Monday, January 31, 2011

Hello my name is Miss Muscarella and I have a terror in my class

I have been the luckiest teacher by far this school year. I have the most amazing class that a teacher could every ask for. My children are well behaved, caring, considerate, and truly have a love for learning. I get excited for each morning to come and want to go to bed early so it arrives faster... Until today... I woke up just like every other morning and my day started and my kids were amazing until 8:12am, when Allen walked in. At first glance, one would think what a cute bowl cut brown hair little boy, but countdown to terror...5,4,3,2,1, blastoff.
This child spit, hit, slapped, said no, moved after I placed him in a carpet square, ran out the gate, you name it, he did it. He was by far my hardest child that I had to deal with this year so far. I think about the past two years and I have had a breeze with teaching. My kids have been wonderful, but today gave me a run for my money. Lets just say I went home with only one thing in mind and that was my bed.

On a different children decided to today that they would not answer to their names. Carmen, a little girl that I call Carmenita decided that she would only answer to Princess Peach. Maritza will only answer to beauty and Melony will only answer to Melonita. When the children called Carmen, Carmen, she refused to answer and actually got very upset. Dear God, my students are tiring...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A little bit of this, and little bit of that.

Just a few projects and pictures of my class this year and last year.

We completed this project last year. We read the story, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, after reading we sequenced the story.
We made cameras for the letter "Cc"
My closet. I am very organized(somewhat OCD)
They were learning about wind.
We blew into straws to see if our air was strong enough to mix the colors.

We made eye monsters for the letter "Ee"
We read Little Miss Spider and discussed what a spider might eat in his/her spaghetti if he/she ate spaghetti
This is from Kinder by Kim
Spiders made from egg cartons and pipe cleaners
We read the book Stellaluna and created a bat
This is from Kinder by Kim
This is a picture of my classroom this year. This is from before school started.

Friday, January 28, 2011

When a child gets it...

So today was an exceptional day in preschool. Typically my Fridays are filled with fun activities that motivate my students as well as help them review what we covered throughout the week. Today, I was focusing on the alphabet. I try to play an alphabet "game" at least twice a week, but this week was so packed with everything else, we did not get to play our "games". So today, I thought BINGO would be great. It was no typical Bingo game. I have a special needs child in my class and she was the second child to get Bingo. She was able to match every letter on her Bingo board to the letters that I called out and doing this without looking at the card and just by me calling out the letters.
This may seem like no big deal to anyone else, but when this child says a few short sentences a day, that consist of about three words... this is a huge success for her. I was so happy that I was literally crying in class.
I can tell you this, there are days that I want to rip my hair out and there are days that I think, What the hell am doing, but those thoughts stay in my mind for just about 2.5 seconds and a moment like this happens and it makes all my gray hair (and I really do have it...thank God for my hair lady) worth it...I really do love my job!!!
Purchased at Lakeshore Learning Store

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The News Just Broke and I am devastated

If anyone has been watching the news you would see that my school year just increased to 200 days. Now, I know that I have always said that I love my job and it is my passion, but if I am 100% truthful having a long vacation is also a passion of mine. I am not too thrilled about the situation, but I will figure out a way to stay positive and deal with the sadness of my normal 60 day vacation to my new 25 day vacation. There will be tears though for sure!!!

On a much different note...OPEN HOUSE... Let me say that this is a day that I have to say I dread every year. Typically my classroom looks great. I am not showing off, but it is true. I love to decorate my bulletin boards and display my student's work, but I hate having to create Open House Lesson, so I did not this year. I promised myself that I would change my lesson plans around to suit others. The most important needs are my students and if I don't have work to show it too bad. Tomorrow I will be very busy though getting everything ready for the Open House and the Dedication and Blessing of my preschool. Wish me luck.

First Preschool that I opened

These are some photos of the preschool that I opened here in Los Angeles.

We made shirts that said "Stepping Up" to wear on the last day of school.

Mother's Day Tea
Mr. Muscarella came to make puppets with us!!
These are pictures of the classroom as we were waiting for our license.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tidings Article

Friday, January 14, 2011

St. Ferdinand's new preschool: 'Welcomed with open arms'
By Paula Doyle

The St. Ferdinand student body welcomed the youngest "Vikings" ever to the 81-year-old campus as the school opened its new preschool Sept. 1.

Clad in petite sizes of the school's red, white and gray uniforms, the 20 preschoolers (ages three and four) have been embraced by the older students as well as the parish community in San Fernando.

"The preschool has been received very well; there's been a lot of interest," said Thomas Ambriz, principal. "It's phenomenal to be at two-thirds of capacity already." The preschool, which is licensed for 30 children, will be receiving four more students this month.

"I think as word spreads, it will generate more interest and more buzz," said Ambriz. An open house will be held Jan. 30, when San Fernando Region Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Wilkerson will preside at the parish 8:30 a.m. Mass followed by a dedication ceremony.

The preschool will be formally dedicated to Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet Eleanor Marie Ortega, who served 24 years as St. Ferdinand's principal. She is scheduled to attend the Jan. 30 event, where tours of the campus, including the new preschool, will be offered from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

"The preschool has been welcomed with open arms," said Lauren Muscarella, preschool director. "The K-8 students want the preschoolers to be participants in everything that the school does. It's really nice to see that. The kids are really happy."

Muscarella, 28, whose mother is the director at Incarnation preschool in Glendale, says she always knew she wanted to be a teacher of some sort. Although she applied at a former school to be a kindergarten teacher, she was invited to try preschool instead and has found her niche.

"I said, 'Why not?' and I've stuck with it," said Muscarella, whose previous position was at Immaculate Conception in Los Angeles where she opened the preschool.

"I wake up every day happy to come to work," she added. "I love the kids. I love that everything is brand new to them. Anything I teach them, they're seeing it with fresh new eyes. It's so nice to be in a position where I get to witness that all day long."

Besides the traditional preschool lessons where children learn the alphabet, colors and days of the week, students at St. Ferdinand also have computer class, outdoor physical education and religion studies.

"I'm born and raised Catholic," said Muscarella, who graduated from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks. "It's important for me for [religion] to be in our preschool. It's something I really enjoy teaching."

The children say prayers every day in class and have religion lessons from the "I Am Special" program where they learn to thank God for their many blessings. Muscarella has also incorporated a program based on a book titled, "Heartprints," by P.K. Hallinan which teaches the concept of doing "extra" to help people.

"We have a little chart and when they do something extra, they get a sticker and a surprise," explained Muscarella. "The other day a little boy was crying and one of his friends went up and gave him a tissue. That was doing something extra for a friend, so we call those 'heartprints' because it makes your heart say, 'Yeah!' It seems to really work with them."

The director noted the preschool offers half-day and full-day programs as well as before- and after-school care. Parishioners who meet criteria receive a discounted tuition rate. Additional information is available on the school website: or by calling the preschool, (818) 361-0390.

First Attempt

Ok, so I jumped on the bandwagon and started a blog. I am very excited and a bit nervous. I am excited to be able to share all of the things that I am doing in my classroom. My little kiddos work very hard each day. We are always on the go from the first bell to the dismissal bell, with a short nap in the middle.
A little bit about me.
I have been teaching Pre-Kindergarten/Preschool for the past eight years. Holy Cow that is a long time!!! As soon as I graduated high school I became a teacher's assistant and from there was given the opportunity to teach Preschool. I taught at Saint Catherine of Sienna for five years and after my first year teaching I became the Director of the Preschool Program. That was a huge honor. I decided that after five years it was time to change it up a bit and I decided to move to a school in East Los Angeles where I was given the opportunity to open a Preschool for Immaculate Conception School. I was hired in April and it took me almost a full year to become licensed and have everything finalized. As the school year finished I was given another chance to open and run a preschool in the San Fernando Valley where I am currently employed, Saint Ferdinand School. I have to say that I am in love with what I do. I really never thought I could love anything this much, but I do.