We often say that the environment is the third teacher…our classroom is full of materials that inspire our girls to explore, wonder, create and problem solve. We also bring an abundance of the outside in allowing them to delight in the world. We are often amazed at how incredible a child’s mind works when given the freedom to be curious about what captivates them.
We were inspired by Jan Brett’s whimsical tails about animals
Many familiar stories that are told over and over again are treasures… and Gingerbread Stories have been told and retold many times with a different twist. From old versions to new… the Gingerbread Boy is timeless and for many a tasty treat!!
Through much discussion the girls discovered the following:
The girls have also been absorbed in making cookies, building Kitty Castles, sorting, counting, matching letters, writing and drawing, creating their own trees at the light table, painting and discovering peppermint rice .... they have been busy bees and full of Christmas Spirit!!!
We wanted to emphasize to our girls the true meaning of the season by giving to others and sharing their time and talent… also to be thankful for all they have in their lives such as…friends, family, shelter, food, and love. The girls have experienced delightful joy by creating a few things which definitely put a smile on many faces… making necklaces and cards for their friends was just the beginning….
I love Fall…it is the perfect time to explore and let children connect with nature…to wonder about new curiosities, wonderings, and ideas…nature based loose parts also draws the girls in...their natural curiosity is important…they begin to think, and ask questions…this flows over and promotes the develop of problem solving...this open-ended play allows them to follow their imagination and interests…learning how to collaborate and workout differing ideas during play is a win, win…let’s play!!!
What kind of story can you tell?
Here is my mommy and daddy..it was snowing. We were going on a walk and saw two kitties and they were hungry and cold. We gave them water and then taked them home with us. They were excited to go with us...
and engages children in the experience: not the end product
The girls continue to spend lots of time exploring rocks in our environment. We have painted on rocks, painted with rocks, and told stories with rocks. We have discovered that rocks are everywhere and used in so many ways in our world. After all….rocks are pieces of the earth.
The girls watched as I cracked into some Geod's to see what was inside.
We saw trash cans, stepping stones, pots,..and more steeping stones, beautiful mosaics ... a beautiful fountain in the court yard..bird baths...more steeping stones and statues, and even a bench...and more steeping stones. Love that we have this campus in this beautiful enviorment for our girls to explore the outdoors using all their senses...they always find something new to explore....
Finally...we put out our steeping stones down outside our back window...they are beautiful and the girls love looking at them and walking on them....
Our girls love exploring, creating and thinking!!!! On-word to our next adventure!!!!
Creating provocations from our natural environment always sets in motion so many connections to our world. We are always listening to our girls to see what they are interested in. One day last week, one of our friends said, “Where do rocks come from?" I was so excited to be able to focus on something they encounter in their everyday lives…Rocks are everywhere and I’m thinking many of the girls have collected a few from time to time. Rocks are little treasures…During our fall break see if you all can find some interesting rocks for our classroom collection!!! This is just the beginning!!!
Have a blessed Fall Break!!!!
In 2003 Peter Reynolds wrote The Dot, a book written to inspire all of us to navigate our true potential - to be brave, original, inspirational, inspired, and active. Later in 2004 he wrote, ISH, and then again in 2012 wrote Sky color. All three books have become an inspiration to all who foster a growth mindset. September 15ish marks the anniversary of the book, The Dot. In 2009, a group of educators began celebrating this date as International Dot Day…a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: courage, creativity, and self-expression. Of course, we did indeed explore these 3 books and will continue throughout the year to remember what Vashti, Ramon, and Marisol learned about seeing the world in a new way, being inspired by others, and allowing us the courage to make things work even when we don't think we have the right supplies (or even ability). As a culminating activity… we celebrated ‘Dot Day” Tuesday, September 17 and what fun we had. The girls went on a Dot hunt and found over 180 dots across campus…that was a lot of tally marks!!!
Just make a mark...and see where it takes you.....
The girls have been having so much fun exploring endless opportunities in our classroom to explore and have fun with using scissors, squeezing sponges full of soap, transferring rainbow rice from one cup to another, or using clothes pins and tongs to transfer pom poms… They are building strength, especially in their hands which is needed to begin turning their scribbles into lines and curves… Art and early writing skills are all bundled together. Using crayons, pencils, markers, etc. encourages them to explore, spark their creativity, and collaborate with their friends. Their conversations are so interesting as they share with each other what their drawings, lines, and curves mean to them. They are beginning to understand that writing is made up of lines, curves and dots… This is just the beginning....
These first few days of school have been filled with all kinds of feelings…mostly excited, happy, curious…and of course a few anxious moments as well!!! Your girls have already stolen our hearts and we are so excited to begin this journey with them!!!!
…as Max says, “Let the wild rumpus start!” -Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things
Just a few concepts…..
…” Within a structured and nurturing environment, Hutchison encourages each student to develop a lifelong joy of learning, to sharpen her intellectual curiosity, to cultivate artistic expression, and strive for physical well-being” …Hutchison philosophy