Hi Rabbit Run,
Happy Friday! I want to start off with a few important housekeeping reminders, as we have noticed not everyone has what they need at school.
- Please make sure you have sent a shoe box with several pairs of extra clothes inside
- Please label everything! Every piece of clothing, container, water bottle, napkin, fork, etc!
- Send a wet bag for taking home wet/dirty clothing. If your child is having lots of accidents, you might send two!
- Please send snacks separate from the lunchbox so your child can easily retrieve them during the morning work period
Thank you! Now to the good stuff!
We have had a great first two weeks of the school year! Everyone is settling into their routines and we love watching all the new friendships forming. We have been playing lots of group games at our Gathering (circle time) that allow us to get to know each other, practicing Grace and Courtesy lessons, singing new songs, and reading some wonderful books. Our favorite games have been Busy Bee, Busy Bee, The Hokey Pokey, Here We Go Loopy-Loo (Pete Seeger), and Help! (in our afternoon class).
Grace and Courtesy lessons model for children how we do certain things in the classroom in respectful and orderly ways. We have practiced how to line up, how to sit at the Gathering, how to walk around other people’s work rugs, how to quietly observe a friend, how to ask for help, how to come when a teacher calls your name, how to say excuse me, how to raise your hand, and how to push in a chair. First, I model it, then I ask who else would like to do it, and everyone who raises their hand gets a turn to model (everyone always raises their hand)! Through repetition and practice, these become our classroom norms and foster a calm, responsible and thoughtful community. And the kids love it! Check out our Instagram to watch some of the children practicing “How to observe a friend without interrupting their work.”
You may have heard some new songs come home, like What Are You Wearing, This Is My School, the Rainbow song, or the Mango Fandango song. We are currently learning some sign language to accompany the Rainbow song, which they love. We also use sign language in the classroom regularly. Some of our most used signs are: bathroom, play, water, help, thank you, please, wait, ready, finished, sitting, eating, and I need space. Try asking them how to say one of these things in sign language, using only their hands!
At the beginning of the year, I like to start by reading books that reflect all different kinds of families, especially the families in our classroom so that everyone feels seen and special. Each book emphasizes that it’s love that makes a family. Included is the book, All the Colors We Are: The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color. It is full of information about the three things that determine our skin color: melanin, our parents and ancestors, and the sun. It includes information about geography, the equator, the poles which ties in beautifully to our geography/earth science curriculum. Skin color is something all children notice, and by giving them the correct information to talk about our skin and our similarities and differences we support each child’s natural development/understanding of self and respect for others. We always start off the year heavy on respect for self and others, and noticing how we are the same and different is at the root. I've found it fosters an enormous sense of love and community building right from day one.
We have also been reading and learning a lot about airplanes! We have a big airplane enthusiast in the classroom who has shared his interest with the rest of us and we are all learning together! This week you may have heard about the Wright Brothers, Amelia Earhart or Bessie Coleman- curious and brave pilots we are reading picture books about. Perhaps they have told you there are airplanes that carry trucks, cars, and mail; or airplanes that land on ships in the ocean; or that the smallest plane in the world is called the Bumblebee. Can you tell they are loving learning about pilots, planes, and flying?!
A reminder that we do Show and Tell every Friday! We invite children to bring an object they would like to share with the class: rocks, flowers, shells, nature in general, books, art, things they have made, coins, artifacts, found objects, plants, etc. Please leave toys, stuffed animals, and characters at home.
If your child is new to RR, please expect to hear from me over the course of next week to let you know how the transition has been. And as always, please reach out with any questions or thoughts! Here’s to a great first two weeks!