A Day in the Life: Children’s House Extended Day

Hello, my name is Martha and I am five years old and excited to be in Extended Day! My teachers are Ms. Vicky and Ms. Angie.

Everyone arrives between 8:10 and 8:30 a.m. and gets to work. Today I am choosing to start with drawing. I like to use a lot of colors. Drawing is important for a lot of reasons – it helps me express myself creatively, strengthen my hands for writing, and focus on attention to detail.

An important work I am doing right now is the Dynamic Golden Beads, which help me learn the four math operations. Today I am doing a division work with two of my friends where we learn how a larger number is shared into three equal parts. Sometimes there is a little bit left over. I am also practicing counting, matching symbol to quantity, and learning units and place values with the tens board.

I enjoy learning about the parts of all types of plants and animals. Parts of a flower is a beautiful puzzle and helps me remember the names of each area that make up the whole flower. Learning about the world is really interesting to me as well. I made a map of Australia and wrote the names of all of the provinces. I’d like to visit there someday.

The moveable alphabet is helping me to sound out and write words; I’m even learning to write little stories about things I have seen or done. I can create it with the moveable alphabet first and then write it down in my journal if I’d like to remember it or share it with my family. I also like to read and write using the farm. When I was a first year, I learned the names of the animals; now, I can read and match them to their written names on a card, and I can also write their names myself. Another chance for me to practice my writing is with our Spanish teacher, Ms. Carina. I know my colors so well now in English that I am learning them in Spanish.

Sensorial work helps me to tell the difference between different sounds, smells, textures, sights, and tastes. For the tasting work, I have to set up all of the glass bottles carefully in two lines. Then I have to taste each, see what tastes the same and what tastes different, and then match up the bottles that are the same. It takes a lot of work to set up the bottles so that I can find the matches! I can do it myself, though. I have done a lot of practical life work at school ever since I was a toddler and I know I can do a whole lot on my own. Now that I have learned how to do things like wipe up a spill, I can help more in the community of our class – for example, noticing that there has been a spill and helping to clean it up so someone does not slip and fall, or arranging flowers for everyone to enjoy. I am also learning some more difficult practical life work now, such as tying a bow on the bow frame. I am able to focus more now that I am in Extended day, and my fingers are strong from work I did the past two years, so I am able to do trickier things like tying bows. Pretty soon I will get to tie my shoes on my own!

We work on music at group time by learning songs and sometimes adding movements to go with them. Ms. Angie likes to play the ukulele while we sing. We learn about artists and musicians’ lives and how they did their work. There is also a table where we can sit with headphones if we want to listen to some of their music outside of group. I also make music when I work with the bells, which help me to hear the difference in pitch and match them. I can also line them up to make them play a scale.

I turned five recently and I was so excited! We had a celebration in my class and I got to go “around the Earth” once for each year while my parents told everyone a little bit about me when I was born and when I was little. Then we ate scones and clementines together – yum!

I moved up to Extended Day when I started doing bigger, longer works and was ready to have more time with them each day. After recess, our younger friends are dismissed to home or after school. The Extended Day students stay and eat lunch with our teachers and then have another work cycle until 3 p.m., except on Fridays, which is when we have P.E. Sometimes we also use the afternoon for field trips, like hiking in Umstead Park.

On Friday in P.E., we do many different activities. Today we are kicking a soccer ball around colored cones to help us learn to control the ball. Sometimes we are concentrating so hard that we forget our colors for a second, and Mr. Eric says, “I think I need to bring out the color tablets for you!” The color tablets are a work in Children’s House of all different shades of colors; you can line them up according to their shade or seek out things in the classroom that match each shade. Mr. Eric is funny!

Every afternoon, we have to do our jobs. This week, mine is folding napkins, but since tomorrow is Bring Your Parents to School Day, we are doing some deep cleaning. I am carefully dusting some shelves and the materials that go on them.

When we have done our jobs, it’s time to wait to be picked up. I’m looking forward to more great work tomorrow!