Questions from the heart

As many of you have noticed, our students have been challenged each morning with answering various questions about the human body for our Morning Message. These questions were created and answered by the students. So far, the questions have mostly revolved around our hearts, blood, and veins. Once the children have a chance to use their prior knowledge to take a guess, we spend some time doing research to hopefully find the answer to their inquiries. Yesterday, we had the students write in their journals about one thing they had learned about our bodies this week.

Side note: take a look at that amazing kid-writing!

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Build On!

Driver’s license, check. Hands and feet, check. Something to drive? Not quite yet!  This morning’s message asked the children to think about what type of vehicle they wished to make.  Their decision became more complicated with the additional possibility of either creating on your own, or with a friend. They had to do some serious social negotiation and practice the essential skill of perspective taking  to make a group project a reality

Each child also had to think quite abstractly to design a vehicle from our various boxes.  Not one child said, “The box can’t be a car!” or any other such silly thing.  Instead, they envisioned a plan and drew their first draft. We had representations of trains, airplanes, fire trucks, and cars.  They chose boxes based on size, but not on shape.  We’ll have to see how they adapt to the confines of the length and height of the boxes.

And We’re Off!

It’s hard to believe yet another summer has zipped by!  Welcome to a new school year, a new family, and new adventures.  I still need to upload our current daily schedule (a copy was sent home on Friday), but just in case you’re curious, here is what is happening when you drop off your child each morning.

When the children first arrive, they meet with one of the teachers to read the Morning Message.  This letter describes a bit about what the children can expect for the day and always includes a question to answer.  If you check the hallway in the morning, you’ll see the message from yesterday.

Following this, they choose from on of several workshops, or centers, available for the morning. This is a time of choice when the children are able to move freely about the classroom interacting with each other, the teachers, and the available materials for each center.  This part of the day is extremely important for both the children and the teachers.  As the children practice negotiating social interactions with their friends, we have the chance to support their budding verbal skills and ability to begin to empathize with their peers.  We also spend a great amount of time observing the types of play that interest our students.  From the information we gather, we can choose a path for our next topic of study.  Each year, the children bring different loves, interests, and talents to our group.  Watching these carefully, we can provide a direction to deepen their knowledge.

On a more organizational note, many of you have already provided the requested supplies mentioned in your Welcome Letter sent last Spring.  If you’ve not yet had the chance, please make sure your child has the following:

  • A full set of weather appropriate extra clothing to be kept at school
  • Rain boots (to be left at school or brought on muddy days)
  • An extra pair of sneakers for PE (for indoor or out, they don’t have to be new and shiny)
  • As an option, each child may bring in one, small stuffed animal for use during rest.  A good rule of thumb: if it doesn’t fit in their backpack, it’s too big.

We will go outside everyday unless it is pouring rain or so cold that our noses will freeze.  Boots and warm outer wear help the children enjoy our campus more fully.