Kinder theater

Many students in kinder are still loving learning about acting and planning short plays. This week we discussed that actors spend a lot of time practicing and warming up before shows. We played a variety of fun theater games, and presented our own version of the story “Sheep in a Jeep.”

The Toddler Town Express

  • Fostering Meaningful Explorations:The train is an ever-present part of life here at The Patchwork School. For some students it is a great source of fun and excitement and for others it can be overwhelming and scary. The idea to start a train exploration came about after Becca and I noticed the many emotions that are stirred up when the train goes by. 
    How can we foster positive experiences around the train?We began by projecting images and videos of trains moving down the tracks. We felt that it was important for the toddlers to see a traveling train up close and personal.  We also introduced toy trains, tracks, train literature, and songs. Perhaps more exposure and knowledge of trains will help us to cope with any feelings we have. What will emerge from our train activities and explorations? 

Working Through Feelings with Play

Wood takes a rough spill as he tripped on the edge of the sand box as he was running to the wood chips. Cassie the preschool teacher offered to pick him off the ground, and Wood refused her help and laid down a little further over. A preschool student and Henry noticed that Wood was crying and laying on the ground and joined him quickly in laying down on the ground. The preschool student asked if he was sad and Henry listened closely and gave smiles and eye contact to both. They then quickly laughed and started to play and swim through the chips.

Pond Plan

After a plan was made at meeting to continue working on the hole/pond at the bottom of the slide, Cha Cha helped the workers and swimmers create agreements around how to use it. “I hear people saying they do not want to be splashed.” “Hey everyone, it’s okay if we let the boat float around the pond?” “I hear Lincoln asking if it’s okay to let the boat float around the pond and I don’t hear anyone saying it doesn’t work for them…” “Lookout below! “I hear Blaze saying lookout, it looks like everyone is out of the way!”

A conversation about the Giraffe
“Why do giraffes have long necks?”-Student
“Hmm… I don’t know, why do you think?”-Cassie
“I don’t know.”-Student
“Well, I do know something about giraffes that might help us figure this out… Do you know what giraffes eat?”-Cassie
“Yeah, that’s right, they do eat leaves, and where to do leaves grow?”-Cassie
“On the tops of trees! That’s why they have to be tall! Will you lift me up she giraffe can eat the leaves?”-Student

Music Room Visit

Logan, Alexander, and Blaze went to the toddler building to find magnifying glasses for a bug hunt. They couldn’t find any, but they did see that the door to the music room was open and rushed in to play the instruments. They took turns well so that everyone got to play the instruments they wanted to play. To expand on the play, Cha Cha led some rhythm activities.

Marble Tracks

In noticing that many of the older children seem ready for more challenging manipulatives and building materials, we offered the marble tracks to small groups of older toddlers this week. The children responded to these new materials with great excitement and curiosity! Many children became quite fixated on keeping track of the exact marble which they first chose, and this led to some conflicts at first. We were impressed, however, by how quickly the children began to let go of this need to retrieve the same marble each time, in lieu of simply finding another one. It’s exciting to see the older toddlers starting to move beyond the “everything is mine” mindset. This willingness to adjust one’s tactics mid-game in response to the needs of the group play scenario–what an important discovery!

Birds, birds, birds

Over the past few months, we (teachers) have been inspired by the way in which the unfolding of Spring seems to have sparked a strong interest and curiosity amongst the group for exploring the natural world. Many of the materials and projects we’ve offered over the past few months have served to support and build upon the children’s observations, questions, and ideas about the natural world, specifically around plants, animals, and insects. This week our previous interest in bird-life reappeared with the discovery of a bird nest in the apple tree outside. Inspired by this discovery, we have been revisiting some of our books about birds. While reading about all the different kinds of birds, many individuals were excited to try and identify the ones they knew, and we’re eager to learn the names of the ones they didn’t recognize. Wings and flight, we noticed, were the aspects about birds, which the group seemed particularly delighted by. We sang many songs about birds this week, songs involving creative movement and dramatic expression; individuals got to “transform” themselves into birds and imagine that they were really flying. We also started making bird feeders. We worked together to cover paper towel tubes with sunbutter, and rolled them around in bird seed. Next we went to the garden to look for sticks to attach as a “perch” for the bird to stand on while eating. We’re excited to finish these bird feeders next week, and are planning to hang some up in the toddler yard! When this photo was taken, Taylee was asking “how will I reach up high to hang this up?” Perhaps next week, we will ask this question to the group!

Alphabet creatures

This week, we worked on making an entire alphabet to hang in our writing area. Some people were interested in the circles, filling them in with different materials and colors. Others liked the idea of turning them into creatures (it’s an A for alien!), while others were interested in the sensory aspects of gluing, sticking, and painting to decorate the letters.