Our family play continued this week, this time, with more roles. There were mommies, daddies, brothers, and sisters. The teachers sometimes pretended to be other family members, like a grandparent, to remind the children that families are more than just who we live with.
The children have also been working on family portraits for Friday's Curriculum Breakfast.
On Monday we created a graph representing the number of letters in everyone's names. While working, and later when we were finished, the children pointed out the children who had the least number of letters, the most number of letters, and the same. This activity was very interesting for Milo. During free choice, he used one of the manipulatives to create his own graph.
We have noticed a change in the dynamics of our classroom: there has been a lot of screaming, pushing, and feelings of anger. This week we have been discussing our feelings/emotions using feelings flashcards, talking about how we feel during circle time, creating a warm fuzzy jar, and visiting our quiet corner.
The warm fuzzy jar promotes kindness. When we see the children do something nice for another friend, they get to put a pom-pom in the jar. When the jar is full, they get to have a treat/party. Since introducing it on Thursday, the children have done 3 acts of kindness! Today, Alexander got to put one in because he let Dylan use the car in the gym before his time was up.
We introduced the children to the quiet corner on Friday. So far it is filled with pillows and a calm down jar (recipe at the end of this post). When asked what else we may need in the area, the children suggested more pillows and more calm down jars (different colors). The rule for the quiet corner is one person at a time. We also talked about, and practiced, taking deep breaths. We will be adding fabric to the area to make it cozier.
Since beginning our discussion about feelings/emotions, we have already begun to see a big change in the children!
This week we added new materials to the kitchen area (yogurt container, baby food jar, egg carton, and real carrot tops) that have gotten the children cooking up a storm for each other.
On Friday we cooked carrot squash soup for Milo and his family. The children helped cut up the carrots, and poured and stirred the broth into the pot. The entire class was very excited about making this meal. We hope Milo and his family enjoyed the soup!
There has been a lot of art going on this week as well. The children have been experimenting with watercolor palettes (figuring out the paint to water ratio to obtain desired depth of color), and observational paintings (great for getting the children to slow down and focus on details).
We began a science experiment and are continuing to observe what will happen. We mixed epsom salt in a jar with hot water, stirred it, and placed in the fridge. Dylan predicted that it would get cold, and Elle predicted that the water would disappear. The next day we took it out of the fridge and discovered small crystals at the bottom of the jar. We will check it again on Tuesday to see if there are any changes.
Calm Down Jar Recipe
16 oz. mason Jar, Glitter Glue, Food coloring/Liquid watercolor paint, Warm/hot water, Glitter (optional)
Mix about 1 tablespoon of glitter glue with 1 cup of warm/hot water. Add some food coloring (same color as your glitter glue). If you'd like, add some extra glitter. Close the lid and shake it up!
The glitter in the jar, when shaken, is like all the thoughts in your mind, or how crazy/wild your body feels. When you stop shaking it, it is like letting your mind and body relax as the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar.