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Children, In the Moment

Art Always!
Dear Community,
Here we are in August already, when summer is at its fullest. As we soak in the rays of summer’s sun, and begin to pick blackberries and watch our gardens ripen to their fullest, it is a time to also reflect on the abundance that we all have in our lives.  In today’s newsletter, I will be quoting from one of the sages in my life, the words and wisdom of a man named Davidicus Wong, MD, a family practitioner out of Vancouver, BC.
“The greatest fools,” he writes, ” pine for what they have lost, crave what they do not have and fail to love what they have while they have it. We are all great in this way; each of us has played the fool.”
He goes on to say,” You will never find your life perfect until you accept its intrinsic imperfection and love it anyway. Life may give you everything you want, but it won’t be all at the same time. There was good and bad in the past as there are different aspects of the present that you like or don’t like. You will have a different sets of cards in your hands tomorrow…between nostalgia for a golden past and anticipation for a better future lies the fulsome present-the realized dreams of yesterday and memories of tomorrow.
Love and appreciate the special people in your life today. They will be gone someday, your relationships will change, the rose will wither, and the sun will set. Make the most of each day and, with your intelligent human mind, look at all that is going well for you this day.”
So, why do I quote this for this week, and what does it have to do with curriculum? I find these words profound when working with and being around young children precisely because children are so focused on the vibrant and passionate present moment. Children remind us constantly about not being the fool—about seizing those immensely important moments and just being with them. Today, a tired, lazy Friday, Michael was the spokesman in the toddler group. He announced that it was a day to just be and watch the boats at the Waterfront. Quietly, that’s we all did. When we stay in the moment, we soften our busy brains and we appreciate what is right in front of us. Earlier this week and today even, we had several teachers out on vacations and appointments. We all felt the strain of this, yet we all rallied together and let the children  feel safe, comforted,  and loved. The children at Peacock always know that their needs on all levels are consistently being met, and we as teachers always remind ourselves how important the children always are as we continually stay in the present moment.
This is curriculum at its finest and deepest place.
So, what happened in the classrooms this week?
In the Infant Room, it’s amazing to watch these babies grow up. It just seems like a moment ago when these little ones were nearly immobile. Now, they are exploring with all their passionate enthusiasm. They are crawling everywhere, hungry to see the world and how it works. Even standing on wobbly legs, propping themselves up on a teacher’s leg gives a huge smile to a baby’s face as the sense of mastery is written all over it. We welcome Elliott into our Infant Room,  a little guy with a wisdom and a kind spirit that fits right into our Peacock babies.
In our Toddler Room  the messages that are given to our toddlers are always ones of kindness and compassion towards others, and it is hard work when one is a toddler and one wants the world all to oneself. The “out breath”, as  some people call it, comes from all the outdoor explorations that the toddlers get to go on, romping around the grass and loving that freedom of movement, trying out ones toddler steps to get it just right, and then of course, just sitting watching quiet boats do their thing as we do ours. The world is big, but not too.
In the Green Room  the children are loving their new helper chart, where each day they get to pick an important classroom job to do such as circle time helper, sleeping mat helper, lunchtime helper, clean up helper, and shoe helper. Also at circle time the children have been enjoying passing around a beach ball as they tell their friends how they are doing that day. They had fun making mashed potato sculptures that they got to eat afterwards, and they glued pinwheel pasta to match the first letter of their name. The Green group also took a few trips to the Waterfront where they, too, got to see and explore the world of the water and all that it holds.
In the Blue Room we celebrated a birthday with a wonderful cake pop cooking project that her mother and her aunt thoughtfully put together and carry out with the children. Another cooking project the children did to tie into the body part theme of the month was making thumb print cookies. Their fingerprints became an exciting art project as they compared and contrasted how our hands are similar and different. Shari has been reading to the children all kinds of books about the body and its mechanisms, exploring in detail the bones and the muscles and how they work for us. In  our Peacock Medical Center we now have xrays and all kinds of medical instruments that  the children get to use in their dramatic play. In addition,the children are weighing and measuring themselves and putting these into graphs. For an interesting art project the children cut out body parts from magazine pictures and put them together to form the body. They then got to talk about what parts go where in the body. Linking the brain process to an actual part of the body, the children have been exploring right and left and matching them with their own sides of their body, a task which is often harder than it seems. For language and literacy, the children have been writing their names on cards and then playing a game where they have to recognize their friends’ names—as well as their own.
So, that is our week, a full one, rich with so many important moments that none of us ignore.
Have great weekends,
with kindest and warmest regards,
Heidi
 

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