I'm feeling really excited writing this blog post tonight. :)
You guys - the kids had such a good day together. I saw so many wonderful moments that showed me just how much this group has already grown since the beginning of the year. They are establishing their own connections with classmates. They have made huge strides in how they enter play scenarios with each other. They are both testing boundaries and beginning to trust that there is safety and reassurance in having those boundaries in place. I am so excited to see where this group ends up by the end of the semester.
Ok... now that I've gotten my excitement out of the way... here's what we've been up to so far this week:
Yesterday we had lots of time in the outdoor classroom where we played in the sandbox, water our vegetable gardens, and explored the treasures in the fairy gardens.
In the classroom we are using autumn & harvest inspired paint colors for a fun process art invitation that will later be used for Sukkot decorations!
We have been really engaged in the sensory table as well. With this group - water is where it's at! See below!
Over the past few days the kids have been really working on coming together as a group after snack for our story time. With Yom Kippur coming up this week, we have been reading stories that help us understand the meaning and importance of the High Holidays. Over the last couple of days we have read "Sound the Shofar: A Story for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur" by Leslie Kimmelman and "The Spiffiest Giant in Town" by Julia Donaldson. "Sound the Shofar" gives a lovely, simple look into how one family, and likely many others, celebrates Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
We have also been talking about kindness and good deeds (or Mitzvahs), as well as how we can do better when we make a mistake. While "The Spiffiest Giant in Town" is not directly connected to the holidays, I love this book for it's fun, rhyming prose, as well as its theme of kindness to others. It is full of good deeds done by The Spiffiest Giant. The children really connected with these simple acts of kindness that really made a big difference for the giant's friends.
These concepts of empathy and thinking of others is very new to children of this age. They are only starting to enter a place developmentally where it's even possible for them to notice that other people have needs too, but it is something we discuss every day in the classroom. By having conversations with young children about noticing what's happening with the people around us, paying attention to and naming the feelings inside ourselves as well as others, and giving them opportunities to practice making choices that may be kind or beneficial to others, we are working on building empathy in these little people. This beautiful holiday season has given us a lot of wonderful opportunities to highlight this work.
As briefly mentioned above, we are also starting to discuss the upcoming holiday of Sukkot! I will share more on that later this week! In the mean time - be well! And enjoy the pictures of these lovely little humans you all share with me everyday!
INDIANA EARLY LEARNING FOUNDATIONS
ELA2.1: Demonstrate awareness of the alphabet
ELA2.4: Demonstrate comprehension
ELA3.1: Demonstrate mechanics of writing
M4.1: Understanding of spatial relationships
SE1.2: Demonstrate identification and expression of emotions
SE 4.1: Demonstrate relationship skills
APL2.1: Demonstrate development of flexible thinking skills during play
SC1.1: Demonstrate ability to explore objects in the physical world
SC4.1: Demonstrate engineering design skills