paper plates.

One of the things corporate speaking has taught me is, whenever possible, I shouldn’t wing it. Sometimes things go well when you wing it, but if you plan things out beforehand, they’ll likely go even better. So I didn’t wing things with this audience, either. I practiced reading through The Grouchy Ladybug several times, memorizing the little repeating dialogue (“Hey, want to fight?” “If you insist!”) so I could look at the kids and show the book’s pictures around. As for the craft, we’d originally wanted to make various animals out of these bendy sticks (somewhat like pipe cleaners), but during a dry run the other night, our nanny figured out that wasn’t going to work. On to plan B — her suggestion of paper plate lady bugs, with little circles and faces the kids could glue on. She and I both spent some time cutting those out last night.

This afternoon, an hour before we hit the classroom, we counted out all the dots and plates, and realized the “sticks” we planned to use — to make the paper plates into puppets — weren’t going to support the weight of a paper plate. So we cut strips from some Amazon boxes instead.

As a result of all this prep, fortunately, the reading went great! I invited the kids to shout out the dialogue with me once they memorized it, and they got really into it. There were also several creative interpretations of the ladybug project — different colors, dots in different places, and some re-purposing of our cardboard strips as antennae. The kids all took their paper plate puppets to the rug and waved them in the air as they sang happy birthday to my son. He had a blast, and so did we. Happy 6th Birthday buddy!

7 thoughts on “Making success possible…in kindergarten

  1. We made carrot cake cupcakes for DC1’s 3rd birthday preschool in-class party. That was fun! Since he’s a Christmas baby, we don’t get to celebrate it in school.

    Happy birthday to your 6 year old!

  2. Happy birthday to your son! My daughter’s class does monthly parties- all the birthdays in that month get to celebrate at once. My husband delivered the gogurt and cheese crackers we signed up for, and stayed for the party. (I’m doing the field trip next month….) He didn’t have to read any books- he does great voices at home, but I think the thought of doing that for kids he doesn’t know would not appeal to him. My daughter is not so reticent, though. She insisted on taking my book in to read to her class after she got it for her birthday. Amazingly, on the day of the party a couple of weeks later, one of the little boys came up to my husband and asked “Does (Pumpkin’s) mommy really write books? I really liked that book (Pumpkin) read.” Awwww. He is now my favorite of her classmates. I’m looking forward to meeting him on the upcoming field trip….

    1. @Cloud – that’s so cool that Pumpkin is telling people about your book! But then again, it’s not every kid whose special story becomes a real book. I’ve been reading it to my daughter at bedtime. She can say “shhhh….” with the zebra.

  3. Aww, I miss those days of coming in to read. DS1’s grade school had weekly “mystery reader”; no kids, not even your child, knew who was coming. They got hints, but walking in and seeing the kids, even your own child, surprised and happy to see you, “It’s (Sonny’s) mom! Hey, (Sonny), it’s your mom!”, just warmed your heart for a month!

    DS1 was (still is!) a great memorizer, and when he would always take over reading the books in preschool and kindergarten. Funny, once he could read, he let me do the whole book instead.

    Happy Birthday to your poet!

    1. @nother Barb – that sounds exciting, a mystery reader! My little dude was so excited to see us. Probably won’t always be the case, but in kindergarten it’s still cool….:)

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