Sunday, June 11, 2017

End of School 2017

On May 24th Mckayla had her preschool graduation.  I was at my American Red Cross WSI class for work - and not happy about it.  Steve and Ellie went to graduation while Grandma and Papa Bennett watched Kassidy and Gavin so he could get pictures of MG.  Technically Mckayla still has one more year of preschool, but we put her in the 4-5 year old class last year to challenge her, not knowing that Idaho won't let you put a child in Kindergarten before their 5th birthday.

Mckayla had a great year with Miss Cherie, her preschool teacher.  She had some ups and downs with following the rules and interacting with her classmates, thinking she should be able to have her way all the time, but we have seen a lot of improvement in her writing and coloring as a result of preschool.  Mckayla also started reading some BOB books at home this year, which has been fun.  Here are some pictures from her graduation.
 The kids all sang some songs on the stage first.
 These next two pictures are of a goofy song where the kids eventually have thumbs up, elbows back, bums out, knees together, tongues out, and eyes shut while turning around.

 Then all of the kids got diplomas and trophies.  Steve said all of the kids got a trophy just for finishing the year, but if you ask Mckayla she got the hand trophy for being the best at shaking hands.  Classic Mckayla stories...

 Mckayla and Miss Cherie.  I love that if you look at her diploma picture, our happy girl who always makes goofy faces for pictures made a mad face - supposedly because the light was bright in her face.
 Steve also loves that there is a typo on her certificate so that it says Mckayla "competed" preschool, because he says that is more accurate.

May 25th was Ellie's last day of first grade.  What do say about Ellie's year?  She liked her teachers.  That's right, teachers.  We ended up switching Ellie just after 3rd quarter started.  Although her teacher was nice enough, we kept hearing different stories at home about a lack of control and classroom management that had us concerned.  We met with the principal and teacher a few times and thought we had things fixed to hear more troubling things from Ellie that seemed like the teacher was just trying to cover her tracks more with us.  The worst part was that Ellie had gone from a mostly self-directed table in Kindergarten and having no trouble and a great attitude to having a terrible attitude about her school work and only doing what she thought she absolutely HAD to.  We worried that although Ellie could coast through the year (her grades were fine) and be ok to start next year, that the work ethic, attitude, and expectations she was creating for school now would follow her through the rest of her life.  So, we changed teachers, because we had completely lost faith in her teacher as sad as it was.  Ellie's very first day in her new class she came home with about 10 times more school work she'd gotten done in the day.  Her class even felt different.  Kids were more on task and focused.  It was a great change for Ellie.  Ellie left Kindergarten at a beginning second grade reading level according to her state test.  At halfway through the school year Ellie only had 34 reading points in her old class.  She finished the year in her new class at 167 reading points.  That's the kind of difference we saw as she switched teachers. It was also fun to see Ellie get really into these chapter books about fairies by Daisy Meadows, even though they're honestly too easy for her...  Ellie's test scores the end of the year had her reading around a 4th grade level. She did have some ups and downs feeling like she had friends in her new school this year, but Ellie also tends to be a bit dramatic and emotional...  Our biggest issue was that Ellie consistently found other girls who she was convinced were her friends, but sounded to us like they were bullies.  Hopefully our many talks about how real friends act will eventually lead to Ellie standing up for herself more...  All things considered though, we came out the other end of the school year fairly well, if more nervous about who her second grade teacher will be.  Here was Ellie on the last day of 1st grade.

It's so crazy to me that next year we will have a second grader as well as two kids in preschool.  Mckayla will go to a new preschool next year to get ready for kindergarten and Kassidy will go back to Mckayla's old preschool for her first year in the 3 year old class.  Here's hoping that she doesn't lead a revolt and try to take over the preschool in the first couple of weeks.  We already apologized to the teacher for our "Wild One."  But she sure is fun!

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