In order to help the process of using the bathroom and getting dressed to go outside, the class has been divided into three groups which stay together with the same teacher each day. As we have gotten into the routine, things are moving more quickly and easily, which will hopefully streamline the process and get us outside faster. This week, despite the cold temperatures, the children were anxious and ready to be out shoveling and sledding and moving their bodies. For Monday art the children took turns drawing with crayons on a warm griddle. They discovered that they had to draw very, very slowly for the crayons to melt.
At the art table during the week the students used mittens to paint. Some children really enjoyed it, while others stayed far away! (unfortunately we missed getting pictures of this glorious activity).
The new classroom arrangement was quickly mastered and encouraged the children to slow down. To reinforce this classroom expectation, everyone walked slowly around the room, consciously attending to the way a walking body moves. We noticed that our arms swing less, our knees stay lower, our steps are closer together, and our hearts beat slower than when running.
To begin learning about food and where it comes from, we each shared our favorite foods, everything from strawberries to cake. The following day we shared where our food comes from. Where do we get it? The children listed everything from the garden in the back yard, to restaurants, to grocery stores, to the farmer’s market, to plants and animals. We will continue to learn all about where food comes from over the next several weeks.
We spent some talking about emotions, particularly anger, and how to handle strong feelings. We reiterated that it is okay to get angry, everyone gets angry about things, but it is the way we manage that anger that is important. We talked about what happens to our brains when we get angry – that the reasoning part of our brain stops working when the emotions part takes over, so it is important to walk away and calm down before trying to have a discussion or solve a conflict. We discussed ways we can be attentive to other people and their feelings, as well, and how to make amends when we have hurt or done something unkind to someone. The children were very engaged and thoughtful and full of ideas and suggestions.
Thursday afternoon the children had a lot of fun painting the bear den. They were covered in paint from head to toe, but they really enjoyed painting then cleaning up the floor and chairs when they were finished. What a mess they made!
For Friday science we explored another of five senses – the sense of touch. We drew attention to all of the properties of an object that we could explore using our sense of touch; temperature, weight, shape, texture, hardness, wetness, sharpness, etc. Each child used only their hands to explore and describe the properties of an item, then guess what it was based on how it felt. Everyone used a variety of descriptors and easily identified their objects.
Stories we read:
Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Little Bear by Else Holmelund Minarik
Somtimes I’m Bombaloo by Rachel Vail
Understand and Care by Cheri Meiners
Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart
Songs we sang: (see last weeks’ post for additional links)
Boom Chicka Boom
Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
Four Seasons Every Year
Ram Sam Sam
Open Shut Them
If You’re Happy and You Know it (Our version)
The Hokey Pokey