Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Elephants and The Monkeys

Hi all! Miss Layne, here :) 

As you know, I've had the privilege of guiding quite an evolution for this group of students and their classroom recently. I finally found a moment to sit down and document it for you. 

The first week after Spring Break, we gathered each morning and had a super sophisticated discussion about change. It went somethings like this: 

"I have an important secret to tell you! It is this... all of your lives are going to change. All of the time. They are never, ever going to stay the same. Some changes are really, really big. Some are super tiny. Sometimes we know a change is coming and we can get ready for it; sometimes change is a big surprise. Guess what! We are having a surprise change happening to all of us right now! Do you want to know what it is? 

Ok. You know your teacher, Miss Emily? She loves you all so much. And she has been the teacher in this classroom for a long time. But she has had some surprise changes in her life and needed to change to having a different job. That means she won't be coming to work here as your teacher anymore. 

Is that a kind of big surprise? I think so, too. Can I tell you the new plan for your classroom? It's super important to me that you still have teachers you know so I asked Miss Tess and Miss Kelsey if they could trade off teaching your class just like they teach your friends' class! So you will see Miss Tess one week and then Miss Kelsey the next week. "

We talked about many different ways we might feel about these changes - confused because of the surprise, sad to miss Miss Emily, happy to see Miss Tess and Kelsey more... We drew faces on the board to represent all these feelings and we drew a picture of Miss Emily with a heart around it and blew kisses to her. 

I made the choice to work together with the students to rearrange their classroom as a means of empowering them to participate in the change. I wanted them to mark the change by using their minds and hands be a part of it and feel like they could impact it. Here is an example of them doing this by choosing and installing a new rug:

Examining the old one to decide what they liked better. 

Unrolling the new rug.

Transporting and installing all by themselves :)

They loved talking about possibilities of where to move the centers and how to arrange the furniture. They felt so much ownership over the space that they even worked together to clean up the water color project we did later in the morning. They ran back and forth from the bathroom getting paper towels until it was fully and successfully clean!

Each of them chose a few new things to have in their class, as well. They loved leaving their mark on their newly changed up environment!

Riley's elephant

David's lion on the ceiling

Handake's ice cream

Preston and Luke's dinosaurs

Christopher's monkeys

Sadie's Tinker Toys

I still need to get "a baby purple fish and a baby yellow fish" for Eloise, while Colin, Mason and Ethan are still pondering their choices. Stay tuned for those! 

Last week Miss Tess joined us and taught a lesson around the book, "Giraffes Can't Dance" by Giles Andrea. 

We use this book as self-reflection unit, mirroring Gerald's journey to find a song he can dance to. "Sometimes when you're different, you just need a different song!" he learns. 

We did giraffe face paint!

We colored our own dancing Geralds.

We narrated a silly self-concept worksheet.

And we worked puzzle made of our own faces :)

Moving forward, you'll notice this blog looks a bit different, as well. Each of the toddler classes voted this week on a new mascot so they will henceforth be know as ... The Elephant Room!

Ms. Lauren's class chose... The Monkey Room!

Ms. Tess and Ms. Kelsey's class chose... The Giraffe Room

For more on the goings on in the newly christened "Monkey Room" here is Ms. Lauren...

Hi all! Thank you for you patience and grace in waiting for another blog! As you have probably read above, we are now known as The Monkey Room. From now on, this is what you'll want to look for in the blog each week. The kiddos chose the name and I think it best suits them. They are definitely a bunch of cute little monkeys!

Last week (4/9-4/13) we read "I Want My Hat Back" by Jon Klassen.

Image result for I want my hat back by jon klassen

This book talks about a bear who's lost his hat and wants it back. He questions the creatures in the forest until he finds it. It's a humorous book with a surprising ending. If you haven't read the book, you should. It was fun and interesting asking the children what happened at the end.

We decorated our red hats.

We colored our own bear and rabbit.

We also painted a large, over-sized version of the bear!

Lastly, we went on a red triangle hunt around the classroom. We found and counted ten red triangles (they are to emulate the shape and color of the bear's hat).

Oh, and we also ate some yummy oranges during snack time!

That's all for now! Come back next week to see what story we will be diving into next!


Miss Lauren.

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