Hello Dear Community,
What a fabulous week of exciting field trips we have had! As I write this, the children are napping and resting after a thrilling morning at the Bainbridge Fire Department. You will see from the pictures (see below) that they were beyond happy to be part of the fire department experience. Climbing aboard the fire boat, looking at all the fire engines and the hook and ladder truck, inspecting where the fire fighters sleep and eat, and of course, watching the live demonstration of a fire fighter getting his gear on in just 40 seconds!
And then on Tuesday, Grant’s Dad did an amazing live demonstration with the kids on how to make pizza dough at his restaurant, Local Harvest. As you can see from the pictures, the children got to be up to their arms in dough as they joyfully mixed and rolled and pounded and proofed the starter. Then, Dan made us all gluten free pizzas that he cooked in his fire baked oven. They were delicious!
So, yesterday, as I was teaching in Shari’s classroom as she was out healing from dental work, I was continually reminded by the children of the important rules of caring about one another that Shari has instilled in them in their classroom community. As I carefully observed the classroom dynamics and the caring relationships among peers in this class, I thought about how these relationships so much shape the classroom experience. At Peacock, we believe that children’s relationships with their peers and their teachers influence greatly how they feel in school and how they learn. Each classroom at Peacock has its own community, a place where each child feels safe and feels part of a caring whole. Each classroom nurtures social competence by helping each child understand how to treat other people with kindness and compassion. Each classroom learns skills on how to cooperate, negotiate, how to keep and make friends, and how to resolve problems and conflicts.
In this vein, a classroom is not a true community unless every child has at least one friend. According to early childhood researchers, children need three types of skills to make and keep friends. They need to know how to establish contact with another child, how to maintain this positive relationship, and how to negotiate when a conflict arises. In an early childhood classroom, these aspects of friendship skills are worked on every day, always recognizing that conflicts are a way of life, and by nature, young children get frustrated easily. All the teachers at Peacock have a plethora of techniques always up their sleeves that assist children in this vast arena of friendship making and friendship keeping. Each day our teachers are helping to instill in the children skills that they can use for their entire lives, for as we know, friendships will always be a huge part of your child’s life as they grow and mature.
So, let’s look and see what has been going on in our classrooms this week.
In our infant room, the babies now have two double strollers, which means that four infants at a time can be out and explore and see the world outside. What a better way to doze off to sleep with birds chirping and trees around and our friends next to us falling asleep too? The babies are continually delightful with their endless curiosity of the world of exploration, their senses more and more alive as they mature.
In our toddler room the children explore all the time the rules of peer relationships. If I do this. the child is continually reminded, then this person might have this kind of reaction. Little by little the classroom community has become one of kindness and exploration in gentle ways of how to get along with ones toddler companions. The toddlers are also beginning to become quite adept at walking with the rings. Today they all walked to the Waterfront Park, where they had great fun in swinging and jumping and sliding. And finally, the toddlers have been fine artisans with their gluing creations. Check out their room and you will see what I mean.
In the Green Room the focus of the week was on the field trips. Getting ready to go, going, and after having gone. So much excitement filled the green room all week. In the end, lovely thank you cards were made by the children and the teachers, a community of people all being together and appreciating what life gives us. Speaking of community, the teachers have been talking with the children about putting away toys and sharing, and basically creating a harmonious environment in which to spend ones’ day, all topics that are vastly important in a classroom environment. Creators abound as well, the green group did their own version of glue and imagination put into a giant mural.
And then the Blue Room, in addition to their own version of field trip excitement, he class has been following through on their theme of pioneer exploration through the lens of of the people who lived many years ago and came here out of their own volition to discover something new and different. The children have learned about covered wagons and made their own, combining math skills to count the number of spokes on the wagon with historical facts about the wagons themselves and how this mode of transportation was used to artistic creativity in how to make these covered wagons. The children made their own pasta this week after talking about how things were made a long time ago, that are still made in the same way as today. We talked about how today we usually buy pasta in plastic packages, and how we are making our own pasta without having to do this, just like it used to be. On Wednesday I read a book to the children about a man from Japan who came to this country, like many other people, but on a boat and his experiences in this place they used to call the “New World.” The children have been fascinated by learning about the lives of others who lived in a different time, and did things that in many ways were quite similar in their differences. And finally, check out the quilt the children made on the wall with teacher Shari. It is truly beautiful.
with kindest and warmest regards,