We welcomed two new students to the classroom this month and it was heartwarming to watch the returning students offer comfort to our new friends as they adjusted to a new school. One student brought tissues to the crying boys and another gently touched one of the boy’s back. And we all offered the refrains, “Mommy always comes back.” and “Mommy is going to do her work,” and “We will see Mommy on the playground.”
On the language shelf we introduced story telling work. Using a bed, a pillow, mama monkey, a doctor monkey, and five little monkeys, all made of cloth, we told the story of the Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. There is also a book that accompanies the work. The work is first shown at circle time and then the work is placed on the shelf. We observe one child using the objects to tell the story to a small group, other times a child will want to work alone with the monkeys.
Bringing the outside world inside the classroom, children see snowflakes, twinkle lights and arctic animals, including fox, penguins, puffins, polar bears, and whales, including a beluga whale. The Walrus book shows the journey of a baby walrus and his mother and Baby Beluga is a beloved song and book in our classroom. We point out the animals in the book that baby beluga encounters. The handheld miniature animals as well as the photographs of the animal offer meaning to the new names of animals.
In sensorial the children have been exploring different sized tubes, from a large clear plastic tube like the kind used at the drive through bank to small wooden tubes. When using the big tube we wonder aloud, “What will fit in the tube?” There are wiffle balls that fit in the tube, at the soft wool balls fit too. The paint brush fits. The large plastic dog-toy-like ball does not it. The exploration lasts a long time, some children very focused on finding all the things in the classroom that will fit. The knobbed cylinders are another way that children hone their spatial skills while exploring what fits where.
“Snap. Can you hear it?” we ask. When showing a new practical life work to a child we seek to engage as many senses as possible, it keeps them engaged and activates more parts of their brain. One child noticed the snaps on a friend’s shirt. We directed the child to the purse that snapped so she could practice opening and closing the snap. Feeling the snap connection and hearing it as well, she appeared very satisfied with her work.
Thank you for dressing your children for this cold weather. With coats, hats and boots we have been able to go outside and enjoy being on the playground. Some of the taller children are beginning to do the coat flip. With the jacket on the floor the child stands near the tag of the jacket, bends down and puts arms in the sleeves and then in a swooping motion reaches towards the sky. After some practice children gain independence in putting on their own coat. Hearing a child exclaim, “I did it!!” is music to our ears.
It may be interesting for you to share the photos we send you with your child. I wonder what your child might tell you? We’d love to hear!