This week was loud, fun, and creative because we played together so much! At the end of the year, it is so nice to see how everyone has bonded. We all play with different groups of friends and the same friends as before. New imaginative play is taking place and becoming increasingly detailed. Today, Sloane and Jude were the parents of Alisha and Oliver was their dog. They dropped off Alisha at school and when they picked her up Jude said, "Sorry, we were running late from the office and we had to get our dog to bring to the school." Then, everyone was singing happy birthday to each other today and baking birthday cakes. Before, each 2B classmate wanted the teachers to sing them happy birthday with their own name, but now each child voluntarily gives the birthday cake gift and song to another classmate. It's so nice to see everyone enjoying each others' company.
This week, it has been so nice to make the trek to the park to enjoy the beautiful weather this week. This has been a milestone for the 2B class because although it isn't their first time walking there on the rope, it has been incredibly seamless and natural this week and they have bonded through the experience immensely.
How do we know?
Well, they've all been holding hands together. And smiling. And laughing. A lot, but especially while in the park together.
Also, group dynamics seem to disappear or change in the park. Friends who normally are inseparable can be seen playing with friends they do not normally interact with, and it looks like anyone and everyone can be a leader or a follower in the park.
Lastly, they get so creative in the walk to and from the park and follow directions so well! We can tell that they are comfortable because there are little to zero complaints about shoes, walking, other friends, feeling tired or hungry, etc. They are quite the harmonious and funny bunch on the journey. For example, we like to sing "Quick feet, cross the street..." while crossing the streets. Grady decided it would be funny to change the song to "quick piggies cross the street" which made Oliver and Jude laugh so hard. Soon we had "big cow cross the street" from Oliver and "big fire engine cross the street" from Jude and "big bulldozer cross the street" from Grady. Today, Jude decided to use his "outside voice" while we were walking under some scaffolding because the acoustics were amazing. Soon all of us were screaming and laughing before doing the perfect, silent "FREEZE!" to change back to our inside voices before entering the school again.
Enjoying the park together has been the perfect opportunity to grow and bond together!
Today, the 2B Family Friendly Restaurant was open for business in honor of Parents’ Day! Our class had fun handing our menus and food orders and their parents had such a nice time being waited on by such attentive and loving staffers. It was a morning to remember!
For the past two weeks, the 2B class has tirelessly talked about food, restaurants, and the community. We've moved past fire fighters to police officers, construction workers, dentists, doctors, mommies, daddies, teachers, chefs, waiters, superheroes to even cats and dogs. Our play has become increasingly complex and diversified and we are asking so many critical thinking questions as we form bonds and empathy in our relationships with our classmates and teachers. Sharing food and toys has become a regular phenomenon as well as taking care of each other and our environment. This week we even perfected walking safely in a straight line around the school, thanks to the idea of slurping up the line like a skinny straw (yay, slurping smoothies for giving Hillary that magical metaphor - it worked)! This week, Hillary saw three friends just talking to each other in the gym. They held a solid, long, and logical conversation when they could've chosen to run and play wildly instead. And just today, the 2B friends as an cohesive group, decided on their own to hold an impromptu show and tell. They used whatever objects they could think of quickly and excitedly - critical thinking on the spot - and no one was sad if they did not have a toy from home. In fact, coming up with creative choices on the spot was super fun! Our friends, relationships, and community have become so important to us as we continue our development. We grow up so fast it's amazing!
Please see our Google Drive for more pictures and videos!
On Monday of this week, we took a very special class trip to Tribeca Kitchen to find out and talk about how restaurants work. We got to sit down, look at the menus, meet the restaurant employees and owner, and see the kitchen where "everything is bigger."
Jude: "I come here with my family but not my kitties." (upon entering the restaurant).
Grady: "I want to be the pancake cooker." (after seeing the chef flip the pancakes).
Our 2B friends provided some fantastic insights into what they like to order (many of them said "cakes") versus what their parents like to order ("spicy food" - Oliver, "chicken fingers for me and salads for mommy" - Sloane, "spicy omelettes" - Thomas). We then asked what spicy food was. Our friends knew that black pepper was spicy but the salt, ketchup, and sugar on the table were not. Then we talked about what foods we could find on a "healthy" menu. Options included carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, pasta, and potatoes.
We even talked about the restaurant decor. A couple friends asked why there were plants in the restaurant. We noticed the paintings on the walls and the flowers on the tables. We decided that we like decorations because they are pretty and pretty things make us feel nice and happy. Jude then mentioned the decorations on the Christmas tree he has. "I put decorations on the Christmas tree with my family but not the kitties because they don't have hands," he said. Jude made a second association between his family and his community, showing how he ties his learning about the restaurant to his own personal experiences (i.e.; decorations can exist at home and outside of the home, the decorations are nice and make me feel happy, and my family a part of both).
Overall, this was a fantastic learning experience to connect our family and outside / community experiences with our classroom learning experiences... We plan to serve our parents a healthy menu restaurant style for our special Parents Day / Curriculum Presentation.
This week was a very special week for the 2B class. We celebrated Week of the Young Child with fun and interesting activities and people, not unlike what we do every day at Buckle My Shoe. Here's a fun recap of what took place (and for additional pictures and videos please see Instagram and our Google Drive):
For our first day of Week of the Young Child, we enjoyed a salsa lesson and dancing with partners. Our 2B friends loved this activity so much that they were practicing the moves on the salsa feet for the rest of the day!
We made healthy snack “hummus dippers” with cucumber bowls, carrots, and hummus dip. All of our friends had varying opinions about which part they preferred the most, but overall this snack was a huge success! Super fun and easy!
For our third day of Week of the Young Child, we spent our time building and creating together. We made a multimedia painting with blocks, colored glue, and other mixed materials. “We are building on a painting?” asked Jude. “Yes, and we will sell it in the Spring Art Market.” said Debbie.
For the fourth day of Week of the Young Child, we did our thrilling art activity indoors. Inside of smashing our watercolor balloons to create a splash painting, we poked them open for a splatter and splash with a fork in our big sink. It was definitely thrilling and a little messy.
For our final day of Week of the Young Child, we had a very special Special Person day! We planted seeds in special pots that we painted. We gave painted canvas gifts to our special person. Then we played, read stories, and ate snacks with our special people. It was beautiful and memorable.
This week, we have been preparing art to display in the front window. We are collaborating we the 3A classroom to make a spring flowers display. We are making flowers from all kinds of fantastic materials like coffee filters, egg cartons, tissue papers, paints, paper, and more. Decorating those windows with the 3A class will be so much fun. Look at our creative works in progress:
This week, something new and exciting happened each day:
On Monday, we had an edible show and tell! Lauren's mommy brought in Korean pancakes and a drink made from Yuzu and honey. It was delicious! We also painted papers to make baskets for our egg hunt and we played a new and exciting cube game in the gym where we bunny hopped the number we rolled.
On Tuesday, we had an egg hunt in the upstairs gym - it was so fun! We found many eggs in many colors and everyone got to take some home. We also made a very special chicken and vegetable soup. It was special because some of us who are not adventurous eaters tasted the soup and the whole 2B class loved it! Also, after lunch we got to watch the construction work take place outside our window. We loved describing what the machines were doing!
On Wednesday, George and Grady had a joint birthday celebration! George had Peter Pan decorations with a crocodile cupcake cake and a pirate ship balloon. Grady had funfetti cupcakes and a Lightning McQueen balloon. George’s mommy read the story, “How do Dinosaurs say, Happy Birthday?” and Grady's mom help us clean up our grassy confetti party. We all took turns being a bunny too!
On Thursday, we celebrated Romeo's birthday in a special way with “doughnuts” (or actually doughnut holes). It was also special because Romeo’s sister and dad were there. “I’m not a baby. I’m a boy!” said Romeo. Each of us talked about our favorite doughnut flavors, too. Last but not least, we got to read one of our new books that arrived from our Literacy Week Wish List.
This week was special for a few reasons. Despite the snow day, spring is upon us and it is a big milestone for our older two's. In the big picture, we celebrated Literacy Week with story reenactment, learning the difference between stories and poems, engaging in critical thinking and discussion about our favorite books and characters, and a very sophisticated tea party. In the small picture, our friends are continually developing empathy and complexity in their personalities, interpersonal relationships, and preferences.
A highlight this week was Sloane's interest in helping our new classmate, Manu. She took on the role of caretaker, friend, and teacher - making his transition Into the class so much easier.
Today, we did a cool science project with baking soda and green vinegar. We made bubbling sand! We used all of our senses in this project. Our ears to help us listen to directions, our touch to feel the sand, our smell to describe the vinegar, and our eyes to see the bubbles and color changing. Luckily no one tasted the sand, because we talked about how regular sand does not taste good so neither would the green sand. Our friends were so observant today! Here's what some of us had to say:
What does this green stuff smell like?
Jude: "It's liquid"
Lauren: "Smells like ketchup"
What does the sand feel like?
Sloane: "Feels cold."
Thomas: "It's messy."
What does it look like? / What do you see?
Romeo: "Look, Hillary, the sand is green now."
In the small gym this week, the friends in 2B have gotten very creative with their imaginations for group play. Pretending there are sharks in the water they have to hop over or pretending to be frogs, playing superheroes and coming up with their own names, having races, building houses, and creating problems to solve together like obstacle courses or getting "stuck" and needing help have been just some of the creative scenarios we have seen.
With less toys and space in the small gym, our class works together to create fun and interesting scenarios.
Here is a link to yesterday's gym play:
This week, Valentine's Day festivities took over the 2B classroom. We had so much finishing preparations, making pudding with Diane, and enjoying new songs in Spanish on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday the real fun came with our big red fire truck, Valentine's Day mail, a brownie and heart hat party, balloons, and rose smelling pink play dough. The pictures and videos on Instagram and Google Drive certainly speak a thousand words about how much fun we've had but here is a recap, too!
This week went by so quickly! A new friend joined our class and his name is Rowan. This week, we made new art projects, played with new toys, played new games, and did a new group activity - no wonder why the time passed so fast!
-Tissue paper and glue on paper - what first was flat and 2 dimensional quickly became creative and 3D by scrunching up the tissue papers. We even layered colors and chose color themes.
-Making and preparing Valentines - we used foam heart, googly eyes, makers, pipe cleaner arms and legs, and special messages to make very special valentines for friends, family, and even our teachers. We can't wait to show you!
-Using clay and letter stamps we made name plaques helping us learn and spell our names.
-Painting and preparing our 2B firetruck that we will use for pretend play and our community building curriculum project
-We borrowed Pre-K's nail block and hammers to use as a fun and challenging morning activity. It required so much focus!
-We used foam puzzle pieces to create all kinds of imaginative things during morning activities.
-Friends brought toys from home to play with and share with friends. We practiced communicating, sharing, trading, and saying no in friendly ways.
- We tried out a new guessing game of hot and cold to discover who's silhouette was who's. Our friends were surprisingly very good at this abstract game so we will play it in the future.
- We played a following directions dice game that made us do silly and fun things in the group in front of our friends.
New Group Activity
-We started show and tell! It is helping us so much with public speaking, turn taking, and asking question and providing answers
What a great week!
The 2B class loves playing firefighters. This has been an ongoing theme since the beginning of the school year last semester and has developed over time into more complex play and themes. This week, we cut up old light ropes into individual fire hoses so more friends could join in the fun. Because we only have a couple fire hats, the 2B class has learned and practiced turn taking and trading toys and objects to get what they want. In addition, Jude borrowed a fire fighting book from Pre-K that has a bilingual story in English and Spanish to help us practice and learn more words. The 2B class loves to put out fires with the fire hoses. We usually pretend there is a fire in different areas of the room so everyone can help, and this week, we had a tissue paper fire with a block building to keep the play focused and grounded in one area of the room. For the future and coinciding with our school wide intent and curriculum, we are happy to bring our focus from self and family to community and world. We will continue to incorporate everyone's love of firefighting in the mix with a visit to our neighborhood fire station in March and making a fire engine in the class using big boxes (if you have some, please bring them) and art supplies. We are looking forward to see how these new additions enrich one of our favorite play themes!
Today, Sloane was really excited to tell us that she’s moving soon. “I have my own room! I will use the same bed. You're not moving! Alfie is moving, too," Sloane said excitedly. We decided to use play to help Sloane describe her thoughts and process her feelings. This has been very common for George and Alisha too, when they choose to play with the babies themselves because they have new siblings who have arrived and who are on the way. Using play for life transitions also helps model behaviors for when the actual event occurs. "Shhhhh! The baby is sleeping, Hillary. You have to be quiet." Alisha likes to say.
During centers, Debbie helped Sloane design her new room with her bed and her mommy and daddy and friends. Sloane felt very happy to think about how her new room will look. "This is me sleeping and mommy and daddy," she said. "Who are these other people?" asked Debbie. "They are my friends!" exclaimed Sloane. Soon, Grady, Oliver, and Alisha wanted to build and design their own rooms, too. Creative thinking comes easily to the 2B class and they enjoy applying ideas in play to their daily lives just as their daily lives dictate their ideas for play. Amazing!
We had so much fun this short week preparing for our curriculum breakfast featuring video interviews of the 2B class and a game of who's who silhouettes for the parents. We enjoyed pancakes, bagels, hot chocolate, and playing store with our parents too! We have been identifying interests in our friends and ourselves as we continue to cook together, learn Spanish, dance, play soccer and play in the gym, and enjoy meals together. Today, we even learned a new game for foot/eye and gross motor coordination. It seems like our possibilities are endless as we shift into a new curriculum focus about our community and the world around us.
This week we have seen more imaginative play and artwork. From putting out invisible fires and riding in cars, to covering a boat to keep out water and making snowmen and big bears out of clay - we sure know how to get creative! Today, Romeo made a snow man family with clay while Cole made a big bear (see the pictures below). In gym, friends take turns pretending to be the rainbow ghost - a funny character that 2B has carried over from last semester - while Oliver likes to be a kitty cat and sleep in nice little block houses with his friend Grady, who is never a kitty cat. In the upstairs gym, Lauren covered the boat shaped seesaw with a veil. "What is this for?" Hillary asked her. "No water come in." she replied. Smart!
As a group this week, we made shaving cream art which was so cool. "It looks like a rainbow!" said Jude and Devin P. said "It smells good can I eat it?" We also painted the box that we use to play store and sometimes use as a cave to sleep in. It is so fun being creative in our art and play, and it's even better to share our imaginative expression with friends. Let's see where it takes us in the future!
This week we came back from the holiday break ready to play and learn. Our first day back was a breeze. We loved Spanish class and cooking with Diane. On Wednesday, our new friend Thomas joined the class and we played with moonsand and cut playdough, we created a giant art pizza, and we enjoyed Super Soccer Stars! On Friday, it was nice and quiet we played with our box, we cut our pizza and added pepperonis, and in the gym and enjoyed quiet reading together. It was so nice to get back into the swing of things with our good 2B friends.