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Wednesday, Sept 20th // Settling In

Wow- there has been incredible growth and maturity in the 2A class in just a week and a half. Everyone is settling into the routine, are becoming more comfortable with teachers, peers, and activities, and are familiarizing themselves with the flow of the day. Our days are becoming very fruitful and productive already! Again, thank you so much for all of your support and help to transition everyone to school. 

Making connections with new friends.

This week we continued to look at what identity means to each child. We want to start approaching this topic from a more physical view point. One activity we used to support this effort was making handprints. Each hand is a different size. Each child chose a different color for their print. Now we are hoping they will engage with these painted hands and compare and contrast their hands with the prints. We'll be recording conversation, questions, and discoveries next week as they see these handprints up on the wall for the first time. 

Even friends who had not gotten "messy" before were willing to let Rachel paint their fingers.

Still missing a couple of hands, but this is waiting for the children on Monday!

We have also been noticing preferences that the children have, which is very much tied into their personality and identity. Some of the preferences are minor- keeping on shoes or taking them off, for example. Other times it's very distinctive- "NO, this one." We encourage children to make choices and voice opinions, and we are glad they are already comfortable enough to do this. 

Charlotte prefers to take care of this baby (and to feed her cupcakes!).

In addition to our project work on the self, we have also been up to very many sensory based activities. A sampling of which include: painting on sandpaper, making & engaging with oobleck (a mixture of cornstarch and water which creates a non-Newtonian substance balanced between solid and liquid), water play, sand play, using our motor and muscular skills to peel tape . . .and so much more. 

"Up high! Up high!" - Parker, excited about the oobleck dribbling off of Rachel's hands, which he promptly caught and giggled about.

This week we continued to experience the violin and talked about the concepts of piano, forte, and crescendo. We listened to The Flight of the Bumblebee and made some very quick movements with crayons as we listened to the music. 

For cooking, we all worked together to make Challah bread dough! You can find the recipe HERE (click). We learned a new song to encourage sharing and help us understand when our turn is finished- "We mix and we mix and we mix and we mix, we mix and then we stop!" It was wonderful to watch everyone pass the bowl to their neighbor as the song finished! We hope you're able to bake your bread and enjoy a sweet taste for the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana. We read a story about Rosh Hashana and learned how to say Shana Tova, which means "Happy New Year" in Hebrew. This week we also had Diane come in and share apples, pears, and honey with us - apples and honey are also connected to Rosh Hashana and the hopes for a sweet new year.

Plus, we got outside and experienced the wind and what it does to our hair! We are working on concepts of weather and these photos help us relate to the language we use. 

Have an amazing weekend, we will see everyone next week!

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Friday, Sept 15th// First Week!

Wow! What a wonderful first week back at Buckle My Shoe. The 2A teachers have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each and every little learner in our classroom and cannot wait to see what the 2017-2018 school year will bring!

Below you will find a few of this week's highlights and notes on why we are implementing our curriculum! We will be focusing on themes such as these throughout the course of this year. 

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Thursday, Sept 14th // First Week!

Parents, welcome to our 2A blog for the school year. Each Thursday the blog will be used to connect with you about our ongoing curriculum projects. The overarching "theme" for the year is Identity and Self. Our first focus is on the individual child and the traits that they exhibit and use to communicate with us. We want to figure out who the children are and how they are able to relate to others. We will work with similarities and differences, physical traits (hair and eye color, height), emotions and facial cues, and language. 

Morgan enjoys laughing and finding ways to be silly. 

Even though it's our first week, we have still been able to see so much from each and every child. We have quieter personalities that seek out the uninhabited spaces in the classroom, and we have the very excited and outgoing personalities bouncing around looking for other children to interact with. We have empathetic children who pat backs and give pacifiers to those who are feeling sad. It has been a joy seeing high fives and hugs being given spontaneously this week! 

Dylan is an explorer- he is constantly on the go and ready for new discoveries!

Some questions that we will explore as educators are: How does the development of language influence our ability to relate to others? How do we relate to others when we lack a broad vocabulary to communicate? How do others impact our emotions and thoughts? (We have seen a lot of this- we will feel fine but see or hear someone else crying and it triggers memories of why we are sad, too). Our questions will evolve, grow, and multiply and we will share them with you each week. 

Mia enjoys relating to others and seeks out friends to interact with.

Do you have any questions that you wonder about how we form self identity as young children? Please feel free to comment on the blog or email me directly so we can continue to work on this research together! 

Nicholas is always trying to find a new way to use things. This morning he turned a container into an instrument; he is inventive and thoughtful. 

Some ways we have been working on discovering our friends and their identities: Circle time songs that include each child's name. A name is a huge facet of identity. Children, especially, take a special love and pride in their name. It's usually the first way they explore literacy and understanding the alphabet- their letter is so special to them (first initial). We have been talking about preferences and things we like. We have also been looking at our family photos and talking a little bit about what makes a family and how our families are different. 

Charlotte likes to be the Mommy and finds lots of babies to take care of and nurture. 

This week we started our monthly self portraits, too. Self portraits are a really special time. Each child sits down with one teacher and they talk about what they see in the mirror. Today Charlotte decided that she has purple hair. Nicholas was so excited to talk about his two eyes. Nina eagerly made a round shape for her face after observing herself in the mirror. Everyone approaches it differently, but equally as thoughtful. 

Emilio is always stacking and building. He likes to line up all of the cars or trains. He likes to build tall things. He also loves to be near his friends and to comfort them with their pacifiers if they need it! 

Nina likes to seek out quiet corners to work and explore. She loves to hide under pillows and be cozy.

Parker is a big fan of transportation vehicles, and continuously sings "Wheels on the Bus" around the classroom. He finds joy in making others laugh.

Katerina has been exploring colors this week. She loves to hold up the different translucent pieces and see the world in a bright new way.

Max is still a bit shy, but we have seen him work with a lot of light table toys. He likes to build and see how things move. 

Jackson loves to talk and communicate verbally. He likes to identify all the objects around him. 

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Playdates!

Our two playdates went amazingly well! We were able to get a glimpse into how the children are going to use their new space, and how we can best support them in it. The three of us had such an exciting time seeing the new little personalities that are going to form our class. While some children were timid, others were so outgoing and vocal! We cannot wait to get into the regular flow of the classroom day and start some fun and engaging learning moments with your children. 

During our Thursday playdate, we already had moments of interest in what one another was up to. As we get deeper into the school year, we will see a lot more interest in playing with one another versus the parallel play (next to one another but not direct interaction). 

During our Thursday playdate, we already had moments of interest in what one another was up to. As we get deeper into the school year, we will see a lot more interest in playing with one another versus the parallel play (next to one another but not direct interaction). 

On Friday, we had a lot of dramatic play happening complete with dress up! We had fire fighters, friends working on the computer, phone conversations, and plenty of hats.

On Friday, we had a lot of dramatic play happening complete with dress up! We had fire fighters, friends working on the computer, phone conversations, and plenty of hats.

Morgan working with the sand table- Sept 8 2017

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