there are a lot of days lately like today when my preschoolers seem to settle down at just the right time. all together. and stay settled. it's taken a lot of patience and do-overs and trying out, but, slowly but surely, we've made progress.
today, as each student was telling me one sentence about his or her week to write, and as we then read the sentences together, something kind of hit me. a few weeks ago, these same preschoolers would have been running around the room, or laughing and talking with each other at the table, as i tried to teach them something. anything. these days, though, they're listening and participating and, most importantly, learning enthusiastically. they're into it. and it's the simplest things that seem to be exciting them the most. having them "write" stories and get up and "read" them to the class. having them share sentences like today (about pumpkin patches and dragons and mad scarecrows and princesses..) and read them back with me. using colored popsicle sticks for counting and making shapes and letters (it's amazing how entertaining popsicle sticks can be). learning our colors and numbers in spanish. and, their very favorite, reading books.
i'm always amazed at the power books and stories have over four-year olds. start reading and suddenly, it gets very quiet. it gets very still. and their tiny eyes light up as the story is being read. today was no different, as we made our way through a handful of halloween-themed books, reading about the teeny tiny ghost and pumpkins and witches. and there we sat, reading and reading and reading some more, each child pulling books off the shelf for us to read together.
there are moments every day when i'm proud of my preschoolers. and i tell them that. today, though, was extra full of praise and high-fives and, of course, stickers. and extra full of reminders of how far we've come.