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Breaking from Routine

I love routines. Children love them too - clear expectations about where we're going, what it looks like, and what it sounds like. But I do also love breaking out of routines and doing something a little novel. "We get to wear our pajamas! To school!" Everyone was tickled this week to be cozying up in pajamas on piles of pillows and blankets with some of our favorite books (Dr. Seuss and otherwise). Then we threw in a performance of our play and celebrating the 100th Day of School. Oh, and we had another snow day in there too. It was a fun week. One student told me, "This was the fastest week ever!"

Cheryl's PreK Reflections

March winds caused snow to blow off the school's huge pine trees in clumps. The effect was blizzard-like for seconds at a time with children ooo-ing and ahhh-ing (teachers too). It was a beautiful quiet out there that made us all pause - small legs walking in huge snow drifts also literally slowed us down. I feel like this pause for reflection is sometimes necessary for us all during a time of transition/right before the rush of Spring. I followed the children's lead inside as they requested to reread books over, add silly verses to our nursery rhyme (Row Row Row Your Boat with the last verse 'I like to eat ice cream') and go over routines that they were all of a sudden testing boundaries on (yes, your snow pants and boots need to be put back in your cubby, and yes, you need to sit up in circle and not call out when someone is speaking). Many new fun additions to our week - a new Pre-K student welcomed, Dr. Seuss/Pajama day, a snow day off, and a school play - all had us in transition from our normal routine. Imaginary play seemed to ground the students as I witnessed wolves in ice caves outside and veterinarians/doctors helping their patients inside with blankets and cushions. A number counting abacus was a favorite manipulative this week, the letter 'W' was painted and stretched with dough and sung about, and a spring bud craft with sticks and popcorn will hopefully bring our sense of wonderment about Spring approaching to our whole school in the lunchroom downstairs. A 3 year-old was singing out in delight at the sight of their first robin sighting in our school parking lot and I continue to be grateful and honored to be a part of their everyday nurturing and space for play, growth and joy.

Theresa's Math Class

We made the best of the snow by making 10 tiny snowballs. The children calculated how many 3-ball snowmen they could construct out of the 10 snowballs (one student's answer: 3 snowmen and one head). They then calculated how many snowballs it would take to construct 3, 4 and 5 snowball snowmen. Then, they all counted ALL of their snowballs by 3.

While Theresa's math class is rocking counting by 2, 3, and 5, Theresa is working to improve everyone's fast facts. We would like all of the first graders to know their math facts with sums through 20 by the end of the year, so please help to practice these at home. Just doing a few each time you're in the car, or when you sit down to eat, can really help make them more automatic.

Our Theme: Revolutionary War

All of our rehearsing came together on Friday. Almost everyone reported some nerves, and there were a few tears before curtain, but they pulled it together and were proud of the final result. There's nothing like a play for bringing together a theme study even if we didn't quite figure out how to get all that we learned into it. Reading Judy Moody Declares Independence had the students wondering if we could incorporate the "Boston Tub Party" into our play, but we stuck with our original ideas.

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