Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Nature Walk

This morning we took a nice walk on some of the natural spaces on campus. We were able to see many migratory birds have started to return to our campus, find a large collection of deer scat, see how ice is melting off the pond, and collect many items to use for a project in the room!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Snow Gear FREE!

The quickly warming weather dried up the playground nicely. There is no longer a need to send in full winter gear. Please ensure your child has clothing that matches the weather conditions each day. Raincoats and rain boots are helpful during and after any rainfall.  The playground gets muddy easily.

This is also a good time to send in a new set of extra clothing for your child. Paint, mud, food, and other messy situations happen. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Make a Plan, Then Create

Our creation table continues to be a very popular place for the children to spend time, socialize, and create amazing projects. Recently, we got a lot of items for the loose parts shelf.  The loose parts shelf is where we keep a variety of random items. It has toilet paper tubes, string, bolts, wooden dowels, puzzle pieces, fabric, ... basically anything that is safe to use and cannot really be used in another way right now. This led to a frenzy of activity due to all the new possibilities!

We now have two table assigned to the creation space. The smaller square table is where children design a plan for what they intend to create.  The plan might be an illustration of the supplies needed, a sketch of what the final product will look like, and it might even include written words.  These plans have been very helpful.  We have seen more creativity in what is being made, and the supplies being used in an intentional manner.

We have had a full body dragon costume, a superhero puppet, a space age train, various musical instruments, a time machine, a new robot hand to replace one wounded by a paper cut, an alien horse, jewelry, a flower crown, and a house for rainbows all made in the last two days.  Everything made at the creation table is planned and developed by the children. These are not projects that the adults "inspire" or "help with." 

Happy Birthday, Leila!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Zoo Mobile

The Minnesota Zoo came to us this morning. The students got to learn from a wood turtle, a great horned owl, a porcupine, and a bull snake.

Happy Birthday, Nolan

We started out our week celebrating Nolan's birthday!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Book Suggestion

Last week I finished reading a book that I believe is a good resource.  It was a book I had seen as a suggestion from two authors that I respect (Paul Tough of "How Children Succeed "and Sir Kenneth Robinson of "The Element" and "Creative Schools").

(image taken from Amazon.com.)

"The Self-Driven Child: the Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives" by William Stixrud Phd, and Ned Johnson is an easy to read book on how to help our children develop a better sense of agency in their own lives.  Both of the authors noticed that many students had the same problem. They were acutely stressed, lacked in motivation, and complained about having no control over their own lives.  This was noticed in young children, school aged, and in college students.  Even students frequently labeled as "high achieving" had profiles that are more commonly found in those from more traumatized backgrounds.   

This book offers practical advice that extends to many different stages of child development. The authors use their experience as a neurologist and instructional tutor to offer suggestions on how to increase the kinds of choices that children have to ensure that they are better prepared, happier, and more independent.  

This book has been in the press a lot recently.  NPR did an article with the authors that can be found HERE.

You can also listen to an NPR radio program on the book and topic HERE.