We have had such a lovely first few weeks of school! This new group is coming together, learning each other’s names, and exploring all of the materials in the classroom.
We always start the year playing, exploring, and then cleaning small sections of the classroom. This is a process that responsive classroom calls “guided discovery.” I will hide a few items in a bag from the new area of the classroom that will open each day. We will look in the bag, discuss the items, how to play with them, and where they are located. Then we will all play with that area of the room. It gives everyone lots of chances to explore just one space in the room, observe other children and how they play with the items, and then practice putting them away.
So far we have followed this process with:
As the classroom areas grow or change, we will revisit this topic in the same way to allow children to practice using our room. I love this process, because it creates clear guidelines for how we use and move in the space. It also allows us to have important discussions after we are finished playing.
For example after painting we had a class meeting about: Putting the paint brushes back in the same jar so our paints won’t get mixed up. Then we examined a jar of yellow paint that had turned brown. We all decided we wanted our paints to keep their original color, so we we work hard to put them back in the correct jar. They talked, discussed, and problem solved this issue.
After using the light area we had a class meeting about: moving the arm and glass pieces around on the overhead projector. We walked over the projector and noticed that the mirror on top had been moved up and down so much that the screws had loosened and the light would no longer reflect on the wall. Everyone thought they liked the projector better when the wall was filled with light. I got out my screwdriver and tightened it up, and we said we wouldn’t touch that particular part of the projector.
The following pictures are from the first two weeks of school, and taken after we had discussed different aspects of the classroom:
Each learning tray has a different activity which will focus on math, literacy, fine motor, and seasonal skills. Below B is exploring a tray that is filled with kinetic sand and the number stamps.
We have been spending our cool mornings outside! They have enjoyed the play set, sensory tables, sand box, and mud kitchen!
Making new friends and visiting with old buddies:)
The children have access to a variety of art supplies throughout the morning. Sometimes they work on a project that is all of their own, or it may have some direction/materials specially provided for them.
Rice bins inside and bubble tables outside!
Exploring Play Dough:
Purple play dough that is lavender scented!
Listening to the stories:
We are learning to listen to books as a large and small group!
There is so much to learn and navigate as a group of children in a classroom! We are working hard everyday to gain the skills to move about the room independently.