A happy moment: Moms, you are in for a treat
If you haven't heard it already, you are about to learn your 5- and 6-year-olds love you. A Herald photographer and reporter spent some time with your darlings Monday morning when the children were painstakingly preparing a Mother's Day keepsake ...
If you haven't heard it already, you are about to learn your 5- and 6-year-olds love you.
A Herald photographer and reporter spent some time with your darlings Monday morning when the children were painstakingly preparing a Mother's Day keepsake worthy of happy tears and laughter.
Mrs. Mattice, aka Deanna Mattice, a 13-year veteran kindergarten teacher, was playing assist.
This sort of thing is old hat for her. The first class of kindergartners she taught at Lewis and Clark will be graduating from high school in a couple of weeks.
But even though she's done it many times before, this day is not something she'd ever want to miss.
"Does Mrs. Mattice cry at the end of kindergarten, Levi," she asks her young charge, who also happens to be her nephew. "Yes, I do. Yes, I do."
And who could help themselves when sitting in a tiny chair a foot off the floor while directing children to practice their heart-and-squiggle patterns on paper before using a paint pen to decorate miniature terracotta pots.
Though it's noisy, it's amazing how orderly a classroom of 18 energized kindergartners can be. They politely wait their turns to quietly ask Mrs. Mattice questions as they rotate through a series of workstations.
Some are finishing up their five-point essays. The subject: What do you love about your moms? Here's some of what they had to say: I love you because you love me. I love you because you give good hugs. I love it when you tuck me in and give me kisses. I love you because you read good books to me. I love you because you call me Bubba.
The letters are a recent addition to the perennial Mother's Day project. Mrs. Mattice says the flower pots are "sweet and cute," but she also wants to encourage the students to be more thoughtful with this discussion.
"We give so much to children and forget that they like giving back just as much as we like giving to them," she says. "It encourages them to be more thoughtful, empathetic children and adults if we are doing things for others. I really encourage them to think big. I feel that teaching empathy is a very important and sometimes lacking thing in our selfie world."
Whistle while you work
After the letters, there is "morning work," where they cut, color and paste the four stages of a flower's growth from bulb to bloom. At other stations, the children work on their math skills - making equations with ladybug dots and using inchworms (measuring tapes) to record the length of laminated gardening goods.
"We are talking about bugs. You can talk them into very hard tasks by making it fun," Mrs. Mattice says.
It's impressive what these children can do. They have come a long way since that first day of school.
"I love how independent they're getting now," Mrs. Mattice says. "This is one of the most fun projects we do because you can incorporate the writing, the painting and putting the flower in it. And the parents love that continuity."
Some parents have seen multiple children go through this spring project before graduating from Mrs. Mattice's class.
Next, they pick out a gingham print for a card and add a painted handprint. In just an hour and a half, the children accomplish more than some adults do in a day.
"That's kindergarten for you. There's always five different things going on," Mrs. Mattice says. Tapping her Fitbit, she adds, "I'm always looking at this and saying 'that's all the steps I have?' It should be more than that."
And the kindergartners were not finished yet. Next, they were going to march to gym and music class before doing lunch and the other half of the day. And on Thursday, they had back-to-back field trips planned at Gate City Bank and Tim Shea's Nursery, where there was another surprise in store for you.
But shhhhhhh, we're not telling. Moms, you just will have to wait and see.
Happy Mother's Day!
A Happy Moment
Kindergartners are never more precious than when they are working on their one-of-a-kind Mother's Day gifts.
Today's peek into a Lewis and Clark Elementary classroom is a Happy Moment in our everyday lives. Senior reporter Janelle Vonasek hopes to bring more Happy Moments in online video and print.
Smile, and send your ideas to email@example.com .