Stepping Out!

After some frigid days, I was glad to set up an outdoor offering. Our plan is to replace our current mural with this one, and cut a bunch of hearts out of the previous mural to hand out during our Valentine’s Day outing.

“What other supplies are wanted?” – Jodi

“Things.” – Elliott

So, things were gathered :-). 

I noticed that this time people worked generally parallel, creating many individual works as opposed to other times when boundaries were not as clear. 

People wanted to spend time back inside this afternoon, so we spread the mural out on the kitchen floor to continue our exploration of materials. 

Morning Mushroom Meeting!

We were so excited about the arrival of a big parachute that Eva’s family had given us for the holidays, that we decided we couldn’t wait until after meeting time to test it out! There was a discussion about testing it out downstairs in the mushroom, and after snack we had all gathered by the gate to the stairs, making it clear that we were ready to go “down! down!” and according to Miko “Ready! Ready!” So we made a plan to have our meeting downstairs in the mushroom with the parachute!

We sang some requested favorites: “Miriam, Miriam, jump up and down, jump up and down, all through the town!” going through everyone as we took turns jumping all around the parachute. Slippery Fish and The Fire Truck song were next.

Then we made a plan to experiment holding the parachute up by the handles and bouncing the ball around it. We lifted the parachute high up and huddled beneath it like a tent, squealing in excitement at the big colors we could see hovering above us. Next a few of us started hiding in the tent and we became the “Slippery Fish” swimming in the water.

It was great using the parachute during meeting time today, as it encouraged our cooperation, collaboration, and communication. After singing and dancing on it, we worked together to carefully move our bodies off of the parachute and lift it up with the handles as high as we could. We practiced our communication skills as we were respectful of others moving around us in a tight space beneath the parachute. It was a great opportunity for us to improve our gross motor skills and coordination – lifting that big parachute is no easy feat!

Way to go, Toddler Town!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Kinder Families!
What a year we have had in Kinder thus far! As I reflect on the time we have spent together, I can’t help but smile. Each of us in the kinder program has grown so much, individually, and as a community. And I can’t wait to see what 2020 brings!

This is truly an amazing group of people. Since August we have explored so many things together – building, theater, science, art, gardening, imaginative play and the list goes on.  I have observed so much group play this year – often the whole class will come together with a big idea and work with one another to see it through.
And sometimes people prefer to play and explore on their own or with a special friend. Beautiful things come out of these interactions as well. Whether your children are working in large groups, one-one-one, or on their own, they are learning to express their needs and feelings, hear the needs and feelings of others, and manage all that comes with this type of social-emotional work.
It’s not always a tidy process – and that is okay. So much growth comes from messy explorations, both literally and figuratively. I for one am looking forward to where these messy explorations will take us in the New Year!

With Deep Gratitude, Jammie 

Connecting with our Photos!

  • There has been a lot of excitement and buzz over the new photos on our wall! The children were inspecting the pictures together. Some of the pictures are a bit higher up, so we have been using the bench as a helpful way for us to see them up close and personal. The children have been excited to revisit their experiences together, pointing out what (and who) we can see in each photo and sharing what we remember about the moment. We plan to continue using photos as a tool for reflection, communication, and connection. 

Sink of Float?

This week the children were curious about what types of things sink in water and what types of things float in water. We filled up a large tub, and got to work. We experimented with water beads, plastic animals, q-tips, puff balls, and much more!

We found that heavy things tend to sink while lighter things tend to float. We observed that items that were filled with air were more likely to float then items that took on water.

Something FISHY is happening in the preschool…

  • This morning, I opened the top of the fish tank to feed the fish and PANICKED when I saw an alien slug forming on the underside of the lid! It looked like this: 
  • To my relief, I learned from Caylen and a quick Google search that it is not in fact an alien slug…and to our excitement, we learned that the new addition to our fish tank had just laid eggs! On the inside of the fish tank lid are SNAIL EGGS! We immediately got to work.
  • As with any major scientific investigation, we first made some predictions on what the snail eggs might look like…and after taking a peek, we took down some very accurate data on what the eggs actually do look like. Next, we talked about when we all think the eggs will hatch…some people believe it will be as soon as tomorrow, and others are sure that it will take at least a million years! Over the next few weeks, the preschoolers will continue to keep a watch on our new growing babies while keeping our scientific investigation open. We will take data, track days, and see if we notice any major changes along the way. Come check out the walls surrounding the fish tank to see our hard work. And please! Stay behind the blue line on the ground and keep curious hands off of the tank infrastructure to ensure the safety of our snail’s eggs! 

Exploring the Senses in Kinder

  • This week we have been exploring the sense of touch. Slimy, wet, squishy, warm, cold, hard and soft. Water beads and home made play dough are excellent ways to investigate texture – and numbers! While making play dough we measured and poured, counted the number of times each person stirred the mix, and practiced patience while waiting for our turn to help. Today was a good day to get messy!

Balfour Visit

We took a small group of students to Balfour today and it was so lovely! The children enjoyed the fancy decorations and were so willing to talk to the residents. We talked about our names and ages and met Miss Ruthie who was 103! We also sang some songs and built towers. It’s so important to help both children and senior citizens feel more seen in our society and they tend to get so much from these collaborations!

Fun with the Buns!

This week the preschool has been spending time visiting and getting to know our bunnies. These visits are an amazing opportunity for us to discuss our limits surrounding the bunnies and the ways that we can behave that helps our bunnies remain calm and feel safe. Some limits that the students came up with before entering the bunny barn were: 
-Be quiet, even if excited try to remain calm and not raise our voices 
-Sit on the floor, do not chase the bunnies. They will be scared if chased. 
-Be gentle, especially when petting them

While following all of these limits was challenging at times overall the students did amazing with our bunnies and all of them were approached by the bunnies and able to pet them! 

Here are a few memorable quotes from our adventures: 

“Get him, just don’t chase him” 
“Him is scared from us, he is hiding” 
“I didn’t chase him, so he came up to me” 
“I waited so long for them to come up to me and they came up to me” 
“They ran away cause they were scared”

Writing stories

We read a story that Kinder made last year, and it inspired a group of students to write some of their own stories! At this age story writing often begins with pictures or symbols before transitioning into doing their own actual writing of the words of the story.