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“Young Knight, Young Knight, what do you see/hear?” We have officially started our 5 senses unit! This week we focused on our sense of sight and hearing. We went on a special listening walk all around the school, painted with jingle bell paintbrushes, played with loud and soft noises, explored ISpy books with magnify glasses, and even experimented with mixing vinegar and baking soda! The outside world shapes children’s development through experiences that they have, which includes using their 5 senses. Drawing a child’s attention to the 5 senses and discussing them increases their understanding of and communication about the world we live in. Children use their ears to take in information about things around them. Like other skills that children learn, listening takes practice. Developing good listening habits helps children get important information from family members, teachers, friends, and coaches. When we discussed our sense of sight we played many different sight games. When children play games that involve sight, they’re practicing early literacy skills. Sight games help children recognize words, patterns, objects, and helps them develop their memory! This unit will explain each of the 5 senses in detail and give the boys a chance to explore their knowledge using their 5 senses. Next week we will focus on our sense of touch and smell!
Just a few reminders, we will start parent teacher conferences next week. If you are unsure of the time you signed up for please email us and we will let you know! We hope you have a safe and fun weekend!
Wow! The young knights have officially finished their first unit of the school year! These four weeks of school have flown by. As we reflect on the “I Can!” unit, we are just amazed by all the things the boys CAN do! This unit focused on fundamental skills that the boys will be using all throughout the year. Some of these skills included; painting, cutting, drawing, and learning the classroom procedures. The best thing about this unit is getting to see the expression of pure joy on their faces when they discover they are able to do a skill they might not have ever tried before! You can see many of these happy “I Can!” faces on instagram, especially during our cutting with scissors week! It was important to talk to the boys and let them also know that they might not get a certain skill right off the bat. The important thing is to continue to reach for success even if that means there are a few failures. It is very important that we allow the boys to develop healthy patterns of self-esteem building and experience the concept of success following effort and persistence. Persistence will help them to develop ideas about their own capabilities while creating a strong self-concept. Children with a strong sense of self worth feel competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and feel worthy of success and happiness!
We are very excited to begin our “Mindfulness Mondays” each week. The boys absolutely love it and don’t be surprised if they come home showing off some yoga moves! During the mindfulness Monday sessions, we will meet for 10 to 15 minutes. During this time the boys will practice breathing techniques, calming yoga poses, and meditation. When we are teaching mindfulness to the boys, we are sharing with them skillful ways of relating life’s uncomfortable and challenging moments. The earlier we do so in their young lives, the greater the opportunity to help them cultivate resilience and develop and refine their mindfulness practice as they mature. This week we talked about how we can calm our bodies down when we begin to get upset. The boys pretended to hold a big beautiful flower and began to inhale through their nose as if they giving the flower a big sniff. As they began to exhale, we told them to pretend to blow all the air out through their mouths as if they were blowing a birthday candle out on top of their favorite flavored cake!
We hope to see all of you at the jamboree tomorrow! Next week will be the first fine motor after school workshop, so please sign up before it fills up and we will also begin our “5 Senses” unit! We are also gearing up for parent teacher conferences, so please make sure you have signed up! Have a great and safe weekend!
It might have been a shorter week than normal, but it was definitely a fun one! We are already seeing the boys grow so much! This week we focused on gluing and tearing paper. These skills really reinforce fine motor development, which is very important at this age. Fine motors skills require the coordination of small muscle movements, usually involving small precise thumb, finger, hand, and wrist movements. Including fine motor activities in the classroom at such an early age helps the boys refine the pincer grip (grasping an object with their thumb and pointer finger using their preferred hand) and is a precursor to handwriting. Picking up, manipulating, and exercising the small muscles in the palm of the hand helps enable them to gain control and strength while coloring, drawing, cutting, and forming letters or writing when it is age appropriate. YK will be having a fine motor workshop after school every Tuesday starting September 18th. You can find the registration online!
After the boys took a few days practicing their gluing and tearing skills, we began a process art project. Process art is all about the experience, rather than about creating an end product. This project required the boys to put big globs of the glue down on card stock and to place the paper torn earlier in the week on the glue. Many decided to add more glue and salt and glitter to add some cool textures. You will be seeing the boys creating a lot of these “process” art projects throughout the year. This can be sticky and messy, but the boys absolutely love it! The boys are trying out materials, ideas and feelings, and discovering possibilities, which dovetail well with our scientific discovery units. Some great questions we ask during the process to stimulate critical and creative thinking are “How does this paint work/ change/ react?” “Why does this happen?” and “I wonder what would happen if?” This kind of art is all about thinking, taking risks, making connections, looking at things more closely, generating ideas, and turning old ideas into new ones!
We are crossing our finger in hopes that the rain will hold off for the jamboree tomorrow! Conferences are coming up so please sign up soon. The teachers will be sending out an email linked to a sign up genius. Have a fun and safe weekend!
“Hickety Pickety Bumble Bee! Won’t you say your name for me?” Don’t be surprised if your boys come home singing this fun name song! This week in YK we focused on learning the names of our friends and why creating friendships are important. We discussed what we felt made a good friendship, such as sharing and comforting them when they are upset. During the week we made a classroom friendship tree that includes all the boys handprints. We made a friendship trail mix. We added all different kinds of treats, which represented the boys and mixed them all together to make a really tasty treat! We talked about how this awesome trail mix is like our friendships. We may not all look the same or act the same but when we come together we make a great group of amazing friends! Developing friendships at this age is very helpful in developing social and emotional skills, increasing a sense of belonging and decreasing stress. Friendships contribute significantly to the development of social skills, such as being sensitive to one another’s viewpoints, learning the rules of conversation, and age-appropriate behaviors. We encourage you to talk to your son about the importance of meaningful friendships and also maybe think about setting up some play dates with his classmates!
Center time has become the boys’ favorite part of the day! This week in centers we added the water table, blocks, and light table! The water table presents opportunities for letting the boys explore science, math, language, texture, fine motor development, and social skills. They begin to discover the difference between what sinks and what floats, differences in water temperature, or they can explore how water flows and pours! The light table and the blocks were also a hit. They loved building structures and of course knocking them down afterward. We read a great book this week ,If You Take a Mouse to School, which transferred to our centers as the boys began to use the magnatiles and blocks to build homes for the mice! It was very interesting to see the thought processes that went into building these homes. Block play is a valuable resource that enables your child to make independent choices, maintain their interest for longer periods of time and encourage them to work with others.
We have also been working with the boys on potty training. We have a few already potty trained and the rest definitely seem interested in becoming potty trained soon! We have a potty train on our wall in our classroom that the boys get their picture put on when they are officially potty trained. In order for this to happen the boys must be in big boy underwear. Once they make the transition out of pull-ups and into underwear the boys get a “train” punch card. Each time they go potty in the potty they get a punch. When the punch card is full they get their picture taken and get a special prize! Long weekends can be a great opportunity to really work on this and I will send an email today with a great article on potty training for anyone who would like to try it! We hope you all have a safe and relaxing Labor Day weekend and we look forward to seeing the boys Tuesday morning! :)