We have hit the ground running with all things Christmas this week! We started our week with decorating our class tree with ornaments, tinsel and even Candy Canes. Each boy really took ownership of what they wanted to see the tree look like and it turned out GREAT! Our classroom elf arrived as well and it was so much fun listening to the creative names that were thought up and seeing the silly things he has been doing when we get to the room each morning! We spent carpet time this week covering Christmas traditions such as why we use stockings and why there is a star on top of our Christmas tree.
Our centers focused a lot on exploration of the Christmas holiday. We sorted bows by color, used magnets to search for jingle bells and even used felt to decorate Gingerbread men. Our Christmas dress-up center was a large hit! The boys all had so much fun trying on different glasses, hats and headbands to make up a fun, festive look. The most challenging center this week was decorating our paper tree with Velcro ornaments. The challenge came not from the task of putting up the ornaments but from collaborating with a buddy to make the tree look how they envisioned. By the end of the week they were able to work together like pros!
We wrapped our week with a wonderful all-school Christmas Chapel. The boys all sat and listened attentively- they are growing so fast. Can’t wait for next week!
Gobble, gobble! This week in YK, the focus was all on Thanksgiving! We incorporated a few new centers that included a turkey feather stuffing game that the boys loved and that also helping strengthen their fine motor skills. Also, do not be surprised if your son asks to help make a pumpkin pie! We went through all the steps and discussed all the ingredients that were needed, then made an adorable pumpkin pie craft! We spent the majority of the week talking about gratitude and what we are thankful for. Teaching this attitude of gratitude requires helping them to look at their life from the point of appreciation. Those who learn how to feel and express a sense of gratitude grow up to be well rounded individuals with a higher level of self-efficacy and interpersonal skills. We play a Thanksgiving manners game that teaches the boys to say, "Please" and "Thank you," and it is so great to see that they are already using these manners at home because they all did such a fantastic job! Next week is a short week! Tuesday will be our last day before Thanksgiving break and the boys will be having a "campout" at school! This means they are allowed to come in their pajamas, and we will be camping out in our classroom to celebrate the end of our unit!
YK had s’more camp out fun this week! This week the focus was on campfires and forest animals. We all sat in a circle and discussed how a campfire is made. We turned the lights out, and each boy brought a pretend log to add to our classroom campfire. We proceeded to roast marshmallows, sing songs, and read a story around our campfire we worked together to build. Activities such as these help build our classroom community. The key to teaching our boys social and emotional skills is creating a classroom culture built on community. Communities have members who have shared goals and experiences, who feel empowered to contribute, who trust in one another, and who feel understood can be capable as individuals. These attributes enable teamwork, cooperation, and the ability to draw on one another’s skills. This week we also had some crazy weather! The boys were hoping for snow, so we did a little snow dance! This was one of those fantastic learning moments that you couldn’t plan for, so when the occasion arises, it makes it very meaningful. The boys discovered our water table had a layer of ice on top. This opened up a great discussion on where the ice came from and the different states of water. We even broke off a little piece and brought it inside to examine at the end of the day. The boys were tickled to see the ice had melted back into water! Experimenting leads to discoveries, and discoveries spark curiosity! Next week, we will begin focusing on Thanksgiving as we finish our camping unit!
Wow! What a fun week in YK! We finished the first week of our camping unit. The focus this week was on camping gear, and the big discussion was about what we would bring with us on a campout! Throughout the week, the boys went on a bear hunt, explored our indoor tent, made animal tracks, and explored a “dark forest” with lanterns. For these activities, the boys really had to use their imagination. Pretend play is so important in child development. When we went on our bear hunt throughout the school, the boys were building skills in many essential developmental areas. When the boys are engaging in these pretend (or dramatic) play activities, they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. It helps to teach them the important moral development skill of empathy by pretending to be different characters, which gives them that experience of walking in someone else’s shoes. It also helps them understand the power of language. It’s incredible to hear them as they engage in their pretend play because you might listen to some words and phrases you never thought they knew! We are also always working towards fostering a culture of thinking in our classroom. Pretend play provides your son with a variety of problems to solve. Many times we see boys wanting to play the same role or search for the right block to make the roof on their house. During these moments, we are seeing the boys use critical cognitive skills that they will use in every aspect of their life, now and forever!