Patchwork Digest -
Tuesday, March 5th
Communication Workshops- March 31st-May 5th, Monday nights 7:30-9:30.
We are going to offer Communication Workshops I & II in an 8 week series.
Dear Parents, Teachers, Substitutes, Nanny’s, Grandparents and anyone who spends time with Children,
We are excited to offer our next Patchwork Communication Workshop! Participants have enjoyed these opportunities to get together to share our experiences with child development, care and problem solving. The time to focus on respectful communication that builds relationship is enriching and inspiring. The input from parents and the repetition of the same universal loving concerns and problems is both jarring and comforting. We recognize together that we are not alone. The time we take to just think for ourselves, with a generous ear, for a few minutes is also a powerful thing! There is tremendous value in outlining our Patchwork Communication Skills and putting all of our tools together so that we can be consistent in our efforts. The latest research in interpersonal neurobiology is a powerful aid, helping us to shift out of our frustrations toward finding compassion, for our own difficulties and those of our relations!
Please RSVP to the firstname.lastname@example.org account if you are planning to attend. If you are not a Patchwork parent or teacher the cost is $50, otherwise this is FREE.
"The support and connection is amazing! The parenting tools are my survival tools"
"...it helps me be a better mother, person, parent, friend, and self"
The K-12 has been using a community responsibility wheel for some time now. At the end of the day, before library, after they have taken care of their own materials and personal belongings for that day, everyone pitches in to take care of part of our environment. We have four sections of responsibility chosen by people in a previous meeting: Indoor clean up, Outdoor clean up, Pets and Plants and Snack/Technology. It has really been great with people finding ways to help others when they are done because we all go to library together. There has been some frustration on certain days, with certain jobs and with the Wheel of Responsibility itself.
1/15/2014 Morning Meeting, issue raised: Community Responsibilities
Cameron explained : I don’t like community responsibilities. Teachers should do it, its their job. I don’t like clean up or library so its two things in a row!
Caley: Let’s do one issue at a time.
Hank: Yeah, its the teachers school, they should do it. We are here to LEARN!
Netzach: I think the opposite of that. I think the teachers do a lot and need to spend their time on other things.
Benny: Responsibility is something we need to learn!
Cameron: The (rotating job) wheel is frustrating! Some jobs are no fun.
Jonathan: If you really don’t like your job, you could trade or help someone else.
Brenda: We can make the jobs fun, challenge ourselves or play the “don’t do it” game.
Netzach: Throughout the day a gradual mess builds and then its hard. If we keep areas tidy, it would be easy when the day is done because it wouldn’t be a big mess.
Cameron: I like Netzach’s idea to clean up as we go.
Hank: We could clean up in the morning.
People: There is nothing to clean up in the morning...that won’t work...
Andra: There will still be things to do, like take care of the Hamsters.
Benny: I agree with Jonathan, but its a responsibility. I don’t see how it would work. Its too confusing it feels weird to pick. Some jobs won’t get done.
Jonathan: You could choose if you really don’t like it.
Caley: If we are able to switch there will be tons of arguments. Stick with the job you have and try and clean up as you go.
Anthony: Netzach said what I was going to say because then its your own intention and not forced.
Benny: If everything is out it gets all mixed up!
Cameron: I know! We could clean up in the morning of the next day, so we can leave things out.
Michele: That is a creative idea, but the cleaners need to clean floors.
Hank: The cleaners should do it.
Michele: The cleaners can’t put things away.
Anthony: We should strictly put materials away right when we are done, stick to the wheel to do every job eventually.
Michele: Sounds like we have a proposal to try cleaning up as we go and to make it fun.
What is Reggio Emilia?
In my eyes, this method truly sees and empowers children as actual people and recognizes the rights they have that are often forgotten or ignored. I love that the curriculum in each class has the potential to be vastly different to cater to the interests and strengths of each individual, creating a truly child-centered education. I also appreciate the encouragement to try new things with all materials- I believe this method can and will produce innovative thinkers who are not held back by what a material is "supposed" to do. Instead they will have the knowledge of what the material is capable of and will be able to use it in new, exciting ways to solve the problems they are facing.
Interest in WORDS!
also by Baxter
Our group has been very interested in letters and words since the beginning of the year and is now starting to be able to sound out words, create letters out of blocks, and recognize words on signs! Every day during meeting, Rebekah and Baxter help people work on spelling the name of the days of the week and many people are now able to sound out the letters that go in some of the days! People are noticing that some letters look like other letters (if you turn an M upside down it become a W, d and b are very similar, etc) and have also been working on sounding out their names and comparing what letters are in their names and in their friend’s names.
A group of people are gathered around a sign, trying to figure out what it says:
Quentin: What does it say?
Jackson: This is an S (points to T).
Holden: No, this is S (points to S) that is T (points to T).
Quentin: This is O!
Holden: S – T – O – P. This sign means don’t go in there!
Embracing the challenge of transitions
Toddler and preschool age children are becoming increasingly aware of themselves as separate from others. With this realization comes a strong interest in making their own choices, and accomplishing tasks by themselves. At this age children will often test this concept by refusing to do what is asked. This can be frustrating for parents and teachers, especially when time is of the essence.
Transitions are often a time when a child’s needs for making her own decisions can be expressed in the form of resistance. I would like to share two transitions that we have been working on in the toddler class: our transition from meeting to snack, and our transition from play to clean up/lunch. For both of these transitions we have incorporated singing, a strong interest and source of joy amongst the children, as a way to make things more fun and less obligatory. We have also been mindful of promoting independence and choice during these transitions.
Transitioning from meeting to snack:
This transition has evolved over the past several months as we have responded to the children’s needs and requests. We started with the “Willaby Wallaby” song—Willaby Wallaby Waige, the monkey gave a kiss to Paige. In this song, the same line is repeated over and over again until each child’s name has been used. The children are full of giggles and excitement as they hear their name, which means it’s their turn to wash their hands. Children are always given the choice of whether or not to participate in this game, but most often they are eager to play. One day, Paige got out a finger puppet animal, and she used the finger puppet to give kisses during the song. After about a week or so of this, one child asked if she could hold the finger puppet and give the kisses. Soon more and more children began to express this desire to hold the finger puppets and give the kisses. Now when we sing this song, every child picks a finger puppet from the basket, puts it on their finger (a challenging fine motor task) we all sing the song, and give each other finger puppet kisses. This transition incorporates the children’s love for singing, their interest in animals, and supports them in interacting with one another.
Transitioning from playtime to lunchtime:
In observing that the transition from play to clean up, and then into lunch was feeling challenging, we again turned to a song. We have started referring to this song as, The Lunchbox Song. Recently the teachers have been initiating the transition from play into clean up, by asking the children, “does anyone want to sing the lunchbox song today?” Many of the children will look up right away and respond “yes!” Again, all children are given a choice of whether or not to participate. Lately we have been noticing that many of the children seem more motivated to clean up because of their excitement about the lunchbox song. Once we finish with clean up, we gather on the carpet. In The Lunchbox Song, each child decides what they want to be; so far we have chosen to be animals, insects and cars. Then, one by one, each child drives, waddles, crawls, or flies to their cubby, and retrieves their lunch. We expect that this game will, similar to the animal kisses song, continue to evolve as we respond to the children’s interests and ideas.
We encourage you to get playful, spontaneous, and creative in response to the challenge of transitions! As always, we would love to hear your feedback. Please let us know if there were ideas, questions, or concerns, which came up for you in reading this blurb.