Thank you all so much for being able to switch last Friday for last Monday, I really appreciate it! We see above both Oliver and Fifer engaged in dinosaur play. I love that these two have really connected as good friends and were acting out a complex story together. 🙂 Fifer had this adorable ring, and I forgot to remind the children that if you share on Friday to bring an item on Monday. Luckily, Fifer had her ring so she decided it was okay to share that with us. I did give her the option of bringing a share item on Wednesday, because she was feeling a bit sad about not knowing about share, my fault. The children recognized the girl in the ring but could not place her, do any of you parents know who she is? Tabor brought his life size Spider Man! This was literally like having another student in class. Out of the corner of my eye, I would see this figure and think, “who is that?”, then realize it was Spider Man! 🙂 New gluten free play dough! This ended up being disappointing because it is stringy and watch out, it will stain your carpets!!!! I purchased the dough from target. Next time I will make it, safer chance of not staining things and the children can sculpt better with my version of gluten free dough.
In the top picture we see Spider Man sitting down with Tabor and Oliver who is just out of frame while Fifer serves up some dinosaurs! 🙂 We then see a picturesque picnic Emery has set up with her chosen kitty stuffy. I love the ways in which the children engage in dramatic play, we have some children engaged in cooperative group stories and one child engaged in an individual story. A lot of time was put into setting up the scenes for both stories. The final picture is of Emery and fifer being babies. Lately the group has been using the chairs as cradles, or something similar and baby play is now rivaling kitty/doggy dramatic stories. 🙂 Just look at the girl’s faces! 🙂
Fifer and Oliver digging in the dirt behind the shed. Fifer constructed a home for an earth worm, I believe. 🙂 I love that the children show such kindness and empathy for these living creatures that are essential to our environmental health. The process of discussing, planning, disagreeing, all happen while a fairy house is trying to take shape. Unfortunately, it was abandoned, but the process is what counts, not the end product. Such wonderful, real life socialization was taking place between Oliver, Fifer, Emery and Tabor. These communications skills are so valuable and necessary for children to gain experience in, because they will utilize these essential skills all through their lives. I love the mixed age aspect as well, because we had two five-year-old children, one six-year-old child and one four-year-old child all engaged in this process. Quinn enjoying the sensory experience of paint! Yes, we love painting and it is such a wonderful open-ended way for the children to show their skill levels, their understandings and demonstrate story telling capabilities! 🙂 Kiana, Oliver and Quinn, all engaging in the painting process. Painting is an artistic expression and form of language. In our Reggio Emilia inspired environment painting is one of 100 ways in which young children communicate their knowledge, their understandings of the world around them. Constructing a home for a worm or fairy are examples of outdoor language as well.
Samuel had the idea of being puppies, so Juniper and Jayven jumped onto his idea. They all constructed with blocks to form a pen or puppy place which quickly morphed into as safe place because either lazers or tornadoes were happening outside of their safe place! We then see cloth pieces put down outside of their structure as lazers and places not to stand. We had a lot of energy, so Ms. Heidi forgot all about cleaning buddies and moved on to Share Day for Jayven and then outdoors! We tried the gluten free playdough outdoors and moved on to water play! Ms. Heidi did step in and asked that if they used sticks to stir with would be fine, but not to flick water at each other. Hands are just fine for flicking the snowy/suds. 🙂
Isn’t Tabor adorable in his new glasses! I am so happy he is wearing them and able to see better. Now Oliver has a glasses buddy! 🙂 Mr. Sunshine has been happily pouring through our windows, but the children have declined me putting up cardboard, so we have some brightly lit faces. 🙂 We see Kiana and Ivy enjoying some cafe/restaurant play. We then see a structure that everyone except for Ivy worked on, so Oliver, Tabor, Quinn and Kiana all had input on this magnificent construction. I love when the children engage in block play because they use so many different types of mathematical skills. On top of that the children engage in much needed socialization skills where communication is so vital to a successful outcome for all. Cooperative group work/play is complex and not simplistic and I do not step in that often because I want the children to engage in “conflict”, this does not mean fighting, but rather, the risk of communicating their own ideas and figuring out how to make their words make sense with their friends of difference ages and developmental levels. I love how Oliver is surprised and amused by Kiana’s suffy game to she brought near the boys, while Tabor is admiring their construction work. Such wonderful kind-hearted little people! 🙂
Samuel is taking good care of his seeds, which I believe are zinnia seeds. 🙂 The group going around the pole with Ember from our morning group! Ember has some makeup days and will be joining the afternoon group for a couple more Wednesday afternoons, which I think is great! We will also be enjoying the company of Kiana and Oliver in the coming months for their makeup days. I love how accepting the afternoon group is of our morning friends. They would have loved to have more friends join them, but having open spots works great for all the children in the Marigold community to get to know each other. 🙂 Juniper and Ember are both enjoying some cafe time together. 🙂 * Leif, we miss you, but know that you are having a fun vacation! We can’t wait to see you next week!:)
Ivy watering her seeds, while Kiana waits her turn. The children have done great with taking care of their little seeds. I keep watering in between and am so happy that sprouts are emerging!! 🙂 Water play was a must since the weather has been warm like summer lately! I used strawberry bubble bath for kids! 🙂 Since the gluten free playdough I bought is so gooey we took it outdoors! Every child has their own color and baggy, so no mixing of germs. This weather is just what we all needed!
Puzzles have eluded my afternoon boys, so I directed the small group to this 48 piece space puzzle to work together on. Both Samuel and Jayven discovered that they could find pieces that fit and work together successfully on a puzzle. 🙂 Juniper and Ms. Heidi ended up finishing the puzzle, though, because the boys were in need of magnetic block and dinosaur play badly. 🙂 Juniper was drawing a very detailed version of Princess Magnolia, so Jayven, Samuel and Ms. Heidi cleaned up some of our classroom materials, and then practiced writing names till Juniper was ready to tell her story. 🙂 I love that Samuel is trying to print his name even though he is not yet very confident in his ability, just as Jayven is. Both boys are trying and finding that the more they try the better they become at printing their names. I will remind the group to put their names on their papers, I keep forgetting and they fell out of the habit. I want to point out that when looking at the white board stories, we see scribble form and symbolic form. Symbolic form drawings are more detailed, show motor control and more pre-planning. Scribble form shows that the fine motor muscles, eye-hand coordination and planning are not yet solidified. These skills are still developing and are a wonderful example of children ready for letter writing, short word strings, etc., or not. Just because we have young children not able to write and read yet does not mean they are not getting consistent exposure and experiences with those symbols, it just means that their brains are not yet ready for such abstract skills and need more time to develop those abilities. With our early writers and readers those pathways in the brain have developed enough at their tender age to allow them to put abstract puzzles such as letter/ sound recognition together, and to form words. Strengths in verbal/linguistic skills really show how they take the lead in development with those children. Do not pressure your child if they are three, four, five or six years old and not writing and reading yet. Literacy development takes time to form and encompases communication, spatial sense, speech patterns, socialization skills, language development, and much more. Abstract thought processes for the majority of young minds does not happen fully until age 7. Yes, children can learn things earlier, but the question will always remain, “do they have to?”, and “what are the consequences of pressuring children in the early developing years?”. For the children who are writing and reading they are doing so because their particular developmental journey tells them it is time for them to be engaging in those skills and like Juniper, Emery and Fifer, they love the enjoyment, discovery and characters they get to meet as they engage in the reading process. The magic of stories has taken on a new and wonderful level of learning. When your child has strong internal interest and their unique development allows them to write and read at these early and young ages, that is wonderful and I see no signs of pressure, no stress in association with these early skills. For the children not yet reading they too are just as excited and happy to hear stories, take part is discussions about characters and will move on in their developmental journey on their own time line. Accept your precious child wherever they are on the developmental continuum. *We see two little boys who are tired from their outdoor play and all the work they engaged in, so painting was keeping them barely awake. At the end of our afternoons the children are usually laying down, so I try to do some yoga inspired moves and read a story. I change it up to keep them alert. 🙂 Juniper was going to outline the boys’ paintings with more of hers but we ran out of time. She can try again next week! 🙂
Quinn drew, cut, and taped a spider! I love the time and attention to detail Quinn put into her project! Emery made a few different pictures and I love that she posted them around the room! She made a house, which I thought was so unique and creative. 🙂 Ivy and Ember engaged in white board pictures which means they wanted a “Story Time Meeting!” We did discuss that potty words are only to be spoken in the bathroom and cannot be a part of the story no matter how funny they can be. I like that introducing an art medium in the way of “telling stories” has inspired so many individual stories! We are working on the beginning, middle and ending to go along with knowing the parts of a book, which we practice daily. Tabor, Ember and Kiana worked together to construct a very cool campsite! Marshmallows are a must! No campsite should ever be without! Besides, if we were out in the wild hiking we would burn off the 100 calories each one of those big ones has, right? (The children burn it off in a matter of seconds!!!). 🙂
We have wonderful little people that every week show kindness, caring, empathy, and the ability to make friends in healthy ways. The children practice their social/emotional skills all week, and gain more understanding through practicing communicating. We still have conflicts, we still have children learning how to speak to each other, listen, question, share ideas and opinions. The early years is all about socialization, figuring out how to interact in many ways with other people. Emotional development is still emerging and these children are on a journey exploring what emotions mean to each of them. Not all adults in our world have fully developed emotional intelligence, so we must be patient and understanding of all these young children as they navigate through their feelings and find ways to understand each other. I talk to each family individually when I see negative behaviors escalating and find other factors associated with the increase. It is so important to know that just because you or I talk to the children about their behavior and choices while interacting with their peers, they do not instantly stop these negative behaviors. They resurface at different times through the school year and there are a multitude of factors as to why that is. Just know that I support each of your children in the classroom and I know you all support your children at home. We are a team in helping each of these children grow and become responsible beings in our world. Sometimes, months go by without any negative behaviors and it can be easy to forget and put it behind us, but know that when children are young and developing these behaviors will resurface, so take note, so that you are just as prepared as I am when addressing them as they cycle about. And know that behaviors that resurface are natural and part of the developmental process. I just wanted to pop this into the journal because, preschool is not always about sunshine, rainbows and butterflies. Your children are people and they are living a complex life and taking in a ton of information as they grow and mature. Let us all have compassion and understanding and give the children space to learn as they grow. Supporting each child as he/ she needs our guidance, support and empathy. And please know that you can contact me any time if you have any questions or concerns. Ms. Heidi