Two more days left and not before time either. The children are exhausted and dropping like flies, many of them succumbing to the notorious winter sickness bug that's doing the rounds right now. Being so weary does make them more vulnerable, I think, and even my placid little class of year ones is getting collectively and increasingly snipey and bad tempered as the week progresses. My colleagues haven't escaped either - several of us are feeling under the weather one way or another but we're struggling through to the end because that's what teachers do.
Yesterday was busy (when isn't yesterday busy?) but we did get a lot done one way and another. The story of James and the Christmas Tree only needs an ending now and I think that they have surprised themselves. With five year olds, it's not necessarily lack of writing 'ability' that slows them down, it is lack of what we call 'stamina' - the ability to work hard for longer periods and to remain focused and undistracted. This is particularly true when it comes to more extended writing. When you think of the complex thought process little ones have to go through to produce a piece of writing, it's hardly surprising, especially whe you consider that for a significant number the basic secretarial skills are still part of the process rather than being automatic. Issues like which direction to write, pencil grip, letter formation, spaces between words, spelling of basic words - these are all things that fill the mind so that the actual ideas, sentence construction, choice of appropriate and interesting words to express those ideas, punctuation, connectives and conjunctions, structure, generic features, etc, can get pushed to one side, understandably.
I think they do jolly well, given all of that.
As for today, well, today is when we take all their Christmas creations off the walls and hand them out. Paper chains, hand and foot reindeer, stand up angels, Christmas tree decoration, card and calendar , not to mention present from teacher and card from friends. And if your mummy is a helper, you also have a thank you gift to take home! We will do all that this afternoon after which time I will pop on a DVD because I think we will be fit for not a lot else.
Now where did I put 'The Snowman'?