Way back during the first weeks of school as part of our school's Responsive Classroom Philosophy, we talk a lot about our Hopes and Dreams for a successful school year. We talk about what a hope or dream is. We discuss how it's not about wanting the latest and greatest video game or wanting to visit Water Country, but what they, as kindergarteners want to accomplish by the end of the year.
I hear a lot of different ideas like wanting to use computers, playing on the playground, or playing with trains. I got the occasional, I want to learn to read or make new friends but most involved playing in some way...I have a more than a few young little boys!
I take each child's dream, print it out and glue it onto a star that proudly hangs from the ceiling for all to see.
Because I also want to know what their parent's hopes and dreams are for their child, I ask each parent to write their dream on a paper hand with a note titled, "Help Me Reach for the Stars".
I remember asking Alexis what her hope and dream was and she knew without hesitation that it was to learn to tie shoes.
I didn't think much of it at the time, but I knew she was already practicing, not only on her own shoes but the shoes of her friends. She was determined.
Fast forward to last week. I was inspired by a post I read from My Happy Rainbow a fellow kindergarten blogger.
Kindergarten teachers tie countless shoe laces each year. We try to encourage self-help skills, like packing up a backpack, zipping zippers, putting a straw in a juice box and of course tying shoe laces.
Shoe laces are tricky things for little fingers, but it can be done. I'm sure the age of successful shoe tying has increased with the invention of velcro but shoe laces are bound to pop up sometime in their little lives. Just like clocks with hands! Say NO to digital!!
So I went about setting up my "shoe lace" club, with the promise of a special certificate, special prize and the honorable designation of "official classroom shoe tie-er!"
I knew before I even began who my first certificate would go to. She was so proud as I handed her the certificate and even prouder as she helped me hang it on the wall.
I know Alexis won't be the last, I have a few right on the cusp, but there is something so special about being the first!
Mission Accomplished Alexis, Mission Accomplished!