Friday, December 14, 2018

I began the blog three different times today. Each time it began with a different topic, but each time it also arrived at the same point- the ways in which we try to equip these young children to be successful.
There are many lessons happening in the classroom: 
Sophia is searching for the letter of interest- this week it is "t". She found it many times on the calendar.

I had prepared an activity inspired by the story The Mitten, by Jan Brett.  It provided me the opportunity to observe two important skills needed for kindergarten success
  1. telling a story in sequential order
  2. understanding and following multi-step directions

We practiced counting, writing and addition using dominos. 
Having had the initial lesson of this new way to use the dominos, the children can grab a pair of dominos and practice adding when they are drawn to it. 

As I watched the children build with blocks and create books, I listened to conversations and I listened to things not said.  I watched smiles arise on faces, and looks of worry shadow others.  I saw joy and frustration.

Ultimately,  the most important lessons come back to those which help the children grow to value hard work and perseverance, and compassion for themselves and others.  

While we pour our hearts into creating a loving and safe space for the children at The Gan, as well as an individual plan for each child, we also recognize, that despite all of this, things may sometimes feel scary for a child.
The world is BIG to them and they have no control over it.  This can cause a struggle.

What do we do when we witness these young people struggle?
We  evaluate what is working and what we can do better.
We continue to pouring our hearts into the classroom- preparing it everyday to be an inviting, safe and loving place for your children.
And we let them struggle, a bit.
If we don't let them struggle, what could we be denying them?
We encourage them to practice at whatever it is that is causing the struggle.
By practicing we can look at what we have accomplished. We ask what worked, and what we could do differently.
Makayah explained practicing to Zoey.
Makayah: That's what preschool is for.

The girls went off to find something that Zoey could do.
Makayah: Zoey you can climb the engine when you are bigger like me and Lochlan. Let's do something we can do now.

We allow them to experience failure and to see what they can create from it.  
Emily wanted to build something specific.  It was not working out because the blocks she wanted were in use. She did not give up, she adjusted her plan.  
She pulled from her past experiences and growth to create something positive.
We hope the children will allow themselves to take risks and be imperfect.
 As they grow, they will engage the world knowing they are loved, worthy and valued.

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