Monday, May 20, 2013

Unlocking Our Time Capsules: A Year of Growth

What do you do in those final days of school, when the tests are finished and the grades are all documented? Naturally, you reflect on the year past. However, if you are a six-/seven-year-old, you may need a few helpful tools for reflection. Among these include construction-paper cutouts and string from the past. 

On the first day of school, way back in August, each child in our class made a time capsule. The time capsules were a fun way to get to know each other and document our starting points for the year. They included items such as handprint cutouts, strings to measure the heights of each child, and several drawings and writing samples from our fresh-out-of-kindergarten first graders. In these final days of school, we have opened our time capsules to compare where we are now with where we were then. 

The following pictures show a few samples of handprint comparisons. The handprints on the left are from August, while the handprints on the right are the current ones. Most surprising from this little activity was not really the growth in the hand sizes, but the improvement in cutting skills. Many of our August handprints were missing fingers or were slightly misshapen hands. The May handprints are far more accurate in size and shape. Of course, several of the students just assumed that their hands in August were "very chubby." Child logic is so precious, isn't it?

The height-measurement strings proved to be a favorite item from the time capsules. It was so amazing to see that the same yarn that reached the top of their heads in August would only stretch to the tops of their ears now! This wasn't the case for every child, of course, but for most of our students, the growth evidenced from this little piece of string really was astounding. They have grown in so many ways in the past nine months, but this string was the most obvious evidence of that physical growth.

 I absolutely love their little faces in these pictures. You can see how excited and proud they were to actually see their growth. Sweet moments.