Friday, October 29, 2010

The wonder of Creation is our theme for the next few weeks.

On Tuesday, we experienced dark/light. We shut our eyes tight to experience total darkness. We opened them and had light. We spent our class time tuesday with the lights off and on.

When the lights went off it was delightful to hear "It's DARK!!!" and likewise when the lights came back on, "It's LIGHT".

The children are creating a multi-media mural to represent creation. So far we have a sponge painted sky and land, cotton ball clouds and tissue paper grass.

Each child also made their own styrofoam earth sitting in a dark sky.

This coming tuesday, we will begin talking about the third day of creation, the trees and plants and flowers. This will also begin our discussion of living and non-living things.

We are learning a song to help us learn and understand how Hashem created our world, it begins:
"Hashem created a world so fine, he did it all in 6 days time."
It is sung to the tune of This Old Man. Ask your child to sing it for you.
We will be adding a verse as we add a day, and will be singing it at circle and during class time.

Thursday was our first Peace Makers circle. We learned a song about friendship and played with puppets. One puppet, Joe, was not very nice and grabbed a toy from Sally, the other puppet. Sally was so sad. I asked the children what could Sally do?
Levi: She could take it back
Tori: She can get another toy
Morah Katie: Very good ideas, let's see what Sally chooses to do.

Well, sadly Sally chose to hit Joe. The children raised their eyebrows at this.
Morah Katie: What do you think of Sally's choice?
Dena: Not good.
Morah Katie: How do you think Sally felt if she hit Joe?
Kian: Mad
Morah Katie: Let's see what could have happened it Sally tried to be a peace maker:
Sally: Joe it makes me mad when you take my toy.
Will you give it back to me please?

Morah Katie: What do you think Joe should do?
Kian: Give it back.
Levi: Sally spoke nicely.

The children decided that Sally spoke kindly enough that Joe should give the toy back.
The puppets are in the classroom, they are available for the children to play pretend with, or to use as a way to solve their conflicts.
Through out the rest of the day, if I saw an angry face appear, or heard an angry voice, I acknowledged the feeling I saw on his/her face, and I asked the child to think about what a peace maker would do. It was heartwarming to hear, "I am angry you took my swing, I would like it back."
This is a process which will involve offering suggestions, mediation by a teacher to help a dialog begin, and repetition.

The children continue to review the past letters of the week, in addition to learning
the current letter - R.

We are practicing our writing with connect the dot sheet, and learning our colors and color words with matching.

We are counting daily and building on what we know. The children are working on recognizing the numerals and counting quantities to match the numerals.
We do this first a few numbers at a time, adding more as the child is able to recall.
There are layers to this matching:
1. quantities and numerals in order
2. quantities in order, numeral mixed up
3. quantities mixed up, numerals mixed up.
4. numerals and quantities mixed up.

Daniel is working with bead bars, 1-10.

Quantities are first because they can be held in the child's hand, it is real and concrete. The numerals are symbols and require memory.
To add to this, we can spread the numeral and quantities across the classroom, which is always a fun memory game.

I will be writing observations I make of the children in their writing notebooks and updating them every few weeks. I invite your to please take a look at your child's notebook the next time you are in the classroom.

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