Our (almost) first month of school has ended and it was a busy one! It was barely 8:15 am as one of our children arrived at school, legs covered in dirt. His dad wryly remarked that they’d made a couple of stops along the way. This moment reminded me of how I spent my childhood romping in giant piles of leaves, rolling in the grass, sitting in mud. Short of one large infestation of ticks, I survived. This Wall Street Journal article discusses the merits of dirt in children’s lives and how exposure to bacteria builds immunity. Happy reading!
In the classroom, our children have rapidly learned classmates’ names as well as classroom routines, guidelines and practices. With the passage of time, our new students have adapted to the classroom environment well, busying themselves with a multitude of activities and initiating interactions with their peers. Returning children and parents have been helpful and supportive in making their new classmates feel welcome. A wonderful transition month – thank you!
Returning and new children are engaged and enamored with materials that are especially designed to develop the senses. You may have already heard chatter from your child about the Pink Tower, Brown Stairs, the Red Rods, and Sound Cylinders. These are just a few examples of the materials chosen by our extremely curious students! We offer most presentations of activities individually according to each child’s readiness and interest. This month we’ll introduce the Tactile Boards (smooth and rough).
Routines and habits, grace and courtesy. They all go hand in hand. In beginning of the year (and throughout!) we will emphasize using polite words when speaking to each other; walking up to each other rather than shouting across the classroom; respecting each other’s space; walking around rather than over rugs; and waiting our turn for our daily lessons. Each Circle Time, we remind each other about the ground rules: waiting our turn to speak, raising our hands, and listening with respect. This month we will introduce the use of the “Peace Rose” as a way of solving conflicts. At Circle time, we will introduce and play the “Silence Game” where, after making a substantial amount of noise, we all will sit in silence and listen to the sounds around us that we often fail to notice.
We are focusing on the sounds: /a/, /b/, /c/, /m/, /t/ and /s/ and are using various activities to reinforce symbol recognition. We will trace the sandpaper letters, write the letters, and find objects that start with these sounds. Also introduced this month is an activity called the “Mail Game” in which children find pictures of objects that begin with the initial sounds noted above. Some of our older children will be guided to use the moveable alphabet, constructing words by letter sounds.
MaryAlice, on behalf of the downstairs classroom