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The Play's the Thing

"This felt like the shortest week ever," reflected one child at the end of this week. From the teacher perspective, I can't quite agree with that statement, but it was certainly lots of fun. We were truly immersed in our play - practicing lines, creating props, sewing costumes, making masks, and exploring motivation while eating chocolate chip cookies. Everything else was temporarily put on hold while we put our all into getting ready. The children were proud of the result, and we were proud of their hard work as well. By giving them these chances each year to perform in front of a group, we strive to give everyone the confidence to be comfortable and competent in public speaking situations. We also work to nurture an appreciation for the arts and give a space for some of our very dramatic students to hone their skills and shine.

Rachel's PreK Reflections

"Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body." --Martha Graham

The ages of the children in our Preschool program range from 2.5-years-old to 5-years-old. At these ages, experiencing learning through and expressing ourselves through the body is both natural and and an important part of development. One of the ways we do this is through dance...and dance, we do! You can often hear music ranging from children's folk songs, to classical piano or orchestral pieces, to rock-and-roll echoing out of the Preschool room at school. If you come close enough to peek inside, you'll see a whole lot of kids (and a few adults) dancing individually and together. Sometimes we use just our bodies, sometimes with scarves flying through the air, and sometimes with instruments in hand.

This last week, the youngest children at our school took part in the school-wide play. They decorated paper masks to look like "monsters" for the first play, and then chose colorful scarves to float behind them as they took on the role of birds in the second play. One of the songs they request the most-- Bach's Tacotta and Fugue in d Minor--was able to be incorporated into their performance as the piece they danced to for their "Monster Dance." They learned this song earlier in the year and were particularly excited to then be able to dance to it!

While this was the first time on stage for most of our Preschoolers, it was a meaningful experience that allowed them to work through being nervous, to feel proud of their work, and to find ways to express their individual self within the context of a group.

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