What We Did Today!

Monday, November 20

Today we were missing three of our classmates.  If you have not heard yet, Simon broke his collarbone on Friday.  When I visited him, he looked pretty good although I know that is supposed to be one of the most painful of breaks.  If you get a chance, wish him a fast healing.  The kids were definitely working on their own all day.  At first circle we talked about how we are the same and how we are different.  I think the kids have a good handle on this now.

After circle, I noticed the twelve kids move in and out of different groups.  Each group worked through their problems without any adult interference.  Outside, Edie, Marcus, Easton, and Finn were searching for bugs in the garden.  Every time they found something, they would call for me so that I could see it also.  They found a centipede, a spider, a baby slug, a little worm and a momma worm.  The excitement was electric each time they came across a new creature.  They were outside with a few kids coming and going, but the main group stayed out the entire free time.

Inside there were essentially two groups, one at the art table working with water colors and the other over under the loft playing house.  I few phrases over heard by adults near-by were “You’re the Mom, you have to get up and make breakfast.  You’re the Dad, you have to stay in bed” and, from the “Mom”, “Dash be nice”.  Umm, I wonder where they get their stereotypes from?  They were busy with this game for a very long time.

Every once in a while, someone would leave the group to do something different.  Dash and Barkley made a huge tower with the cardboard blocks, Lillian, Aesa, Lucy and Aria were playing in the dry table with the dinosaurs and beans.  Some of the kids were trying to set up the water table pipes on their own.  And Avery and Otto were working at the woodworking bench inventing new things.

We finished another page in our book, My Favorites.  I am hoping that we will be able to finish our books and begin reading them to each other as well as to the parent helpers next week.  With that in mind, please get your child’s recipe back to school next Monday.

My thanks to Ali and Julianna for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Friday, November 17

Today the kids sat in assigned seats for the first circle.  This seemed to help keep them focused on our subject rather than each other.  It worked pretty well, we were able to read a book and then talk a bit about our favorite foods.  From there, many of them headed to the art table where they make a collage of foods that they like to eat.  We talked about who liked carrots and who liked beans.  We realized that we like different things and that is okay.

In dramatic play, Easton and Lucy were making and eating cereal.  They had the table set very nicely.  Aesa came in to join them and she ate everything they put in front of her.  They were having some much fun they drew in Barkley and Dashel who also began cooking and eating.  By now it is getting very crowded in the small space, but they all managed it well.  There were no physical movements or verbal comments causing problems.  Then finally, Finn, Aria and Lillian joined in.  So, let’s see, that’s eight kids in a small environment watching out for each other, not arguing with each other, and playing as a team – nice!

Outside, with hard hats on and tools close by, Avery, Barkley and Dashel are building a second floor to the play structure and fixing the roof.  For the second floor, Avery was moving items up via the stairs.  When I came out, he was carrying a table with Edie’s help around the play structure and up the stairs.  When he finally got to the stairs, Edie was kind of done, so I helped on one end while he had the top – bend, pull, step, bend, pull, well, you get the idea.

Lucy, Henry and Marcus started a Chinese band.  They had guitar, xylophone, and drum.  I love hearing them create music, even when we only have percussion instruments.

Edie, Simon and Easton were stacking blocks and testing the balance.  They had a really tall, skinny tower and they were trying to put a large arch on top.  They realized that there was no place for the arch’s feet to be.  They tried a few ideas, but the tower wasn’t strong enough to stay up without some sort of support leaving Easton to decide that his head was a better place for the arch!

My thanks to Julianna and Billy (Barkley’s Grammy) for all of their help today.

What We Did Today!

Thursday, November 16

Today was another great day with the Caterpillars.  They were busy from the time they walked into the room.

We had pumpkin play dough at the sensory table.  Liam said it smelled like pumpkins while Stella, I think, said it smelled like turkey.  You can see their line of thinking.

The art table was to be clay tiles, but most of the kids had other places they would rather be, so we only had one tile by the end of the day.

The water table was in a similar position with kids coming and going but not interested in working through the pipes.

Many kids were outside playing in the sandbox.  This lasted for a while.  When I poked my head out, I heard “my hands are cold” so I brought out some gloves which brought a few more kids outside to join the others.

Inside, there was block building with the large cardboard blocks.  Arlo made a special building with a secret road just for the dinosaurs.  They could go through the opening and get into their house.  Rowan brought out many bowls of nuts to feed the dinosaurs.  Of course, this meant that he had quite a bit to clean up which he wasn’t very happy about, but he was able to finish up with the help of his friend River.  It is hard to clean-up things when all you want to do is play.  This is one of the hardest lessons because creativity can be messy!

Everyone wanting snack had eaten by 10:30 which is very unusual.  I may have to make snack available sooner, so they can get started earlier.  Many kids were involved with the spiders and leaves.  Some doing a great job catching them with tweezers while others preferred catching them in their hands.

The kitchen area has been busy since adding the “loose parts”.  These seeds and other nature things have been inspiring new recipes as well as creative play.  Instead of serving spaghetti and meat balls that looks like plastic spaghetti and meatballs, they are having to be creative.  If they make spaghetti, what should they use?  A walnut? Some moss or lichen?  They get to choose and whatever they choose is right!

I saw a lot of problem solving, asking if I can have it next, and working together in the classroom and in the gym.

My thanks to Jenny and Sarah for all of their help today!

 

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, November 15

Today the kids were busy from the end of first circle until snack, working, playing, creating, and doing their own problem solving!  It was wonderful to watch.  Around second circle, they were so wound up that we took bunny breaths, dragon breaths, rocket breaths, and volcano breaths just to be able to sit and listen.  The interesting thing about taking deep breaths using the above model, is that you can tell which kids are actually breathing deeply and which are just rushing through the actions.  The difference in obvious in their energy levels. 

I had a plan for the art table, but after watching the kids at first circle, I realized they needed more freedom in the art today.  They made collages using pictures and paper bits.  It was very peaceful and the kids at the table seemed very comfortable.

Otto and Avery spent much time at the writing table writing letters and making pictures for friends and family.  Otto was writing words on his drawings with spelling help from Michelle!

Marcus was busy with the blocks and created an amazing castle with a tall wall, a staircase, an archway, and much, much more!  It was knocked down and then he built a new one.  Once that one was also knocked down, he decided to move on.  The cause of the building being knocked down was due to the construction next store to it.  Simon and Henry building a structure to hold ramps for cars to go down.  Once finished, they were zooming all sorts of cars down, adding other ramps, putting ramps into ramps, and sending down various size and type of cars.

The kitchen had various individuals as well as groups cooking, mixing, and creating new recipes.  By the end of the day, everything was everywhere (imagine that!) so we had everyone help sort out all of the different seeds and extras in order to be cleaned up sooner.  They did a great job!

As we moved into the later part of the free time, I noticed more throwing, not listening, and a general feeling that all was about to blow.  I took a couple of kids to the play dough table to make cookies and pies to help with regulating.  Michelle found a few others that needed some help regulating and sent them over as well.  We had nine kids working with the play dough.  Again, at first things were a bit crazy as they needed help remembering to ask for tools rather than take them away, but once they remembered, they were talking and interacting really well together.

My thanks to Marya and Michelle for all of their help today!

 

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, November 14

Today I was so excited to be back!  I missed the antics and awesomeness of this class!  They did a great job as well.  Even clean-up went well!

At the art table, the kids were collaging with animal pictures, unusual papers, feathers, and scrap paper.  There were scissors as well to get some practice cutting.

The Hart tubes and pipes were a great opener for the kids.  It is the first thing they see when they come in, so, obviously, it is the first thing they engage in.  They haven’t attempted to rearrange the pipes, but I’m sure that will come to them soon.  It is really interesting when they get to this stage as they have to use problem solving skills to decide what should go where and what happens if.  They also have to work as a team.  What if one person wants to move the long pipe to the right, but another person would rather save that pipe for to pour through.

I asked Josie if the play dough smelt good.  She looked away from me then sniffed and gave it thumbs up and “good”.  It is pumpkin pie play dough although it is more brown than orange the smell makes me think of pumpkin pie and family gatherings.

We are using feathers at the easels along with red, orange, yellow, green, and brown.  The feathers offer many different types of lines depending on how the child chooses to use the brush.

Arlo and Jubilee were working on the large cardboard box in the science area.  I couldn’t quite tell what the idea was, but I watched for a while and they were both working well together with whatever they were working on.

Finding spiders and then collecting them with tweezers is not always an easy task, but these kids work hard to get the tweezers to grip the spiders so that they could add the spiders to their pails.

Dramatic play was very busy today with various groups coming and going.  Addy was making coffee and then tea for herself.  From there, Margot joined her, and they made some awesome food using seeds and play food.  Stella and Bash created many bowls full of different foods.

The guineas were busy with kids holding and/or feeding them both the kids and the guineas did very well!

My thanks to Angie and Trisha for all of their help today!

 

 

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, November 8

Today the energy level was very high.  In first circle we read and then talked about homes – sizes, shapes, animal, human and so forth.  The project following was to draw your house in pencil and then paint it with watercolors.  Everyone worked through this project.  Some decided the shapes of their houses and then trace the parts using some shape cards I have while others drew from their imagination and/or memory of their house.  These will be the third page of our books.

I ventured outside once or twice, but did not stay very long.  Wow, was it cold.  But it didn’t stop Josh, Henry, Edie, Simon, Avery, Easton or Mae.  There were the usual flying trucks down the ramp and some of the kids were under the structure playing.  Josh was a champ hanging out there!

Marcus was busy making ginger bread cookies and working his muscles on the tortilla press while flattening play dough.  Many kids tried his gingerbread which was declared great.

The water table was busy off and on with the kids watching to see where the water would go from each spout.  We managed to keep the water in the table today for which I was very thankful.  I like to see how they process how they might change the pipes to make them bring the water to another place.  Lots of thought goes on along with problem solving skills.

Otto, Aria, and Finn were doing much writing and mailing their letters to family and friends.  Otto was asking how to spell some words, so we used the magnetic letters and spelled it out for him to copy.  Nice job Otto!

Dashel, Barkley, and Easton were playing with the forest and dinosaurs when they suddenly changed what they were doing and started hiding the forest by stacking blocks all around it.  Sherwood Forest was hidden from sight.  Dashel took some of the large blocks and stood them all the way to the top of the kids’ pictures by himself.  That’s six feet up.  He only needed my help with the last block, so I lifted him up and he placed it on top.

My thanks to Kristen and Josh for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, November 7

Today I was reminded of how much a simple change like day light savings time can set kids back.  About 11:00 11:30, the kids became easily frustrated, tired, and disoriented.  At this time last school day, they would be going home for lunch and, for some, a nap.  But not today, so they began to fall apart.  Hopefully next week we will all be better adjusted!

There was much interest in the Hart’s tubes.  Kids were pouring water through different openings and following the pipes to see where it came out.  This is a wonderful opportunity for social, creative, and problem solving to be practiced.  They have to find a space to work, find something to use to pour water with, and work out a plan that allows them to maneuver in and around each other.  Executive functioning at its best!

Although I started the art table of clay with a plan, I quickly changed it and just let them get use to the material.  I had forgotten how different play dough is from clay.  There were new textures, new properties, and new experience for most of the kids.  Most of the kids worked with the clay at least for some time today.  We will bring it out again next week for more exploration before we work on a project.

Outside, kids came and went, but Naomi had to be out there for a long time.  Please don’t forget warm coats if you are the protein/carb parent.  It will only get colder!  Kids were working on the rock wall, sliding, and just enjoying the outdoors.

In the kitchen, various groups came and went.  Stella and Bash were cooking and eating elaborate meals.  When Addy joined them, Rowan made her and the others some breakfast.  Isla, River and Bodhi were playing doggies while Arlo, Addy, and Sebastian were busy with the dinosaurs.

The discovery table has 3 different pumpkins on it, a scale, a tape measure, and a ruler.  Once one of the kids decided to weigh a pumpkin, many of the kids joined to have a turn.  They were weighing the pumpkins first, then themselves and then other things with in the classroom.  This got them interested in comparing the weight, height, and width of various items.

My thanks to Sara and Naomi for all of their help today!  It was a whirlwind of energy by the end of the day.

What We Did Today!

Monday, November 6

Today there was non-stop chatter going on all around and then a crash before the end of the day.  Day light saving?  Candy?  Too long between school days?

We worked on our family page for our book.  Each child chose a cut-out head in various shades of brown for each member of their family, glued it to paper, and then added clothing.  All 15 kids finished this project which says a lot.  I know they will look great in their books!

Outside, Edie, Henry, Mae, and Simon were digging for treasure.  One of the ways kids learn social skills is in a set up like this.  They have a limited amount of space and they all need to negotiate in order to complete their task.  It doesn’t demand turn taking, but allows for kids to find the space and/or task that they would like to work on.  When allowed to figure this out without adult input, they are learning impulse control, verbal communications, empowerment, and problem-solving skills.

A similar situation was occurring at the water table.  I have added the Hart tubes which is a set up that allows the kids to change where the pipes go before pouring water into them.  At one point, I saw 7 kids at the table working separately and alone.  They found a way to all work at the same space, with some of them planning together and others doing their own thing.  We added buckets when they decided they wanted the pipes to go outside of the table.  They took care of pouring the water back into the table as needed.

There was much cooking in dramatic play by various kids.  Easton was busy making sandwiches and tacos, while Lucy was mixing many things together.  Aesa was creating a persona using her witch costume to help.  She had to go to spell class and other kids were enjoying listening to her spells.  That may be because she was turning them into frogs! 

During first circle, we talked a bit about evergreens and other leaves.  If your child lets you know that leaves can make their own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, you can blame it on me.  I told them that leaves make their own food and to get their attention back, I got silly.  Oops!

My thanks to Josh, Kymberli, and Marya for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Thursday, November 2

Today we started out very engaged and working in various groups.  After finding a spider in the classroom, Ginny went to take it outside.  About five kids followed her out and stayed out for most of the morning.  Kids came and went up until clean-up time.  I was out for the last shift and Margot and I were climbing up the rock wall and checking out the world from the vantage point of the structure.  The other kids were working in the sand box, digging for fun or digging castle walls for their building.

Inside what started out as an interesting project was quickly dropped by the rest of the class.  We were using liquid starch on waxed paper then adding tissue squares with some over lapping to create new colors.  River created a lovely shade of brown which was fun as we were only using red, blue, and yellow squares!

There were pumpkin seeds in the water table with warm water, nets and tweezers.  We noticed that some of the seeds floated, while another type sunk.  We also noticed that the two kinds of seeds looked different.  One was flat and yellow while the other more rounded and a whitish-grey.  That’s as far as this group wanted to theorize, so we let the possibilities go for today.

Dramatic play, as usual, was very busy with mixing various nuts and other loose parts together to make a meal.  They really seem to enjoy this process and some of them actually help me to sort the loose parts after they are through. 

By about clean-up time, I lost them to something.  They became whiney, loud, deaf, and tired!  (I bet you’ve never had that experience with your child!)  We attempted circle time by reading about our can-do kid River!  Then I lost them again, so I cut my losses and headed for the gym.

My thanks to Ginny and Kai for all for their help today!

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, November 1

Thank you all for the wonderful cards.  The kids did a great job making me feel special on my birthday!  Most of the kids were outside today, at least 2/3s of the group.  They were still in the truck rolling down the slide and crashing phase.  In order to help them move beyond the spot they seemed to be stuck in, I asked them what they wanted to happen.  There were two answers, first was we want to crash the trucks and second was we want the trucks to zoom off of the track.  Well as they were already great at crashing the trucks, I prodded a bit and they began changing the building at the bottom of the slide.  Rather than stacking lots and lots of boards at the end of the slide, we organized the stacking so that there was a smooth transition from slide to board.  Once the kids caught on to the potential, they were asking kids not to  put boards just anywhere and would explain where they would like them to go.  There was still some competition for willy-nilly versus a plan for zooming as far as the truck would go, but they were able to articulate what they wanted to happen which made everything easier.

Inside, I was wowed by the way the kids were creating their own play.  Three kids created a “tape” game which brought two other kids to join them.  This lasted for quite a while before it was abandoned for Mr. Potato head.  Thanks to a couple of kids willing to try something new, I was able to realize that it was nearly impossible to pick up wet pumpkin seeds from the water with tweezers and place them into a bucket.  Phew!  Who knew!  Next, we will try something like a net instead.

My thanks to Jessica and Kyle for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, October 31

Happy Halloween!  My thanks to all of you who came and joined us for our Halloween bash!  It goes by so fast that I feel as if I didn’t see the kids do any of the fun stuff like be wrapped like a mummy, or feeding the ghost.  I hope you had the chance to see your child bob for apples and try to eat the donut without hands. 

During the day, many of us made pumpkin bread.  I must admit that I wasn’t paying attention at first and we mixed the ingredients in the wrong order.  This is not a good thing if you are making pumpkin bread!  The texture was iffy, but it tasted pretty good (obviously not as good as normal or it would have been gone with only crumbs as a reminder!)

Outside, I saw several kids enjoying themselves climbing on the rock wall.  They are getting very good at this.  I saw Isla climbing back down from the top on the rock wall, now that takes practice!

We read about three of our “can do kids” – Bodhi, Eliza, and Addy.  The kids are enjoying this start talking about what they can do as well.  It is great to see their sense of self soar.  Ask your child if they are a “can do kid” next time you need something done, you may be surprised at what they can do!

A couple of kids checked out the pumpkin guts in the water, but most seemed to avoid it.  My thanks to Rachel and Brittni for all of their help today and to Jenny, Carl, Angie and Lisa, our witches covenant for the extra help with the party!  Happy Halloween!

What We Did Today!

Monday, October 30

Happy Halloween!  Okay, I know it’s not until tomorrow, but the Butterflies and I celebrated today.  During the morning, we made pumpkin bread for the party.  Our bakers continue to get better and better in their baking skills.  They remember to wash their hands, to even off the measuring cups and teaspoons, and to lick the bowl when there is no egg in it!

At the art table, a few kids were working on cutting skills by cutting out a very windy ghost!  They worked very hard and were very persistent in their endeavor.  Not too many kids wanted to scoop out the guts of the pumpkin in the water table – even after Stefan scraped it first.

Most of the kids were outside, costumes and all, driving trucks into the wood, ground or anything else they could find.  Easton was finding the last of the tomatoes on the vines!

In dramatic play, a wonderful mixture of seeds and nuts were cooking on the stove waiting for someone to come in for lunch.

But, the best part was the party in the gym!  We sang our favorite Halloween songs, ate a donut without touching it, bobbed for apples, fed the ghost, and wrapped up like mummies!  Everyone seemed to have a good time and I know that the witches brew was even tastier this year than last!

My thanks to Stefan and Marya (aka Mary Poppins) for all of their help today.  Have a happy Halloween!

What We Did Today!

Friday, October 27

Today the kids were great.  They knew what they wanted to do and did it.  We talked at first circle about how we could fill someone’s bucket today.  The main ideas were hugging, playing with someone, and making someone laugh.  Some of these ideas actually occurred and consequently filled some buckets.

Outside, Andrew spent the entire free time watching and working with about eight kids.  Edie and Marcus were in the sand box digging up the fish that the other class had buried.  Simon, Henry, Avery, Dashel, Barkley, and Easton were trying to create a better way to make the cars zoom off the slide and into the garden.  This takes a lot of give and take to work out and the kids were up to the challenge.  Easton tried to remember what his Dad had done the day that he was helper and help Henry set that up.  Henry didn’t quite get flight time, but he was definitely close.  Avery and Barkley were doing much measuring to be sure all the numbers were right.

Inside we finished off the last of the self Portraits.  These are fabulous and will be the covers to the kids’ “All About Me” books.  This will entail learning about how we are a like and how we are different.  We will cover the areas of where we live, who is in our families, what we like to play, and what we like to eat.  We get to learn a lot about each other through the process.

As I wandered the room, there were many kids painting pumpkins and washing them, but I think, Lillian and Mae did the most washing of any of the kids.  In the dramatic play area, we had various mixtures of kids cooking away with the various loose parts.  There were some enticing soups and stews mostly.  The dinosaurs have also become a fun way for the kids to create skits.

My thanks to Margaret and Andrew for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, October 24

Today the kids matched the weather – sunny and bright!  Many kids were outside right away and stayed there the entire morning.  From what Sarah said, there was compromise, negotiating, and team work.  Everything one could hope for!  They were using the water to help with the “heavy work” they were doing.

We painted pumpkins and then washed them.  There were some beautiful color combinations as well as some experimental color mixing.  Bodhi was adamant about covering the entire pumpkin and he did such a great job, you would never have guessed that the pumpkin underneath was white!

There were chocolate cakes being baked in the oven (not on) by Isla and Eliza.  You could smell the chocolate throughout the room.  I have been promoting the play dough as a heavy work option.  It can help stop throwing, calm and center kids, and bring kids together creatively.

The dinosaurs were very loud roarers today!  Addy, Arlo, and Rowan seemed to out roar everyone else.  They were doing a super job playing together creating dinosaur skits and acting them out with the jungle as a back drop.  Sebastian joined in on occasion. 

River was making a marble run and Bash asked to join and the two of them created a pretty tall marble run which they then sent many marbles down.  Arlo and Rowan added to their run and it continued to evolve from there.

Clean-up and circle went well.  The kids are enjoying singing our Halloween songs and I frequently hear, “again, again!”  Have them share “I’m Stirring and stirring and stirring my brew.”  It is so fun to watch them!  We even read a Halloween story through to the end, listening well and answering questions.

My thanks to Lisa and Sarah for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Monday, October 23

Today we had an amazing first circle.  We talked about the pumpkin patch and what we remembered about it, so our new kids would have an idea of what to expect.  I am very excited as are the rest of the group.  From there, we went around the circle and each of us told how we were a like and how we were different from the person sitting next to us.  The kids are getting pretty good at this which in turn will help them accept differences as the norm.

At the art table, we finished up our self-portraits by adding our facial features.  We checked in mirrors to see what was on our head, what color it was, and how many and where on our head it was.  Please be sure to check these out!  They are hanging on the front bulletin board along with the Caterpillar Can Do Kids.

We were painting and washing pumpkins today.  The kids enjoy this process and it is fun to watch them.  Sometimes I think they enjoy the washing more than the painting!

Several of your kids went home with “tattoos”.  Avery and Otto created a tattoo shop, put up a sign, and then went around creating business.  They were having a great time stamping people’s hands and arms and their customers seemed to be impressed with their abilities.  This entire skit came out of some stamps and inkpads of Halloween creatures.  I love when they create skits like this on their own.

Spiders were hiding in the dry table full of leaves.  The job was to use the tweezers to pick-up as many spiders as they could with the tweezers.  Many kids were involved in this task and continued to search for the spiders, count the spiders and try to get the most spiders.  We soon found various places within the classroom that were infested with spiders.  We had to find someone who was not afraid of spiders to help get them back into the table.

My thanks to Julianna and Kymberli for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Friday, October 20

Today we celebrated Aesa’s 5th birthday with chocolate cake and a song.  The chocolate cake smelled delicious and from what I heard it was.  These bakers are getting better and better!

In morning circle, we talked about how we are different and how we are the same.  Many kids jumped right in to say how they are like one of their friends and how they are also different from that friend.  Visual characteristics are usually what preschoolers notice first, but games they like to play came up as well as families.  We worked on our self-portraits, deciding the shape of our heads and adding hair.

Outside, the kids were busy with the slide.  Not sliding down it, mind you, but coating it with a slippery sandy substance to make it even faster for the trucks going down.  They seemed to have a plan and were working as a team for quite a while.

Our colloid was being checked out again, this time with a little more understanding of what would happen.  I think the favorite part of the colloid for the kids is using the spatula to try and dig out the bottom.

There was a major feast in the kitchen brought out by Lucy.  Her guests seemed to be having a wonderful time and others were waiting to join.  Word of her cooking has gotten out to the rest of the preschool leaving her with not enough tables to entertain everyone.

The marble run was very busy, which you may have noticed at drop off.  Later several kids came back to it to create a bigger run by joining several.  The fine motor skills, not to mention physics, were being tested over and over as they worked through theories to make the marbles do as much as possible.

My thanks to Kacey and Michelle for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Thursday, October 19

Today the kids came into the room and checked out the colloid in the water table.  They weren’t quite sure what to make of it.  It had spoons and cars in the muck that were really hard to get out.  Liam worked for a while moving what he found layered on the bottom from one end to the other.  Adam tested, poured, and moved cars in the bucket of colloid that he was working in with a quizzical look on his face. Many tested different ideas, but no one seemed to come to any conclusions.

Even on this dreary, drizzly day several kids headed outside.  I’m not quite sure what they were working on, but they had Jenny out there for a while.

We created Autumn trees at the art table using sponge brushes to paint leaves on a pre-cut tree.  We will hang these outside in the outer hall so be sure to check and see if your child made one.

The dinosaurs have become very popular with the kids and I frequently see three or four kids surrounding the forest, dinosaurs in hand, working together while solving problems. 

Addy, Jubilee, Eliza, and Rowan were building on the play mat.  They were using some buildings along with signs, trees, and people to create a city.  Again, problems arose that were dealt with during the play, many without adult help.

Pirates, mean pirates I was told, were making people walk the plank.  It was too cold for me so I chose to run for land.  They were not happy with me!

My thanks to Rachel and Jenny for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Wednesday, October 18

Today was another energetic day.  Lots of movement, lots of noise, and lots of learning, I hope.  We read through a book talking about all the different colors of skin which were named cinnamon, ginger, peach, chocolate, butterscotch etc.  We gave names to several of the colors the kids had mixed on Monday, honey, café au lait, strawberry.  Then the last of the kids to mix their skin color got to work mixing red, yellow, white, and black to get just the right tint of brown for their skin color.  Meanwhile, a few of those finished checked out the shape of their heads, I cut out the shape, they glued it on to a piece of paper and then studied their hair – color, length, curly or straight, bangs no bangs.  The hair was then added to the head leaving it ready for the facial features.

Outside, the kids were focused on the slide, trucks, boards, blocks and other things that may help them get the trucks to leap off of the slide.  No luck today but a great amount of team work and thinking went into this play.

I had set-up a colloid for the kids to mess with and see what they might detect.  They said the goo held the cars down and it was difficult to get them out although they did manage.  Some kids tested other vehicles like planes and helicopters to see what would happen.  It was reported that the boat didn’t stick but the plane did.  Eventually the colloid had been dumped from three of the four containers into either the last container or directly into the water table.  This will give them a new test ground their work.

After snack, we had free reading time while waiting until everyone was ready to move on.  I used to hear, “but I can’t read.”  To which I would respond, “you can read the pictures, what do you think they are saying?  Today, not a sound.  They are getting used to “reading” the books.  I want every child to believe he/she is a reader.

My thanks to Kerri and Kristen for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Tuesday, October 17

Today we celebrated Arlo’s birthday with lime cake and a song.  There were many bakers helping out and from what the kids said, it was definitely good.  We also read “Arlo Can… as our fourth can do kid. 

While Arlo’s cake was being made, I was outside with several kids working on various things.  Liam was busy filling containers with sand.  He was very careful to be sure that it was patted down well.  Rowan was fixing most of the play structure.  He was very aware of all that needed to be done.  Margot was attempting to climb the ladder that stops in the middle forcing kids to reach and stretch to get to the steering wheel.  We also made a platform that went from one of the rungs of the ladder to the play structure giving the kids another standing place.  Josie came out and was following Rowan throughout the outdoor area while she tried to figure out if his skeleton was scary or funny.  We set up a balance beam for the kids to follow which everyone took part in for quite a while.

Inside there was color mixing at the art table.  At this age they prefer to mix colors on their paper while exploring rather than in a separate dish which can create some amazing art.  Some were really involved with the dinosaurs while others were busy in the dramatic play creating feasts.  When Rowan came in from outside he said,” I don’t need snack I found a feast here on the table.”  And he continued to eat everything on the table!

Many of the kids are finally comfortable with the school, the kids, and me and so are testing some boundaries.  We will be watching for throwing, hiding, and taking for the next couple of weeks.  By then they will have decided that our expectations are consistent and will move on to the next phase of growth.

My thanks to Jennafer and Naomi for all of their help today!

What We Did Today!

Monday, October 16

Today was an interesting day.  Kids were working well together on various projects, although noisy, they did a great job listening during morning circle, and once we gave ourselves gigantic hugs and did some breathing we enjoyed a calmer snack.  However, some things began to fall apart at that point.

At first circle, we did a quick check in to see how everyone was feeling and then we read “We Are All Alike…We Are All Different” which was written by a Kindergarten class.  It mentions many of the ways we are alike – we are all people, have bodies, have families, live somewhere, eat and play.  Then it goes a step farther and says we are all different and describes how we are different in all of the categories above.  It finishes each of the categories asking the reader what they are like.

This is the beginning of our “All About Me” unit.  We will each create our own book describing ourselves through the same categories.  The first step was to mix our skin color.  I tell the kids that we are all a shade of brown.  We use red, yellow, white, and black to mix in various proportions until we think we have the correct skin color.  Today about half of the class completed this project.  The rest will finish on Wednesday.  It was so glorious outside, I didn’t have the heart to force the other half of the class inside to mix skin colors. 

From what Ali told me, there was much communication, creating, working together, and solving problems outside.  What I saw was team work, ideas being created to solve how to make the trucks go down the slide and continue on, and kids being involved and then pulling out when they were done in order to work on something else.  The rain barrel was creating some wet sand for play while others were relaxing in the hammock.

My thanks to Ali and Marya for all of their help today!