Teaching Each Other
Super slippery driveway? No problem! Our kids used our tricycle with the little dump on the back to make a salt and sand spreading machine. Spill at lunch time? A small crew industriously descended with rags in hand, wiped it up, and threw the rags in the dirty clothes bag. From free choice time to theme time everyone has been in "teacher mode." I saw older children writing a program for their monster truck demonstration while younger students took on the crucial role of attentive audience. We had two students as guest readers on Friday. All of our students enjoyed the chance to share their learning with each other and help each other out.
Cheryl's Reflections: Our PreK Students
There is a lot of snow outside. Winter is hanging on. But we get by with a lil help from our friends! Our 3 and 4 year olds don't seem to mind - wolves are still in their den (our apple tree bent over creating the perfect roof) and a new sledding hill has been formed by the older kids down to the creek with a smaller hill for "the little kids." They all take turns going down over and over on their bums with extreme glee. In this spirit, teachers have asked our older students to buddy up with our youngest to get all the outside gear on and off and into the cubbies.
Inside we are going over and over what is kind and what we have been learning thus far: whether it be our alphabet, colors, letters, numbers, shapes or writing our names. We also delved into some new things as I picked up on the students' curiosity to go deeper. Using our very own pretend "magic wands" to melt the snow during the book Abracadabra It's Spring, we lingered to discuss the job of insects and worms. Students asked to bring down our grass seeds growing to examine a fly who had taken home amongst the fresh green. They are owning their learning by taking turns to water the seeds and planning a haircut (mowing!) when the grass gets higher than our ball jar. Spring coming (whether the Weather Reporter during Circle Time sees snow out our window or not) is bringing excitement and hands on celebration. A St. Patrick's Day story led to an impromptu student led parade inside with instruments alongside a chorus of the Spring Irish tune "Hal An Tow." Our finger play involved rhyming robin birds and our fingers then were dipped into green paint to make four leaf clovers. Students completed a reading readiness worksheet to begin to prepare left to right eye tracking. They oil crayoned, molded with play dough and sang about the letter 'X.' Children worked on their scissor skills cutting out shamrocks for bags to carry home some Irish soda bread. These last days of Winter are having our seeds literally growing deep roots, supported for the sprouts ready to emerge.
Our Theme: Women's Suffrage
We learned this week how the temperance, abolitionist, and suffrage movements were all tied together. We read Created Equal, and we did a little role play where I started to tell all of the girls everything they couldn't do: no playing sports, no going to high school or college, no wearing pants, and definitely no voting! While our older students worked on creating a timeline of some big events in American history, our younger students made posters that they could carry to a suffrage rally. Both groups shared their efforts, deepening their understanding.
We celebrated Pi Day this week, 3/14, by talking a little bit about pi and making pie charts. After grappling with place value in lots of different ways all year, Theresa's math class is truly understanding this concept. They can pull numbers apart into tens and ones, and this skill is going to help them as they do more addition and subtraction of bigger numbers.