Today we had our special guest! Jennifer from Wood working with Children also works at Catlin Cable as the wood working teacher for the younger group. She has been coming to Irvington almost as long as I have been here. I love having her for many reasons. The main reason is that she works so well with this age group! She knows they may be crazy or calm, interested or not, and persistent or easily turned off. The second reason is what a great example she is for the girls in the group. It is always nice to see someone doing something that would be considered non-stereotypical!
I wasn’t sure how it would go at first as several kids would rather just get down to the business at hand and play, but once they were sent to pick out some wood, they jumped right in. At this age, we typically see a piece of wood with a nail and or screw embedded, and there was some of that. But we also had a duck (planned and executed), a helicopter, a plane, a house, and a dinosaur! Pretty amazing for this age group.
The special guest took up most of the day, so we only had a bit of time for free time. I was outside with several kids. They were digging and driving trucks off of the slide. Inside, many kids were working with the cars and the garage. Their play with the garage evolves each day, so I am never sure what I will see in that area. Today we had the opportunity to work on conflict resolution! As the kids become more comfortable, they will begin to test their power within the classroom. This gives me a great opportunity to work with kids on feeling empowered to stop something that they don’t like as well as to help an aggressive child find alternative ways to work with others.
James was using a piece of downspout as a ramp for some of the cars. He tested the best way to drive the cars (on top or inside), the best angle to use (straight up and down didn’t work very well), and whether it was better outside or inside (outside their were less kids trying to put their cars down the ramp at the same time as he was)!
My thanks to Dustin and Amber for all of their help today and for all of the thoughtful birthday wishes!