I hope all of you had wonderful long weekends. Here at Peacock, in our short week, the children and the classrooms have been quite busy as usual, enjoying being back with each other and solidifying friendships. The children have a sense that summer and end of school year transitions are upon them, and this often brings feelings of excitement as well as sometimes a bit of anxiety as friends are about to embark upon new adventures, often leaving the school for new homes, vacations, and in the case of our kindergarten children, new schools.
We hope that all of you can attend this wonderful event. While we will have a special ceremony for our three graduates, Malia, Grace, and Alex, all the preschool children at Peacock will be on the “stage”, receiving acknowledgements and flowers. Toddler and infant children are also invited and are encouraged to sit in parents’ laps. Afterwards, we will have a potluck supper, and we invite you to bring a special dish to help us celebrate and party.
As I think about this end of the year celebration, I think about each child at Peacock and the gifts each one brings to this school. Today I had the fortunate experience of spending some one on one time with little Landon before he leaves us to go to his new school. What I have learned from him is priceless, something for us all to think about as we raise our children and learn from them. We went on a walk together, he and I, and with his eyes and ears wide open, he saw the world as a wonderful place, a place where people are kind when you are kind to them, a place where if you stop and let yourself be quiet and still, then you can hear birds and watch people move through their days, and smell flowers, and see life unfold in way that makes sense and is still full of magical surprises.
All the children have something to teach us. It’s always interesting to discover, especially as they move to the preschool years, what types of intelligence that each child possesses that leads them through school, and of course, through life. Howard Gardner coined the idea of multiple intelligence in looking at children, observing that rather than having one fixed intelligence, children and adults can be intelligent in many different ways. When our teachers at Peacock plan their curriculum in their classrooms, they are thinking of each child and these particular intelligence areas that are highlighted each day in the activities that take place.
These areas were defined by Gardner as follows:
Linguistic/Verbal Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area like to play with words and the sounds of language. They often like stories, telling them and listening to them. They often like to experiment with writing.
Logical/Mathematical Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area like to reason and solve problems, explore patterns and categorize objects. They often like to ask questions and experiment. They like to count and they understand one to one correspondence.
Musical/Rhythmic Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area may sing, hum, or whistle to themselves. They often see patterns in music and nature. They are sensitive to environmental sounds and the human voice. They often respond to music emotionally.
Spatial/Visual Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area may think in images. They often know where everything in the classroom is located. They are often fascinated with the way things work. They often take toys apart to see how they work.
Bodily/Kinesthetic Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area often have good fine motor skills and coordination. They often learn by moving, not by sitting still. They often feel things in their “gut”. They often are athletic or good dancers.
Interpersonal Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area may have several best friends. They might be good at resolving conflicts They might be leaders and group organizers and they are often good at understanding people’s feelings and behaviors.
Intrapersonal Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area are often aware of their emotions and can express their feelings well. They often need private space and time and they can have a realistic knowledge of their strengths and challenges.
Naturalist Intelligence: Children who are strong in this area often are good observers in nature. They often notice changes in their environment. They often like to use binoculars and magnifying glasses and study nature. They often like to care for pets and they often enjoy gardening.
Of course no one intelligence exists by itself, and there is often an interaction between and among these intelligences in every child. With an encouraging, rich, curriculum such as we have at Peacock, each child has the potential to develop all their intelligences while they are at school. It’s also something to think about as you are preparing your child for the world of kindergarten and beyond and as you are thinking about the particular school you want your child to go to.
So, with all this in mind, what happened in each of the classrooms this week?
In the Infant Room Jan has been busy, sometimes with one, two, and sometimes with three babies at a time with the world that infants create. Social interaction has been lively between the babies as they are noticing each other more and more these days, and it is delightful to watch how babies really do communicate with each other, using all the parts of their bodies to express themselves.
In the Toddler Room Petra and Haleigh have been involved in many exciting events. Petra brought in a wonderful big plastic car that has survived many years of play and continues to excite the world of the toddler. Not only have the children been able to ride this wonderful vehicle and feel in charge of such a powerful tool, they have been also been able to take turns using it, a skill that is not easy to do for the toddler! In the classroom, painting with an introduction to shapes was great fun, and required a good amount of skill as well. Outside, the toddlers took a fabulous long nature walk, exploring the exciting world of slugs and birds and flowers and plants. Their stamina was amazing and their enthusiasm for everything around them was infectious!
In the Green Room Heather and Betsy and Tyler have been exploring some exciting themes. The previous theme of bugs has moved into farms and farm animals. The children have been talking about what happens on a farm and what animals might you find on a farm. They created a farm scene mural that will hang on the wall and will transform the Green Room into a lively environment. In the creative realm, the children got to make cows and glue spots on the cows. They also made their own chickens. As they have been talking about what grows on farms, they got to take some vegetables and make stamps with them. For their cooking project, they got to make flowers and insects from foods they had cut up and then they got to eat them. In language and literacy, they have been reading the same book all week that the children have been able to learn and even memorize. Where the Wild Things Are is such a favorite among children, such a timeless masterpiece, and towards the end of the week, the children were able to tell the story to their peers at circle time, acting as the teacher and taking turns to take on this role and learn about how to tell a story. For walking Wednesday, the children walked to the Winslow Green, where they played duck duck goose and a dinosaur themed game. Lucy’s mom brought in some beautiful sea glass that the children admired. Next week they will have a creative project that will involve this glass. On Friday, ooblek will be the texture of the week: there is nothing better than cornstarch and water that slips through the hands on a Friday, or on any day in a preschool room, for that matter. The color of the week is pink.
In the Blue Room, bugs have also moved into farms. For the grand finale of the bug theme, the children finished their bug books, a work of great patience and creativity that culminated this many layered, fascinating theme. As the new farm theme evolved, the children planted grass seed in the shape of the letter “I”, that they will watch grow bit by bit, forming this letter of the week with the little shoots. Shari has been talking about all different kinds of fruits and vegetables that grow on a farm, and all over the walls you will see great pictures of these fruits and vegetables that the children have painted. She also has been talking with the children about food groups and gardens and how farmers plant. Soon, the classroom will turn into a farmer’s market, and the children will be able to pretend to grow and sell flowers and crops. Connecting the garden theme to the world of mathematics, Shari has been talking about animals that live in gardens and then has had an interesting project where the children got to create a caterpillar and count the number of parts of this animal’s body. In a new math game that she brought in, the theme is adding and taking away, and the children played to collect ice cream scoops in an ice cream shop. Patterning and sequencing have been concepts the children have also been working on as they paint the vegetables you will see on the walls, and as they are lining up parts of the caterpillar to count them. Also, in the Blue Room, Shari and the children have all been welcoming our new child, Mikey, who comes into the classroom with a joyful ease and a tremendous enthusiasm for being here. He is a delightful child and we are so fortunate to have him here at Peacock for the summer.
Christine has made once again fabulous kitchen creations. The lunch menu for the week was:
Tuesday: Lemon and Garlic Quinoa salad with turkey slices
Wednesday: Chilimac with watermelon
Thursday: chicken fingers with garlic pasta and broccoli and cauliflower
Friday: mad dog rice salad with orange smiles
and lastly, if you haven’t yet brought sunscreen for your child, please do so.
Have wonderful weekends, all of you.
with kindest and warmest regards,