– No zips, snaps or buttons
– No overalls, onesies
– Pull on or elastic waist pants
– Shirts that can pull easily overhead
– No tight leggings for girlsFor those children in underwear, I will be keeping their extra clothes inside their tote bags, in the event of accidents during outside play time.
The school year is off to a great start. As we ended the summer, we focused on sea life and sea shells, because the beach is familiar to most children. We had matching model dolphins, whales, sharks, and rays. We had matching photos of clown fish, sea horses and other sea animals.
As we enter the fall season, our focus is shifting to farm life. We are working with animals and food you might find on a farm.
In the sensory bin this month, our swimming sea animals have come out and large buttons will be paired with two small baskets. The children will gather together and fill up the baskets, then spill the buttons back out into the bin. This activity takes cooperation and focus and is a good opportunity for children to use their emerging social skills.
At the beginning of the school year, children are learning the routines of the day. As children enter the classroom, we say, “Good morning” and ask them if they want help putting on their slippers. This is part of “Grace and Courtesy” lessons we will be giving this year, to help children learn to interact and thrive in an environment with their peers. During our day, the children are learning to say, “water please,” as they empty their cups during snack. We may ask a child to bring us a towel if there is a spill. Then we say, “Thank you for bringing me the towel,” and show them how they can use the towel to wipe up water that has spilled onto a table or onto the floor. Children are learning to put their work back on the shelf when they are finished with it. Children can get overwhelmed when they have a large amount of materials out and they don’t want to put them away. We are showing them how to start by choosing one color or one shape and then moving to the next item. We also let them know that we’ll help them, but we make sure we move slowly enough that children are able to pick up a considerable amount of the materials themselves. The children seem grateful to have help, and also proud of what they accomplished. Later this fall I will introduce the idea of using rugs to delineate each child’s work space. This week I started with the introduction of rolling the rugs. Several children were eager to watch and some wanted to try their hand at rolling the rugs. They proudly rolled and unrolled the rugs over and over, putting them away in the rug basket.
As you have probably seen, it’s tough waiting your turn when you are a toddler, so we are helping children learn to wait their turn for materials and to handle conflict that happens when someone tires of waiting, by giving them tools. For example, if a child is holding something and another child tries to take it from them, and the first child doesn’t want them to take it, we teach the first child to say, “my work,” and put up their hand as if to say stop. If a child doesn’t yet feel confident enough to stay stop, they can put their hand up and still get the meaning across to others. We do not make the children share, but instead show them how they can wait their turn, but also how they can hand materials over to the waiting child when they are finished.
Next month we will be focusing on pumpkins and the falling of the leaves from the trees and we hope that we’ll be able to move pickup to the playground, look for an email confirming that.
As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns, Betty
Books we’ve looked at this month:
Ocean Creatures from National Geographic Kids
Sea Turtle by Lorraine A. Jay
A Lighthouse Saves the Day by Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
My First Farm, by DK Publishing
Vegetables by Sara Anderson
“The child’s development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself.” Maria Montessori (The Absorbent Mind, p. 257)