Read Across America

Miss Yolanda from our local Library came this week for the Read Across America celebration and she brought along “Brother Bear” from the Berenstain Bears to visit with us.

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Everyone was so excited when they came in.  Miss Yolanda read two books. The first one was “I’d Really Like to Eat a Child” by Sylviane Donnio.

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Her second book was “That is Not a Good Idea” by Mo Willems.

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We all enjoyed both books and our special guest Brother Bear, he gave out a whole bunch of hugs and high fives!

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Thanks to Miss Yolanda for coming and reading to us.

Digging in the dirt and feeling good…

“The sun is shining. The weather is sweet now.”  And so we dig in the dirt at long last.

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Nothing is sweeter really, than the smell of fresh turned soil. The children were so excited to do this special work this morning, removing clods of grass and loosening the compact soil with hand trowels and hoes. And we have so much more to look forward to as we begin another exciting season partnering with Appalachian Sustainable Development’s Grow Your Own program.

On another note, the sandbox was the spot for an impromptu  “shipwreck” assembled with the many heavy equipment toys on the picnic table. The beauty of this–

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is the intention of a child’s imagination. Where we may only see trucks and dozers for sand play, this child saw an opportunity to bring his current favorite subject–underwater sea treasures–to life.  So, we had a shipwreck sculpture grace the sandbox. All around, a stellar morning.

Fields of Flowers

Warm temperatures, sunshine and the arrival March has us all getting dreamy about Spring. Today we painted a field of flowers. This is how it went:

First, I stumbled upon this wonderful gem of a book at the local library-

Art Workshops

And it was instant inspiration for bringing fun group games into the atelier with the kids. We’ve all been itchy to move more, to see bright colors, to feel freer…and the games (as I refer to them to the kids) provided just the right ticket for us today. We started with the workshop “Field of Flowers” in which a group of children followed instructions on painting dots and circles in short snips: “Paint a tiny dot.” Then they traded places and paint pots and we went again, “Paint a circle around a dot,” etc.  I exclaimed the instruction, then “swap!”, and our world music  played in the background and the sun was shining through the windows… It was a good time, albeit brief.

We did this as two groups.

This was our great field of flowers:

Field of Flowers

Some kids didn’t do well following instructions, or struggled to get into the rhythm of paint then swap. I mean, these are four and five year olds. But we were inspired and I look forward to trying more of the activities in Herve’ Tullet’s book.

When it’s Spring…

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My class has had “Spring Fever” for about a month now. They are (not so patiently)awaiting everything that Spring has to offer. I hear, “When it’s Spring…”, multiple times a day. They have plans, plans for baby chicks and planting seeds. They are planning on not wearing jackets, “only tank tops”. They are already planning their egg hunting strategies.

We are close, but frosty mornings are an excellent reminder that we’re not there yet! I gave in a little though, and read, “When Spring Comes…” by Robert Maass

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Miss Amy added some themed items to our lacing and weaving table. The kids really enjoyed working with those. They loved feeling the fuzzy rabbits and attaching “rainbows”  to the table.

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The kids are also very excited about the prospect of new life. Everyone suddenly has a new baby, boys, girls, mermaids, and dinosaurs alike. This kind of play promotes gentleness and caring. As a teacher and a caregiver it’s amazing to see how much the kids pick up on from just observing their parents.

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A "dad" driving his kids to the park

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Spring will be here before they know it, but waiting is the hardest part.

-Miss Amber